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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 model TL72-55 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This early Fender Japan Tele was produced at the venerable Fujigen factory during the golden age of “Made in Japan” Fender production, rarely seen outside its country of origin.

Tonewoods include a one-piece maple neck and an ash body with notably dynamic grain. Acoustically, this guitar channels the natural midrange authority and note attack of ash, with the added treble detail of the maple neck; qualities translated well by the stock pickup complement. The bridge position single coil delivers ample chewy twang and chime, while the neck has a smooth, open tone with a warm midrange and airy highs. This Tele weighs 7lbs 12oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a modestly slender C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders in every register, measuring .825” deep at the 1st fret and .910” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius with slender frets that retain their full factory height and well-rounded crowns, showing only the faintest hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-2. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 42mm (1.650") in width. The headstock features a ‘70s-style Telecaster block logo with the E-prefix serial number below it, and the Gotoh tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The “Made in Japan” text is present above the four-bolt F-embossed neck plate.

All of the electronics function as intended, with untouched solder joints and full-size Japanese pots dated to January, 1988. The control plate and knurled knobs have bright chrome plating, with a light dusting of patina on the “Pat. Pend.” bridge base and trio of steel saddles. Plastics include the three-ply black pickguard which has some light scuffing on the treble side of the pick path.

The gloss finish splits the difference between Natural and Butterscotch, highlighting the dynamic grain of the ash body. Cosmetic wear includes a small cluster of dings on the back edge at the bass-side waist, a singular small finish chip on the back lower bout edge, and a few pinhead-sized marks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The lightly-ambered gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean.

The original Fender-branded gigbag is included.