1955 Fender Telecaster, Blonde

By Fender

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Wonderful 1955 Fender Telecaster resplendent in it's Butterscotch Blonde finish with early White pickguard. A very cool, lightweight example with a single piece figured Ash body and attractively aged Blonde finish, complete with the rare, original centre pocket Tweed case.

The finish on the early ‘White Guard’ Telecasters is a much darker Butterscotch/Blonde finish when compared to the later fifties White/Blonde guitars. The naturally aged Nitro-Cellulose is in good overall condition and proudly displays years of well earned knocks and marks throughout. The neck pocket pencil date puts production to May 1955. Under the pickguard the neck pickup route has been previously enlarged for a different pickup. The 4-digit serial number is stamped on the neck plate, having moved there from the bridge unit when Fender made consistent the serialising into one number series.

The one-piece maple neck is dated 6-55 on the heel and has a chunky round profile with just a hint of slope to the shoulders, much more like the earlier '50s style than the tight "V" that would be a characteristic of the next few years. The Fender decal sits below the original style round string tree, both unchanged from 1951. Like the body the finish shows signs of use with the fingerboard and neck back wear consistent with that of a well loved '50s Fender. It even has a cigarette burn by the nut! The guitar benefits from a re-fret and recently replaced bone nut.

The bridge pickup is still the earlier flat pole piece design soon to be replaced with staggered pole pickup magnets, a design that would endure into the seventies. The neck pickup has been re-wound and the wiring has been modified to post-67 specifications with no capacitor across the bridge pickup providing access to both pickups together in the Middle position. The tone pot is the original Stackpole part dating to the 11th week of 1955, the volume pot is a replacement 1966 CTS pot. The Switch is the correct CRL 1452 3-way switch. The hardware is in good condition, tuners are the correct ‘No-line’ Kluson Deluxe, the bridge is the correct type with 1/4" smooth Steel saddles replacing the earlier style Brass. The 5-hole white pickguard is in good condition, the knobs have the smoother-sided knurl with a dome top and the switch tip is the new "top hat" style just introduced.

Weighing in at 7.3lbs, a good, comfortable light weight for a mid-fifties Ash Telecaster. The guitar plays remarkably well, its frets have been played but a recent new top nut and set up has the guitar well balanced with notes ringing clear across the board. 50’s Telecasters are quite special sounding guitars, with presence and cut they are the perfect pairing with the Tweed amps of the era. This guitar has a particularly strong voice, each pickup has all the attributes you would hope for with a particularly well balanced sound in the middle position. The bridge pickup in particular has the right combination of bite and snarl without sounding at all thin or spiky. The pickups measure 7.46K in the neck and 7.48K in the bridge. Measuring 41.84mm the nut width is what would become known as the traditional Fender B width. The neck depth measures 23.61 mm at the 1st fret gently filling out to 25.48mm at the 12th.

A fantastic sounding guitar thanks in part to the flat-pole pickup at the bridge still in "Blackguard" sound territory. Lightweight and resonant it has plenty of twang and bite contrasting with a very sweet sounding neck pickup. All fifties Fender Telecasters are special instruments and this one proudly displays it with its years of naturally earned play wear evident for all to see! A superb instrument complete with the correct, and hard to come by, centre-pocket Tweed Case.

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