The first Fender solidbody model, the Esquire , lasted in name only from June to October This model name was replaced by the "Broadcaster", which lasted in name only from the October to January All Broadcasters have truss rods, where many Esquires often have no truss rod.
In Gretsch had trademarked the name "BroadKaster" for a line of drums. After advertising the Broadcaster in music trade papers in February 20, , Gretsch took notice and sent Fender a telegram asking them to change their name.
Therefore Fender was forced to drop the name Broadcaster. Starting around February 22, , Fender cut the word "Broadcaster" off of their headstock decals. These models February to summer are known as "NoCasters". Starting in the summer of , Fender adopted the name "Telecaster" for this model, and started using new decals after all the old clipped decals were used. Decal attachment was the last assembly step, so NoCasters with a February neck date are seen.
Note that the above dates are accurate for the Esquire, Broadcaster and Nocaster. All Telecasters basically have the same features: Starting in , Fender introduced a new model, the Telecaster Custom. It was the same as a standard Tele except it came in three color sunburst, and the body had a bound body. In late , Fender introduced the Telecaster Thinline. Much like Gibson's , the Thinline has a solid center with hollow "wings" and a single "F" hole.
Fender looked for ways to use readily available, but heavier grades of ash for the Telecaster. Their solution was to hollow out portions of the body to reduce weight. The body was routed from the back on each side of pickup assembly creating hollow "wings". A thin back panel was then glued on the back. A new style pearloid pickguard was used too. When it was introduced in late , the Telecaster Thinline was offered with either a natural finished ash or mahogany body.
In , a three tone sunburst finish was also offered as an option. Also in the maple cap fingerboard gave way to a one piece maple neck with the back "skunk stripe". Note the "new style" humbucking pickups. Although there were several deviants of the original Tele Thinline, the only collectable model is the one with standard Tele-style single coil pickups. This variant was made from late to early and said "Fender Telecaster" only on the peghead as per regular solidbody Telecasters , the truss rod adjusted at the butt-end of the neck, and had a pearloid pickguard going from the neck pickup to the tone control.
The body was available in ash or mahogany. The mahogany body is much more desirable, but unfortunately fewer were made compared to ash. Also, a neck with a rosewood fingerboard is also more desirable. This is because there is less "thickskin" finish on a rosewood fingerboard neck, since the fingerboard is unfinished thickskin maple necks are horrible to play; they feel like you're playing a plastic neck - tt is rare, but there are some lacquer neck Thinlines out there.
Also the tone of a rosewood fingerboard and a mahogany body is more "thick and creamy", making the Thinline very unique for a Telecaster-style guitar. The most common finish on a Thinline is a clear "thickskin" finish, though other colors such as sunburst were available. Often the thickskin finish tries to delaminate on these guitars because the body is more flexible than a standard Telecaster body. In late, Fender changed the Thinline model to use Humbucking pickups, a "bullet" truss rod adjusts at peghead , and the peghead decal now says "Fender Telecaster Thinline".
These models are not collectible. The original Telecaster Thinline was reissued by Fender of Japan in the early 's. These reissues are often confused with the original late to early Thinline models. The Rosewood Telecaster, introduced in , had a neck and body made from solid rosewood. This guitar was reissued by Fender of Japan in the late 's and is a very close reproduction. Custom Telecaster , to For more information on the Telecaster, check out YourOldGuitar.
This video is highly recommended if you are interested in seeing original vintage Fender Telecasters from the inside. October Broadcaster specs: Maple one piece neck, all with truss rods.
Sometimes the truss rod plug behind the nut on the peghead face is maple instead of walnut. Peghead truss rod plug is more rounded.
Neck backshape feel was a large rounded "D" style neck. The fingerboard had a 7. Round button string tree 1st month models don't have one. Silver "spaghetti" peghead Fender decal with black trim. Flat pole pickup in treble position and two wire notches in the black pickup base. Lead pickup has a tin or sometimes copper baseplate used for ground. Pickup windings cover with white string which often looks black from the wax pickup potting. Knurled chrome plated brass knobs with a semi-flat top.
Chrome covered pickup in neck position. Black vulcanized fiber often called "bakelite" pickguard, clear coated with lacquer though one white fiber pickguard Broadcaster is documented. Four digit serial number on bridge plate, starting with "00" or "0". Round Dak-a-Ware switch tip. Two patent number 3-way switch CRL , Stackpole pots manufacturer number Blend control pickup wiring no tone control.
Often the rear string ferrels are not aligned. Steel bridge saddles till November , then brass with flat bottoms. Body date in neck pocket. All screws have slot heads including the truss rod adjuster.
Many Broadcasters bodies do not have the diagonal wire route between the neck pickup and the control cavity. This route was added to allow easier drilling and mounting of the neck pickup's wire to the control cavity. Instead a long drill bit was used to drill a hole thru the truss rod adjustment channel in the neck pocket, thru the neck pickup route, down the center of the body, to the lead pickup.
Many Broadcasters also have a "ground hole" in the pot control cavity. Other stories for this hole is it's a "nail hole" as used in and later Teles , or the hole comes from the screw-tip augar drill bit used to drill the side jack hole. Brown rectangle Cornell Dubilier paper tone capacitor and brown tube paper tone caps used. Kluson Deluxe tuners with "Kluson Deluxe" in a single vertical line aka "single line" , no second hole on side of gear shell for the tuner peg , "pat.
Milled chrome plated brass jack cup with ribbing on sides to hold jack inside the body hole - no other attachment method used. A guess is that about Broadcasters were made, before changing to the "NoCaster". The unused Broadcaster hole in the pot control route not seen on "NoCasters". Broadcaster neck pickup wiring hole, used on Broadcasters without the diagonal wire route. On Broadcastes without the diagnonal wire route, the continuation of the above neck pickup wire hole, which goes to the bridge pickup.
February "NoCaster" specs: Fender decal with "Broadcaster" cut off. Collectors call this a "NoCaster". Decal is usually silver cut silver Broadcaster decal , but there are a few NoCasters with gold decal probably cut gold Esquire decals by mistake! The diagonal route between the neck pickup and the pot cavity is always present. In addition, there is also sometimes a hole going from the neck pickup to the bridge pickup that was used on Broadcasters for the neck pickup wiring which is not used on the Nocaster.
Note some early NoCasters do not have the diagonal route. Kluson Deluxe tuners with NO "Kluson Deluxe" in a single vertical line aka "no line" , no second hole on side of gear shell for the tuner peg , NO "pat. Brass brige pickup grounding plate. Sometimes a "D" stamp is seen on either the neck or body neck pocket, or both until According to Smith, about Fender guitars were made during where were single pickup Esquires, Broadcasters, and about Nocasters and Telecasters.
Fall Telecaster specs: Still a silver "spaghetti" Fender logo with black trim. The placement of the Fender logo between spring and late is parallel to the neck end and not at an angle, as seen before and after last Truss rod adjustment screw changed from slot.
The lead pickup no longer has the two notches in the black pickup base for the winding wires. Gradual use of phillips head screws replaces slot head screws this change was not complete till Knurled chrome plated brass knobs with a round top.
An added internal metal plate is used inside the body jack hole to secure milled cup. Walnut peghead truss rod plug is more oval shaped. Wiring changes on Tele.