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This Japanese Telecaster has a 1950s-style “c” neck, diminutive frets, and a starkly attractive black finish. The Japanese Fenders (and, in this case, Squiers) from this era have swiftly gained a reputation as fine instruments with great fit and finish work. This one also sounds really good — the pickups provide sparkle with none of the icepick spike that Teles are sometimes faulted for (it reminds us a bit of Roy Buchanan’s tone, which melded a walloping abundance of bass with impossibly vibrant highs). Neck is straight with no dead spots or buzz. Minor dings and some edgewear on body (see photos). Ships in a new padded gigbag. $500