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1950 Fender Broadcaster (Vintage Guitar Vault)

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

One of the first 150 Fender “Telecasters” ever made! The 1950 Fender Broadcaster! On display in our world famous Vintage Vault…

These guitars were originally known as the Fender Broadcaster before Gretsch pointed out to Fender that they already using the name Broadkaster for a drum kit. Fender was forced to rethink the name of their first two pick-up electric guitar. In the meantime they cut the Broadcaster text from the decal (affectionately known to Fender history buffs as the NoCaster, until they later renamed the model as the Telecaster and the rest is musical history.)

This particular model is 100% stock, no modifications

This one is a very early model with a serial number in the 140’s.. Broadcasters are extremely rare and were only made between autumn 1950 and March 1951. It is even rarer to find one that is 100% stock with no modifications. This one has been in our secured basement since the late 1970’s and it is now on public display in our Vintage Vault.

A few features that distinguish this Broadcaster when compared to the later model NoCaster and Telecaster

The Finish...

The checking in the super thin lacquer finish is quite different when compared to other vintage Teles due to the fact that it was applied directly the body with no primer. The result is very tight checking.

Another interesting observation:

The use of standard screws versus the Phillips screws used after 1951. Apparently in the very early 50’s these screws were still the standard of the day.

More details:

This one sports a beautifully flamed maple neck with a hint of Birdseye as well. It plays effortlessly, the neck is still large, but not the massive U shaped neck of a NoCaster. The knobs are 0.8 inches tall, with rolled top edges and flat tops, and a semi-heavy knurl for better grip. The saddles are all brass with flat bottoms, the Kluson gear housings are the earlier closed types and the input jack cup is milled rather than pressed.

Another surprising discovery...

The weight of this one, this is before they were using light weight ash for the bodies. This particular one weighs in at hefty 9.75lbs! Feels more like a Les Paul than a Telecaster!

Over all...

This Broadcaster definitely has the vintage “Tele” tone and playability, this one is just incredible! Stop by the Vault next time you are in Reno, Nevada and see it for yourself. It is definitely one of the rarest guitars on display on the planet! (And it is in good company as we have over 100 of the rarest guitars anywhere on display!)

Value in today’s guitar market

Since there haven’t been many of these sold recently (probably because there aren’t very many of them left) which makes it a bit harder to determine a true value on it. We are estimating it is probably in the $75,000-$120,000 range. It is not for sale at this time.

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