Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fender Japan Mini Telecaster MTL-32, discontinued 1990s model by Fujigen
I don't know whether or not it's a gross generalisation to say that the Japanese have an obsession with miniaturisation, but since the advent of Fender Japan there have been several "mini" versions of popular Fender guitars, a couple of which we have already looked at on this blog (e.g. MST-32 mini Strat).

This 1992/3 MIJ Fender Mini Telecaster MTL-32 has an alder body and maple neck, weighs aproximately 2.15 kg / 7.06 lb, and has a scale length of 470 mm / 18.5" (which puts it into the same scale territory as a tenor ukulele). Note that is uses the same hardware as on a regular size Tele which gives it a strangely stunted appearance.

I'm not really convinced of the attraction or need for these small scale guitars. They seem a little too pricey for a kids' novelty, and I guess if you wanted to play in a higher tuning you could always employ a capo on a regular scale guitar - your fingers are going to be cramped up together either way. My suspicion is the Fender Japan created mini guitars like this Tele just because they could.

Currently listed on eBay with a starting bif of $599.99.

G L Wilson

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  1. A friend of mine here in Tokyo had a mini guitar as his backup in case something went wrong in the middle of a show. With everyone having to lug their gear around on trains, it might explain the popularity of miniature guitars in Japan.

    1. Keith,

      That was very much my immediate impression as well. The Japanese prize their public civility above all else and infringing on others in the elevator, train or even the sidewalk is def. frowned upon. In my many trips there, you're constantly reminded space is at a premium.

      We've all seen pic's of subway conductors literally *jamming* passengers into the rail cars. Still, I'm siding w/ GW. The sense of ingenuity would be to fabricate a full scale, that breaks down and reassembles more like a rifle. I won't lump this in with "101 Completely Useless Japanese Inventions" ( as this would actually play ) but vanity gets the best of all of us?

  2. also, have a look at some Tokyo apartments. You have to put your dining table in a wall on one side of the room, and draw your bed out from the other wall. Smaller is necessary, especially for younger folks.

    1. I doubt that's the criteria in this instance. My feeling is it's more a case of smaller is cuter.

    2. Very inclined to agree. This is "for the man in your life that already has everything!"

      Noted a few posts back that miniature 'replica' guitars seem all the rage on Ebay etc. Hendrix, SRV and Clapton-themed models among the more popular. Then of course there's that Japanese sense of one upmanship they just can't seem to shake?

  3. One thing is for sure, one of those pickups is completely redundant



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