With a nickname like “the plank”, the Telecaster® body’s minimalist design should come as no surprise. Like the crocodile, its simple efficiency has enabled it to thrive, even as legions of other designs have evolved and become extinct. What is it that makes it so different?
At first glance the modern Tele® body appears much the same as it did in its primordial days (the 1950’s). Upon close comparison, however, many small changes become apparent. Let’s put these bodies under the microscope and see how many differences we can identify.
Traits that distinguish the earliest Telecaster® bodies from their modern counterparts include:
- A 1/8″ edge radius.This radius is smaller and has a more square-off feel than modern Tele® bodies.
- The “hump”.The peculiar bump often found in the lower bout just below the neck pocket is something vintage Tele® fans have speculated about for years. Some guess it was the result of flawed templates. Others blame a limitation of the tooling from that era, or inconsistent sanding.
- A flattened jack area.Another tell-tale sign of a vintage Tele® body is the flattened area around the output jack.
- A wiring channel rout.An exposed wiring channel between the control cavity and the neck pickup, hidden by the pickguard after assembly.
- Shallower pickup routs.The depth of the pickup routs is 5/8″ (15.9mm) – slightly shallower than the modern 3/4″ (19mm). Some modern pickups do not fit this shallower rout.
Warmoth’s Vintage Tele® replacement body is a faithful recreation of Fender’s® earliest specimens. It incorporates all their peculiar details, capturing the look, feel, and tone the original design. Unlike its predecessors, however, the Vintage Tele® body is also available in a modern range of colors. Think of it as a crocodile. Or, if you prefer, a Neon Pink crocodile.