Fender Japan '72 Telecaster Custom TC72-65 Black JV Serial 1983
Fender '72 Tele Custom, black, made in Japan 1983-4. If you're not familiar with the legend around JV serial guitars, do yourself a favour and google it; it's a great story. In brief: after CBS bought out Fender in 1964, the quality and craftsmanship out of the Fullerton USA plant gradually dived as they pushed to make more and more guitars in less time; by the late 70s the quality was pretty all over the place. Meanwhile, Japanese builders like Greco and Yamaha were making millimetre perfect copies of Fender models. Dan Smith and a couple of other Fender execs went to Japan and signed a joint venture deal to start Fender Japan and build Fender branded instruments outside the USA for the first time. When they landed in USA, the response was glorious: this was how Fender guitars were meant to be made. You don't see many Tele Customs from this era; this is the first one I've ever come across in all my travels in the guitar universe. It sounds superb: there's heaps of slicing, ringing brilliance and sheen on the bridge pickup while maintaining a huge amount of warmth and body, and the neck pickup is a swampy, rich saucy growl with loads of bass and low mids. The middle position is gorgeous too, the pair complement each other well. The guitar is original save for a six saddle bridge being installed (intonation, hooray!) and the bridge pickup being replaced; we sourced the same model of pickup as it originally had, although it's a much later model, to get as close as practical to the original vision. The neck is a dream; the piece of maple on deck is sublime. It's a slim C shape with heaps of play on the clock, so it just feels perfect. The lightly beat-up black finish looks all the better for plenty of play; it's definitely got a certain swagger to it. These are very rare now, and in a year or two this turns forty, pushing it into another bracket of vintage prestige. Collectability aside, it's a gorgeous and perfectly built instrument I'd be proud to own. All hail the JV!
Model: Fender '72 Telecaster Custom (TC72-65)
Made: Japan, Fujigen plant, (serial JV89242)
Finish: gloss black, 3-ply black guard
Neck: maple, one piece inc. board, slim oval profile
Mods: bridge replaced with six saddle model, bridge pickup replaced
Pickups: Fender Japan FHB-humbucker (neck), Fender Japan TL-Current single coil 2010 (bridge)
Case: vintage faux leather gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock has some scuffs on the end and bottom edge. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, there's a few dimples and marks on the back and some play wear on the edges of the board. The back has a raw patch in the centre as pictured, as well as widespread scuffs and dimples. The sides have light scuffs and small dimples around the whole body as well as a few little chips on the bottom side. The front is cleaner, just some dimples and scuffs behind the bridge and in the elbow area and plenty of play wear on the guard. Overall: good condition (7/10).
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 reasonable shape with plenty of height and fairly even, but there's some minor pitting; 6/10 for life left. Wearing fresh 10/46s Moonshiners strings.