Help Identify This Tele!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by hotrodder, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. hotrodder

    hotrodder Tele-Meister

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    I've recently acquired this Tele, and need help in identifying it. The neck plate is stamped with a block letter "FENDER" and there is a date on the neck, but no serial number or other identifying marks on the body. Is this a Japanese Tele from 1991? Or is this a copy, made to a Tele spec? Any help is appreciated!

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    It looks like a MIJ Tele Custom reissue. The original bridge plate would have been a 3 barrel type with AO-serial number. The neck should have Created in Japan or Made in Japan. That neck may not be right for that guitar.

    Actually - I think it may be a AVRI 62 reissue. Correct marks and case. I think the serial would have been on the bridge that's been replaced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  3. hotrodder

    hotrodder Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! That would explain why there's no serial number - changed bridge plate to allow individual intonation. The issue with that is that the intonation was off by about 6 cents on some strings, indicating that the previous owner had no idea of how to adjust it. As to the neck, it feels very nice, and has minor fret wear around the cowboy chords. The bridge pickup is some flavor of Seymour Duncan, and the neck pickup is toast. Could the neck be an American or Mexican Tele?
     
  4. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm pretty sure it's a MIJ/CIJ model (or maybe Korean), neck too. They had just "Telecaster" on the headstock where the originals and the AVRI's had "Custom Telecaster".

    I have one from the mid '80's. Fine guitars, but the weakness was the pick ups/electronics,which have already been taken care of.

    I don't remember a date on the heel of my neck, but all else looks pretty much the same. I'm not saying things were removed to replicate a AVRI but it happens.

    Here are some shots of mine I have on hand.

    Headstock
    80's_MIJ_hstock.jpg

    Neckplate and "Made in Japan" on neck
    mij_decal.jpg

    Bridge w/ serial number starts with A. (note it came with threaded steel saddles like the originals)
    62_MIJ_CUSTOM_bridge.jpg

    Neck pocket
    MIJ-62RI.jpg

    Take a look at the area on your neck where mine has the made in Japan decal, does it look like it was removed? The same with the neck pocket.

    It could just be '90's production changes that differ from mine, but I've known people to remove those markings.

    Bottom line if it plays and sounds great that's all that really matters. Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  5. mowgli5555

    mowgli5555 Tele-Meister

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    Definitely looks like a 1991 Fender Japan Custom Tele to these eyes.
    The bridge does not look original, though. It likely would have come with a stamped A serial, 3 saddle bridge, and Japan electronics, as majority of the exported Fender Japan guitars had.

    I didnt realize they used the stamped Fender neck plate as late as 1991.
    The stamped neckplate, if original, usually points towards the mid to late 1980's. I believe I have seen 1990 models with them, as well as hand written dates on the neck.

    Looks like a nice guitar. I would be happy to pluck around on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  6. hotrodder

    hotrodder Tele-Meister

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    The heel of the neck does have marks which indicate some sanding has been done, and the neck pocket has been sanded too. There is a celluloid shim in the pocket, so some work to adjust the neck angle has been done too. So, it probably is a MIJ neck. I did some research on the great TDPRI website regarding MIJ tele's and it would seem that this is a TL62 Custom Reissue as opposed to a CIJ, due to the lousy pickup in the neck. CIJ's were supposed to have Texas Specials, and this does not. I have ordered a couple of Cavaliers and a Fralin pickup, as well as replacements for all the electronics. I'm also reproducing a Mighty Mite bridge plate and brass saddles for it. I'll post the results when I get it back together.

    Thanks for the valuable info!
     
  7. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    Japanese all the way! A friend of mine had that exact same model. It seemed pretty decent to me.
     
  8. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    The Mij/CIJ Custom Telecaster's are great guitars! I have one with a factory Bigsby.

    Like toomuchfun said, the pick-ups & electronics were generally poor. I replaced mine with S.D.'s, full size pots,Orange Drop cap & a 4-way switch. It's an incredible guitar now.

    I've been through several Tele's over the last 5 years this one is staying!

    The Japan label & serial number on some were decals like the photo that was posted, and easily removed.

    With just a little work & love they're great guitars.
     
  9. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Holic

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    May I suggest you consider the Fender Custom Shop NOCASTER Pickups instead? They are just perfect for that guitar. A new set is $ 196.00 dollars I believe. Used around $ 125.00
     
  10. hotrodder

    hotrodder Tele-Meister

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    The pickups are actually finished and on their way. I'll see how they sound compared to the S.D. bridge pickup. I've listened to the nocaster pickups on youtube, and they're ok, but I have a couple of other teles with the Fralin, and that pickup has good tone and harmonics, very sweet sounding. Also, bourns pots and .0015 cap to try out. Great project! Teleplayr is right about the electronics, though. Junk!
     
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