One of a Kind Korean Tele- History?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by bravescoob, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. bravescoob

    bravescoob TDPRI Member

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    Can anyone help in determining the history of this guitar? Never seen another like it.

    I acquired this instrument from Craigslist; seller said he had previously worked in a pawnshop where he found the guitar. Allegedly it was made in Korea in the early 2000s? It has fiesta red lacquer finish and a bird's eye maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. I have never seen this paint on any modern mass-produced Teles and can find no records online of such, though the neck is in line with other MIK models from my understanding. Neck is a noticeably thin modern C shape w/ 9.25 board radius and has large frets. Also, the baseplate and headstock sport the Fender logo, but no model name on headstock (also in line with MIK). There is a panel to access electronics on back which I don't usually see on Teles. Serial numbers seem tricky on these, but I'll post a photo of it if anyone can glean any additional info from it.

    I have only ever seen MIK Teles in the light ash natural color and all black variations. Is mine just a rare variation not sold in the US? A repainted MIK? Did I possibly find a mish-mash of MIK neck bolted onto custom body? Plays and sounds great, but the origins of this Tele are elusive...
     

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  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

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    The fact that there is a front AND back cover on the body, plus unnatural wear makes me think there is little original about that body.
     
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  3. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I believe that is a Fender special edition koa (MIK) neck on an aftermarket body. I am totally not understanding what is going on with a back-route and cover under the control strip. Unless some sort of active electronics were put in there, there is no reason on earth I can conceive of that would require this.
     
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  4. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed, there's nothing Fender about that body. Looks good though.
     
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  5. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Agreed on all counts.
     
  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Was the made in Korea model a special design?
    The overall shape of the headstock in the frontal picture looks off. Might be the slimming effect of those contrasting horizontal lines.
    The transition at the rear?
    Did the MIK necks use wide spacing at the 12th fret markers?
    What the heck is going off with the body routing?
    Mmmm, ferrules.

    About the neck. Genuine questions on the differences twixt MIA/MIM and MIK models, but it looks, sort of, kind of, close but off. Edjumacate me on such things!
     
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  7. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    My guess is someone wanted the regular Tele look but had a rear routed body lying around.
     
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  8. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

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    Here is the original guitar that neck would have been on:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the 12th fret dots are, indeed, widely-spaced. The MIK special editions featured 22-fret birdseye maple necks with rosewood FB on the koa guitar, (which was a koa veneer on basswood) and birdseye maple fingerboards and abalone fret markers on the lite-ash model. There was another model offered similar to the koa with a veneered body of some other wood, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. I wanted one of the lite ash models (they also had Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups) but they were a bit rich for my blood at that point.
     
  9. bravescoob

    bravescoob TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies all! Seems likely that it is the MIK Special neck bsman identified (much appreciated) bolted onto an aftermarket body, considering the abalone markers on board and bird's eye neck, plus routing on the back and color of body. In any case it has found a forever home I think (even though I may swap pickups at some point).

    I am interested in hearing more about VintageSG's question: Anyone know what the deal with MIK vs MIM is? I've heard MIK/MIJ was for a while the equivalent of MIM for Europe?
     
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  10. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a MIK Koa top Strat with the bird's eye neck & Seymour Duncan pickups - its a great guitar . They made a matching Tele .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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