Fender Japan's new Miyavi signature model is one of the most radical Telecasters yet

Fender Japan Miyavi Telecaster
(Image credit: Fender Japan)

Fender Japan has unveiled the Miyavi Signature Telecaster electric guitar – an advanced, boldly customized take on the classic model that seeks to provide a platform for the Japanese guitar phenomenon's unique tones and playing style.

The "samurai guitarist" personally supervised the creation of the Tele himself, ensuring that it fully captured his desired tone and accommodated his trademark finger-slapping style.

We're no strangers to Miyavi's love for experimentation and his bold musical choices, with the guitarist telling Guitar World that he doesn't let tradition stand in the way of getting the sounds he wants.

"To me, it's not about history. It's about what I want to play, and those things that I put on my guitar are crucial to tone," he says. Such sentiments are clear to see with this new model.

Getting the conventional specs out of the way first, Miyavi's Telecaster features an alder body, as well as a maple neck and rosewood fretboard with 9.5" radius. Nothing too out of the ordinary there.

However, when you take a deep dive into the rest of the guitar, that's when things get intriguing.

Unusual to conventional Teles, the Miyavi model adopts an HSS configuration, which boasts a Seymour Duncan Little '59 in the bridge, Pure Vintage '65 Gray-Bottom single-coil Strat in the middle and a Sustainer Driver in the neck.

Wired to this unique combination are master volume and master tone controls, as well as a five-way selector switch.

The guitar also features two additional switches, which control the Sustainer Driver. The first simply turns the driver on and off, while the second selected either the Fundamental, Harmonic or Blend sustain voices.

Other notable appointments include the Maverick Super Vee tremolo system, which comes with three brass saddles. Again, tradition goes out the window.

Addressing the spec, MIYAVI told us: "That whammy bar is crucial, and people say, 'why don't you play a Strat?' and I'm like, yeah, I love Strats. Strats are sexier and like an all-round good guy, whereas a Tele is a bad guy, a rebel."

This unique signature model is currently exclusive to Japan, but here's hoping they bring this radical take on the Tele elsewhere…

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.