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Why are Japan Fender Telecasters selling so high?

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

  1. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    iv always just looked at Japanese products reflect on Japanese culture.. they are perfectionist. its a culture thing to be the best.. so i can only assume the made in japan fenders are as good as the parts they had the build them. the labor will be top notch. ( throw in the variable of wood.. and you wil have winners and losers like in all models from all guitar companys.. good thing we all hear different and we all like something a little different )

    my made in Mexico fender FSR proves to me.. its all about using the right parts, good manufacturing practices.. sharp tools. some pride.. and you can have a grat axe from any country..

    now i will blame the higher prices have nothing to do with quality parse.. and its just collectors trying to manipulate the market.. .

    chris.
     
  2. Dennis Brown

    Dennis Brown Tele-Meister

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    I have a Pawnshop 51, very close to US standards in quality. Those sell for 500-600 new, although some try to get more since "official street" is 800. If you wanted a Japan guitar, they are the best deal running. Texas special in the neck, and the Enforcer humbucker is the best humbucker I've seen in a Fender, and when tapped as a single coil, it is very good. the 3 way switch is weird, but that is an 8 dollar replacement part away from making that a very killer guitar. There just isn't any love for them....until you play one. The only weakness is the 1 5/8 wide nut, but otherwise the neck is flawless.
     
  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1
     
  4. oldspot

    oldspot Tele-Meister

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    I bought a new Japan 62 Custom RI in 1991. I couldn't afford a US vintage RI and didn't like the modern version, but this one was a keeper from the moment I picked it up. I think I paid £420, which was at the time about 75% of the cost of a new US Standard.

    It is now far from mint condition; the body is battered and chipped, the fretboard has some serious grooves and the frets are almost level with the wood in places. If I wanted to sell it I'd probably get people haggling at £250, but to be honest if someone knocked on my door and offered me £1000 for it, I'd decline.
     
  5. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

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    yeah i know that feeling. i have a made in japan Yamaha strat. it weighs more than any les paul iv picked up.. hard tail.. beat to hell. but sounds so good. i wont ever give it up, it needs fret attention( i think a fret dress would do, i wore grooves in her.. played to much i guess. :( ).. maybe one day ill get it back to playing status. its a great solid mahogany battle axe. literally. hah. iv also hung onto it thinking if i ever had a custom made tele/strat made id have them use that neck for a template etc, its perfect nice and chunky solid mahogany with rosewood slab.
    probably not worth 100.00. but i would not take a grand for it either. i just do not see another axe replacing that one any time soon. its a great sounding hard tail strat with its own voice. from the hay day of the 80s. rock on yamaha.. you made some great instruments in the 80s too. and of course still do.. even tho they are known for there pianos and what not more than guitars i guess.
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I mean this in the kindest, friendliest sort of way.

    But you simply have no idea what you're talking about. :)
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think a lot of people formed strong opinions in the 1980s, that MIJ was the best in part because they were well made combined with the wheels coming off the wagon in California.

    But IMO the Japanese craftsmen never made any radical advances as time went on, and the USA product went from questionable to good and just gets better, better and better, every year. Now today, this is more about what vibe you like in a guitar, as opposed to one being intrinsically vastly better than the other.

    This is like the Frog in the big pot of water on the stove. The water gets warmer so slow, he's unaware of the fact that he's just about fully cooked. USA models have just incrementally improved at a pace way greater than the MIJs and with all due respect which is best now might actually be better answered by someone who is new to Fender Teles and Strats; young and never owned older great MIJs and older crummy USA models - they're going to be more objective than we can be.
     
  8. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    yup .They take pride in their wood work ,refined finishes etc .They care .pickups are not so great but judging from the responses on here most people seem to swap pickups even on 10 grand custom shops :twisted::lol:
    They tend to use small MIJ pots but it doesnt mean they are crap just smaller .
    I have several .I thought the Classic Vibe series very good too .The yen is getting much cheaper if you import .
     
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think AUS and NZ, are excellent places to shop for MIJ and CIJ Fenders. You get mauled on the prices of USA and MIM guitars, not nearly so badly on the Japanese ones and my impression is availability wise, you guys have almost as many MIJs to choose from as we do even though you have far fewer people (and people who play).

    Price is generally about supply and demand. FMIC in the USA has systematically been excluding the most sought after Japanese Fender products from players here for quite some time (same thing with Canada). We (North America) got way too many people chasing too few J guitars, more than anything else.

    Hypo: Suppose after Mr. Schultz passed away, Fender closed all their production in the USA and Mexico, and had everything made in Asia. Japan first, and Korea, China and Indonesia fighting for the rest of the projects. Here's what would have happened in my view: MIJs would FALL in value. USA and MIM guitars already built and shipped would sell for astronomical markups. And 90% of the guys here would be speaking in extremely reverential tones about those wonderful Corona and Ensenada guitars and how impeccable and soulful and self playing and righteous they were and how sad it is there won't be any new ones.

    People want what they can't get or have to fight to get. This doesn't make Fenderjapan stuff bad, and it doesn't make talking about them into 100% hype. There's just a wee bit too much affinity that IMO would subside IF we could only get our hands on enough of them to pick the ones we like the best and find fault with the ones we weren't gonna buy. :D
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd agree in regard to any belief that MIJ are superior to USA Fenders, where it was true at one time, but not across the board.
    And in addition to the mid '80s new Fender comparison, there's the '90s and early 2000s used market, where used vintage style USA Fenders were way more expensive than used vintage style Japan Fenders.
    And third would be the current actual vintage Fender market.
    You can (IMO) start calling a 30yo Fender "vintage", and a mid '80s MIJ is a sort of fairly priced high quality "vintage" Fender.
    Sort of vintage.
    Sort of fairly priced, sometimes.

    I got my '85 MIJ PP Tele for $500 mint in around 2005, when USA reissues were around $1000 used.
    The MIJ looked, felt and sounded better to me, and was a few pounds lighter.

    The market is, as you point out, different today, as there are more good quality used Fenders to choose from, and the Japan Fenders are no longer cheap.
    Just great guitars if the price is right.
     
  11. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice attempt at thinly veiled prejudice...smh
     
  12. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    Not the electronics.
     
  13. ShadowChancer

    ShadowChancer Tele-Holic

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    Well in my experience

    My "go to" and indeed at the moment only tele is a MIK FSR Lite ash job and , Iv`e had a few , don't even have a back up as it is so consistent and reliable , I have never broken a string and I bend like a madman , I sold my American Special a few months back because , after spending a fortune trying to make it "worthy" of a place in my rack , couldn`t , piece of junk . Because it`s offshore it does not mean automatically inferior , the Japanese ones sell so well because they are so well built and sadly often beat the homegrown ones . It`s in the playability , not the origin . Don't confuse patriotism with quality and you cant go wrong , it`s about having a decent playable Tele , where it comes from is irrelevant :cool:
     
  14. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

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    For the most part, true. But not always. Higher-end ones have good stuff. And some of the older ones do too. I have an '85 that I bought in '89 and it has a good switch, good full-sized pots, etc. The electronics are fine.

    But I've also seen some MIJs (and owned some MIJs) with junk electronics.
     
  15. AZflyman

    AZflyman TDPRI Member

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    Supply and demand with a dose of fantasy

    They are expensive because the mass of them are not made in Japan anymore. Most of the woods come from their country of origin (mostly North America) no matter where the actual manufacturing is happening. A CNC machine in Mexico works the same as one in Japan, China, Indonesia, or the USA. The lower grade materials may be saved for one country or another and the hardware and electronics may be different but the machines and programming is the same. I don't believe for a minute that the Japanese electronics had any magic, as a matter of fact having been a tech at the time I know they did not.

    It's the same mystique that makes a 1952 Tele worth more than a 1954; 1952 was THE year. Or a 1963 (pre CBS) Strat more desirable than a late 1964 (all made with "pre CBS" inventory, there was a huge stockpile).

    Its mostly smoke and mirrors. Do a blind sound check between a MIJ Tele and a brand new Baja and I bet you like the sound of the Baja better both having an optimal setup.

    Sorry to pop anyone's bubble but for $600.00 worth of parts 90% of anyone on this forum can build a Tele that will stomp 95% of anything Fender has or will produce.

    AZ
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    COUGH CNC machines do not make guitars COUGH
     
  17. felis

    felis Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, me and a few other guitarists did, everyone of them choose the MIJ!
     
  18. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    My '84 MIJ Squier is my mostest favoritest strat I have ever played. In fact, I really haven't ever picked up a USA Strat that I have ever felt the need to own. I'm not totally crazy, I do realize it probably doesnt hold up to a Suhr or a Custom Shop, but compared to a modern production run of the mill USA, I'd take my Squier any day.

    My only issue with it is that the 30 year old pickups are about shot. I have had a David Gilmour EMG loaded pickguard ordered for it for months but for some reason EMG is ignoring the local ma and pa shop owner. So, i will probably never see it and luckily I havent paid for them yet. I know he has a used set of Lollars sitting around, maybe i can sweet talk him out of :cool:.
     
  19. Dennis Brown

    Dennis Brown Tele-Meister

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    CNCs mainly decide what part of the wood is thrown away, so I fail to see how it makes a difference whether it is cut by a man on a bandsaw or by CNC. The real difference when it hits the showroom is setup, electronics chosen, wood stock, fit and finish. Which tool cut away the waste wood seems less important.
     
  20. Tone Chase

    Tone Chase Tele-Meister

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    I have owned many guitars in my life. There are 18 keepers at this time.

    It is very close to a 50/50 split between USA/Japan for me. I have one Korean Alvarez tele.

    I never bought with country of origin in mind. It just happened that way.

    Most of the guitars that I buy, are bought by how they feel, without even plugging them in. Electronics and pickups can be changed if necessary.

    My experience is that most of my guitars, are just fine as purchased; other than setup.
     
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