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1990 Fender '52 Telecaster TL52-900 Violin Burst w/ Seymour Duncan Humbuckers & Case, Japan MIJ Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1990 Fender Telecaster ‘52 vintage reissue model TL52-900 in perfect working order, augmented with a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers and complete with a tweed hardshell case. The TL52-900 model was the top of the line '52 Telecaster in Fender Japan's 1990 catalog, crafted at the famed Fujigen factory and notably rare, especially outside Japan.

Tonewoods include an ash body and one-piece maple neck, yielding plenty of natural midrange complexity and detailed note attack. The Seymour Duncan humbucker pair includes an SH-6 Duncan Distortion in the bridge position and a Pearly Gates PAF at the neck. The Duncan Distortion is a high-output humbucker, delivering tight, mean lows and searing, white-hot treble perfectly tailored for high gain. Metering at 15k ohms, the Duncan Distortion also cleans up notably well with pristine, authoritative cleans. The neck pickup is a Pearly Gates, designed to replicate the PAF pickup from the neck position of Billy Gibbons’ iconic 1959 Les Paul. The highs are airy but focused, with a warm low end and more midrange than most PAF-style humbuckers. This Tele weighs 7lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with ample shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .795” deep at the 1st fret and .900” at the 12th. The maple fretboard retains the stock slender fretwire, with light wear beneath the plains strings on the crowns of frets 1-12. This Tele plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width. The headstock sports a '52 spec round string tree, and the Gotoh-made Kluson-style tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The “Made in Japan” text is present above the Fender-embossed four-bolt neck plate.

All of the electronics work as intended, with the Seymour Duncan humbuckers wired to the original harness with cloth-covered leads and full-size CTS pots dating to the 35th week of '90. Both pickup routes have been reshaped to accommodate the humbuckers, and both pickup cavities have been shielded. Hardware includes the upgraded six-saddle bridge and original dome-top knurled knobs and control plate. The one-ply pickguard has light scuffing on the treble side of the strum path.

The ash body has been refinished in a two-tone gloss Violin Burst, and cosmetic wear includes a number of dings and faint scratches on the body as a whole. There are a few small chips on the body edges, and a sliver of finish loss on the bass-side lower bout body edge. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered gloss, with a handful of microscopic, shallow marks along the profile length that have no impact on playability.

A tweed hardshell case is included.