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Sound Quality

When I first plugged this in the shop, it stunk. But then I was playing on a strange amp at a very low volume.

After seeing on the net how this is going for so much, much more than I would have to pay, I decided to take a chance.

Once I had it home, set up, intonated and Slinkys on it, I plugged it up to my Crate Palomino and cranked it. WOW, did this thing come to life!

This is made to be played loud.  The three way switch becomes less of an issue when you crank it up.  It has a little hum, typical of singles, but not bad.  I found myself playing more between the middle and bridge pickup than on the neck when loud. In overdrive, the middle really shines. It is a "strat". Sustain is good.

Overall, it sounds pretty much like a vintage strat, period. No wonder Fender hired him.

Only problem is the 250K pots. They roll off fast, and then do little.


It lasted 34 years and counting, with all the same controls, pickups, and bridge.  I did clean the switches and pots with contact cleaner, plastic safe.  They responded in kind. Quiet, responsive. The frets are worn, so this has seen some playing time.  Overall, it's a tank. Two piece body, neck seems to be one piece with the fretboard overlay, all maple.

I don't think there are any problems here at all.

General Comments

I am thrilled with this find.  I really don't know if these bring some of the prices seen on e-Bay and other places. One guy has this exact same model up for $1200 as I write this, others seem to be in the $500-600 range. Some reviewers have paid more. I think I stole it for $150. Dealer even threw in a Fender gig bag.

For a Japanese made copy of the most famous guitar in the world, Shokai did pretty good. No wonder Fender hired him.

Mine is in the 85%-90% category, condition wise.

It's exactly what you would expect. Three fairly hot pickups in a dead-on strat body.  The three way switch kind of surprises you, but putting it gently in a position where two pickups are on, I don't see a great improvement in sound, so I don't miss positions 2 and 4.  I thought the bridge pickup was way too tinny until I put it into a class A tube amp and cranked it with some overdrive. Then it sounded like it would have in 1976, when almost everything was tube. Just great.

Really glad I found it, plan on keeping it.

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