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Thread: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

  1. #1
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Fender probably saved me a bunch of money today. That's a good thing, I guess.

    Here's why: A couple of years ago, Fender had a "design your own guitar" contest through the Mod Shop. I never expected to win (I didn't), but it was fun going through the different options to see what I could come up with. This was my favorite



    One of the features I liked about it was the gold hardware. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Teles with gold hardware (you've seen photos of my Magnificent Seven White Ash Tele), but I was on the site today just playing around, and found that I could not apply gold hardware to any Tele combination. I know that Ash is gone, so only Alder and Mahogany bodies remain, and even the neck woods are limited, but why no gold hardware? To my knowledge, there isn't a shortage of gold-colored metal.

    Of course, if I'd been able to duplicate the guitar above, I might have been tempted to order it. GAS problem solved!

  2. #2
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Gold Tele hardware is available from a number of aftermarket vendors and you don't need to be a rocket surgeon to use a screwdriver.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    True.

    Except it seems like a lot of trouble (and myriad parts) to do something Fender used to do. I'm just wondering what's going on with Fender that they are actually REDUCING the options. Is their market share shrinking that much (if at all)?

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    I'd be surprised if Fender was hurting in any way financially. From my uneducated point of view on the biz subject but also my sense of things from seeing what new bands are playing and from dropping in on a lot of fora, I think they're selling a lot of guitars now. I'd wager that they're selling a lot of Jazzmasters these days.

    Some of our friends who watch the profit end of companies such as Fender can probably tell us more.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    Some of our friends who watch the profit end of companies such as Fender can probably tell us more.
    FMIC is not compelled issue any annual profit/loss statements because they are a privately-held corporation (no shareholders to answer to), nor do they. But suffice to say, they're not as profitable as you might think. Virtually all of their new amp products introduced in the last fifteen years have failed miserably and roughly one third of the amps in their current catalog line-up (from any factory in any country) are dead-lined right out of the shipping carton due to poor design, slipshod assembly, and/or careless shipping and handling from country of origin. Their guitars fare no better, including those built by the Custom Shop in Corona. Substandard lumber and defective painting/finishing are the primary reasons but dead pickups, defective wiring, and incompetent fretwork all claim a toll. Couple those factors with the fact that Fender is leveraged to the hilt trying to keep Guitar Center afloat financially and their bottom line is downright dismal.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  6. #6
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    FMIC is not compelled issue any annual profit/loss statements because they are a privately-held corporation (no shareholders to answer to), nor do they. But suffice to say, they're not as profitable as you might think. Virtually all of their new amp products introduced in the last fifteen years have failed miserably and roughly one third of the amps in their current catalog line-up (from any factory in any country) are dead-lined right out of the shipping carton due to poor design, slipshod assembly, and/or careless shipping and handling from country of origin. Their guitars fare no better, including those built by the Custom Shop in Corona. Substandard lumber and defective painting/finishing are the primary reasons but dead pickups, defective wiring, and incompetent fretwork all claim a toll. Couple those factors with the fact that Fender is leveraged to the hilt trying to keep Guitar Center afloat financially and their bottom line is downright dismal.
    Do you think the same about Gibson? I mean quality then and now.

    Having paid attention to the work you often do building great strats out of MiM parts, and admiring it, I'm curious about how you feel about modern Les Pauls and SGs.

  7. #7
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Truthfully I haven't played a recent Gibson so all I can do is rely on anecdotal reports from people who own them. That said, yes -- Gibson has its own set of problems, some of them self-inflicted. The government lumber ban didn't help either. Were I in the market for something "Orville" I'd seek out a clean example on the secondary market, preferably at least ten years old.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  8. #8

    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    I just bought a new 2018 limited run American Pro Tele in vintage white with gold hardware. The gold really sold this guitar looks wise. I own a lot of Gibson guitars and I like gold but it usually doesn’t hold up well. I imagine it’s the same with fender but it looks great.

  9. #9
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Quote Originally Posted by mulletmule View Post
    I just bought a new 2018 limited run American Pro Tele in vintage white with gold hardware. The gold really sold this guitar looks wise. I own a lot of Gibson guitars and I like gold but it usually doesn’t hold up well. I imagine it’s the same with fender but it looks great.

    I have a 2016 Fender "Magnificent 7" Telecaster in white ash that I bought brand new (and probably paid too much for, since it was a "limited edition") mostly because I loved the way it looked. Well, it's a Tele, and that should be enough, right? I suspect it looks much like yours (except you probably don't have the tort pickguard, which I like on this guitar, but it doesn't work on others...)

    My "tortoise shell" guitars...


  10. #10
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Gold Hardware on Teles?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    [COLOR=#ffff00][SIZE=3]
    I have a 2016 Fender "Magnificent 7" Telecaster in white ash that I bought brand new (and probably paid too much for, since it was a "limited edition") mostly because I loved the way it looked. Well, it's a Tele, and that should be enough, right? I suspect it looks much like yours (except you probably don't have the tort pickguard, which I like on this guitar, but it doesn't work on others...)
    That Tele is beautiful. I don't like tort pickguards on a lot of guitars, but it works really well with the white.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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