Fender-ThinlineThis 2006 is a rare limited run MIM ’69 Reissue Fender Thinline Telecaster that features a mahogany body with a vintage style tinted Maple neck and a pearloid pickguard. The flames are not red pain, but the unpainted natural wood with a clear coat applied. The Mahogany flames on body and headcap give this guitar a distinctive look. Super light and resonant semi-hollowbody. Matching headcap. Chrome hardware. Sealed die-cast “F” tuners. 3-way switching, volume, and tone. Has 60th Anniversary badge on back of headstock.

Ultra hard to find limited edition Telecaster only 200 were made when Fender did a special run of these Hot Rod Flame Teles and they are easily one of the most distinctive looking you will find!

Some of these were produced in 2003, but the ones from 2006 had a better Mahogany flame as they go all around the side to the back. The 2003 versions only had the flame on the from and back with white sides. When I saw this guitar, I saw what it could be, not what it was.

Fender started making these Thinline Telecasters around 1969. So it marks and innovation of the then CBS owned Fender company. Some stories claim it was one way to make the guitars a bit lighter when they found that the Ash wood they were getting was a bit heavier that in the past. Not sure if this is actually true, but they are nice guitars. This particular reissue has a mahogany body.

flametele1

New Tone Monster Born
Just finished some major upgrades and improvements. The Fenders made in Mexico generally have lower quality hardware and pickups in my experience. This guitar sounded a bit thin and lacked sustain.

First thing I did was drill out neck screw holes on body so the neck screws fit easily through (but not loose). Changed the neck plate with a nice thicker Fender “F” logo plate. Now the neck fit is tighter with no air pockets and this improves sustain. Swapped out the thin metal bridge plate and saddles with Joe Barton bridge and compensated brass saddles to improve intonation. Replaced the mexican Tele pickups with white Joe Bartons Danny Gatton T pickups. Ripped out the complete wiring from the factory and replaced it with CTS 250 MEG pots, Luxe paper-in-oil “Z” cap Cornell-Dubilier repro .05 uF cap, Fender 3 way switch, Switchcraft jack, Electro socket jack holder all wired with vintage cloth push back wires. I added a volume circuit by adding cap so the when you lower the volume you do not lose highs. I swapped out switch tip with a white top hat style one. Replaced the volume and tone knobs with some beautiful Q-Parts heavy chrome and mother of pearl ones. Added Dunlop Strap Locks.

So what is left from the original guitar? The best parts, the very cool and unique body and neck. Guitar being a thin line is pretty light weight. I liked the pickguard as it was pearl and three layer so that stayed. So far I am keeping the tuners as swapping them would leave unwanted exposed holes and so far they seem adequate. (See below the tuners are now been swapped).

This guitar sound is now killer. Could not say enough great things about Joe Barton pickups and bridge. I am thrilled they way this one turned out.

Fender-Thinline-MIM1Specs:

  • Semi-hollow Thinline mahogany body
  • Vintage tint one-piece maple neck with “U” shape
  • Mahogany flames on body
  • Matching headcap
  • Chrome hardware
  • Sealed diecast tuners
  • 3-way switching, volume, and tone
  • 25-1/2″ scale
  • 21 vintage-style frets

headstock-thinline-flames

MFlame1

Flames are actually the Mahogany Body color showing thru

Flames are actually the Mahogany Body color showing thru

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By far one of the weakest parts on these MIM Fender re-issues is the Fender “F” logo tuners. They are made to look like the vintage style tuners Fender used in the late 60s and 70s. The ones on many of these are made by Ping (I think) and are pretty cheaply made. The ones on this guitar claim to be made in W. Germany, but are not great tuners. I have found the tuning stability to be adequate, but not great. The vintage “F” logo tuners are better than these re-issues. I have these on a few on my vintage Fenders.

Re-issue "F" Tuners

Re-issue “F” Tuners

I been looking for replacements that I could use that would not require new holes to be drilled. Since thee tuners are diagonally shaped it was pretty near impossible to find any quality tuners that would not need new holes be drilled and expose the old holes. Until now!

I finally saw that Kluson has arrived with tuners that are said to be direct replacements that are 19:1 ratio and better quality to the ones on this MIM guitar.

Replace the "F" Logo Tuners

Replace the “F” Logo Tuners

Well I picked the new Klusons (KFT-3805CL) up and installed them. They were inexpensive and can be found on eBay, Amazon, etc. I found that they are better quality that is for sure which is that not hard because the ones Fender uses on some of these re-issue are horrid.

comparison

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As far as direct replacement they are close to that. Best part was no new holes needed to be drilled. I found that the shaft of these new Klusons were a bit thicker than the old ones (old tuners are a bit thin). So you will need to use the new bushings that come with the Klusons. This was no big issue as all you have to do is remove the old top bushings. This can be done, after removing the old tuners with a flat head screw driver placed on the back of the bushing and tap the screw driver with a small hammer. Just be very careful on painted headstocks not to crack off any paint. The new bushing fit snug without reaming out the tuners holes (like the old ones did). New ones also look pretty much the same as the old ones.

Old tuners removed

Old tuners removed

Old bushing on left

Old bushing on left

Only other issue was the new screws were a slight bit smaller than the old screws. Which would be fine if you were drilling new holes. I just used the old screws so they fit the old holes.

New Kluson tuners

New Kluson tuners

The Klusons are a nice improvement over the re-issue “F” logo tuners. Only wish Kluson also made these in a locking tuner. I am happy with these and I might not be as hesitant to buy another MIM Fender with these tuners as I have been in the past as I know I can replace the tuners with these.