Tele Purchase Decision: '85 MIJ vs Baja - Help!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jaketone, Mar 15, 2017.

1985 MIJ TL52-70 (or 75) or 50s Baja (with short explanation essay!)

  1. Japan baby!

    61.2%
  2. Baja baby!

    38.8%
  1. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I'll try to keep this short..

    I am looking to upgrade from a CV50 BSB. It's such a great guitar but the neck is a little slim and as good as it sounds, it does just feel a little cheap.. I like the 3 saddle bridge and string through body.

    I am away for work and about an hours drive from my hotel is a Fender Japan 1985 TL52-75 (I think it might actually be a TL52-70 due to the manufacture year, but the neck pocket is hard to read).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    To test it out, I have to hire a car, drive for an hour and although it seems like its in great shape, I need to be prepared to walk away if it isn't right.

    The alternative to this is to walk into a store when I get home and pickup a new Baja 50s tele.

    I am pretty well read in the physical differences and tone wise I have some idea of what to expect.. but I would love some input from you all about what you would choose and why.

    My heart says get the Japan fender - 32 years young, has stories to tell from its age and (from what I read) is likely to be an excellent quality instrument.

    My head says, get the new Baja, enjoy the 4th position, enjoy all the modern refinements with the classic looks and sounds.

    FYI - I am in Australia so prices are just ridiculous compared to anywhere else in the world. Thats why I'm not looking at 52 reissues AVRI, CS etc.

    MIJ - $1000 (plus travel costs and getting the damned thing home)
    New Baja - $1450

    What say you TDPRI!?
     
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  2. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    MIJ - no contest. The poll at this point agrees with me 100% :lol:

    As you play your guitar with your heart, you should buy with it too.
     
  3. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    Nice! You didn't hesitate about MIJ... any particular reason?
     
  4. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    I know the topic has been done on here in a few different flavours but I am really torn..!
     
  5. GK34

    GK34 Tele-Meister

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    Tough call. I don't have much experience with the MIJ Fenders. I hear great things. I voted for the Baja just because I'd take a Baja over just about anything. I have a 50s and 60s Baja and love them both. The neck on the 50s Baja is very special, and since you said you find the CV neck slim I think you would like the Baja neck.
     
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  6. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here we go...

    I have a 1985 Squier Strat and the build quality is excellent - the neck is the best I've ever played. I love MIJ guitars from that era - I also have a 1977 Yamaha SG which is the best sounding guitar with humbuckers I've played - my bandmates took the p1ss for me buying a MIJ guitar. The same people have since tried to buy it off me! I once had the chance of buying a gorgeous MIJ Tele Custom around 1990, but I paid the extra to get a USA Standard. If only I could wind the clock back... The difference in effort required to get either means by the time you get MIJ home, there's already some of 'you' invested in it.
     
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  7. mowgli5555

    mowgli5555 Tele-Meister

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    MIJ.... You won't regret it. Josh
     
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  8. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    ...And I had nearly talked myself out of renting a car..!

    It would be nice to have an instrument that is a bit rare/special I guess.. Not to say that Bajas aren't amazing, but they are a bit easier to find.

    Going to have to sleep on this one.. but I do see a car trip in my future..

    Any other thoughts?
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Get the Baja.

    To me the only reason to get the MIJ is the collector-think of price increase gambling, because that is what the whole MIJ game is about. The Romance. Getting a guitar to play would be a better plan for me.

    I miss the 4-way switch on any regular Tele, so of those I'd want to drop the 4-way in the MIJ and then the collector value plummets.

    Can you find a used Baja? Ship one from 'the States'? Even paying a good setup/check out or fret leveling if it's heavily used, would be a good option and the same kind of guesswork on the MIJ you have to travel so far to look at.

    .
     
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  10. mowgli5555

    mowgli5555 Tele-Meister

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    I for one have never cared for MIJ price rising. In fact, I couldn't care less if they held zero future value.
    When I found my MIJ 40th Tele, I knew I was going to be its last owner anyway.

    MIJ, MIM, MIA, MIC, MII, MOE, who really cares. Whichever plays better is the one to get.
    My #1 was made by a Canadian and has held up to every USA guitar that it has met. Josh
     
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  11. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    whats the question again ? Why is there a question ?

    MIJ TL-52

    Funny, getting an MIJ is not game ! it's a really nice guitar !
     
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  12. Justjammin

    Justjammin Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I prefer the MIJ, don't really care about the originality value, more on the build quality.
    I upgraded the electronics saddles and added Keystones, done.

    I have an 8502 and an American Deluxe, with fatter necks and different profiles, if I was on the hunt, it would be for another MIJ.
     
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  13. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    The Baja will be ready to go...straight out of the store. No worries about reliability or quality- and with a guarantee. The MIJ may or may not have 'Mojo', good pickups, reliable wiring and a whole set of other intangibles. The fatter neck of the Baja seals the deal, for me. You will need to take a trip, if you are undecided...... :)
     
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  14. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    I just missed out on one for less money than the MIJ! :eek: $900 I think

    They are in demand here because no one seems to want to sell them once they get them.. there are lots of wanted ads!
     
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  15. Jaketone

    Jaketone TDPRI Member

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    I think I might have to make a trip...:confused:
     
  16. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'll have to be very hard up to sell my MIJ Strat...
     
  17. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go with the neck you like the feel of most. Both are fine guitars. FWIW I always found the MIJ pickups a little lacking. YMMV.
     
  18. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never played a MIJ Tele but own two Bajas that are great guitars, play well and although new have a nice vibe. The MIJs get great reviews but most folk seem to change them pretty much as soon as they get them. Bajas on the other hand seem to stay relatively unmolested.
     
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  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Unless you just really want an old guitar I'd go Baja all the way.

    I think MIJ just gains cache from being somewhat rare anywhere but Japan, to be honest.

    I've owned a Japan Strat. Shell pink, Nice guitar but no nicer than any other MIM for instance. And as others note, in many models the electronics and pickups are not that great. So if you determine that is the case in the one you are looking at, the cost may end up very comparable.
     
  20. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's

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    What kind of pups are in the MIJ? I have an 85 Squier that came with some real crap ceramics. I recently installed a Broadcaster type bridge pup and a Twisted Tele neck so it's basically a Baja minus the 4 way and with a more vintage neck. The best part of the guitar imo.
    I guess my point is the MIJ is a stellar looking guitar and you can shove in whatever pups you want.
    I say go for a little Fender history.
     
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