Up for sale, a 1982 Fender Telecaster '52 reissue model TL52-95 in 100% original condition and in perfect working order. A first-year example of Fender Japan's top-tier Tele model, this early JV-serial Tele is loaded with stock USA-made Fender Fullerton-era gray bobbin pickups and features a genuine nitro lacquer Butterscotch gloss finish. The tone is very representative of the articulation, twang, and dynamic liveliness of Fender's first Blackguard Teles, and other vintage-spec touches include flathead screws used throughout, brass bridge saddles, a serialized bridge base, and pencil-dated neck heel.
Made in the first year of Fender Japan production, this rare model was made exclusively for the Japanese domestic market as part of the "Japanese Vintage" (JV) line which only lasted from 1982-84. These extremely well-crafted instruments paralleled Fender USA’s reissue production at the Fullerton factory, and as such this JV Tele features the same gray bobbin single coils and CTS pots seen on its USA-made counterpart. Built on the traditional tonewood platform of a premium ash body and one-piece maple neck, this guitar is a dynamic and soulful instrument with the expected midrange complexity, resonance, and top-end articulation, accentuated by the sparkling, well-defined pickups. The Fullerton pickups are Fender's very first "reissue" single coils, with vintage-spec flat pole alnico magnets and cloth covered wire. It's extremely rare to find a Japanese Tele with this pickup complement, and the bridge pickup delivers a dynamic, chewy twang, while the neck pickup has ideal fullness and bell-like top end. The guitar weighs 7lbs 8oz, dialed in with low action and fresh 10-46 strings here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.
The maple neck has an inviting and comfortable modestly slender C shape with moderate shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .820" deep at the 1st fret and graduating to .920" at the 12th. The slender vintage-spec frets are intact on the 7 1/4" radius fretboard, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive truss rod. The nut is a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1.665" in width (just shy of 1 11/16"), and the headstock retains the original Kluson-style tuners which turn smoothly. Fender's earliest JV Teles like this example have a fractionally larger "Fender" script headstock logo, with microscopic "Made in Japan" text below it. The neck heel is pencil dated 10-9-82.
The body features a treasure trove of vintage correct touches, with all slotted screws, domed knurled knobs, appropriately matte finished single-ply pickguard, brass saddles, and a serial number with the JV-prefix on the bridge plate. The electronics are 100% original, with the USA-made Fender Fullerton pickup pair wired to the original USA-made CTS pots which date to the 9th week of '82. The chrome plating on the hardware is positively gleaming, and even the original "ashtray" bridge cover is included.
The body is finished in genuine nitro lacquer, and the Butterscotch gloss highlights the prominent grain of the ash body. A previous owner penned a very clean ode to The Clash on the bass-side lower bout on top, with the text "The Guns of Brixton." Beyond this unusual marking, there are various dings and small finish chips on the body perimeter, a few small marks on the lower bout on top, and light finish wear where the forearm crosses the top. The smooth ambered nitro lacquer gloss on the neck profile highlights light figuring along the profile length, with just a couple tiny shallow marks behind frets 1-2 and very minor wear on the fretboard gloss as well in the same area.
This very early JV Tele is a rare chance to own one of the best, rarest, and most collectable Telecasters ever produced by Fender Japan, lauded for its incredible accuracy and premium fit and finish work.
The original Fender-branded gigbag is included.