Roger Rossmeisl's design influence is felt no greater than with the Telecaster Thinline. The rarer first-version style found here in this incredibly well-preserved example from 1969 showcases the semi-hollow Telecaster in perhaps its best light.
The things that come to mind when one thinks 'Telecaster' are generally based around its primitively utilitarian yet undeniably effective abilities as an electric guitar. Solidly built, simple electronics, ahead of its time in many ways, all while making it familiar and accessible. It's a great example of "if it ain't broke...", but as Fender's ownership changed hands in the mid 1960s, so did the perception of its instruments and their effective on popular culture (and music) heading into the 1970s.
The Telecaster Thinline came along in mid-1968 and brought something fresh to the near 20-year design; hollowed out bass and treble bouts and an F-hole brought forward some of the Rickenbacker and Gibson sensibilities many were familiar with at the time. They're considerable lighter, with a snappy acoustic response and volume that was new to the Telecaster experience. Short-lived in its initial run, these Thinlines remain some of the rarer models you're bound to find from Fender's historic lineup.
This is one of the most exceptional and well-preserved examples of a Telecaster Thinline you're likely to find on the market today. A mid-'69 build that is fully transitioned into the specs of the time - primarily a polyurethane finish on both the body and the neck - it still carries on a rich tradition of delivering Tele tone at its core. Bright, twangy, and clear sounding, but that semi-hollow construction adds a bit of air to the mix. The slightly slimmer feeling medium C carve is very comfortable, and with the entire guitar weighing in under 7lbs, it's a total joy to play.
Despite its cleanliness, the guitar was actually played enough to warrant a refret. We tasked Laurent Brondel with the job, to which he executed masterfully. Poly-finished necks can be difficult to refret without losing finish, and Laurent's precision work left the clean neck finish as clean as you'll find. We also noticed one of the bridge screws had been over-torqued from the factory, causing a distortion in the screw itself. We carefully removed it and replaced the screw, which is properly seated in the body without issue.
Lastly, the neck pickup exhibited signs of a short in the coil. It likely had enough output to pass inspection at Fender, but as is sometimes the case with clean, vintage pickups, they don't always survive the elements or the assembly line in ways we'd hoped. Vintage pickup rewinder Tom Brantley carefully restored the neck pickup back to health, and it's sounding better than ever, perfectly complementing the sizzle and bite of the original bridge pickup.
One part collector piece, the other part stage-ready rocker, it's a Telecaster Thinline that would surely find itself at the top of any vintage guitar aficionado's stable.
Priced with original hardshell case and ash tray cover.