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Made in Japan Telecasters - are recent ones still good?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by malthus101, May 31, 2019.

  1. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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  2. malthus101

    malthus101 TDPRI Member

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    Aha yes, I actually found that thread by image searching last night! You can help me actually - how would you describe the shade of Old Lake Placid Blue? The 62 reissues seem a lot darker than other Old Lake Placid Blue guitars I've seen on Google. Maybe even slightly greenish in tone... can you comment on the colour? It's hard to trust my eyes as colours on the net can vary wildly just due to things like computer monitors etc.

    Thanks!
     
  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    They're made well but i had a early 2000's MIJ strat and a 2014 double bound 60s style MIJ tele both bought thru ishibashi and to be honest both sounded horrible. The high end sounded so harsh and buzzy i never heard that before in any fender style guitar. And that was the case with both, the tele being worse to the poinbt i felt guilty selling it. I swapped pickups, hardware, everything i could do but it was apparently the wood. I would call both of them possibly the worse or at least 2 of the worse fender examples i have ever owned as tone goes. Don't know if that's typical or i got incredibly unlucky, but i will never buy another at any price, at least not with alder bodies. I owned a number of the cheaper basswood models in the 90s that fender imported for sale in the USA and a MIJ ash body strat and they were good guitars. The ash one actually was one of my all time fave strats as tone goes. Would have kept it had the neck not been crazy thin as nut width goes. The only thing the 2 recent MIJs had in common which i have never owned in a MIJ was they both were alder which leads me to wonder if alder sourced in japan grows differently because i know thats the case with some wood. In any case, never again.
     
  4. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I don't understand why the Japanese put the WRONG decal on them?? Why don't they use the correct decal " Custom Telecaster ", can it be that difficult???


    RJ
     
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  5. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The colour in pins is pretty accurate. Not greeny. There is a hint of Blue Ice Metallic about it but darker. It's lovely. Just wish it were nitro.
     
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I have steered clear of MIJ models because:
    -there is so much product variation it takes a lot of study to know what is real and what is potentially fake
    -price of the MIJs is very enticing to the people trying to fake a build
    -MIMs are pretty good overall, especially more modern ones
    -MIMs can be had for a lot less cash


    .
     
  7. malthus101

    malthus101 TDPRI Member

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    Interesting ... maybe I should investigate higher end MIM too....
     
  8. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    You can buy direct from Japan. With the advertised local prices in Yen they give a 8% discount on exports plus some offer free shipping worldwide. As stated their are now MIJ fakes from other countries that can turn up anywhere so check serial no's if sus. I have a lower model s/h MIJ Tele I picked up for about $500us, the feel setup & quality is as good as a couple of $2000 ones I tried that were made elsewhere. I would love to own a high end MIJ but can't justify it at the moment.
     
  9. malthus101

    malthus101 TDPRI Member

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    What would be defined as high end MIJ?
     
  10. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    All I can tell you is that my 2008-ish MIJ TL52-US has impeccable build quality and is a joy to play. It has an upgraded switch and a replacement tone cap, but the original mini-pots are still present and function faultlessly. With its factory-installed American OV pickups it sounds excellent too.

    It isn't the most-used of my eight Teles – that would be the 1981-ish ESP 400-series (also Japanese) in my avatar pic – but for the purposes of the OP's question I'd say it's easily as good as any US Tele I've played and noticeably nicer than my AV62RI.
     
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  11. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    I own a MIJ Telecaster. Bought new here in Japan, in December 2017.

    It's a model that is no longer made (but can still be found in some places online) and has the awkward model name of 'Japan Exclusive Classic 60s Tele US Pickups.' The pickups in question are described as
    "American Vintage '62 Custom Single-Coil." The guitar is/was of average to lower price here in Japan - typically around the equiv. of US$770. So, I guess it is not a flash one, but rather a plain Jane model paired with slightly 'better' pickups. It was basically the successor to the TL62-US.

    I haven't really played many Japan Teles, but mine is super fantabulously excellent on the build front. I did shop around a lot and I looked at a huge number of Teles late 2017 when I was in the market. I always have a look too when I am shopping for something else these days.

    So, my honest opinion is that the made in Japan Teles I saw and now see were and are of equal or better fit and finish than comparable US made ones.

    My other honest opinion is that it doesn't really matter. To me Telecasters are the robust workhorses of electric music - two plain looking wooden parts, screwed together & with some metal parts added. So, I wouldn't really care if there was a slight imperfection or non stellar fit here or there. But if you do care (& nothing wrong with that either), then everything I've seen with recent Fender Japan stuff won't disappoint.

    This webpage will give you an overview of most of the current made in Japan Telecaster range. The Fender sites are all geo-locked / controlled, so this is probably a better way to see what's on offer. This might help with the question about what a 'high end' Fender Japan guitar is / means.

    The link should take you to the start of the models, but if it doesn't, scroll down past the bit about Chris Fleming and all the sales talk (which they've illustrated mostly with Stratocasters for some reason) to find the actual current Telecaster range.

    Google translate will give you an okay impression of the contents of the blurb under each model. More importantly, if you click on the red triangle where it says "Specification" under each model, you'll get a pop-up with all the specs for that model in English.

    https://www.ikebe-gakki.com/web-ikebe/Fender-Made-in-Japan/telecaster.html#telecaster

    Incidentally, 100,000 yen is around US$923 at the moment, so that will give you a rough idea of prices. The 80,000-ish yen models are about US$739, the 90,000 yen ones are US$832, and so on. The most expensive tele, right at the bottom, is around US$1537.

    Hope this helps.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  12. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many thanks Dean useful info and especially link.

    I personally think the build does matter in sorts of areas, but one thing about the Japanese necks I find is that they are super stable and the guitars hold their tuning as good any thing else in the upper market.

    Your choice sounds a god one. The American 62 Custom pickups are in my opinion one of the best choices for a 60s style tele. Great sound, no ice pick and well balanced.
     
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  13. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    MIJ at the time model numbers low to high. These days pretty much all Japanese "CIJ" are high quality, lower models made elseware.
     
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  14. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a '62 MIJ Custom Telecaster, the electronics were not "up to snuff" but the neck ,body & hardware are great. The neck is the same profile as a '67 Telecaster I used to own.

    I replaced the pick-ups with Seymour Duncans and used CTS pots, Orange drop cap & a 4 way switch.

    It's my favorite Telecaster now! If I had to sell either of my Telecasters I'd sell my '52 AVRI before i'd get rid of my MIJ.
     
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  15. malthus101

    malthus101 TDPRI Member

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    Great info everyone! I'm really thinking of just puling the trigger on this used MIJ - but they want $1250! Seems high...

    PS - anyone know what is meant by a "hybrid" model?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  16. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    Just wondering if you could clarify.

    With your first sentence, to what "time" are you referring? For example, I'm unclear whether you mean guitars marked MIJ from the early 80s - mid 90s period, or 'at this time.'

    With your second sentence, are you saying that there are currently fake guitars that are being passed off as early/mid 90s - 2015 CIJ guitars, and that this is being done in great numbers?

    Sorry for my obtuseness. Thank you.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  17. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    Well, Andetons has new hybrid ones for £919 / US$1,160. So, I'd say yeah, that seems rather high.

    There's also a spiel on the hybrid models at Andertons.

    https://www.andertons.co.uk/fender-mij-hybrid-telecaster-maple-neck-in-indigo

    In Japan these Telecasters come as Hybrid 50s and Hybrid 60s models.* As far as I can tell, they are traditional-ish guitars with some modern features, like a flatter radius fretboard and medium jumbo frets. The fretboards are rounded a little at the edges, the necks have a satin finish, bone nuts and the profile is listed as U shape. They both have four-way switching. It seems the hybrid 60s model has a mixing of 50s & 60s sound, with 60s style neck and body wood (alder), brass saddles and the same pickups as the 50s model (US made AV 58s?).

    What's confusing with the Andertons model above, is it is not listed by decade, as far as I can see. The neck would suggest it is the Hybrid 50s. But, the body is listed as alder and not the 50s model ash. Also, neither the 50s nor 60s hybrid models are listed as having an indigo colour option in the Japanese sites. A 'not for domestic sale' export model perhaps? I do like it though.

    That's about all I know. Hope it helps.

    Yoinks! Bed time! Night.

    Pax/
    Dean
    * sorry, just realised, also as Hybrid Telecaster Deluxe and Hybrid Telecaster Custom models.
     
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  18. malthus101

    malthus101 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks
     
  19. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Yes MIJ pre CIJ. I dont think there is any factory out making fake MIJ but more like people puting MIJ decals on squires and such, then ebay. No different than some puting Fender USA decals on MIM.
    BTW. I have a 93 TL43 lower model than yours, but still has all the good hardware, how does that work? Anyway its a great guitar.
     
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