The catalogued models are the ones made by Fender for the domestic market some of which were exported but they also made guitars solely for export and except for the 1990s Collectable series most of these weren't catalogued and specs can vary some will be the equivalent of the high end models and some the lower end ones but may not be an exact match.
Thinlines and Custom either are or will be covered on other pages. This page is standard configuration ordinary 70s Telecasters. In the main these are lower end models and there are no Fender JVs nor any Extrad models that I can find.
These guitars are made to similar specs to the original 1972 Telecasters, as always they are not styled as reissues
and are not meant to be exact replicas.
All TL72 models unless I tell you otherwise later will have all these features in common
Neck Maple with a Maple or Rosewood board 324mm scale 7.25" radius
Truss Rod Adjustment at headstock end
21 vintage frets
Pickguard Black 8 hole 3 ply
Standard Telecaster Controls Knurled Chrome
Bridge 3 saddle through body
Neck shaped varied from U shaped to full C and some V shapes I will clarify with each model were I can
A headstock that looks like the picture below with that logo
Where I describe pickups as MIJ Vintage Tele they are almost certainly Ceramic
The first model appeared in the 1986 catalogue as the TL72-75 after that for the rest of the 80s it was the TL 72-55. Here's what we know
Body Basswood or Sen depending on Colour
Neck Maple U shaped
Pickups Telecaster Single Coil (probably Ceramic)
Saddles 3 section Chrome
Colours Basswood Models Oly White or Black Sen Models Sunburst, Natural or Blonde
These are the years Fender Japan changed the model designation system. The model is now known as the TL72-500 at a recommended price of ¥50,000. It is virtually identical to the TL72-55 except slightly cheaper, the neck is now described as Oval and they have dropped the Sunburst option
1992 had 2 models and having returned to the old system of numbering models they are
TL72-58 and a TL72-53
These two models replaced the TL72-500 and have identical specs except that they have split the Basswood and Sen into two different models.
So the TL72-58 is the Sen model and comes in Natural only.
The TL72-53 is the Basswood model and comes in Oly White or Black.
1993 to 2001 there are 2 models the TL72-65 and the TL-53
As might be guessed the TL72-65 is the TL72-58 the change just represents a price rise.
In 2002 the TL72 models vanish from the catalogue
The TL72 reappears in 2010 as just the TL72 and lasts for 2 years. It has the same specs as the TL72-53 except it is now available in either Candy Apple Red or Black. Retail is ¥71,400.
This model appears in the 2004 catalogue and lasts until at least 2013. It looks very similar to the TL72s the most obvious difference
in appearance is one string tree instead of two and a White pickguard on some colours. Otherwise general specs are the same as the TL72
Neck Maple Oval
Fretboard Maple or Rosewood
Pickups TL General probably ceramics
Colours Trans Blonde (USB) Black or Candy Apple Red
In 2004 it is the TL71-58 at the obvious ¥58,000
2005 it is TL71-60 but oddly at¥63000 the red described as CAR in 2004 is now described as OCR Old Candy Red but it is the same colour.
2007 it is TL71-68 but at ¥71,400
2008 now just the TL71 at ¥78,750
2010 it is now the TL71/Ash even though the body has always been ash. Price ¥74,550 now colours are
3 Tone Sunburst with Rosewood or
US Blonde or Natural with a Maple board
2013 unchanged except Black is now available again with a Maple board.
Chris Fleming from the Country Music Hall of Fame has sent me details of a c2003 TL71 in a blue colour. The details are quite extensive and I am sure it came from the factory in this colour described as being like Lake Placid Blue or Ocean Turquoise it is a very good looking guitar. Thanks Chris.
There were 3 All Blacks or ABs all the same guitar but with different designations as the price or system changed.
TL71-ALLBK 2008 until around 2014 These are J Craft domestic models appearing in some catalogues but by no means all for the period. Like the TL71-58 except lots of Black.
Neck Maple painted Black serial number etc on the back by the neck body join. Oval type (modern C)
Headstock Painted Black just with silver spag logo on front nothing else
Pickups 2 MIJ single coils Ceramics
Bridge Telecaster 3 Barrel Chrome type
Released around 2012 the main feature of this guitar is the body construction which is Ayous wood it is
fairly lightweight compared to Basswood, Alder etc. The WAL is a 2013 limited edition and is just a Walnut colour compared to
the standard model which only came in Natural.
Body Ayous wood
Neck Maple 1 piece Oval type 4 bolt
Fretboard Maple 21 Vintage Frets 250mm radius
Tuners sealed diecast
Pickups 2 TL single coil ceramics
Pickguard 3 ply white 8 hole (Black on the Walnut)
Bridge 3 barrel chrome
Launch price 78000 yen both colours
Around 2015 Fender Japan produced a limited edition as part of the Japan Exclusive series I don't know how many they made.
They tended to designate the Exclusive series as either SE or FSR but often produced a lot of them.
Neck 1 piece maple slim C with either Maple or Rosewood board
Pickguard White 8 hole 3 ply
Colours At least Black Sunburst or Natural maybe others
All the basic specs are as the TL72 except like the 71 it has 1 string tree
See also Japan Exclusive Telecaster Pages.
These were produced and except for the colours these are identical to the Japan Exclusive models except they have
a U shaped neck, all other specs are the same. In many areas these are still available new. Some seem to have off
white maybe even mint green pickguards.
The colours are at least Blue Ice Metallic, Sunburst, Black and Candy Apple Red.