Mid 1980s MIJ Tele - information required

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Heavy Tele, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    Telecaster MIJ mid 1980s.jpg
     
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  2. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    Just joined this forum today.
    I have a mid 1980s Candy Apple Telecaster Made in Japan (probably 1985) and wish to get some details on the type of wood the body was most likely made from.
    It's in original condition apart from the new bridge plate (the replaced plate was an ashtray type which I have kept)
    The rear plate has the Fender name tag but no other details like serial numbers on the guitar (the neck hasnt been taken off)
    If there is another thread that deals with these types of Tele guitars from the 1980s please direct me to it.
    Otherwise I look forward to any responses.
    Cheers.

    (this guitar was mainly used for soundscape recordings, blues and general jamming. It also had a VG88 MIDI pick up attached to it at one point. An additional pick up was positioned near the bridge and a controller attached on the body with the lead coming off to the unit/amp)
     
  3. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    :):)
     
  4. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    do you have any other pics? looks like a cool guitar! Fender Japan made a 62 Custom RI model during that time period, like yours, they have bound body. most i have seen are sunburst.

    you can search for MIJ info on this forum or on the interweb. Early MIJ can be challenging to date, if you take the neck off there may be some stamps on the neck that can help. somewhere on the back of the neck above the plate, it should say Made in Japan

    its probably a basswood body. Generally the Fuji-gen factory made quality guitars, with nice fit and finish. do you have the original bridge?

    enjoy!
     
  5. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply Hollowman.
    I dont have any more pics on this PC - just took that one with my iPhone and cropped it. I will take a pic of the bridge plate or tail piece and post it.

    The only other problem I have had with this guitar was recent and that was some noisy pots which is common after 30+ years.

    It has a nice clean rich tone even when played through a modest Amp, or DI.

    Initially when I purchased it, I just assumed it was a US made Tele. I have since found out that in the mid-1980s Fender stopped making guitars in the US and made them in Japan. This was obviously one of them.

    It has really held up very well over the years. I was just wondering if the Japanese were doing anything different like using different wood for the body, or with the finish or electronics.

    Anyway, cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  6. robinsong

    robinsong Tele-Meister

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    I have one in sunburst, the date is penciled on the neck heel . It is an ‘85 and the body is alder.
     
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  7. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    what is an "alder" body ?
     
  8. forensicdoc

    forensicdoc Tele-Meister

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    I also have a mid-80's MIJ Tele which I believe to be a '62 Custom RI. Don't know much else about it. Previous owner bought it online and had it imported from Japan. He also replaced the stock pickups with Lollars which are so sweet. It's become my favourite Tele, beating out my previously favoured 52 RI.
     

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  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    My old guitar teacher had a 90s Donahue Tele candy apple bound, MIJ. Back then the US Donahue's were black or sunburst I think.

    The neck was a 57-style V-neck maple one piece. The body under the candy apple was, visibly under the poly, two alder veneers about 1/8" thicker than the binding sandwiching what appeared to be a basswood core which was visible as a pale timber in the pickup and neck pocket routes.

    It was a great boingy, bright guitar, lots of snap. We put Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer low inpedance bigpole pickups in it - awesome bark and bite.
     
  10. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    Looks identical to my mid 80s MIJ 62 reissue. candy apple red
    Very well made and the finish on the body has held up well for over 30 years.
    IMG_1682.JPG
     
  11. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

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    These are some seriously gorgeous guitars guys :)
     
  12. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    if it is MIJ, as i mentioned before, the fit and finish are usually outstanding. i would recommend replacing the pickups, pots and wiring. i have always thought the electronics were a bit week in these guitars, but just my opinion. If someone replaced the bridge already, then this perhaps has already been done... Alder is a tree. will be heavier than Basswood...
     
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  13. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    The pots are the main electronic components that went a but noisy over the past 5 years, but the guitar wasnt used as much during that period. (I was more into synths and mandolin during that period).

    The MIJ Teles dated 1985/56 had thicker wiring and quite high quality components for that period.

    The second law of Thermodynamics also tells us that things dont last for ever
     
  14. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Had a MIJ 55 reissue from 85 it was a solid beautiful burst with medium C shape maple neck.

    The pickups and electronics were junk.....I put a 57 classic in the neck and a quarterpounder in the bridge and changed the pots and jack (not the jackplate it was fine as was all the hardware) So yeah I made it into a beast!

    Great, great guitar wish I still had it.....but I like these red bound rosewood neck beauties here even more!

    So, I'd recommend changing all the electronics as others have said. There are multiple eBay seller who build quality assemblies that's where I'd start now, it was harder and more soldering iron intensive back in the day!

    I like my SD STR 1 and 2 I just loaded in another tele (love actually) but quality pickups for telecaster are everywhere and there are many opinions here on the forums.....
     
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  15. Dr. Bill

    Dr. Bill Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one of those MIJ CAR models like the one pictured for years. I replaced the pickups with Duncans, but otherwise found it to be a great instrument.
     
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    The heel of the neck should state TL 62 or something like that. The first MIJ 62 RI's came out of the Fuji factory until 96/97 then the factory moved across town. The label went from MIJ to CIJ . So MIJ pre 1996, CIJ post 1996, in that area. Most were Basswood bodies, some were Alder. Reason being Basswood is pretty close to Alder wood-wise plus it is in abundance in Japan, while Alder is not.

    These C shaped 7.25 radius guitars were excellent craftsmanship. Very consistent. Perhaps a tad brighter than a 52/RI's by comparison but great playing guitars if you happen to like the neck profile. These guitars also lean towards LIGHTER rather than heavier than a typical factory Tele.

    Pickups etc are an opinion, some like them so do not. Just like any electric guitar.

    I have an 87 Sunburst, I consider it one of the best Telecasters I have ever owned. I should bring it out more. Mine is totally stock, no changes. A bit brighter than I prefer but not an issue.

    The value of the guitars is UP, well over a grand and holding there own.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  17. Heavy Tele

    Heavy Tele TDPRI Member

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    thanks for that...
     
  18. drail

    drail Tele-Meister

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    I have a 1984 mij sunburst tele , basswood body and had rosewood neck fingerboard that I later changed to all maple neck, The old neck needed a fret job. I love this guitar, when I bought this I think it was the first year fender had them.
     
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  19. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    side note. The factory stock guitars came with 3-piece grooved steel saddles. Easy to put this guitar back to factory stock condition which would most likely be more attractive to future buyers ! Modding a Tele is one thing, modding a 62Ri where there are not all that many around is quite another. My take, mod a Tele that is in abundance, keep the ones that are not so abundant factory stock. Thats just me.


    IMG_8994.JPG
     
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  20. robinsong

    robinsong Tele-Meister

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    Really? Alder is a type of wood.
     
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