Japanese teles

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by UPtele, May 23, 2020.

  1. UPtele

    UPtele TDPRI Member

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    66
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2020
    Location:
    MI
    Not sure if some are fake or not but on a certain auction site there are many Japanese teles

    I've never talked to anybody thats owned one. I'm wondering the quality compared to US or Mexican versions

    I'm sure it's been discussed but I couldn't find anything using search
     
  2. Martian

    Martian TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    74
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    Location:
    New York State
    I’ve never owned or played one that wasn’t really good.
     
    FrontPU and nojazzhere like this.
  3. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,617
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    The Aux arcs
    i bought a used tele from ishibashimusic (https://www.ishibashi.co.jp/eng/) once. It was fantastic, it actually shipped and was at my door in 3 days! Thats faster than domestic shipping. I had to figure out yen to USD ratio before I bought, but they have, or had, some great stuff. Thats been a few years ago, though.
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    4,196
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I’d say that Japanese guitars are on par with American made fenders, although Japan has a big variety themselves from budget to custom ordered and nitro finished models
    So it’s a model to model basis that they have to be looked at, I suggest doing a lot of research before buying so you know exactly what level of model you want,
    The two Mij guitars I have, one tele one strat are excellent, I also know what I was looking for though
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    11,854
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I've owned several Made in Japan Strats, P-Basses and Jazz Basses, as well as MIJ Squier Stratocasters. They have ALL been as good as any MIA Fender I've tried. I still own a 1983 MIJ Fender Squier Strat, which is great, although I never play it anymore.....it's not a Tele. ;)
     
  6. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    10,400
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I’ve never had a Japanese Tele but did own four different Stratocasters, ranging from an SQ Squier to a CIJ ‘62 Strat RI. Having also owned several MIM and USA Teles and Strats I think you got nothing to worry about if you get one that hasn’t been all butchered up. The pups on one MIJ basic Squier Strat weren’t much but the rest were fine and that’s no reason to turn away from a cool Fender you dig anyway, in my book.
     
  7. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    671
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire England
    I have a CIJ tele custom. Superb guitar. Generally, they are on a par with US guitars and better than MIM guitars in my opinion.
    Depending on what model you look at you may want to upgrade the electrics but that is an easy fix.
    Good hunting.
     
  8. erratick

    erratick Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    658
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Location:
    SoCal
    Your search skills could use this then:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=japanese+telecaster+site:tdpri.com&atb=v157-1&ia=web

    The tip I'm giving you is google (and others) will restrict search to a particular site by using the "site:tdpri.com" in a search. It's better than the search on the website here.

    On topic: I don't have any MIJ teles- but I have a CIJ bass. And it is probably the best bass I own. Maybe you could quibble about electronics- maybe. And that is just compared to basses I have with Lace or Bill Lawrence pickups.
     
    rze99 likes this.
  9. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,490
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    I only have one MIJ Fender, a Tele. However, living in Japan, I’ve played a fair few and handled / looked at bucketloads.

    In relation to fit and finish, I don’t recall ever finding a single one where I’ve gone, ‘that could be better.’* I can’t say the same for Fenders of other origins.

    As for the electrical bits and bobs, this is a bit of a sore point with me. I feel that there’s a bit of an automatic, reactionary ‘the pots, switch, jack and pickups are all rubbish, swap ‘em out soon as possible’ response at times that is totally unwarranted. Pickups are subjective, and as I always say, the Japanese have been known for anything but rubbish electronic goods for almost a half century now.

    Having said that, I have heard credible reports that early on in the Fender Japan enterprise, the pots and switches were perhaps a tad on the cheap side.

    To which I’ll add, my MIJ Tele came with US made American Vintage '62 Custom pickups. :)

    Pax/
    Dean
    * There’s bound to be exceptions to prove the rule I guess though.
     
    tbp0701, BBQedIguana, beagle and 2 others like this.
  10. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    194
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Orange County California
    From what I've seen of MIJ, the quality of the craftmanship of the body and neck is at least as good if not better than the USA made stuff. The Japanese take their fit and finish very seriously, and I actually think they do a better job than the production made in America stuff (the USA custom shop excepted of course).
     
  11. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I'd buy Japanese in preference to Mexican or American every day of the week,
     
    smsuryan, TokyoPortrait and felis like this.
  12. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK Europe.
    rze99 and beagle like this.
  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I've been waiting since 1982 for my "crappy import electrics" to die. Maybe this year?
     
    TokyoPortrait, stratlt and hemingway like this.
  14. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,655
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    and duck duck go is far more your friend than Google
     
    erratick likes this.
  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,655
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    I have a couple. Exceptionally well made. One from 84 is peak quality. They only do a few specials in nitro. Always get the ones with USA pickups unless you putting others in anyway.
     
  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Unless you like the ones that came with it of course...
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  17. DOC DYA

    DOC DYA Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    217
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    Luçon _ France
    I don't have enough elements to make rightful comparisons between US and JP Teles, but I bought a Japanese guitar in 2011 (see avatar) from Ikebe music store in Tokyo. This tele Is Great!!! (...though it has a Strat neck !).
    Japanese electronics on Fender guitars have been discussed many times on this forum (pro and cons). I didn't feel the need to change anything on this guitar so far. I play Jazz and the neck PU is FINE for that, and the bridge PU is useful too, just in case you need some bite.
    But, I think the main quality of japanese guitars is the woodwork. Wood, in this country is not only a material available, it's not only a craft, it's a Culture, and they take minute attention to details when they work with wood. Search the web to see what they do (and have been doing for centuries) with wood in architecture...
    So, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with a Japan made Tele...
    (may be you won't like the electronics for whatever reasons, but that can be addressed)!
     
    WingedWords likes this.
  18. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,209
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    ATele.jpg
    For the most part they are outstanding, in fact I've never played a bad one. But like any guitar, if the build quality is there then its all about personal preference. I had an Aerodyne Tele with the a gorgeous flamed maple neck, mirror black finish, and P90 in the neck position. I should have never sold it!!

    ISHIBASHI MUSIC is the go to music store in Japan and they ship world wide. A guitar collector friend of mine has bought several guitars from it over the years.
    https://www.ishibashi.co.jp/u_box/e/eubox.php?T=gazo
     
    DOC DYA likes this.
  19. RYAN1987M

    RYAN1987M Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    473
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Location:
    Ontario
    I now have a bit of a ‘United Nations’ of Telecasters – one MIM, one MIJ, and one MIA – and, to be honest, now that they’re all set-up to my preferences, I don’t notice any obvious difference in quality between them. The exact specs, overall feel, and resulting sounds certainly differ – but I find them all to be really high-quality guitars that feel and play great.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    2,775
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    I'd be interested to know if they've upped the spec in the newer Japanese ones. Other manufacturers have and I'm guessing they will have too. I am wary of the older ones though. I've owned two MiJs and one CiJ from the 90s and they were mediocre to fair quality.

    The electronics survived on one of my Japanese Teles, but a pot fell apart on my Thinline. They're Squier quality, basically. They don't always fail, but understand what you're paying for in the older ones. The one that survived wasn't working when I got it because the lazy way the caps are wired means the legs can short against other components and the plate.

    On my standard Tele, there's a large neck gap and the bass string is nearly falling off the board. It was assembled too tight against the body and the piece of wood above the neck pickup has cracked and been pushed in. The Jag-Stang had glue all over the frets and the basswood was super soft meaning it dented easily and the strap buttons fell out. The pickguard was also the least 3D MOTS I've ever seen. My Thinline had finish globs in the F hole and the pickguard delaminated.

    None of those issues mean you can't find one that plays and sounds great and QC tolerances mean not everyone will experience the same issues. But I'd rate the spec and quality of the 90s models more like modern higher-end Squiers than MiMs and MiAs, overall.

    The MiMs of the last 20 years are often higher (or at least truer to) spec. The MiM electronics are great. The MiAs use better hardware and are usually flawless. But, back in the 90s those older Japanese models WERE great in context. But I don't have enough nostalgia for them to ever consider buying another at the prices people ask today. If it was cheap or a fixer-upper like my standard Tele, maybe.

    Again, I would naturally take a look at the newer ones because as I would be interested to see how they've upped their quality and specs along with the rest of the industry.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.