In the late-'70s, Fender was facing competition from lower-priced Japanese-made copie, so in 1982, they launched a joint venture with Kanda Shokai and Yamano Gakki to produce Fender-branded instruments in Japan. Because the American Fender brand was only a partner—and not in the driver's seat—over the years Fender Japan, Ltd. produced some of the most inventive and novel interpretations of classic Fender templates. With quality that rivals their American-made counterparts, MIJ and CIJ Fender guitars are often intriguing designs that bring about new levels of inspiration and expression.
The Midnight Telecaster was a Factory Special Run of the Japanese Traditional '60s telecaster. It is essentially a modern recreation on the early '60s Telecaster Custom—slab rosewood fingerboard and double-bound body. But let's be honest, the Midnight Telecaster is all about the black finish and gold hardware. With a matching black headstock and a black pickguard, the Midnight Telecaster is dressed to the nines! It's a classy axe sure to get noticed on the bandstand. Cool limited runs like this are what Fender Japan is all about.
This 2018 Midnight Telecaster has an upgraded TV Jones Starwood Tele pickup in the neck position. The Starwood is essentially the T-Armond in Tele housing, so it captures some '50s Dynasonic Gretsch vibe. But with a transparent top-end and plenty of spank, the Starwood fits the classic telecaster sound so well, and it balances nicely with the stock MIJ bridge pickup.
This 2018 Fender MIJ Midnight Telecaster shows some general playwear (see photos), but it is in excellent cosmetic condition with no damages, repairs, or issues. It is a real player, too, with a smooth, low setup and plenty of life left in the frets. The Midnight Telecaster looks like it belongs at a weekly gig in a high-end nightclub. It's flashy, sure, but that's the point. It includes its original Fender-branded gig bag.