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Here is the top of the line of the Fender USA line in 1983; the Gold Walnut Elite with Walnut body, Ebony neck, Gold Hardware, with a mighty fine Gold/Brown Plush case.
It comes from the Maui Recorders studio that was owned by Walter Becker and John Neff. Walter’s walnut Elite sold at the Julien’s auction and this is Neff’s elite that he sold to me.
This Tele is in Near Mint condition as is as beautiful as you will find on any vintage instrument that has been stored in it’s case the majority of its life.
Minimal fret wear, perfect clean neck top and back, no marks dings on top of headstock. It weighs 9 lb 7 oz.
The input jack has a piece of finish .25″x.50″x.25″ that looks to have been chipped off from a 1/4″ cable, around the back battery plate is a little bit of finish coloration, and a tiny ding near the selector switch and that’s it for minor imperfections.
The Elite Telecaster showcases all the radical (for the time) changes made to the traditional Tele. These include a heavy cast 6-saddle top-loading bridge, noise-cancelling pickups with alnico 2 magnets, active TBX and MDX tone controls capable of creating fat humbucking and cutting single-coil sounds (similar controls continue to be used on the current Eric Clapton Strats), knobs with a serrated rubber insert for easy gripping, and a Gibson-style, 3-way toggle switch. Elite Tele necks featured a Bi-flex truss rod, jumbo frets, and a 12″ radius fretboard.
This guitar also sports a classy bound top and an optional stick-on pickguard. The 1983 Fender catalog proudly boasts of the guitar’s many advances: “Elite Series instruments incorporate no fewer than 14 new patent-pending inventions by Fender. This alone lends substance to our belief that the rest of the industry will be years in catching up with Elite technology.”