Tele Thinline 69 RI questions

Mwoodbro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
289
Tele Thinline 69 RI.
Are these Mexican, Japanese or some of each. If both? what are the differences? Can anyone offer any experience or opinions on these? Thanks.
 

Mwoodbro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
289
Oops. I accidentally put this in the wrong section. I would appreciate it if a mod could move it to the guitar section! Thanks
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,538
Why not find one of the real thing. It's a bit more cash, but I think still in the $2k range for a player instrument and they sound MUCH better!
 

ddeand

Gold Supporting Member
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1,542
One of the best guitars I've ever had was a mid-80s MIJ '69 Thinline RI. It sound great with the stock pickups and electronis, better with high quality pots, switch and cap, and absolutely perfect with Harmonic Design pickups (S-90 in the bridge and Vintage + in the neck slot). The neck was excellent - fast and comfortable, and the resonance of the hollowbody reall took the tone to a higher level. I'm absolutely sold on the early MIJ Fenders - they are some of the best guitars sold by the company. And the Thinline is the best! If I ever get another Thinline, I'll seriously look for a MIJ model.

Have fun looking for the perfect guitar!

Dean
 

co-intelpro

Member
Messages
265
ddeand said:
One of the best guitars I've ever had was a mid-80s MIJ '69 Thinline RI. It sound great with the stock pickups and electronis, better with high quality pots, switch and cap, and absolutely perfect with Harmonic Design pickups (S-90 in the bridge and Vintage + in the neck slot). The neck was excellent - fast and comfortable, and the resonance of the hollowbody reall took the tone to a higher level. I'm absolutely sold on the early MIJ Fenders - they are some of the best guitars sold by the company. And the Thinline is the best! If I ever get another Thinline, I'll seriously look for a MIJ model.

Have fun looking for the perfect guitar!

Dean
I have one of these, and he is right. The neck joint is tiiight! Also, it is light as hell, and rocks. It sounds like a Rickenbacker. I have contemplated selling this old girl, but I always hesitate...
 

Hoss

Member
Messages
438
definitely get a mij if you can find them...they'll be a good step up from the mim models...that's another tele i wouldn't mind getting ahold of one of these days!
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
Yeah, but the MIJs have that modern 'C' profile neck which isn't as comfortable in my hand as the big fat 'U' of the MIMs. It was the feel of the neck that sold me on this guitar. The early ones from '98 are said to be better than the current crop.

I've always replaced the p-ups on my Japan made Fenders, and the ones in the Mexican thinline had to go, too.

Also, they come w/1 meg pots, which makes for a REALLY bright tone. The standard 250Ks are a better choice.

Wherever they come from, these are great guitars. Light as a feather and loaded w/twang.
 

Luke V

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,408
I had a Mexican one, I got it new for like $450, that was earlier this year. You can't beat it for the price. It was well built and very light. I ended up returning it, I already have too many guitars. The first upgrade I would have done is pots and cap, then see if the pickups needed relacing. Now that I think about, I probably should have kept it. It sounded pretty damn good stock.
 

Rufus

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,809
I have one of the MIM ones and have had it for a few years. I think it is an excellent guitar overall, but it does benefit from new PUs and pots. The neck on mine is fat, which I really like, and the action makes playing it a breeze. I have no real complaints other than the stock electronics leave a bit to be desired.

-JR
 

tonedaddy

Member
Messages
11,326
Is the fretboard radius of both the MIJ and MIM models a vintage 7 1/4"?
Did any of these come with something higher, say 9 1/2"?
 

SOcular

Member
Messages
43
Mwoodbro said:
Tele Thinline 69 RI.
Are these Mexican, Japanese or some of each. If both? what are the differences? Can anyone offer any experience or opinions on these? Thanks.
The ones that are sold currently in the US are made in Mexico (MIM).

I owned one, and like the others on this thread, ended up selling it. I agree that the electronics were so so. On mine, if you didn't have the guitar volume on "10" the eq was drastically flattened, and the neck pickup was barely discernable through a live mix.

The bridge pickup on the other hand, I wouldn't have changed, and had this wonderful pop that made country licks a whole lot of fun. No compression needed; this thing could bark. For anything else besides country lead it fell short, though.

I did see one guy play live in Alabama with one and he was getting really smooth distorted tones. He had a great rig however and I couldn't tell whether he was playing with stock pickups.

I'm a G&L fan and they make some pretty sweet semi-hollows; you should check them out also (but be warned the pups are different). It would probably be less expensive then an original 69.
 

ldizzle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,387
My first electric guitar(and number #1 for years) is a 69 RI.
It's terrific! I have a cs tele- sounds different and better in many aspects- but the 69 is open, airy, and i beat the junk out of it. I love that I can wail on it and it stays in tune and produces highly useable tone.
+1 to this!
 

gtraddict

Member
Messages
1,885
It is a good guitar, the going price for the Japanese one is going to be nearly 80% or so the Mexican ones. It is my Favorite guitar from Fender. I like the Mexican ones and I will be killed for saying so but I found it to be on par quality wise with any Standand US series.
 

supa-fuzz

Member
Messages
1,340
I agree with the quality of MIM on par with USA Standard stuff, pickups and pots are low quality though and upgrades are mandatory if you are a serious player. I love the MIJ stuff, but 99% of the necks I have tried have been too thin, otherwise killer guitars.
 

Rumblur

Member
Messages
750
The current ones are mexican, but there are differences. The natural and black ones are made of mahogany. The sunburst models are ash. I wanted the lightest possible guitar for my elderly dad who couldnt handle much weight... so I bought a new 3-tone burst. He didnt like a Tele after all, so I have basically a brand new one for sale.

What I can tell you about it - it's a great sounding Telecaster. Probably the best sounding "Tele bite" I've ever heard and includes boutique pickups. It's VERY light and well balanced. The pickups sound awesome, no kidding. It's very spanky, twangy, and bitey. As far as pots and switch being of low quality, they are Alpha brand, which is the same as Fender uses in most everything these days except MIA Vintage. There are those that will tell you they are low grade, but I can tell you with real world experience - they work... they dont hum or buzz. The 69's have a 1meg tone pot, which makes them the most extra bitiest of all Tele's IMHO.

The downside if there is one, is the small vintage fretwire. The radius is 7.25" as well, great for chording, but choking past the 13th fret if you bend strings. If you play straight guitar, it's great. The neck profile on the 69 is the same thickness from nut to body, sorta round and filling the hand nicely. It's similar to a 59 Les Paul profile, big and comfortable but not too big or thin.

The fit and finish are 80% as good as American. The finish is thick and shiny. The 3-piece body is well matched and good, pretty wood.

The old 80's era jap reissues were nice, but no nicer than the mexicans. I'd call them even. For $450-600 used, the MIM's are tough to beat. However, if you want the natural kinda dark oak colored model, I'd buy a Squier Vintage Vibe. It has a more "modern" neck style, big frets, flatter radius... doesnt have as good a set of pickups, but it's 1/2 the price.
 




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