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gkostyrko

Thoughts: 60s Fender Strat reissue, Japanese versus Mexican

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I have never played a made in Japan stratocaster. However I have heard and read that there is a meticulous attention to detail similar or besting Made in the USA stratocasters.

 

I have been awful impressed by the build quality and finish of my MIM Jimmie Vaughn stratocaster.

 

For those who know, who have felt the difference, is it worth it to chase the Japanese manufactured strats? The resale on these seems to be very competitive and I am drooling over two different onces right now (one is a Squire, and the second a first tier Fender )

 

I am interested in the feedback of those who have checked out the Made in Japan version.

 

As an aside, I always on the lookout for the George Harrison Rosewood telecasters (from Let it Be). Looks like the Made in Japan one is my only worthwhile option at this point.

I would be interested in feedback on those as well.

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IMO the MIJ Strats are just as good as MIA (excluding Custom Shop) in quality and construction. Some MIJ models have lower end pots & pickups but not always.

If you have upgrading plans the MIJ is a better choice if it's significantly cheaper.

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I own 3 :D

 

2 62's, and a clapton version with lace sensors.

 

I've also owned one american, an old '84 i believe, white on white with a rosewood neck. The 3 MIJ's were superior in every freaking way, no doubt about it. Go with the MIJ, but they're really hard to find now.

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The MIJ strat I have is nothing to lose any sleep over. The tone is just average and the pickups were anemic and had to be replaced. My MIA Deluxe, SRV or EJ all kick its ass. But that's mine. It's alder with a basswood foto flame cap. My stepson has a cheaper MIJ that actually sounded superior out of the box to mine.

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Gasman: curious.. is your japanese the one that has the basswood body and fotoflame.. I have seen something similar and I thought that was the Squire series, am I wrong, or did they do that across the board with all the fender lineup, save the top of the line American or Custom shop stuff?

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Originally posted by gkostyrko

Gasman: curious.. is your japanese the one that has the basswood body and fotoflame.. I have seen something similar and I thought that was the Squire series, am I wrong, or did they do that across the board with all the fender lineup, save the top of the line American or Custom shop stuff?

 

Here it is. Sorry the pic is not that good, but it's the only one loaded right now into photobucket.

 

fotoflamestrat001.jpg

 

But from my reading of a Buyer's Guide for this era, this MIJ 60s Strat Foto Flame has an alder body with a basswood cap. Mazi Bee also has one similar. And both him and I have heard the same story that on these "foto flame" guitars, the flaming was created through some etching process onto the basswood cap rather than a laminated photo. I got my info from a dealer (other than the one I bought the guitar from) and I'm not sure where Mazi got his info from.

 

Now I did also have a MIJ Fender 90s Telecaster Custom that was all basswood. It was sold to a fellow forumite last year.

 

FenderTelecaster013.jpg

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For the photos and the insight. SOunds like I better look closer at my buyers guide! i didnt realize they broke out the MIJ ones from others. interestingly enough, one of the ones I saw recently is nearly a twin of yours, which I had heard the same thing about it being etched into the wood instead of being a laminated "picture" .

 

sorry to hear you were disappointed about the sound out of the box with the pickups.. maybe I should proceed cautiously with the foto flame versions

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Internet myth number 6005671..

 

Fender Japan Strats are the best.

Now I imagine this little one started about 15 years ago when US Fender was average. Its a popular one with Ebay sellers for sure, 'MIJ is teh bestest!!1!'.

 

Thing to remember Fender Japan has at least 5 model levels ranging from $300 heaps of junk up to the proper vintage reissues at around $1000.

 

The cheaper stuff will be multi piece basswood bodies with a nasty thick finsh, crap electrics, junk hardware and shite pickups.

 

Midrange will have multi piece alder bodies, decent poly finishes, average electrics, USA made pickups (so they say..) and better hardware.

 

Top of the line (currently the Dimarzio Vintage special series) are a match for the USA Vintage series.. 2 piece alder or ash bodies, thin skin lacquer finish, the best hardware, custom wound dimarzio pickups and USA electrics (CTS pots, switchcraft, vintage cloth wire etc).

 

Easiest way to figure out the Fender Japan system.. The number in the name relates to how much it costs and the name tends to decode the details!

 

ST-45 Strat, 45000yen

ST57-70TX Strat based on a 57, 70000yen, Texas pickups

TL62-65US Tele based on a 62, 65000yen, US pickups

ST54-110DMC Strat, 54, 110000yen, dimarzio collection pups

etc..

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stamped on the body..

"62 EX, GF "

 

and following stamped on the neck " ST-62"

 

would put this on the first tier or least expensive of the Japanese series, correct? No special pickups noted, nor increased cost..

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The necks on all the MIJ Fenders I have owned or played have been really nice. I still own an 80's SQ squier strat. The neck on the SQ is better than on my 75' MIA strat that I used to own. Nice solid one pc of maple. It's my go-to guitar when I want strat tones.

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Originally posted by gkostyrko

stamped on the body..

"62 EX, GF "


and following stamped on the neck " ST-62"


would put this on the first tier or least expensive of the Japanese series, correct? No special pickups noted, nor increased cost..

 

he he, i'm no expert! that i'm not sure about sorry. Really mine was just a rant based on guys on ebay! There are guys on here though who know lots about this stuff.

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I have a '62 RI MIJ (1996) that has an alder body, nitro finish, aged hardware, and VVG vintage-wound pups in it that is *better* than the MIM Classic 60's I have played in guitar stores. YMMV.

 

I still think that the MIM 60's is a very good guitar.

 

If you go MIJ/CIJ, go high-end. Low-mid range models get you nothing that an MIM can't deliver, IMHO.

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