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How Good Are Mid 90s Made in Japan?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DAKnox, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. DAKnox

    DAKnox Tele-Meister

    Aug 23, 2014
    I'm looking at a 95-96 62 Custom Reissue (bound body). Whats the quality like on these? My research suggests the body is basswood. What's it like and how does it hold up over the years (decades actually!)?

    Its on at £750 which seems overpriced to me. But it has Lindy Fralins in it. Seller suggests he would reinstate originals and take £100 off. So £650 for a mid 90s basswood Japanese guitar. I'm not convinced but really like the look of it. Think the price is high but I don't have any experience in these guitars. Any help?

  2. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    They’re excellent, but that price seems high... about $1000?

    I know nothing about the Scottish guitar market, but here I’d expect to pay around $700 for a mid-90s MIJ. The secondary market here in the States doesn’t place a high resale value on pickup upgrades.


  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Way too much. there's different specs of this guitar, many of them are basswood with alder veneers under the bindings. For that sort of money I'd be looking at a MIM Fender like a Baja. The Fralins are great but not 250 pounds good. The stock pickups in them are bright and thin.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  4. DAKnox

    DAKnox Tele-Meister

    Aug 23, 2014
    Yeah it's about 1050 dollars. Although that's with Lindy Fralin blues specials. He'd also put it back to stick and take 140 dollars off it. Seems decent condition. Couple of chips. Not too bad for the age I guess. I've never bought a guitar of such an age. Any thoughts on basswood?

    1524448428534.jpg 1524448432662.jpg 1524448435427.jpg 1524448438110.jpg

  5. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    They're nowhere near as good as the internet would lead you to believe. In the 80s and 90s I don't ever remember owning or playing one that blew me away.

  6. TelenEmLikeItIs

    TelenEmLikeItIs TDPRI Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    St John USVI
    Look up the serial number and find out what factory it was built in. Guitars built in the Fujigen factory are considered to be of high quality.

    I owned an early 90's TL52 and loved it.

    Today Fujigen makes some of the best mass produced guitars on the market.
    savofenno and DAKnox like this.

  7. DAKnox

    DAKnox Tele-Meister

    Aug 23, 2014
    Yeah serial checker says it's Fuji Gen so that sounds promising.
    savofenno likes this.

  8. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    savofenno, rze99 and Tonetele like this.

  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    I had a 96 TL62B-TX in CAR. It was NOT basswood...
    savofenno likes this.

  10. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    95= Basswood
    96= Alder

    Basswood ones are bit lighter generally .4 lbs. or .18 kg.
    My 1995 one is 7.4 lbs.
    savofenno, DAKnox and Jupiter like this.

  11. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    My 2 $ , they are among the best I've played , my 50th anny Tele has been my only real keeper. Love the v neck on it, and I like what some feel are the 'weak' pickups, they sound nice.
    The only shame is you did not pick one up when they could be had at $400.
    Yeah its poplar, yeah its not nitro, but if you close your eyes you won't hear the diff.
    savofenno likes this.

  12. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    I certainly don't think quality has gone down at all, should be a fine instrument if it's been taken care of and setup properly.

  13. Widerange Hum

    Widerange Hum Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    May 14, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    Only real downsides to basswood are it's very soft, so it dents very easily (about like pine), and for whatever reason, my router bits don't want to cut the stuff. Big pain in the butt. But hey, the guitar's already built, so that's not a problem.

    I don't know what your local market is like. Price seems high, but for the most part these were very good guitars. Very charming, I lusted after practically the whole MIJ line in the 90s and couldn't afford one. Only downside to them as far as I was concerned was the pickups, which were super blah. If you're interested in it, buy it with the Fralins. Hard to go wrong with Fralin.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  14. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Meister

    Oct 16, 2014
    Oxfordshire England
    I have a CIJ 2009 62 custom. Best Tele I've owned. 7.25 radius neck and vintage frets can put some off. Pick ups are the weak point but easily changed.

    A new one is now just about £1000 in the UK so whilst £750 seems a little high it is not hugely so. I'd play it and if it speaks to you go for it.
    Best of luck.
    savofenno likes this.

  15. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

    Aug 23, 2015
    for £750 you can get a good am std and not have to worry about changing pups
    JayFreddy likes this.

  16. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    I have 2 62s, but not from the 90s .But I do have a 97 MIJ neck on a custom build and it is a little thicker than the 80s ones but not as big as the 2015 I have which is quite similar to my PV '64. MIJ necks beautifully crafted and exceptionally stable .

    I still think a used 60s Baja is the best value 60s style .no need to change the pickups as they are USA PV 58 bridge and 52 neck, , 9.5 radius and larger frets. Really nice neck and fretboard profile. About 550 used compared to 750.
    savofenno and JayFreddy like this.

  17. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    That might be the going rate in your neck of the woods, but for the same coin, you could get a Baja which is a better guitar, in my opinion.

    The original MIJ pickups from that generation were fairly horrible. There is a reason they were replaced.

    Even with the upgraded pickups, 750 quid seems a bit steep to me.

    Even considering the fact that prices may be higher in Scotland, I would expect to pay 550 with the original pickups, or 700 with the Fralins.

    But if it's keeping you up at night, you could certainly do worse.

    Personally I'd need it to be a lot less expensive or I'd keep walking.
    DAKnox likes this.

  18. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Wow, MiJ have gone up in price since I last flipped a few around 10 years ago.
    I've had a few 95/96 MiJ Strats and Teles; I've found they can be a bit hit and miss with the electronics.
    I'd go used Baja, H1 or US Standard, depending on your neck preference.

  19. TelenEmLikeItIs

    TelenEmLikeItIs TDPRI Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    St John USVI
    With many of these guitars there will be many historical inaccuracies like incorrect body woods, fretboard radii, neck profiles, even bridge type in some cases.

    They are however, almost all beautifully built guitars that are a delight to play and hear.
    savofenno likes this.

  20. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 16, 2010
    I believe not all MIJ and CIJ Fenders are not meant to be exact replicas by any means despite names like TL62 etc, but somewhat similar guitars built by using Japanese woods and other parts. There is nothing wrong in Japanese woods, you can choose a model with harder wood if preferred, there is many models to choose from.
    And newer MIJ Fender models have better pickups installed, even American ones from stock.
    JayFreddy likes this.

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