Bill Alston


Japanese Telecaster Thinlines


There have been several models of the Telecaster Thinline made in Japan from the very early days to the modern day. Broadly these are:
From 1983 to 2010 The TN72 There are some JV models in existence
From 1986 to 2010 The TN70
From 2002 to 2010 The SPLs
From 2010 to Present day (2020) The Japan Traditional

TN72

This has been virtually the same guitar from 1984 to 2010, the changing model designations only reflect pricing or system changes.
TN72-70   1984 to 1985
TN72-75   1985 to 1989
TN72-700   1990 to 1991
TN72-75   1992 to 1983
TN72-85   1993 to 2005
TN72-93   2006 to 2007
TN72-93   2008
TN72    2008 onwards
There is also a TN72MAHO in the 2010 catalogue doesn't appear in the 2008 catalogue

This is an A serial number 1985 to 1986 TN72-75


Specifications
There will naturally have been some small variations, special editions colour changes etc through time but these are the specifications as known to me.
Body Ash sometimes Mahogany as in the TN72MAHO but also some others
Neck 3 Bolt Maple 1 piece Oval profile
Fretboard Maple 7.25 radius 21 Vintage frets
Headstock Black CBS logo 2 string trees bullet truss rod adj
Tuners Vintage Kluson Style
Pickups 2 Fender Japan TN wide range Silver Humbuckers
Controls Standard Tele Knurled Silver Knobs Black Switch Tip
Nut 42mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge 6 saddle chrome
Pickguard Perloid 3 ply
Colours Always had Natural available Mahogany and Sunburst at times some SEs see picture below
The TN72MAHO other than being more expensive differs in having a Mahogany body and coming only in a colour called vintage Mahogany



This special edition was produced in limited numbers in 2007 as well as the colour difference it features a Rosewood board and a fatter neck, so is referred to as TN72 FAT. I can't find it in the catalogues.

TN70

These first appeared in 1986 and the designations followed the TN72 with some very slight exceptions. Such as in 1993 there was a price rise on the 72 but not the 70. Also whilst the 72 was always available the 70 had long periods when they just were not made notably from the mid 90s until around 2010 when the TN70MAHO appeared.
These are the equivalent of the 69 reissues but for some reason designated as 70. The USA first version thinline appeared from 68 to 72.





Some details of an early TN70 from 1986

Specifications
There will naturally have been some small variations, special editions colour changes etc through time but these are the specifications as known to me.
Body Mahogany
Neck 4 Bolt Maple 1 piece Oval profile
Fretboard Maple 7.25 radius 21 Vintage frets
Headstock Black CBS logo 1 string tree truss rod adj at body end
Tuners Gotoh*
Pickups 2 single coil 1 black 1 silver
Controls Standard Tele Knurled Silver Knobs Black Switch Tip
Nut 42mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge 3 saddle chrome
Pickguard Perloid 3 ply
Colours Natural, Blonde or Mahogany
The TN70MAHO launced around 2010 differs in coming only in a colour called vintage Mahogany
* I have seen some with Kluson style tuners whether these are replacements or they sometimes came with them I don't know

TN-SPL

There are 2 models the TN-85SPL and the TN-90SPL. These were launched in 2002 and lasted until at least 2010 in the case of the 85 by then just designated as the TN-SPL and 2004 in the case of the 90. There are 2 models the TN-85SPL and the TN-90SPL. The two are essentially the same guitar the 90 being more expensive due to the colour options and the ashtray.
I have also seen reference to the 2010 model being the TN-93SPL which makes no sense as the list price was 110,250 Yen
Specifications
Body Ash
Neck 4 Bolt Maple 1 piece C profile
Fretboard Maple 220mms radius 22 Medium Jumbo frets
Headstock Silver Spaghetti logo 1 round string tree truss rod adj at headstock
Tuners Vintage Kluson Style
Pickups Dragster J Humbucker 2 USA Texas special single coil 1 black 1 silver
Controls Knurled Silver Knobs 1 volume 1 tone plus 5 way switch with Black see below for switching
Nut 42mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge 3 saddle chrome with Ashtray on the 90
Pickguard Perloid 3 ply
Colours Natural or Sunburst for the 85 and Blue Baltic Vintage or Solid White Gold on the 90 The 5 way works as follows:
Position 1 Neck Pickup 2 Middle Pickup 3 Bridge and Neck 4 Middle and Bridge 5 Bridge





Top Sunburst 85 the other two white solid gold 90

The Japan Traditional

There are currently 2 models available the Traditional 69 and the Traditional 70s the modern equivalent of the TN 70 and TN 72 respectively. Retailing at around £850 to £950 they appear to have been launched around 2010

Specifications
Model Traditional 70s Traditional 69
Body Ash Polyester Finish Mahogany Polyester Finish
Neck 3 bolt Maple Polyester Finish U profile microtilt 4 Bolt Maple Polyester Finish U Profile
Board Maple 21 Vintage Frets 7.25" radius Maple 21 Vintage Frets 7.25" radius
Headstock Black CBS Logo 2 String Trees Bullet Truss Rod adj Black CBS Logo 1 string tree Truss Rod adj at Body end
Tuners Vintage Kluson Style Vintage Kluson Style
Pickups 2 wide range Fender Humbuckers Silver SS Vintage Single coils 1 black 1 silver
Controls Standard Tele Knurled Knobs Black switch tip Standard Tele Knurled Knobs Black switch tip
Nut Bone 42mms Bone 42mms
Hardware Chrome Chrome
Bridge 6 saddle block saddles 3 Saddle Chrome Pickguard
Colours* Natural, Surf Green, US Blonde Mahogany, Natural
*There could be other colours from time to time but these are the ones I have seen.




A 69 in Mahogany a 72 in US Blonde and a 72 in Surf Green
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