I don't really get what the difference is between these different models with a year slapped on em. Anyone care to explain?
i was wondering that too actually
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Usually it's a different neck and pickups, sometimes it's other little things too

Gibson Les Paul Classic '05
JEH Custom Superstrat '07
Rickenbacker 480 '73
Marshall 6100LM head '95
Engl E412SS 4*12" cab '02
Line6 DL-4 '07
Ibanez TS9 '08
Dunlop Crybaby from hell '07
Boss CE-2 '79
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other than history lived, longevity, and hard to get, i dont see a difference either....
Ibanez RG4EX1 (moDE)

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I think the 50's telecasters were mostly ash instead of alder. Though i'm not sure about that...

Also the neck shapes may be different.

Outside of guitar specs, with years the factories and build quality of a guitar can also change...
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Well, we have a Telecaster thread here. Dig that up, they should be able to help you.

And, well, I know the 70s model had humbuckers.....difference is probably stuff like pickup configuration, neck shape, headstock shape, body wood, etc.....
Are you talking about the MIM Classic Series or guitars actually manufactured during the 50s/60s/70s? If you're talking about the current Classic Series then the necks are the biggest differences among the years beside cosmetics. Check the specs on fender.com to be sure though
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