Japanese Tele Models

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by palmerfralick, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. palmerfralick

    palmerfralick TDPRI Member

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    Looking for help on how to identify the various Fender Japan TL52's I know that the numbers following TL52- are an approximate number of how many yen they cost new. Like the TL52-50 or 80, 90, 110 etcetera. TX is also popular and I think this implies the guitar has Texas Special pickups. My question is how to tell visually what the model number actually is on a used example. I asked a couple of sellers on eBay how they knew a TL52-110 actually was a 110 and the answers were ambiguous ay best. Any Fender Japan experts please chime in. Thanks
     
  2. Deebs3

    Deebs3 Tele-Meister

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    Good questions, I know TX is Texas specials, a lot of them came with those, I don't know the other answers but I have looked at lots of TL52's, great value teles. They all look the same to me.
     
  3. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

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    The only real way to tell as far as I know is to see what’s stamped in the neck pocket, or if it’s a high grade extrad model extrad will be stamped on the back of the headstock

    Usually the upgrade in components is hard to see without a close inspection and probably impossible to tell just from photos of the outside

    I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure the 110s have a nitro finish which should be easy to identify if you have the guitar in hand
     
  4. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Fairly sure TL52 is the model. 50-80 are outsourced Korea or China.
    90-110 are high end Japanese crafted. TX is only available on the high end 110 as far as I know. 110 yen is about 98 us cents. Extrad = export. Some of the best are domestic but have very little ID info from what I found.
    Alot of banter on the net how the lower end models can be picked up cheap & make excellent platforms to mod.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  5. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    The Jspanese use the '110' to signify 1000s of yen .

    I.e., a 120 model Tokai = 120,000 yen as
    a suggested price from new. Or ~ $1200 dollars US.

    LS470 Tokai 470,000 yen or ~$4700 US.
    That one had Braz, nitro, and Rolphs pups from the factory and the pricetag was pretty close to a Gibson '59 reissue.
     
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  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    As stated above ...The higher the model number, the pricier the guitar, because of better parts, finish etc... Experts will chime in eventually
     
  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    japan model.jpg

    Just sayin'.
     
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  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

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    I’ve never heard of the lower end “Japan” models being outsourced as they are all stamped made in Japan,
    Is this something you’re positive that happens .
    Maybe someone that knows more can chime in.
    Not saying it doesn’t happen, just in the years I researched mij I’ve never come across this claim.
    Anything with fender is possible though
     
  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the 'old days' they came in several base models. Some of them had flat plate Toploader bridges and modern cast tuners. These often had an E-serial sticker. I worked on one that was basswood painted black, toploader, vintage type (horrible) pickups W/baseplate, screw-adjust cast tuners.

    Neck and body profiles were vintage-y 7.25" smallish frets and it was stamped EX in neck pocket. Fitted with string through, four-way, 52 Tele bridge and pickups it was a great playing and sounding guitar with Fender on headstock.
     
  10. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Talking Fujigen / Tokai outsourcing lower priced models. I have a 90's Fender TL43 with no country of origin markings only Japanese serial number. Fine bit of kit though, top shelf hardware, the neck is nicely finished & very comfortable. The Japs do/did seem to take QC quite serious.
    The minimum hourly wage in Japan is the roughly the same as the US.
     
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  11. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

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    Not to argue with Bluey but I believe xtrads are different than exports although sometimes people confuse the EX mark in the neck pocket for extrad when the EX actually means Export,

    Extrads are a completely different series made in the 80s and 90s in Japan , extrads are the very top of the line that fender Japan made with nitro finish’s and premium hardware,

    The extrad have EXTRAD written in gold on the back of the headstock and are extremely rare especially outside of Japan and have nothing to do with the EX stamped in the neck pocket.(EXTRADS are almost as rare as an ORDER MADE model which is the MIJ equivalent of a custom ordered custom shop)

    Most every export has Ex in the pocket and is nothing special

    Extrad on the headstock is very special
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  12. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    I will stand corrected as you sound more confident & knowledgeable than I.
     
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  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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  14. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Holic

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  15. Randy Ito

    Randy Ito TDPRI Member

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  16. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    I've owned a few Japanese Fender's. I think for fit and finish they are amazing quality. However, I've never understood the reason why they insist on using electrics that are the same as the junk you find inside Squier's.
     
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