CIJ vs MIJ teles

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by horax, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. horax

    horax Tele-Afflicted

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    Which are better and why?
    I can never remember the differences.
     
  2. arlum

    arlum Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I've never heard of CIJ. MIM, MIJ, USA is all I know.
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Doctor of Teleocity

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    Japanese made Fender were Made in Japan until approx 1988. From 1988 to approx 2006, some were Created in Japan. Then it changed back for one year on the anniversary of the agreement for the Fender-Japanese joint venture (1986 IIRC).

    In 2015 Fender ended it's joint venture and created a dedicated Japanese unit and it changed back to Fender MIJ permanently.

    There is no difference in quality based on MIJ or CIJ, but within those years there are lots of different levels from several different factories somewhat like Squier levels - some are entry of beginner level guitars with cheaper toploader bridges, ceramic magnet pickups and diecast tuners.

    Some were made of woods like poplar, basswood and Sen, a sort of ash-appearing hardwood. These can be decent guitars and good mod platforms. Some were fotoflame finishes where printed veneers were stuck on plain wood to make them highly figured.

    Then there were guitars with a basswood core and alder or ash veneers.

    Then there were higher spec (export) instruments made of alder or ash. Generally these will have 3 barrel bridges in brass or steel, alnico pickups and Kluson-style tuners. Often they'll have Texas Specials fitted.

    The higher spec instruments are quite accurate for fittings and appearance US manufacture.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  4. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Actually, the timeline is this, which is all over the net. From 1982 to 1996/1997 the guitars were made at the FujiGen factory and were stamped MIJ. After 96/97 Tōkai Gakki and Dyna Gakki took over at a different factory location , the guitars were now stamped CIJ. In 2015, as noted above, Fender took over the business and went back to MIJ.

    The earlier years 82 thru 88 or 89 , or so.... ( FujiGen) produced some really fine very hi quality instruments that are still sought after today. MIJ 52 RI's ( TL-52) and MIJ Double Bound 62 RI's ( TL-62) are no slouches ! They also manufactured some very good middle of the road guitars. Many here on this board have played and owned E Series MIJ Teles and Strats over the years, they were easily accessible for not a ton of money. I've personally owned several E series Teles from that era. Nice guitars. I recall I bought and sold a bunch in the $350 to $400 range ! This was probably late 90's going to 2005 or so. Somewhere around then. Those days are LONG GONE !

    As mentioned above, Basswood is readily available in Japan so it was used as a common source.

    If I had to make a comparison, those MIJ -E Series Teles where very similar to the Fender 50's Classic Series that hit the stores around 2005 or so and had the MIM badge.

    MIJ vs CIJ quality , I don't think there was really any difference in quality, they were all pretty good best I could tell.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
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  5. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    From a quality point of view I’ve always accepted MIJ = CIJ
     
  6. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    +1. Having owned both, I've not seen any appreciable difference in quality (build, finish, ...) between MIJ and CIJ iterations of a same model
     
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  7. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's

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    C = Crafted, not Created
     
  8. Dacious

    Dacious Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes - you're right. My misremembrance.
     
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  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I greatly prefer MIJ Fender guitars.
    Far better fit and finish.
    Hardware is about equal.
    MIJ stuff rarely has good electronics, IMO.
    MIM stuff is usually heavy, and the wood/fit/finish is usually only OK.
    Just my opinion, YRMV.
     
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I actually have a MIJ Fender Squier Stratocaster.....a 1983 version of a 1968 model. Large headstock, five-way switch, three screw neck plate, Rosewood fingerboard. I've had really particular and discerning Strat players try it, and say it's as good as any MIA they've played. Only thing I don't like is its "typical" slim neck. Excellent quality! ;)
     
  11. Harpboy

    Harpboy Tele-Meister

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    I've owned both a "Made in Japan" and a "Crafted in Japan" Strat over the years. I don't know that there was ever such a thing as "Created in Japan". I owned a 2004 CIJ E-Series Contemporary Strat and a 2008(?) MIJ Strat XII. Both since sold but very nice guitars.

    Terada still builds virtually all of the Gretsch Pro line of guitars for FMIC, by the way. I have a G6228 Jet made there that is absolutely flawless. And this is the norm, apparently. I also owned a 2002 Epiphone Elite Les Paul 57 goldtop made at Fujigen Gakki. I wish I'd never sold that one; it was outstanding as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Doctor of Teleocity

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    No, it was Crafted not Created. That was my mistake. I had a 68 reissue CIJ Strat with rosewood board ash body.

    Terada still makes hollows including for Yamaha.

    I've worked on an 80s E-series which did have the econo line of ceramic bar pickups, skinny wires with small.pots. it had a 6-steel-block toploader and diecast tuners with screws in the knobs.

    Also a MIJ Donahue CAR maple boatneck Tele which had alder veneers on a basswood core. It had Gotoh tuners and brass 3-saddle vintage bridge with alnico Strat neck pickup, alnico bridge pickup and full-size pots with wafer 5-way switch.
     
  13. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    I can't really speak to the original question, but as noted above, there is a range of stuff. And it can be confusing, as some models change names and, while there might be some very slight minor spec or cosmetic changes, remain essentially the same guitar.

    For example, I have a MIJ "Japan Exclusive Classic Special 50s Telecaster." As well as being a mouthful, it's also a continuation of the TL52 VSP, which was the nitro finished one with the nice soft V neck. My MIJ 60s style Tele is in the same boat, being basically the TL62-US model with a different (& long winded) name.

    And, some stuff here is not intended for export, which can further confuse things.

    So, yeah, it can be hard figuring out what is what. But, from what I've seen, fit and finish is basically always great.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  14. Double Stop

    Double Stop Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    The one that feels best in your fretting hand is the best. Anything else can be easily changed.
     
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  16. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Tele-Meister

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    How about my genuine Hecho en Liechtenstein Tele-ish?
     
  17. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what sold me on my MIJ Custom Telecaster!

    When I felt the neck it felt exactly like the neck profile of the '66 Telecaster I owned for years. I bought it without even plugging it into an amp!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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