As early as 1950, Fender became the first company to successfully market solidbody electric guitars. Since then, the two-pickup, single-cutaway Telecaster has remained a simple, yet effective design that delivers versatile tones. There's a reason why players of all genres gravitate towards the Telecaster—its tone is transparent, dynamic, and straightforward. It seems to do everything well.
This 1969 Fender Telecaster sports a gorgeous Three-Tone Sunburst finish (considered a Custom Color at the time, since Blonde was standard). While there are other '60s Telecasters that are more original, this one has just the right after-market changes to have its own unique character. It captures all of the vintage '60s Tele vibe, but it's subtly different from the rest. We think of it as a future signature model—go play the heck out of it, and once you're famous, Fender will make your signature guitar out of these specs.
On this '69 Telecaster, the tuners have been replaced with '70s Grover Rotomatics. They're a bit more stable than the original F-plated tuners, and they're slightly heavier, which helps balance the guitar on a strap. From there, it has an after-market solid Ebony nut, and it has been refretted with extremely playable Medium Jumbo frets. The fingerboard was refinished during the refret, too, and it's more of a satin finish that's not as sticky as the original high gloss.
On the electronics side, the neck pickup has been replaced with a vintage-appropriate Fender neck pickup. The neck balances nicely with the bridge, and it has a '60s Centralab three-way switch. The pots date to late '65. The switch plate, neck plate, and bridge are original, but the pickguard was replaced with a '70s black three-ply guard. It's a sharp look that works well with the Three-Tone. Also, the knobs were replaced with black barrel knobs—a subtle detail you might not notice, but it adds so much to the mojo.
All in all, this '69 Telecaster captures the vibe of an authentic '60s Fender, but it has the right unique touches to make it stand on its own. Sound wise, it does everything you could ask for. True to the Telecaster reputation, it is a hard-working guitar that packs versatile, touch-sensitive tones. It includes a '60s Fender case that does the trick, but both spring latches are bent.