2nd hand MIJ Tele arrived today

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by telenoob0925, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm new to the forum and to telecasters, so please go easy on me :)

    So I've just got a Japanese (Made in Japan) Fender Tele advertised as an "A" serial guitar from between 85-86. It's the one in my avatar.

    The problem is that as it turns out, the A serial number is on the bridge plate, nowhere else can I find that number on the guitar.

    I have some photos:

    8 - 25 - 87

    IMG_0132.JPG

    TL52 - 75 (plus a red "J") and some other red pen marks but I can't make anything out
    IMG_0134.JPG

    And the body:
    Again, TL52-75 but this time we have some more markings, "E", "N" and something like "B5B" ?!

    IMG_0133.JPG

    And the bridge plate with the "A" serial, maybe a replacement for the original?

    IMG_0137.JPG

    So I'm a little confused - could someone who knows about dates/serials/etc please help me out with dating this?

    It definitely looks and feels kinda old, and it's surprisingly heavy...

    Thank you ever so much in advance :D
     
  2. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    There's only one serial number on the guitar; it's not like cars where they stamp the VIN all over the place during assembly.

    The model is a TL52, which is a MIJ '52 reissue. There were several variants in different configurations indicated by the suffix. The -75 was made 1987-1989.

    The serial number is Japanese from 1985-1986. It isn't unusual for hardware with serial numbers to sit in a box somewhere and get pulled out a year or two later, which is why some of the older U.S. serial numbers are less than exact when it comes to dating.

    I don't see any reason to think your guitar wasn't built in 1987.
     
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The pencil date is enough for me ...
     
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  4. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for the insights guys! I'm new to telecasters (and Fenders in general) so I really appreciate the help :)

    So just to recap, the neck and body don't get a separate serial, the guitar itself gets one serial number, and that happens during assembly?

    So it's possible that older parts with older serial numbers from let's say '86 were used in a body made a year later?

    It now makes more sense than someone switching just the bridge plate to have me believe the guitar was older... but if this is an 87 one, that's only one or 2 years after the "A" serials (btw 85-86) so probably not much would be gained haha!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  5. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    That's correct. Some (modern) bodies have sequentially-numbered stickers in the neck pocket, but those don't bear any relationship to the serial number. Fender might keep track of what necks were mated to what bodies for its own purposes, but that would be a more-recent development.

    Yes, it is.

    One of the things that the bolt-on neck let Fender do is produce bodies and necks in parallel, put them into inventory and use them as needed like any other part (knobs, tuning machines, jack plates). The body on yours could have been built earlier, shelved and used later or they built it in 1987 and had some of the "A" bridge plates left over and used one. This is what makes dates very much approximate. There's nothing magic about them anyway.
     
  6. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    Oh no I know, I was just curious ;-P But thank you for the in depth explanation, makes perfect sense now.

    Just one last thing, do we know anything about the electronics in this particular model definitely?

    I read in another thread that the TL52-75 had Japanese electronics, but the pups were American - however, no source was mentioned for this info. Anyone heard anything about this?

    There's a page where the guy says everything was made in Japan for this model.
     
  7. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Can't help you with those details, unfortunately.
     
  8. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    No worries, looking at the electronics of other MIJs based on what I see in mine, I think these are the regular Japanese electronics, switches and pots, all from back in the day. I haven't taken the pickups out though, so not sure whether they are Japanese or American yet... The last little mystery of this guitar :)
     
  9. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    And BSB is probably Butterscotch Blonde?
     
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  10. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    That bridge pickup is interesting i have never seen donut rings around the pole pieces on a reissue only on the seymour duncan antiquity pups or original pups
    check the pickup see if there is a sticker on the back
     
  11. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    What you see around the pole pieces is wax from the potting process. My '73 shows a little bit of that, too.
     
  12. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    Oh yeah, BSB = Butterscotch Blonde - Makes sense haha! Also, I've got a few more photos:

    IMG_0151.JPG
    IMG_0152.JPG

    YM-30
    IMG_0143.JPG
    IMG_0153.JPG

    Nothing is written on the bridge pickup, not yet checked the other one, but so far it looks all standard Japanese stuff, right? (So, based on the information gathered so far, nothing suggests that these pickups are American, correct?)

    Thank you again :)
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, the bridge plate "A + numbers is pretty useless as it isn't really a serial number. I have 1988
    and 2005 FJ '62 Custom Reissues. Both have A plate stampings. There may be a way to ballpark
    the age by the plate from the lot produced but there is no published evidence of it.
    Many think and sell an A Plate as a 1985 or so model due to some incorrect info or misinterpreted
    on the internet. The serial number ID listings are for the neck decal if it has one.

    When all is said and done best to just go by the date on the neck.
     
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  14. MatthewK

    MatthewK Tele-Holic

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    One last 1987 feature - does your neck plate say "FENDER" in capitals? They were only used for a couple of years.
     
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  15. telenoob0925

    telenoob0925 TDPRI Member

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    Hi, indeed the neckplate does say "FENDER" in the top half, the rest of it is just blank

    I'm trying to figure out the wiring in this thing right now, it seems (sounds) like the positions are:

    1 - Neck
    2 - Neck
    3 - Bridge

    The tone control seems to do nothing in any of the 3 positions... it's kinda weird, I'm pretty sure none of the "known" wiring methods should sound like that?!

    Also, the bride pickup sounds about twice as loud as the neck... like, a massive difference in volume. Very noticeable. I'm sure that's also not normal?

    Could someone have a quick look please? I'm looking at wiring diagrams but I can't seem to figure out which one is the one I have in here... Or is this some modded wiring?

    IMG_E0202.JPG
    IMG_0195.JPG
    IMG_0148.JPG

    Thanks again! :)
     
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