Up for sale, a 1983 Fender Telecaster '52 reissue model TL52-65 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. An extremely well-kept example, this early JV-serial Tele is unique in that it has a thick slab rosewood fretboard, a non-catalog feature (body and neck are a factory match). The guitar is loaded with stock black bobbin pickups, and the tone is very representative of the articulation, twang, and dynamic liveliness of Fender's first Blackguard Teles.
Produced early in the second 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. Built on the traditional tonewood platform of a premium ash body, maple neck, and the aforementioned rosewood slab fretboard, 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 bridge pickup delivers a dynamic, chewy twang, while the neck pickup has ideal fullness and bell-like top end. The guitar weighs 8lbs 3oz, dialed in with low action and fresh 10-46 strings here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.
The maple neck has a medium depth profile carve, splitting the difference at the nut between a very soft V and a C shape, and gaining a bit more shoulder and overall roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .935" at the 12th. The extremely dark slab rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4" radius, and the practically perfect slender frets show just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. The frets retain their full factory height, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut is a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1.650" (42mm) in width, and the headstock has the large script Fender logo and microscopic "Made in Japan" text consistent with the earliest Fender Japan JV instruments. The neck heel is pencil dated 1-23-83.
The body features a treasure trove of vintage correct touches, with all slotted screws, domed 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 black bobbin pickup pair wired to the original pots which date to 1982. The chrome plating on the hardware is positively gleaming, and the pickguard shows some buckling on the bass side, yet secures as it should via all mounting holes.
The Butterscotch gloss finish is extremely thin, resulting in a more acoustically resonant instrument, and the grain of the ash body can be felt through the finish. Cosmetic wear is limited to light buckle rash central to the back, with a few additional minor nicks and scuffs on the body as a whole. The ambered gloss finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth.
The original Fender strap is included, along with a modern gigbag.