Fender goes back to the beginning with 70th Anniversary Broadcaster

Leo Fender had a knack for getting things right early on – and for many what we we know as the Telecaster is the ultimate statement in timeless guitar design.  The shape was released in 1950 as the one-pickup Fender Esquire model before evolving into the two-pickup Broadcaster with a truss rod. It's this model that Fender are reissuing as a special 70th anniversary with two editions.

While there's only around 250 originals in existence and mere months after its 1950 launch, Gretsch launched legal action to end the use of the name due to have its own Broadkaster model.  Fender removed the 'Broadcaster' decal from the headstock giving rise to the the early 1951 'Nocaster' era.

Broadcaster history

The Fender resurrection of the Broadcaster has an ash body with a Blackguard Blonde lacquer finish, a 'U'-shaped one-piece maple neck with a 7.25” radius fingerboard, 21 vintage-tall frets and Custom Shop-designed '50-'51 Blackguard pickups.

The reissue is wired as a Telecaster but comes with an optional Broadcaster wiring kit, included in the case, can be installed to replicate the pickup 'blend' circuit used in the originals.

(Image credit: Fender)

The black phenolic pickguard and Broadcaster spaghetti logo are period correct and an anniversary neck plate is included.

The 70th Anniversary Broadcaster is available in two limited editions and four different aging packages during 2020 only. The first standard edition is available with an embroidered case for $1,999.99.

There's also the Custom Shop featuring a Faded Nocaster Blonde finish, two-piece select ash body with an off-center seam, a one-piece rift-sawn maple neck with a 1950 Broadcaster profile and hand-wound ’50-’51 Blackguard pickups with ’51 modded Nocaster wiring.

This edition is available to players with four aging packages to choose from: NOS Time Capsule, Journeyman Relic, Relic and Heavy Relic. All options are finished in the original 'flash coat' lacquer.

For more information, visit Fender.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.