Fender '52 Reissue Telecaster Special TL52-70SPL Butterscotch Blonde 1985-6
Fender '52 Telecaster Special, butterscotch, made in Japan 1986. Opening up the neck pocket of this reveals some interesting stamps: a pair of 'SAMPLE' stamps on the neck and body, and a hand-written prototype model number reading "TL-KR-B"... it doesn't take a genius to deduct that that means it's a '52 reissue paying homagé to Keith Richards' famed 'Micawber' Tele, made before the finalised TL52-70SPL model hit the 'Collectors Series' section of the 1986 catalog alongside the paisley and rosewood Teles, among others. This is an unusual model, and the fact it's a prototype surely adds some appeal to the Fender Japan nerds among us. It also means the wood selection on offer is absolutely stellar. The grain of the ash body is gorgeous and very visible through the blonde finish, and the maple neck features some amazing birds-eye grain all the way from the body to the headstock. That lends some serious magic in the hands: this really does feel exceptionally alive and supremely smooth to play. The hefty bridge transfers a lot of vibration to the body, which the sweet vintage pickups translate to a warm, open, thick and rich tone with a huge amount of chime and harmonic complexity. The middle position is especially tasty; the two pickups complement each other perfectly. These early Fujigen era guitars are widely praised as (arguably... as always) the best quality offerings from Fender since the mid 60s CBS takeover; they're extraordinarily close to the 1950s guitars in specs and build. Now, don't buy it, and I'll just keep it, okay?
Model: Fender Collector's Series Telecaster Special TL52-70SPL
Made: Japan, 1985-6 approx (serial E648888)
Finish: butterscotch blonde, 1-ply black guard
Neck: maple, maple board, 25/5" scale, 7.25" radius
Pickups: Fender Japan TL Vintage Single (bridge) and Dragster HB (neck)
Case: basic non original Fender gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock and neck are pretty clean. The back has no major marks, just a couple of very small barely-there scratches on the top horn and bottom edge. The sides are very clean, just some dimples near the rear strap pin and around from the knobs. The front has some scratches on the guard and some satin rub wear on the high contact areas of the finish; barely a nudge on it. Overall: excellent condition (9/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. The frets are in good shape with minor wear only, 8/10 for life left. Wearing fresh 10/46s.