1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Why are Japan Fender Telecasters selling so high?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DRFP, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Billy Porter

    Billy Porter Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    101
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Location:
    Northumberland

    Wasn't meant to be offensive at all - honestly. If you have taken offense I apologise for doing so. I am also not inferring any tacit form of racism either. This is why I rarely post on forums as expressing an opinion always upsets someone. I will therefore just lurk here and refrain from making 'offensive' opinions

    What I wass trying to express is that we al have a bit of patriotism and wish to support our fellow countryman - if you haven't then fine, but others may do. As I tried to point out, if Fender were British I may personally see things differently and wish to buy British and that may taint my judgement

    Just for info, I have American, Japanese and Mexican guitars, an American amp and have made guitars using Chinese parts

    Many years ago I bought some 'British' Dunlop TT100 tyres for my Honda motorcycle only to discover when I was putting them on that they were made in France. :lol:
     
  2. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,995
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Location:
    England
    The answer to the original question must in part be because they get so much love here at TDPRI. My own experience of Japanese made was an original Squier P bass i bought in around 82. Best bass i ever owned, period.
     
  3. STRAT'71

    STRAT'71 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Billinge, England
    Why the need to apologise?
    You said nothing wrong.
     
  4. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,618
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Boston

    No offense taken, no need to apologize, and no reason to stop posting.
     
  5. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,485
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    Mij guitars have been my weakness of late.
    I wouldn't say they have gone up in price round Australia.
    Some guys ask over the $1000 mark but I doubt they sell them at that.
    Mostly around the $600- $700 range.
    The switches are the first thing I pull out, the pups are ok.
     
  6. lancefrei

    lancefrei TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Location:
    Cleveland
    I bought a 1991 MIJ TL-52 for a very reasonable price several years ago. The guitar sounds great. Here are a few observations.
    The neck pocket is perfectly sized to the neck. It's tight but not unbearably so.
    The strings line up dead centered on the neck. And the spacing of the strings is as even as I've ever seen on any Telecaster.
    I've never done anything to the electronics and they continue to this day to have no static or crackling, neither the pots nor the switch. The pickups have that solid twang I expect out of a Tele.
    This guitar has a very glossy poly finish on it, but I am in the camp that believes finishes don't really affect the sound of electric solid body guitars.
    It's funny... I have another Tele-style guitar that was custom made by a well-regarded luthier who specializes in recreating vintage Teles and Strats. That guitar has high-end custom pickups and vintage saddles, super thin nitro finish and a light body. (The Japanese Tele weighs a little more.) But I can play those two guitars side-by-side and the MIJ holds its own every time.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. caliban335

    caliban335 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,965
    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Over the past 10 years I've purchased seven MIJ or CIJ Telecasters. Some have been subsequently sold. The most I've ever paid was $650 USD, once for a Pink Paisley and once for a Jerry Donahue. The least I've ever paid was $500 USD, oddly enough for another Donahue.

    Unless in terrible condition, I doubt many Fender Japan Teles have been sold on eBay for $300 - $400 USD.

    FWIW, I've also bought MIJ or CIJ Strat, Mustang, Jazzmaster, Jaguar & Jaguar Baritone guitars. They all have excellent build quality and often include feature sets that can't be had with MIM or MIA product.
     
  8. FlyingFool

    FlyingFool TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I traded for a Fernandes and it is a great sounding tele. Not sure the year but guessing 80's. I havn't ran across many with Humbucker. Any ideas on year?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. FlyingFool

    FlyingFool TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Location:
    Arkansas
    couple clearer ones
    only numbers are on where neck mounts to body, cant make them out
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DRFP

    DRFP Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    704
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Location:
    Memphis
    For some reason Japan has always been seen as inferior ( not my opinion) , it may have to do with Ancient history as recent as WWII, but the victors write the history ( go to bad dog cafe to talk on this) Japan may be able to produce a Fender that is comparable in quality to a MIA guitar, I get that, so do many MIM too. Japan produced a watch that beat the Swiss in accuracy and precision ( SEIKO did it) years ago when the Swiss sponsored competitions, after that day they stopped hosting these competitions, Swiss craftsmanship is very good but the Japanese proved they too could match it, Swiss did not want to lose #1, due to Cork sniffing snobs Japan took a back seat ( to this day)



    So I was wondering why the price is high, as much or more than a used MIA guitar ( the MIJ I have seen are used 500 to 1000) and I have read many responses on these here..............
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  11. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,315
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Canada

    I think it's a stretch to say that MIJ's are fetching more than MIA. Most MIJ's I've seen around my area (and there's a lot owing to the high number of MIJ imports to Canada during the JV period) sell for around $700.

    That amount might get you a used MIA Standard (in Canada), but only on a very good day or when the condition is suspect.

    I've seen MIJs listed for much higher than the average price, but it's usually by some wag (I've met a few) who's convinced his 80s MIJ is a precious artefact of infinitely superior quality to any MIA guitar -- which is merely delusional. Yes, MIJs compare in quality to MIAs, but at best its 6 of 1/ half dozen of the other. I doubt that the inflators get many sales.
     
  12. Marshal28

    Marshal28 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    28
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Location:
    Wisconsin
  13. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    4,480
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    I had a bunch of the JV Squiers from the early 80´s way back.They were pretty good guitars , today I would guess most of the CV Squiers from China are as good or better.....
    The JV´s fetch higher prices today because of the internet hype , and we bought them back then because they were rather cheap , and better than most of the 70´s Fenders you could buy slightly used.
    No matter how much we discuss stuff these days on the internet , making a decent guitar isnt really that hard.......Trouble was that a lot of used and new Fenders back then were really bad........sorry.
     
  14. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,462
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland.
    seems a wee bit steep, even for an 80's model, especially with all the upgrades, strange that there is an American standard there for $50 less. If you're going then go play them anyway, keep playing until you find the right one, doesn't matter where it came from.
     
  15. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,963
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    los angeles
    How is $700 high? A MIM classic series goes for more than that (typically $800) and a MIJ is going to be worth more used if you want to sell it, not to mention they are considered as well made as USA fenders and some say better. I'm in the process of buying one directly from Ishibashi for a bit LESS than that. Over $100 less than a MIM classic series goes for here, and that includes shipping. It's also a 62 custom which you can't get in the classic series, but would cost even more if you could.

    In case you never heard the now proverbial story about fender's reaction to MIJ's when they first saw them. I believe it was Dan Smith at fender who said in an interview after seeing the quality of the japan fenders that they were shocked because they saw quality on a level fender USA has been aspiring to but not yet attained. (paraphrasing) That was the first step in fender upping the quality level to match, but some say the MIJ stuff remains as high quality as anything fender has done since. Maybe, maybe not considering custom shop stuff. But it's certainly nothing to sneeze at.
     
  16. Fred Rogers

    Fred Rogers Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,543
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Location:
    Long Island
    My MIJ teles are right up there with my MIA teles. They are all great quality instruments. My only complaint with the MIJ teles is they seem to mostly sell them with a 7.25 neck radius.
     
  17. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,978
    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    Out there
  18. felis

    felis Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Location:
    Antwerp/Belgium
    This↑↑↑↑

    I have respect for Fender and for their original design.
    But my late '70 and early '80 Tokai Fender replicas made my Fender guitars redundant, so I sold them and never looked back.
    I now only have Tokais, I think (to me) they're the better instruments.
     
  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    26,671
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    It's been mentioned but often ignored that many different models were MIJ, and the cheaper ones were truly cheaper.
    IME the '80s MIJ Squiers had lower quality hardware, but the bodies and necks were top quality.
    I buy cheap, won't pay fair value, hunt for bargains, and try to convince myself that there is top quality available for cheap prices.
    Only USA and MIJ guitars and parts end up staying 'round here.

    The tired argument that all factories use CNC means very little in the end result.
    Workers season, select, grain orient, and attach the wood before CNC machining.
    Then workers inspect, REJECT, assemble, glue, sand, fret grind, polish, spray, buff, assemble, test, adjust, test...

    How good they want to make it and how bad they are willing to let go is where the quality happens.
    Part of the intention happens in wood selection, seasoning and blank orientation.
    The number of cheaper guitars I see with wavy, twisted, out of parallel grain often surprises me, but to make a guitar cheaply you have to keep the line moving, not look too close, not reject inferior parts and materials, not spend too much time finishing, and not care too much about the finished product.
    The wood in a guitar neck should be seasoned for years before milling, and then again seasoned after rough milling, in order for it to be stable and carry an even bow.
    The truss rod cannot correct an uneven grain- humped or twisted neck, even if it's only tens of thousandths out.

    The CNC machine is not a deciding factor, aside from reducing the number of skilled workers in a factory.
     
  20. Fatschlamp

    Fatschlamp Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    416
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    yep - MIJs are only just below american standards at used prices here in australia, too. i've had a couple and the reason is, apart from the pups which are getting better and more varied, they're a well made guitar. especially (for me) the rosewood neck models. if you take a walk around japan, you'll quickly notice their musical culture - the cities are full of specialist music and instrument shops. there is one CD shop in osaka that sells only bootlegs! my point is, that these characteristics ultimately show in the gear they produce.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.