Fender Japan Telecaster Boxer Series

The Boxer series is first mentioned in the 1984 catalogue and more details emerge in the 1985 catalogue. There are two Telecasters the TL555 and the TL556. The following year a medium scale model appears the TL314-55 along with the TLG80-60 which continues in various forms after the Boxer series ends. The series last appears in the 1988 catalogue.

Telecaster Boxer series TL555 and TL556

The 555 is an HH model and the 556 an SSH model. Information on these is difficult to find very little is in English in those early catalogues. Here is what I know.

TL555 TL556
Body Alder Alder
Neck Maple matching on some colours* Maple matching on some colours*
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 305mm radius Rosewood 22 Frets 305mm radius
Headstock Matching on some colours small thick Fender Logo serial no. Telecaster and Made in Japan Matching on some colours small thick Fender Logo serial no. Telecaster and Made in Japa
Tuners Sealed diecast with Fender Japan on them Sealed diecast with Fender Japan on them
Pickups 2 Dragster Ceramic HBs 1 Dragster Ceramic HB and 2 Hot rod 075 SCs
Nut Locking 42mms Locking 42mms
Controls Round domed type 1 vol 1 tone 3 way switch and mini toggle coil tap Round domed type 1 vol 1 tone 3 mini on off toggle switches with coil tap on the HB switch
Bridge Black locking sys1 also known as the blade shooter Black locking sys1 also known as the blade shooter
Hardware Black Black
Colours Black, Torino Red, White or Decal Yellow Black, Torino Red, White or Decal Yellow
launch price ¥60,000 ¥65,000

*All colors except white have matching neck and headstock. The white has a black neck and headstock.

First the 555 the controls have been changed

And the 556

Telecaster Boxer sries TL314-55

This is a fairly normal looking Telecaster except for the scale. The 314 indicates a 314mm scale which to the western way of doing it is 628mms or just over 24.7". Specs I can find are:

Body Said to be Ash but no proof of this
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple 22 frets there may be Rosewood options also
Headstock Standard Tele plain with Thick Fender logo serial number and Telecaster made in Japan 2 butterfly string trees
Tuners Sealed diecast
Pickups 2 unknown single coils
Controls Standard Tele chrome knurled flat top
Hardware Chrome
Bridge 6 chrome saddle tele through body
Pickguard White 5 hole 3 ply
Colours I have seen Black and Red Could be others


Telecaster Boxer series TLG80-60

I have no idea why this guitar was launched as part of the Boxer series. It is a fairly Standard Tele but with gold hardware. It continued for a fair few years after the Boxer series first as part of the Collectors series. Then with various designations all TLG80 something
Body Basswood
Neck 4 Bolt Maple U profile this may have changed to C later but it is U in the catalogue.
Fretboard Rosewood 21 Frets 7.25" radius
Headstock Thick Gold 2 Butterfly string trees Serial Number and Telecaster Made in Japan on front
Tuners Gold sealed diecast
Pickups 2 MIJ Single coils likely ceramics 1 black 1 Gold
Controls Knurled Gold Knobs 1 volume 1 tone plus 3 way switch
Hardware Gold
Bridge 3 saddle Gold with gold barrels
Pickguard Black 3 ply
Colours Black


Telecaster Boxer Series 2012 reissue

In 2012 Fender reissued the Boxer series with a Strat a Tele and a Bass. The Tele is the HH model, lasted a relatively short time they are not in the 2023 offering though some dealers still have some as at May 2023. Relese price was £1209 but those at dealers can be had now for around £900, details are:
Body Basswood
Neck Maple C shape JFFL serial number on neckplate
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets see later 12" radius
Headstock Black Small with Thick Silverish Fender logo Telecaster and Made in Japan no serial number
Tuners Black sealed diecast Gotoh type
Pickups 2 Black coverless ceramic humbuckers
Controls 1 volume 1 tbx tone control both black speed dial type a 3 way switch and a mini toggle coil tap
Nut 1.65" non locking bone
Hardware Black
Bridge Black 6 saddle strat hardtail type
No pickguard
Colours Torino Red or Inca silver.

Jakedog from the Telecaster forum has one of these and I quote some of his thoughts which are useful as a review from a knowledgeable guitarist
Rosewood fingerboard. Nice rosewood, too. Not the dried out pink/grey stuff you see on a lot of imports these days. 22 “Jumbo” frets. Haven’t measured the dimensions, but they look and feel to me kinda halfway between medium jumbo and jumbo. Not sure what the alloy is but it feels super slick and fast. Feels almost identical to stainless, but it’s definitely not stainless. “Medium C” neck shape can feel narrow to some people. I believe it’s 41mm at the nut. Might be 42. I don’t have it with me right now to double check. It can feel a little narrow, but the depth is on the fuller side, and gets chunky up around the 12th fret. Its ridiculously comfortable.Comes in “Torino Red”, and “Inca Silver”. I don’t think either color looks like what they named them, but they both look great. Especially the silver. Poly finish, but does not seem real thick or goopy at all. Neck finish is a thin satin poly that feels a little rough at first, but polishes in short order just from playing it. Doesn't get glossy, just gets smooth and fast as all get out. Headstock truss rod access. Rear routed, no pickguard. Black hardware. Bridge and tuners are Gotoh, and nice quality. Factory pickups are ceramic, and hot. Not crazy over the top face melting hot, but much hotter than vintage style humbuckers, and pretty dark sounding. Electronics are volume, TBX tone control, three way toggle for pickup selection, and two position mini-toggle that splits both pickups simultaneously. Those are the specs, here are my thoughts: Fit and finish is 100% on point. The example I own is flawless. Fret leveling, polishing, edge treatment, nut work, etc are all also flawless. No kidding, straight off the wall the neck work was on par with my MIA PRS. The guitar is light, well balanced, and just feels perfect. The radius is flatter by far, and the frets are bigger, but the neck shape itself feels very much like a 1970 Tele with a “B” neck that I played for years. I gave them a fair shake, and they are not terrible, but I ended up replacing the pickups on mine. I just wanted smoother, brighter, clearer, and lower output sounds. I also re-wired the mini-toggle so it is no longer a coil splitter, but instead a series/parallel switch for the neck pickup coils. Much more useable, much better sounding, and stays noiseless. It gets almost stratty now when engaged. It’s not making me want to ditch my other guitars, because they’re all very cool as well, and I love them. But it has crept into the No1 spot in the gigging lineup. It looks great, it feels great, and it sounds great. It’s a top shelf piece of kit. It was very fairly priced at $1199. I’d say it would have been fairly priced at $1499. I got mine clearance priced for $755 USD and I feel like I stole it. An instrument of this caliber for under a thousand dollars just seems all kinds of wrong.
Thanks for that Jakedog

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