Need advice choosing between 2 Japanese Telecasters

10charactername

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Hello everyone, glad I found this thread as information on Japanese Teles is available but not very specific in regards to two models I am interested in.

I am looking at either a new production model, MIJ Traditional 50s Telecaster, that retails for 90k Yen, has a maple neck, Basswood body, Gloss Polyester finish on the body and gloss urethane on the neck, pickups listed it just says vintage style single coils.

Manufacture number is: 5360102350

Ok, that guitar is around 1000 shipped to the USA.

The other model I'm considering is the Made in Japan Heritage 50s Telecaster.

This guitar also has a maple neck, an Ash body, nitrocellulose lacquer over urethane finish, listed as Premium vintage style single coils.

This Heritage model is around 1700 shipped to the USA

Ok, obviously the Heritage series guitar is the nicer guitar, but is it 700 dollars better?

Ive read a lot about Japanese Teles having squier level electronics, and I'm wondering if the Traditional 50s Telecaster also will have this issue or if the 90k yen price will allow for better electronics.

Thanks for looking at this, if anyone has any experience with either of these models I would appreciate some input, thanks!
 

Dylan888

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I bought the MIJ Traditional 50s Telecaster about a year ago. I was generally very happy with it. The pickups did seem a little on the cheap side but fairly good. Seemed to me pretty similar to those on a MIM road worn tele. What I really loved about it was the neck: very well made and solid… not too chunky. It has quite a glossy finish but it’s not at all sticky. Always feels smooth and slinky and it has perfect vintage style frets. I ended up using the neck for a new partscaster project (the guitar on the left).
 

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bgmacaw

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Ive read a lot about Japanese Teles having squier level electronics, and I'm wondering if the Traditional 50s Telecaster also will have this issue or if the 90k yen price will allow for better electronics.

I don't know about the Traditional 50s Telecaster specifically but recent production MIJ Fenders typically have very good quality components.

Some online opinions you may run across date back to the 80's and 90's models where lower quality components were used in some cases (the same is true of some MIM models from that time as well). Today, components are much better quality than they were then, even in Squiers.
 

10charactername

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Thanks to Dylan888 and bgmacaw for the informative replies.

Dylan888, I'm glad you mentioned the frets as the only video review that discussed the frets in depth complained that the frets were too low, which to me is a big plus, low action and low frets all the way for me. Good info about the pickups as well thanks

bgmacaw, good info related to the dismissal of Fender Japan components as being junk and cheap being based on 30+ year old models.
 

Peter Graham

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What follows is, of course, just opinion, but I recently bought a made in Japan 50's Traditional Telecaster and it is a fine guitar. I understand they are not typically available in these parts, but for whatever reason a consignment came over to Europe last Autumn. I was looking for my (first) Telecaster and had already settled on a Player. My local guitar shop got one of the Traditionals, so I went to give it a go. The staff at the shop were pretty excited about it (especially the resident Tele-aficionado!) and they sat me down to do a compare and contrast against other Teles, including the Squier and the Player. For me, it left them for dead - responsive, a beautiful, crisp tone, great sustain even when unplugged (shades of Spinal Tap here) and classic looks.

It was priced at about American Performer level but arguably has greater equivalence to the American Professional II. I couldn't say no, so I didn't......
 

Caffiend

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As someone who bought a MIJ E series Squier in the 80’s, the pickups were the big let down at the time- once they’d been swapped out for something better (I used sh American pickups from someone upgrading their American Strat). Apart from that and the zinc block you’d be hard pushed to find any quality difference between it and any other good Fender. To be perfectly honest, when I hear people dismissing out of hand any non-American instruments or parts I just add them to my list of people to take with a ton of salt when looking for opinions.
 

ChrisDowning

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I had a Jerry Donohue Telecaster with the basswood body. It really did ding very easily but apart from that top rate. I'd prefer an ash or alder MIJ version personally - but absolutely no issues with MIJ - they are great.
 




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