Fender Telecaster 1957

John Shults

Posted on September 02 2021

Fender Telecaster 1957 vintage original guitar. How to date a Fender Telecaster and what is my Fender Telecaster worth.

It's important to know how to date a Fender Telecaster 1957 in order to help determine what is my Fender Telecaster worth. Fender guitar dating is more than just looking up the serial number since they are easily swapped for a different number. I'm always a Fender guitar buyer but I'm especially looking for Fender Telecaster guitars in nice condition and in any color. You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar

This Fender Telecaster 1957 was purchased by a wife as a gift for her husband in the late 1950s. Her husband loved the Telecaster and took great care of it. He unfortunately lost an arm in a farm accident in the early 1970s so he was no longer able to play his Fender Telecaster. He tucked it away in its case until he passed away in the early 2010s. I purchased this Fender Telecaster from the original owner's son. It remains one of my favorite guitars I've ever had. 

You can check out another Fender Telecaster from the same year here: Fender Telecaster 1957.

Here's a great resource for more information about Fender Telecasters from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s: The Fender Telecaster by A.R. Duchossoir

1957 Fender Telecaster in original Blond finish. Cream white color with white pickguard.

How to date this Fender Telecaster 1957

Knowing how to date a Fender Telecaster is important to establishing its worth and value. Here are the steps I go through for how to date a Fender Telecaster: Fender serial numbers, neck heel date, body cavity dates, potentiometer codes, and features. Fender serial numbers are not the most accurate way to date a Fender guitar since they're not necessarily consecutive and they are on a plate that is easily swapped using only a screw driver. They're just the first place to look to make sure all parts match each other. Here's a good resource for them: Fender serial numbers. The serial number on this Telecaster begins with a "-" and is followed by 5 digits beginning with 18. Our Fender serial number records indicate that this serial number range was used in 1957. 

The next place to look for how to date a Fender Telecaster is the neck heel pencil date. The neck of this Fender Telecaster 1957 has never been off of the guitar so I'm not going to remove it. We can just barely see the signature on the neck heel through the route when the pickguard is removed. We can just barely make out "2-5" in this route which could indicate 12-56 or 2-57 meaning either December 1956 or February 1957. Either one could be correct for this Fender Telecaster.

How to date a Fender Telecaster from the 1950s 1960s 1970s

We can also use the dates on the potentiometers for how to date a Fender Telecaster. The potentiometers are the variable resistors that allow a player to control the volume and tone out of the amplifier. They are controlled by the two knobs on the metal plate on the body. The potentiometers are visible on the underside of the plate and will usually have a date code indicating when they were manufactured. We care just barely make out the code near the solder on the tone pot which reads: "304 704" where 304 = Stackpole (manufacturer), 7 = 1957, and 04 = 4th week of the year. 

How to date a Fender Telecaster with potentiometer codes

Fender Telecaster 1957 Values

Fender Telecaster 1957 values vary wildly depending on exactly what year it was made, color, condition, and originality. I value Fender Telecaster guitars that have early production dates over Telecasters made more recently since there are fewer of them and they are made with different techniques. I also value rare colors over more common colors like this one. I would be willing to pay more for a Fender Telecaster in a custom color finish or Sunburst finish since there are fewer of them than made in Blond like this guitar. If you're looking to sell a Fender Telecaster in a custom color then you can contact me here: Fender guitar buyer.

Sometimes however, the clean condition of a Fender Telecaster 1957 is more important to me than a rare color. This particular Fender Telecaster 1957 is in very clean condition with few blemishes to speak of. The frets and neck were also in spectacular original condition. This is the condition that I look for when I'm looking for Fender Telecaster guitars. 

If you're looking to sell a Fender Telecaster and want a fair offer then I'd love to take a look at it. I can provide and shipping or insurance necessary, or I may even be able to come to you. You can contact me here for where to sell a Fender Telecaster near me: Sell a Fender guitar

Fender Telecaster 1957 guitar in case. Vintage original 1950s Fender Telecaster.


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