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“Honky-tonk heaven: A 1966 Telecaster and a 1969 Vibrolux Reverb. (Note the original “Fender Instruction Manual for Telecaster and Esquire,” with funky artwork depicting two dancing women and three suited men playing . . . Jazzmasters.)”
Although the versatile Fender Telecaster has undergone many changes and cosmetic facelifts in its 61-year history, it has remained a simple, useful tool that allows musicians to get their point across with minimum fuss. Combined with the right amp, a Tele can be effective for playing blues, rock ’n’ roll, soul, funk, country, pop, and even jazz.
By 1966, the Telecaster had changed considerably from its early ’50s incarnation, while still retaining the same basic layout and function. In 1959, the original one-piece maple neck saw the addition of a more traditional rosewood fretboard, and pearloid dot position markers replaced the clay dots in early 1965. Also during the Tele’s evolution, the black single-ply pickguard morphed into a 3-ply white pickguard.
In early 1966, the Tele’s original “spaghetti” logo was replaced with this “transition” logo.
Although a 1966 Telecaster’s specifications still called for an ash body with a blond (the “e” was dropped in 1960) finish, the ’60s blond had become considerably creamier and more opaque than the original ’50s butterscotch blonde. The final detail setting a 1966 Tele apart from its predecessors is the “transition” logo decal that replaced the original “spaghetti” logo early that year.
The 1969 Fender Vibrolux Reverb—the other half of this handsome duo—has features common to that year, including a silverface control panel, bluish grille cloth, and aluminum trim. This amp came equipped from the factory with two JBL 10" speakers.
You’ll find a wealth of detailed information on Fender Telecasters in A.R. Duchossoir’s The Fender Telecaster and learn amazing amp lore in Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years by John Teagle and John Sprung.
LEFT: The two 8Ω JBL D110F speakers play a huge role in this Vibrolux Reverb’s bold sound.
RIGHT: The JBL badge indicates factory-installed premium speakers.
Dave ’s Guitar Shop
Dave Rogers’ collection is tended by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally and is on display at:
Dave’s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Photos by Mullally and text by Braithwaite.