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1998 Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline TN72-85 Natural w/ Wide Range & Case, Japan CIJ


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Up for sale, a 1998 Fender ‘72 Telecaster Thinline model TN72-85 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. An early example from the “Crafted in Japan” era of Fender Japan production, this Tele was made exclusively for the Japanese domestic market, rarely seen outside of its country of origin.

The guitar boasts a Wide Range humbucker design more tonally faithful to the original than many other Fender reissues, and these pickups are fat and full-sounding while still having a distinctive top end character. The ash body provides a certain midrange punch, and the semi-hollow construction adds an inherent warmth and sweetness to the sound. Featherweight at just 6lbs 14oz, we’ve had this Thinline Tele professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.

The one-piece maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with nicely rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .850” deep at the 1st fret and .945” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a vintage spec 7 1/4” radius and original slender frets which retain their full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing light, uniform wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-2, with wear beneath the plain strings extending to fret 9. The 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 sports an era-correct ‘70s-style block logo and bullet truss rod adjustment, and the Kluson-style tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The “Crafted in Japan” script text and O-prefix serial are present above the three-bolt F neck plate.

All of the electronics work as intended, with a stock harness and untouched solder joints. The pickups are governed by a three-way selector switch and Master Volume and Tone controls. The chrome plating on the Fender-embossed pickup covers and bridge is bright and clean save for a bit of uniform patina on the saddles, and plastics comprise the white pearloid pickguard which shows some light requisite pickup scuffing on the treble side of the strum path.

The gloss Natural finish highlights the broad, dynamic grain in the ash body. This is an exceedingly well-kept example, with cosmetic wear limited to a scant few faint scratches and small dings on the back of the body. The gloss finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth.

The original black tolex hardshell case with green plush interior and raised Fender badge on the exterior is included.