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'75 Telecaster Deluxe Restoration

100sounds

Member
Messages
69
I'd like to restore this 75 Tele Deluxe to as close to original vintage spec as I can and I could really do with some advice on how to best go about it. Mainly regarding the electronics and which pots to use. I also have a question about the hard case.

IMG_2017.jpeg

The electronics that are in there at the moment are all replacement parts (aside from the original pickups) and it's not a great solder job. I have what is left of the original harness and I think it's all original except for the 500K pots (they date '96). Can anyone confirm what's original from my photos below?

IMG_2023.jpeg IMG_2025.jpeg

I'd like to replace the pots on the original harness back to the vintage correct 1meg and reinstall it.

1. Which pots should I use for the most vintage correct? CTS? Fender Pure Vintage? Is it worth leaving it alone and holding out for a real vintage set on eBay? Or should I just not mess with the original harness and make a totally new harness from scratch to as close to vintage spec as I can? I just can't decide...advice please!

2. Also, there doesn't seem to be any covering to the braided shield that runs through the control cavity, I'd have thought this would have been wrapped in tubing or tape to prevent a short if it touched against other wires in the control cavity. Should I leave it bare? Wrap a section of it in masking or electrical tape? How did they come from the Fender factory?

3. Is this case original? It doesn't have a fender logo on it anywhere, there are two holes where the Fender amp logo might have been screwed on but it seems to be in the wrong place on the case. It's on the same side as the handle and in all photos I see of fender cases the amp logo is on the other side. It's in pretty bad shape anyway, one of the latches doesn't work, a section of the fur is sticky from where some idiot spilt beer in it, I'm tempted to replace it if it's not original.

IMG_2022.jpeg

IMG_2020.jpeg
Thanks in advance for any responses.
 
Messages
314
I'm not the guy for the wiring questions (sorry) but the G&G case does look right to me for that era; but not the lining. I've never seen that color or texture. You might want to contact G&G in Los Angeles and see if they could reline it with period correct material. I've had them do stuff for me over the years and they we surprisingly helpful. The nameplate screw holes look a bit off though. I could ignore that if it were me.

1975 case below:
 

yucatown

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,928
I’m not entirely sure that restoring a 75 tele to “vintage specs” is a cause worth pursuing. I would get it playing and sounding as best as you can without worrying about what Fender would have used at the time, a lot of which has proved to be dubious in quality and sound. I’m currently looking at getting a 70s Deluxe myself and the first thing I’m planning to do is replace some of the original parts, including the tuners and the bridge.
 

100sounds

Member
Messages
69
I'm not the guy for the wiring questions (sorry) but the G&G case does look right to me for that era; but not the lining. I've never seen that color or texture. You might want to contact G&G in Los Angeles and see if they could reline it with period correct material. I've had them do stuff for me over the years and they we surprisingly helpful. The nameplate screw holes look a bit off though. I could ignore that if it were me.
Thanks for that! I'm in the UK so getting the case over to LA might be expensive. I might look into it anyway though as they could maybe supply the correct lining and I can get it fitted by an upholsterer here in the UK.
 

Fitzer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,834
It shouldn’t be too terribly expensive, under 500 bucks all in I’d presume, since you have 4 to replace (people ask a lot for pots from the 70s for some reason). Whether it’s worth it or not is purely subjective; there’s zero historical value with these, but the most important thing is you have the original pickups. Those are the real reason anyone still wants them. It’s just as desirable with or without the original pots in my opinion.
 

Kurzman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,218
I have a Fender case like that with the kinda purplish lining. I thought (could be wrong) it was a late '70's case. I would consider it correct as there were no rules followed to the letter on stuff like that. The Tele could have been bought new in '77 or '78 and they just grabbed a Tele case out of the back room that looked right.
(Mine came with a '64 Strat, obviously incorrect for that guitar.)
I wouldn't stress much about the case.
 

100sounds

Member
Messages
69
It shouldn’t be too terribly expensive, under 500 bucks all in I’d presume, since you have 4 to replace (people ask a lot for pots from the 70s for some reason). Whether it’s worth it or not is purely subjective; there’s zero historical value with these, but the most important thing is you have the original pickups. Those are the real reason anyone still wants them. It’s just as desirable with or without the original pots in my opinion.
Thanks. Unfortunately I can't find any vintage original pots available anywhere at the moment. I'm very tempted to just get the pure vintage replacement pots by fender and fit those, except I don't know which taper is vintage correct... And yes that matters to me and my OCD...

Does anyone know what taper would be correct for the pots on a 75 Tele Deluxe? Audio, linear, a mix?

I can't find a solid answer online, I found an old thread with someone who had a 1972 telecaster thinline they suggested it was probably audio for volume and linear for tone, but it wasn't certain.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,594
IIRC originally those have 1MEG pots, but those pickups sound better and have a much more usable taper with 500k pots.
Audio is usually prefered, it all depends on how you use your pots, if you do.
Linear is cool when you try to control gain from your guitar as it is more progressive from the top.
Best modern pots are full size Alpha, they feel the best and are the cheapest too, modern CTS with all their iterations tend to be inconsistent IME.
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,132
I had one from 78, and it sounded great with 1 meg pots. I never tried 500k and it might be worth a test to see what you like. The original pots in mine had corroded and gone green in spots, so I replaced them with fresh 1 meg pots.
 

100sounds

Member
Messages
69
Those Seth Lover designed WRHB pickups were designed to be used with 1M pots. I'll let the original poster decide which person's opinion they prefer.
Thanks. I'm simply going for vintage correct at the moment so I'm going to use 1M pots like you say.

It seems these normally came with mismatched pots for the vol and tone controls but still the same brand (CTS/137 stamp) and value (1M). I've managed to speak to someone on another forum who has the vintage original tone pots from a 73/74 Tele Deluxe and from discussions with him it could be a variation in the audio taper, his tone controls seem to behave more like audio pots than linear but possibly with a custom taper like a 30% audio taper as apposed to the more standard 10% audio taper.

Could this be the reason they normally look mismatched?
 
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fescue

Member
Messages
851
I have a 77 Custom, that, well, had been around the block a few times. My case has a dark, and I’d say black, velvet liner. Perhaps it was purple at one point? As for the Custom, somewhere along its life it had the neck replaced with a Schecter, that is very nice. Also someone drilled all kinds of holes in the bridge and the pickguard for switches and bolts of unknown use. I promptly replaced those parts to get it looking back to normal, and all the pots were a mess, and those got replaced with some Monotones. Yes, it is far from its worth in market value for a vintage guitar, but damn it, it plays great and looks as it should. D0FA23BC-FE87-4608-BEB2-72E423EA2FD8.jpeg
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,594
Thanks. I'm simply going for vintage correct at the moment so I'm going to use 1M pots like you say.

It seems these normally came with mismatched pots for the vol and tone controls but still the same brand (CTS/137 stamp) and value (1M). I've managed to speak to someone on another forum who has the vintage original tone pots from a 73/74 Tele Deluxe and from discussions with him it could be a variation in the audio taper, his tone controls seem to behave more like audio pots than linear but possibly with a custom taper like a 30% audio taper as apposed to the more standard 10% audio taper.

Could this be the reason they normally look mismatched?
Pickups are nor designed with specific pot values in mind.
The way different pot values load a pickup is a plus or a minus depending on where you stand and how you use your guitar. The difference in how a 500k or 1MEG pot loads a humbucker is negligible, much less than the difference between a 250k (or 300k) and 500k.
The difference lies in how the 1MEG pots taper, everything is at the top of the dial, and then drops suddenly. A 1MEG pot also filters out the high end a lot more as it is turned down. Not a big deal if you're an "everything at 10" all the time type of player, but a PITA if you control your gain and volume all the time with… the volume knob.
Again, the difference in how the pot lets highs out and changes the resonant peak between a 500k and 1MEG is almost nothing at 10, you could use 500k volumes and 1MEG tones if you feel you're losing high end (I doubt you would).
1MEG pots are even worse and sound awful on single coils IMHO and they were stock on Teles from the late 60's onward, and with a treble bleed… but that's another subject.
YMMV and all that.
 
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Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,594
And regarding the case, the lining looks legit for a mid to late '70s to me -most came in orange though-, and G&G will not do work on individual items, they work almost exclusively on large orders.
 

100sounds

Member
Messages
69
And regarding the case, the lining looks legit for a mid to late '70s to me -most came in orange though-, and G&G will not do work on individual items, they work almost exclusively on large orders.
I think the case might be a little different because the guitar was likely an export model to the UK. I've just heard this mentioned in an ad for a similar guitar that was an export that they didn't use the exact same cases as the US models, this might explain the strange placement of the missing logo on the case as well perhaps...
 

Rumble

Instrumental Rocker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,502
I believe (?) the cases changed interior colors around 1975/1976, from orange-ish to maroon/burgundy. Also, the logo tail was dropped around that time.
 




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