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Telecaster Thinline - Fake? Looking for an ID on the body etc.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by NKMNKH, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. NKMNKH

    NKMNKH TDPRI Member

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    Gallery of guitar pics:

    TELECASTER?


    Well, it's sort of a Telecaster - it looks like a Telecaster Thinline, obviously. What exactly it is, I'm not sure, so that's what I'm here to find out. I've already searched through the forums a bit, learned a ton about Telecasters and guitars in general, but still no idea on my guitar ...

    It might be built from various parts, Telecaster and otherwise, I'm not sure. I do know that it sounds pretty dang good and that it plays like a dream. Seriously, the action on it is perfect - at least for me - everything feels very fluid and natural, all of my friends who play guitar pluck it away from each other and have trouble with preschool basics like taking turns and sharing when it comes to who gets to play this guitar, instead of their own Les Pauls or American Strats etc. Go figure.

    I believe this is an attempt at a counterfeit of a 71 to 73 era Telecaster Thinline, or maybe the Japanese version because they appear to have lifted real Japanese manufacturing stickers from another guitar ... The serial has an upside down 2 in it, oddly, and it traces to nothing according to a friend of mine (anyone with knowledge of such things is welcome to look into it, by all means, I don't know a whole lot on the subject.) I think the body must be from a reissue or a Squire or something? I just don't know. Given the radius on the neck (12) I think it may be a custom neck, but a licensed one maybe?

    But in the process of faking a valuable collector's guitar, they used some authentic (?) or nice parts or at least interesting ones and it resulted in a really cool guitar at a really great price for how it plays and sounds. I'm very pleased with my purchase and the fact that I've been playing about twice as long each day than I was previously reflects that! (Go ahead, guess what I paid - or tell me what you think it should be worth.)

    I live in Cambodia, and we get a lot of Japan's oddball and cast-off instruments here, they arrive in big freight containers on the massive ocean going container ships and get sorted initially at the dock by guys who've been given varying degrees of training or experience doing this. Imagine what gets rejected and tossed in the garbage heap occasionally just out of ignorance!

    At any rate, I guy I know has a Vintage Guitar shop here that basically consists of some of the gems + some more unique items from those Sihanoukville docks. He sold me the guitar. He said he wasn't sure how old any of it is, the body could be newer, could be some kind of Squier.

    The neck and head, no, they appear to be aged a bit. The neck has a 12 (flat) fretboard radius if that tips anyone off. I could only find one Telecaster model + some licensed custom necks that matched that. The hardware is also strange - should be all silver etc, but mine's gold inexplicably on the knobs.

    My neck plate has 4 bolts and is square, instead of 3 / triangular.

    The pickups have FENDER written or etched on them, but they don't appear to be Fender pickups. The bolt pattern on them suggests Gibson pickups, maybe Gibson SG or in that style.

    The telecaster logo on the headstock looks like it was (badly) laminated on somehow.

    The tuners are Wilkinson Deluxe.

    The two oddest things - though I don't think they'll give any clues as to the what has gone into this guitar parts-wise since I think they were put there in an attempt to fool people I guess - are the stickers:

    HEADSTOCK:

    IN JAPAN

    CO. SER. NO. LTD.

    1532762 ***

    *** The first "2" in the number is upside down. Yep, just on there upside down.

    INSIDE BODY (F HOLE):

    FENDER

    NIPPON GAKKI CO. LTD.

    MADE IN JAPAN

    This second label appears to be have been glued or hot glued down and the inside of the guiitar maybe artificially colored or darkened to make it blend more.

    OK ... any ideas? Does the body ring any bells? I don't want to know in order to sell it, by the way. I love the guitar, I'm perfectly happy with it, I just want to know whatever there is to know about it since I like it so much, as odd an instrument as it might be. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    My apologies if the pictures at my link aren't the greatest ever, but the front facing camera on my phone is broken and I'm using the "selfie" cam which makes it hard to aim (and reverses the text) but I think they are probably sufficient for our purposes here.

    Thanks and I look forward to learning from your collective expertise on all things Telecaster! If you need more info feel free to ask me here or at kell0470(AT)umn.edu

    Peace,

    ---- NK, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
     
  2. Terry O'Malley

    Terry O'Malley Tele-Holic

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    Couple of watch outs.......

    Those thinlines had F tuners, not Klusons..

    The black sticker is not something I have seen before....
     
  3. Chris H.

    Chris H. Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes as you suspected and for all the reasons you stated it's not a real Fender Thinline Telecaster, probably a chinese copy as we see alot of those around here, there used to be alot on ebay too until they clamped down on them.
    The first big giveaway is the bare truss rod access hole, never on non painted headstocks.
     
  4. Terry O'Malley

    Terry O'Malley Tele-Holic

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    Pickups are NOT WRHB's......

    Move on to the next one would be my suggestion.
     
  5. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    Every Fender Japan Thinline I've seen has had Klusons, and not F tuners.
     
  6. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, those aren't Fender Wide Range Humbucking Pickups. Also, the shape of the pickguard is slightly off.
     
  7. NKMNKH

    NKMNKH TDPRI Member

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    It could be a Chinese copy, but I've played an awful lot of Chinese guitars living out here the past 3 years and this one has them all beat hands down. I've played bass for over 20 years (and dabbled in guitar, but I've just recently begun making that more my focus) and I've owned some fairly nice instruments, nothing mind-blowing but up around the $1,000 price range. This honestly plays like something leaning towards that end of the spectrum, if not quite reaching it, than it does any of the Chinese instruments I've handled. The neck and the action are notably good.

    It has fairly decent tone and so forth as well (I think?) but it's hard for me to do a thorough critique of that aspect of it at this point because the amp I'm using is an oddball bass amp. It's actually a vocal or keyboard amp, an Ace Tone VM-45 with two channels. It's starting to show it's advanced age unfortunately. I play it with the bass set to maybe 3 of 10 and the treble jacked all the way to the right or else it sounds muddy to me - you get my point, it's a less than ideal amp situation for putting an instrument through its paces.

    Maybe it's part Chinese? Possibly the body, with an older neck salvaged for it? It might be a mash-up of stuff from different sources since whoever built it was apparently trying to make it into a fake Japanese Thinline or something and either gave up before attempting to finish detailing it or age it convincingly or he was hoping to find a blind buyer. Two stickers anachronistically placed on an older looking neck and a newer looking body with the wrong hardware and pickups is not going to fool anybody.

    So it could have some Chinese parts - I've yet to figure out where the body could possibly have come from, it doesn't match any Telecaster exactly that I can find - old or new or expensive or budget. Doesn't appear to be a Squier from the pictures I've found. You can see on the picture of it in profile that it's maybe composited together or something with that white strip going around the perimeter on the face side. I'm no luthier - maybe that's just cosmetic, but it seems like the spot where two wood pieces are joined (the flat face of the guitar and the rest of the body I guess ... if they even construct electrics that way, no clue, I love guitars but I've never wanted to know how to build one from scratch.)

    Thanks everybody who's taken a look at it and if anyone else has any ideas, fire away. Like I've been saying, what intrigues me so much about it isn't that it's a weird guitar - weird is the standard in Cambodia, there are weird guitars everywhere ...

    ... Weird guitars that sound and play like garbage, 99 out of 100 of them.

    This one definitely does not play badly, indeed it's notably good in that department. I know, hard to believe. Many of you reading this can probably outplay me in your sleep, but I'm not too shabby with either guitar or bass and I bought this particular guitar despite all of the obvious signs that it was a lame attempt at counterfeiting because of how good it felt playing it. Thus my curiosity as to its origins or its parts various origins if it's a Frankenstein (Frankencaster, I guess.)

    PS: Glad I found this forum by the way, when I've got some cash put together later this year I'm thinking about buying an authentic Telecaster, possibly even a 2014 model of some sort since I've actually never owned a "new" instrument before in over 20 years playing - I've always bought secondhand. I'd likely have to take a trip over to Ho Chi Minh or Bangkok to purchase one, but that'd be a fun excursion for some weekend. This forum will definitely help me decide which way to go when the time comes, lots of great info, thanks.
     
  8. NKMNKH

    NKMNKH TDPRI Member

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    Well, what have we here...

    The specter of a Chinese origin for my guitar got me thinking. Perhaps my "Telecaster" did come from China after all? So I did some Googling and...

    Check this out:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/72-T...itar-Kit-With-Semi-Hollow-Body/887322648.html

    That's quite possibly the body right there.

    But why order the kit when you can order it completed? Like right here:

    http://www.gillguitar.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=47&products_id=82

    Now, I don't know if the guitar I have is exactly the same as what Gill Guitar would send out for $150 ... but if it is, then I'd have to say you should go ahead and order one just for the hell of it, because against all odds what I have is a good guitar. I ***** you not. I overpaid for it apparently at $250 but I didn't feel like I did at the time and I don't really now. Go figure.

    The website for Gill Guitar takes pains, in broken English, to explain that their reproductions are high quality and I guess I'd have to agree pretty much. If what I have is representative of their work, those are the best $150 (new) guitars on Earth and I'm pretty amazed at what the Chinese are pulling off these days even if it is violating the trademarks and so forth of other companies in the process. The Japanese were the same way until lawsuits got them straightened out, and they were making better guitars than were being made in America for a while. I doubt China has gotten to that point yet, but they might some day by the way things are looking.
     
  9. Terry O'Malley

    Terry O'Malley Tele-Holic

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    So they do....I stand corrected. Just checked on fender Japan website......
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I just want to say my sister and brother in law visited Cambodia month before last and were amazed and so impressed with your country.

    Because we get fewer Japanese Fenders here in the USA than do the other guys here in the UK, and other markets outside North America, I'll always defer to them. I look at a lot of guitars, but not many MIJs or CIJs to be honest. Shops just don't have them here much anymore.

    About MIC guitars in general: They've some terrible stinkers and also some remarkably fine guitars - as wide a spectrum as one can imagine. My first question is, is the guitar and authorized repro (like a Squier Classic Vibe) or is it a cheat/counterfeit? If it says Fender on it and Fender hasn't Ok'd that, it is off the table.
     
  11. mojo2001

    mojo2001 Tele-Holic

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    FYI, Nippon Gakki is Yamaha.,,which is not to say that this guitar had anything to do with them either...
     
  12. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    I gotta say there are many "real" guitars out there from reputable companies . Plenty to go around. Then I go to one of those sites that are selling.............. knock offs and there are 1,000's of fake fender, prs, gibsons etc and I say to myself who is buying all these guitars?

    How many guitars can the human race support, fake or otherwise ?

    There are 1,000's upon 1,000's

    I can picture a front end loader with guitars in the bucket loading them onto a boat someplace .................

    Honest to God I don't know where they all go.

    Can somebody explain this to me in a financial way?

    I don't think this happens in the drum world does it?

    I'm going to go look up fake DW drums and see............

    Gary
     
  13. DRFP

    DRFP Tele-Holic

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    Any given day I can find at least 2 to 3 fakes that people bought are reselling with listings like

    "Telecaster" they are careful to not say "Fender" yet the guitar in the picture has a Fender decal and once looked at things to someone who knows, tell you its fake
     
  14. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Well I looked up fake DW drums and like I thought not allot out there.

    I think drums have too many parts and too much assembly labor involved to make it worth somebody's while.

    Guitars can be cranked out off a cnc machine and bolted together

    Still who on Gods' green earth is buying these things............ I mean there are 1,0000's

    Maybe I need some sleep?

    Gary
     
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