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American Special Stratocaster VS Fender Japan Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by stratocasterboi, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway
    I am a newbie when it comes to guitars and my English is not that good.So please bear with my mistakes.

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    Which one of them is better? I have heard some negative things about American Special.but on the other hand,I have heard lot's of good things about Fender Japan. And among these two, Fender Japan is hundreds of bucks cheaper comparing to Stratocaster Special

    What are the biggest differences? I have heard American Special are assembled by many different pieces comparing to Standard Stratocaster. which makes it sounds less pleasant. I think Fender Japan are similar in construction as Stratocaster Special

    Hope you guys are keen on answering my questions
     

  2. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    In my opinion it depends on the year and model of Japan Fender......The better the model the better the electronics......I really am a fan of Fender Japan necks.....
     

  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-A-Holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    42
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Yes, what year and model of Japan Fender is in the photo? What is the serial number?
     

  4. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway

    Fender Japan
    Exclusive Classic 60's Stratocaster SBL(ST62)


    year is 2015
     
    savofenno likes this.

  5. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    May 7, 2014
    UK
    Just bought an American Special Strat, have had no issues with it whatsoever. I bought the surf green FSR, really love it. Plays great. I don't know if the Texas special pups are for everyone, but those can be swapped out, and let's face it it's a great entry level USA made Fender. At the end of the day though the choice is yours, try and play both of them, or check out demos on YouTube. Whatever you decide I hope you enjoy your guitar when you buy it. :)
     
    john lavelle likes this.

  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-A-Holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    42
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Don't buy it!! It will probably have ceramic pickups and be lower quality than a typical MIM Classic Series Strat.....unless it is like 1/3 the price of the American Special.....if it's like 2/3 the price it's not worth it.....

    Explanation - Fender Japan has stopped production, 2014-2015 models were not built to proper specs, guitars were sent out with whatever parts they had. We saw a guy with an expensive VSP ST54 or ST57 model get cheap ceramic pickups and pots and switch inside, it was supposed to have high quality alnico pickups and components.

    I would get the American Special....
     
    Green Sub likes this.

  7. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    IMO, the MIM Classic Series is a better buy than a new ST-62: http://www.fender.com/guitars/stratocaster/classic-series-60s-stratocaster-lacquer/0140062700.html The pickups and electronics are technically better (though I'd replace the pickups either way), and the MIM product generally seems to be closer to MIA than what they produce in Japan. The MIM also has a nice nitro finish. Under the hood, it can be hard to tell a MIM and MIA apart sometimes, but a MIJ looks like a MIJ. I think the Mexican plant really outdid themselves on those guitars.

    Fender Japan as we knew it is gone. From what we've been told, the existing ST-62 stock is the last (since it's not a Special Run), so there might be some appeal in getting one of the last brand new ST-62's there will possibly ever be. From the way people talk about 80's/90's MIJ now, in ten to twenty years time, I suspect these guitars are going to have a mythical regard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

  8. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway
    thanks for the input everyone. i appreciate it. it's such a shame that the quality is not as good anymore. although Yngwie Malmsteen did praise Fender Japan on many different occasions ( 2012 - 2013) he said something about it's not best quality but he likes it's fast action and nowadays he use exclusively just Fender Japan said he
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
    savofenno likes this.

  9. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway
    Also. there are Japan fender stratocaster that come with the "texas pickup" and they are around 20000 yen difference comparing to the one i posted above. are they worth getting?



    Fender / Japan Exclusive Classic 60s Stratocaster Texas Special

    http://store.ishibashi.co.jp/ec/pro/disp/1/80-313049700
     
    savofenno likes this.

  10. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    I wouldn't take Yngwie Malmsteen at his word. He plays the endorsement game. There is no reason MIJ would have faster neck, they have the same common neck radii. Maybe he likes their profile better, or the satin finishes, but that all comes down to preference.
     

  11. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    Are you sure the Texas Specials are the only difference? Is the cheaper model Alder or Basswood? A set of Texas Specials is a lot cheaper than 30,000円 I think the other model you were considering must be Basswood, and on sale.
     

  12. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway

    yes i believe all the current fender japan stratocaster are made out of basewood

    and sorry what meant was they are around 20000 yen more expensive than the model in my first post

    66000 yen vs 82000 yen. sorry that should be 14000 yen difference
     

  13. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    The Texas model you linked to is Alder, as is listed in the specs. They generally only use basswood if you won't be able to see the wood, either due to an opaque finish, or a veneer top.
     

  14. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway
    so basically i should just forget about fender japan? as it's going to be a waste of money?
     

  15. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    It's neck and neck with the MIM Classic Series 60's, price point for price point. Those basswood ST-62's are not using vintage correct wood, but then again they're also priced cheaper than the MIM Classic Series 60's. The Texas Special ST-62 model is made with Alder, it is vintage correct, but it's priced similar to the the MIM Classic Series 60's. Shipping and import costs between a Fender Japan and a Mexican made Fender might be the bigger factor.

    Both the MIM Classic Series 60's and the Texas Special feature AlNiCo pickups, neither is 100% vintage correct, but they're both rather close.

    The MIJ has the distinction that it's about to become more scarce, where as there's no telling how many more MIM Classic Series 60's will come along, or what they will price them at. Fender Japans of the current era also have a better reputation than Mexican made Fenders, who is still trying to recover from quality control issues in the 90's and early 00's. That might have a bearing on there relative values in the long run, given how much the guitar community relies upon generalities.

    There's not a clear, easy choice. There's pros and cons with both... but mostly pros.
     

  16. stratocasterboi

    stratocasterboi Strat-Talker

    162
    Nov 10, 2015
    Norway
    thanks for the long the details. that helps a lot. thanks again
     

  17. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    No, because Texas Specials are horrible!

    One big problem is that people tend to speak of Fender Japan as though it was one entity. It never was. All Fender Japan guitars were made by outside contractors (at least three over a 35 year period) under license to Fender. Specifications varied over the years, quality (apparently) varied over the years. And FJ often made the same model at several different price points, from a budget model to a premium model.

    So how can people generalise the way they do? Fender Japan guitars can be great, or they can be less than great. It depends on the guitar. Don't trust the generalisations.
     
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  18. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    You're right in saying that generalizations are too heavily relied upon when it comes to guitars, part of it is because we can't see a lot of these guitars in person before we buy, but also because many people don't know what they're looking for, and rely on generalities to say if a given guitar is good quality or not. But the history of Fender Japan is rather easy to track thanks to the serial numbers on the guitar, which will tell you who made what, in what year, sometimes the month, and the sequential production number.
     
    savofenno likes this.

  19. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    May 7, 2014
    UK
    And an opinion is just that too. ;)
     
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  20. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    28
    Feb 15, 2014
    SO CAL USA
    I say if they are around the same price I would go for the MIJ.

    I have a 92 MIJ squier with ceramics and basswood body. Although the electronics are not as good as my MIM Classic Series, I dig it more than the MIM as far as feel and play-ability go. Its also alot smoother around the edges and has a sleeker/deeper contour. This is an older FujiGen though.

    However if the quality has remained the same, I would argue that the ST-62TX would be just as good as an MIM Classic Series and IMO better than a Special. It has an alder body, good pups and electronics, vintage correct features. I would go MIJ. I have played many modern MIJs like the 57 inspired ones and more than a couple Pawn Shop 51s and I would say as far as the quality goes they have stayed on top.

    If your getting an ST62 with the basswood model, its not bad quality, just dont overpay for them is all. But the ones with an alder body, proper pups and electronics are just as good as MIM Classic Seires or some MIA models IMO.
     
    savofenno likes this.