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1996 Fender Richie Kotzen Signature Telecaster TLR-135RK Seafoam Green, Japan MIJ


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Up for sale, a 1996 Fender Richie Kotzen signature Telecaster model TLR-135RK in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. A first-year example of the Kotzen model, this very rare signature edition was made during the golden age of "Made in Japan" production. The Kotzen Tele features an ash body with a quilted maple top, satin-finished maple neck with abalone dot inlay and 22 fret maple slab fretboard, 12" fretboard radius, super jumbo fretwire, gold hardware, and USA-made Dimarzio pickups.

Kotzen is best known for his stints with Poison, Mr. Big, and the Winery Dogs, and his signature Telecaster model is a purpose-built instrument with a bold, articulate acoustic voice that translates well through the pair of Dimarzio pickups including a Chopper blade humbucker in the bridge position and Twang King single coil at the neck. There's plenty of rich humbucker authority and percussive single coil cut on tap with the Kotzen model, and this guitar weighs 8lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has light birdseye figuring on its length, sporting a massive U-shaped profile carve with tons of shoulder and heft, measuring .910" deep at the 1st fret and .985" at the 12th. The 22 fret slab maple fretboard has a 12" radius, with original super jumbo fretwire that shows moderate wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-12. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width, and the headstock features Kotzen's signature and a set of gold Gotoh tuning machines with white pearloid buttons. The "Made in Japan" text and N-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate.

The electronics function as intended, with the pair of Dimarzio single coils wired to a Master Volume knob and two-way rotary Tone switch which is only impactful when both pickups are engaged. The hardware includes a six-saddle brass bridge, control plate and knurled knobs, all of which show some patina through their plating.

The body has notably rounded edges, a prominent belly carve, and subtle forearm carve for added comfort. The subtly transparent Seafoam Green gloss finish exhibits a few scattered small nicks and light finish scratches on the body as a whole, and there's a pinhead-sized screw hole on the back below the neck plate, much too small for a strap button or any hardware of note. The neck profile has a smooth satin finish, with palm wear through the gloss on the bass side of the carve behind frets 10-14 and just a few tiny marks on the skunk stripe on the profile length.

A new Gator-branded gigbag is included.