Up for sale, a 2007 Fender Telecaster '52 vintage reissue model with factory-installed Bigsby vibrato, Butterscotch finish, and USA-made pickup pair. Exceptionally well-kept and notably lightweight given the hardware complement at only 7lbs 8oz, this Telecaster is a non-catalog, ostensibly one-off model. And unlike the more common iteration of this model with Japanese single coils, this is a rarer upscale version with a Fender Custom Shop Texas Special in the bridge position paired with a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF at the neck. Crafted in Japan, the '52 reissue Bigsby Tele models were reserved for the Japanese domestic market and not intended for export, thus this Tele is a real rarity outside its country of origin.
This model faithfully captures the look and feel of an instrument from 1952, with a transparent Butterscotch finish over an ash body paired with a one-piece maple neck. Tonally, the guitar has a natural power and clarity, delivering the complex midrange character for which ash is known. The Texas Special bridge pickup has plenty of twang and snap, with a great rhythm sound when both pickups are engaged. The Seth Lover SH-55 PAF features an alnico II bar magnet, ensuring smooth trebles, and the vintage-spec coils deliver a harmonically-rich response. Single notes have a singing quality, and the un-potted nickel silver cover creates an almost piano-like tone and percussive feel. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with 10-46 strings, this Tele is a real looker and a fantastic playing instrument well suited to stage and studio use.
The maple neck has a slender C profile carve, yet with particularly full shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .925" at the 12th. The vintage-style frets have their full height and well-rounded crowns, showing moderate wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3, growing fainter until fret 6 with virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The neck has Fender's standard 25 1/2" scale, with a 1 5/8" nut width, and vintage 7 1/4" fretboard radius. The headstock sports a set of original Kluson-style Gotoh tuners that turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The "Crafted in Japan" text and S-prefix serial are present just above the four-bolt neck plate, and the neck pocket has a March 1st, 2007 date stamp and TL52-125B model stamp.
All of the original electronics function as intended, and the neck pickup humbucker route by all accounts is factory work, consistent with the usual black shielding paint seen on humbucker routes in Fender Japan instruments. The chrome hardware is nigh flawless, and the Seth Lover PAF has its factory nickel cover. For quick warbles and moderately deep dives, the USA-made Bigsby vibrato (not the cheaper licensed variety, but the real deal) works very well, jumping back to the original pitch with ease. The Bigsby spring has good height and stiffness, and the arm sits off the body at the perfect height for a quick response. The vibrato is paired with an upgraded Mustang bridge with large barrel saddles. Cosmetically, this Tele is extremely clean, with wear on the Butterscotch gloss finish limited to a couple tiny dings on the back, and one similarly small mark just north of the bridge. The ambered gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.
The original Fender-branded gigbag and manual are included.