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Roland Ready Strat MIM vs USA

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Party Pooper, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Party Pooper

    Party Pooper New Member!

    Age:
    63
    3
    Feb 13, 2018
    Lindenhurst
    Hey Strat Lovers,

    My Dad bought me my first new 1968 Strat for $200 at Gracin's Music many moons ago, and I still own it. :)

    Around 10 years ago I picked up a VG-99 and a black Roland Ready Strat which was made in Mexico (MIM). At the time, both Sam Ash and Guitar Centers told me a USA Roland Ready Strat was not available. Yesterday, I dropped that guitar off for a fret job and the "very well respected" guitar tech suggested I replace the neck instead since it was cheaper. The question was, do I go with a MIM neck or upgrade to a USA? I told him I would have purchased a USA Strat but they weren't available. It was then he told me USA Roland Ready Strats were available since, I think he said, around 1987.

    Okay, my question to you Strat experts is: Was I sold a bill of goods at Guitar Centers and Sam Ash or is my tech (and he really is tops in his field) a little off on this? My inclination is to believe my tech but perhaps when I purchased the VG-99 they weren't available at that time which would explain my confusion.

    Party Pooper
     

  2. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Kansas City
    No, GC and Sam Ash were correct back when you originally bought the guitar. Fender started out with a USA Roland Ready model (an American Standard Strat with the Roland GK pickup/controls installed) but switched to MIM production at some point. I'm not sure when that occurred - the USA model didn't last that long, and it was out in the middle 1990s. The latest the USA model probably lasted would have been 2000 -when the American Series replaced the American Standards - which well before you purchased the guitar 10 or so years ago. They had at least MIM versions after the USA version was discontinued.
     

  3. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    A Roland Ready and a VG is not the same thing... so which do you have?
     

  4. Party Pooper

    Party Pooper New Member!

    Age:
    63
    3
    Feb 13, 2018
    Lindenhurst


    Hi John,

    You're the man and thanks so much for the lucid explanation. I don't feel so bad anymore knowing that I had to buy the MIM Roland Ready Strat just as GC and Sam Ash said.
     

  5. Party Pooper

    Party Pooper New Member!

    Age:
    63
    3
    Feb 13, 2018
    Lindenhurst
    Hi Electgumbo,

    Thanks for the response. I honestly don't know the number or name of the Strat. All I can say is that it was sold with the VG-99 and I understood it to be a Roland Ready Strat.
     

  6. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    @Party Pooper

    Oh ok ... They made a Roland Ready Strat and a VG Strat. I have and gig 2 Roland Ready Strats. I use them with a GR-20 Syth. But I do believe they are compatible with the Roland VG units also. It’s been so long. But Fender also made a VG Strat which was more like the Line6 guitar that had different guitar sounds like Tele, Les Paul (Fender didn’t use that name but we know what they mean) 12 String and other stuff.

    I’ve heard this rumor on line that Fender never made a real USA Roland Ready Strat even though they sold and labeled some guitars as US made. According to the article I read all the early RR Strats were made in Japan cause it was just easier to work the deal with Roland. Then Fender discontinued the USA (Opps) Strats and they just had the MIJ ones. Then the MIM ones came out and the MIJ’s were discontinued. Or something like that. I have 2 MIM ones.
     

  7. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Kansas City
    I only saw 2-3 of them in the 1990s, but all the photos I can turn up definitely look like American Standards (walnut plug, etc.). Maybe Fender sent American Standards over to Japan and had Roland mod them, or maybe they sourced the loaded pickguards from Roland (with the Roland guts, then they added the Fender guts ); all Fender USA would have to do to the body is the additional rout for the Roland output, which was on the side.
     

  8. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    @John C
    I know it’s strange and far fetched but some ex Fender guy talked about it in some interview I read on line. I used to see MIJ ones back in the 90’s in shops all the time. I could never afford one and just had the GK-2 and later GK-3 pickups. I only bought a new RR Strat in 2009. Then I bought a used one a few years later as a backup. It’s a 2004 and both are MIM. I used to see MIA ones on line and in catologs but they always seemed real expensive.

    A walnut plug can be installed in Japan as easily as it can be installed in California. There is a route in the back or the guitar for a PCB and routing for the hex pickup.

    I’ll see if I can find that interview and post it.
     

  9. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.