Made in Japan Fenders

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Fifthstone, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    I didn't want to hijack another post so I'm starting a new thread.

    Any folks here have experience buying new made in Japan Fenders from the US? http://www.ishibashi-music.com/fenderjp/

    Any insight into the quality of these guitars and the general buying experience? Seems a good way to get a better built guitar than the MIJ's for a great price.
     
  2. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    I've been buying from Ishibashi for years. Top notch outfit all the way. Translated pages a little tricky, so if you don't see something just email them. I use Noriko Sada. Very nice girl. Shipping is Via EMS about 115.00. Gets to the easy coast in 3 days. ( sometimes 2 !!) Can't say enough good things about these people. Noriko's english is fair. Most of what they have is not on the website, so you just ask. No duty or taxes to us. BTW, they have a great used selection see ubox.
     
  3. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Fifthstone,

    The CIJ guitars are top tier in terms of build quality (which is why I’m motivated to post to every CIJ thread that seems to start around here J). The attention to detail, in my opinion, surpasses the US production Telecasters. The tonal quality, finish quality, and hardware are all in the same neighborhood as my Custom Shop Tele. The alder body on my CIJ 62 is somewhat heavier than my featherweight ash Tele, but at less than half the price that’s certainly forgivable. I’m sure you’ve heard, though, that the electronics (pots, switch, and jack) leave a little to be desired, but an upgrade to CTS/Switchcraft/etc. will cost you $30 - $40 and take about an hour to do yourself. I believe many of the higher end CIJ guitars come with US-made pickups, in my case Texas Specials. Though many differ with my opinion, I found these pickups to be far too heavy on the midrange and boomy. So I sold them on ebay for $70 and got a pair of Lollars. But the point is, they’re easy to replace and command at least a decent price on ebay.

    As far as buying from Ishibashi, Noriko is responsive to questions, friendly, and fast. I ordered my guitar on Sunday and received it (in California) on Thursday. When I buy another Japanese instrument, it’ll be through Ishibashi. I didn’t have to pay custom duties on my guitar, though I’ve heard from a few people that they did. I think it’s the luck of the draw.
     
  4. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't understand. You folks are in America asking about calling Japan to ship Japanese made American guitars to America? Do I have that right?

    Why?
     
  5. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    He’s asking about buying a Japanese-made Fender (yes, they make high quality Fender guitars in Japan that are not available in the US) from Japan and having it shipped to America.

    Why? Because they are excellent guitars for the price.
     
  6. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I love my 1986 MIJ Esquire. It's a great instrument. I would buy an 80's MIJ but nothing later.
     
  7. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    How much? I checked out a used MIJ strat the other day and it was flawless. The guitar was located here in Colorado. I used to own a MIJ strat that I also bought in Colorado. Do they not sell MIJ strats here in the US anymore?
     
  8. Jack Walker

    Jack Walker Supporting Member

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    My first 80's 62' ri tele was made in Japan. One guitar I should have never sold. Twang for days.
     
  9. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I personally won't pay more than $500 for any MIJ guitar (unless it was really cool...then maybe $600 but that'd be pushing it for me). But those'll probably have to change soon as prices are creeping up some.
     
  10. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I second the props for the folks at Ishibashi. I had to wait for ESP to build/finish my guitar & ship it to Ishibashi first, but it shipped from them on a Tuesday and was here in MD on Thursday morning. My next Fender (most likely a Tele) will more than likely be one of the CIJ models & I'll def order from Ishibashi. The one thing to note about the Fender Japan guitars is that I believe most of them are built with vintage specs: smaller frets, vintage fb radius, et cetera. So, if you prefer a flatter, "modern" fb radius then that's worth taking into consideration.

    There are quite a few folks over at the Fender Forum that have bought Fender Japan guitars & almost unanimously give high praise for them. The only negative I recall reading about them, as others have mentioned, are the somewhat cheap electronics, but they can be swapped out for very little money & time. Oh and another thing is that I think they all have a poly finish which is no big deal as the quality of modern poly finishes is pretty nice & most US Fenders have it too. But if you're specifically looking for a nitro finish then there are other Japanese brands to look into like Bacchus or Edwards; both of which Ishibashi sells as well. I've personally been eyeing up the CIJ Ritchie Kotzen sig Teles (Fender Japan) for a while now so that'll probably be my next GAS fix. :D
     
  11. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I got my Tele from Ishibasi, build wise they are on a par with US made, I prefer mine to both the US52RI, and CS Nocaster.
     
  12. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    1. I'm not an American. So, If I'm buying an american guitar, or a japanese guitar, it doesn't make any difference. They are both made in a foreign country.

    2. There reference is about Fender Japan, not Fender USA
     
  13. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    My Japan only Kotzen is a great guitar [aka-"Ninja Monkey Strat"]. I sold my CS and kept this. The neck is perfect for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Grap

    Grap Member

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    I'lll add another thumb's up. I have several MIJ & CIJ Fenders and they are all good guitars. My first Internet enabled GAS attack was a '72 Thinline Tele RI from Ishibashi in '98, and my most recent CIJ Fender is a '72 Custom Tele RI that a friend boughtbfor me from the shop next door to Ishibashi in Tokyo.

    I just ordered a Japanese limited edition Epiphone Les Paul from Ishibashi last night using their on-line credit card form, so fingers crossed that they still have their eye on the ball.
     
  15. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    how are these different than the MIJ fenders you can buy off the rack at guitar center?
     
  16. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    Michael, is the neck on your Kotzen Strat pretty big? The few bits of info I've found on the Kotzen Tele seem to note that the neck is very big. That's a bonus in my opinion...Nocaster-like neck at CIJ prices :)
     
  17. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    These necks are FaT!
    I had an Historic JR that had a slightly fatter neck tho.....

    The neck is subsantially fat, but I can play in a modern context quite easily. I find that this is THE best neck for a perfect union of vintage and modern. The frets are huge and the fretboard radius is a perfect blend of arc and shred-eze.
    Wonderful guitars. I would love to pick up a Tele. If and when I ever have custom guitars made, I am going to have this neck profile copied.
    M.E.
     
  18. Falstaff

    Falstaff Supporting Member

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    I have two recent CIJ guitars and I love them both. The necks on the 62 reissues are great...just fat enough.
     
  19. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    i just got a 1996 MIJ ' 67 reissue strat monday and its a great guitar. heavier than my other strats, good solid piece of alder. the neck is the best part.i just ordered a set of WCR SRs and a RS kit for it, which will probably make it my main guitar VERY soon.:D
     
  20. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Generally, fatter necks & vintage radius. There are also several models available that are CIJ which are not available here. Received internet wisdom is that the parts & workmanship is superior to comparable US instruments, and certainly ahead of MIM & MIK Fenders. Anecdotal evidence seems to support that, but the truth isn't certain.

    I have a TL52-80TX & a TL62(don't remember the rest.) Both have been heavily modified. The pots & switches are crap. I don't like the Texas Special pickups either -- my TL52 is lovely acoustically, with remarkable warmth for an ash body. (In fact, the 52 is warmer than the alder 62.) With the TS, it sounded like a mess, no matter how I adjusted the pickups. Now, it has Fralins, which suit the guitar beautifully. It also doesn't look dipped in bitterscotch glop. It may be dipped in plastic, but it still sounds great, and it looks smashing, too.

    The TL62 has been a little more challenging. I kind of got it on a whim, because I'd been thinking about ordering the model/color I got from Ishibashi, but it came up at a great price on eBay (with Glendale saddles & SD Antiquity IIs.) I didn't like the SDs. I wanted a hotter sound, so I got a Fralin Blues Special bridge, and a Fralin Vintage neck. That was a mistake; the neck is too weak to compete. I'm trying out a Stephens blade pickup in the neck, which I'm pretty jazzed about, although it won't be here for a while.

    For me, a good chunk of the fun has been messing with the guitars, and making them my own. I've learned a lot, and, starting out with good wood, I can do quite a bit. Arguably, I wouldn't have to do all that if I got an AV52 RI, for example, but, then again, if I DID, I'd be a lot more irritated. :BITCH I'd also be less fearless about modding a $1300 AV52 than a $650 TL52.

    I should also point out I had to do just as much with my CIJ Aerodyne Tele, which I bought from Sam Ash, as I did to the other CIJs, which I bought used on eBay. But neither the TL52 nor the TL62 are available from American dealers; they presumably would compete with the AV52 & 62 RI models.
     

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