The Fender Telecaster: 1969
Posted on November 20 2020
By 1969, the Fender Telecaster model had been relegated to fifth place on the price list for standard solid body electric guitars. The top of the line Jaguar was offered at $429.50 but a standard Telecaster with Rosewood fretboard could be purchased for almost half that at $269.50. It's possible that the Jaguar and Jazzmaster's high prices helped kill their popularity in the 1970s while the Telecaster shined as one of Fender's flagship designs and helped keep the company afloat.
As the Telecaster's popularity surged in the late 1960s, Fender started developing unique variations on the original design. In 1969, players could purchase the standard Tele with either Maple or Rosewood fretboard, Telecaster Custom model in Sunburst with body binding, standard model with Pink Paisley or Blue Floral body finish, Rosewood Telecaster made almost totally from Rosewood (not just the fretboard!), new Thinline Telecaster in either Natural Ash, Natural Mahogany, or Sunburst. Most models could be ordered with new F logo Bigsby tailpiece (add $55), or custom DuPont finish (+5%), or gold hardware (+15%).
This Fender Telecaster, made in 1969, appears to have been ordered with the Maple fretboard and custom DuPont finish Olympic White. It's been played a lot and the finish clear coat is heavily ambered which resulted in the dark yellow hue on the body. Olympic White is often confused for Blond and vice versa since the colors appear similar but this one is definitely White. Blond is a slightly translucent color so the wood grain shows through the finish. The wood grain was not visible on this guitar so it has to be a heavily ambered Olympic White color. A Telecaster Maple Neck ($279.50) ordered with custom DuPont color Olympic White (+5%, $13.98), and a hard shell case ($62.50) would have a total cost of $355.98 in 1969.
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