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1988 Fender Telecaster '72 Vintage Reissue TL72-55 Ash Natural, Japan MIJ Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1988 Fender Telecaster '72 vintage reissue in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This very early Fender Japan Tele was produced at the Fujigen factory in the golden age of Fender Japan production, rarely seen outside its country of origin. Threading the needle between Fender Japan's modern and vintage offerings, this guitar was offered in the '88 catalog as their "Current" Telecaster, with neck and body stamps reading CTL-50 (i.e. Current Telecaster), yet was marketed as the TL72-55 model, denoting a 1972 reissue.

The guitar boasts classic blackguard cosmetics and tonewoods, with a solid ash body and one-piece maple neck, and the guitar's natural acoustic tone is broad and authoritative, offering both warmth and muscle. The resulting tonal palette yields a bridge pickup that has ample twang and chime, balancing the attack and snappiness of maple with the midrange punch and sonic complexity of ash. The neck pickup has a smooth, open tone with warm lower mids and airy highs. The guitar weighs 8lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and 10-46 strings.

The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with nicely rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges in every register, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .880" at the 12th. The original slender frets retain their full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing only very light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5. The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and optimally adjusted. The nut measures 42.5mm in width (1.675"). The headstock features a '70s-style Telecaster block logo with the E-prefix serial number just below it, as well as original Gotoh tuners that turn very smoothly. The "Made in Japan" text is present above the four-bolt F neck plate.

All of the original electronics function as intended, with full size pots that date to February of 1988. Hardware includes the bridge with a trio of steel barrel saddles, and the chrome plating is bright and clean on the control plate and knurled knobs. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few scattered small dings and faint finish scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole, with a bit of requisite pick scuffing across the three-ply black pickguard. The gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.

A gigbag is included.