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Strat Experts needed.. ID this 1989 USA Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by joeybsyc, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    OK,just to wrap this up once and for all... Take a closer look at the pics of the "Standard Strat" with the USA branding that I posted originally one page 1, (reposted here below)... and compare them to pics of a very early serial number 1990 Made in Mexico. Unquestionably identical features on them, from the tuners, to the string tree, to the body and headstock shapes, trem cover, pickups, bridge and saddles, etc. etc. The USA branded 1989 Standard Strat (Not to be confused with an AMERICAN Standard) was actually the same guitar that would be introduced as the "new" Made in Mexico Standard Strat in 1990.

    First, let's compare headstocks...

    1989 Standard Strat (USA) :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Compared to the 1990 Standard Strat (Mexico):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can easily see, they are identical aside from the country of origin markings and serial numbers.
     

  2. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Next, lets compare the bridges, pickguards, knobs, and pickups.

    1989 Standard Strat (USA):

    [​IMG]

    1990 Standard Strat (Mexico)

    [​IMG]

    Note every body component on both of these guitars is also identical...right down to the font on the knobs to the countersunk pickup screws.
     

  3. Michael A.

    Michael A. Strat-Talker

    293
    Oct 18, 2012
    Virginia
    Does that price list include any Squier models, or it is it Fender only? I'm curious about what a 1989 MIA Squier sold for at that time, and if Fender priced them differently based on Squier vs. Fender decals on the head stock.
     

  4. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Finally, the back of the guitars...trem cover, body contours, neck finish and skunk stripe, neck plate, etc.

    1989 Standard Strat (USA)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1990 Standard Strat (Mexico)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Again, every detail is the same. The 1989 Standard Strats (as they are referenced in the July 1989 Fender Price List and pictured in the first post in this thread) were the same guitars that were labeled "Made in Mexico" in 1990, and were introduced at roughly half the cost of an American Standard of the same year, in limited colors and with no case or accessories included.

    Mystery solved!
     

  5. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Just Fenders, which is even more proof that the 349.99 "Standard Stratocaster" they reference is this guitar, not a Squier.
     

  6. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 6, 2012
    Telephone Road
    Nice find joey, that price list looks like the smoking gun.

    Just read this thread too, it's like a microcosm of the internet, i.e. half the people have no idea what's going on but that doesn't stop them asserting their firm opinions.
     

  7. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Haha...Exactly!
     

  8. Michael A.

    Michael A. Strat-Talker

    293
    Oct 18, 2012
    Virginia


    Joe,

    Yeah, I agree that it confirms it is a Fender.

    Here's a new wrinkle. Do you think there is any connection between the 27-4600-xxx part number for this model and the MIJ 027-4600 Squier Series guitar?

    I Googled the mfr number and it turned up this thread:

    Made in Japan Squier series strat 027-4600 - Fender® Squier® Guitar and Bass Forum

    This part at the bottom is interesting:
    this comes from Fender Reference by Pete Bertges;
    1.2.2 Standard Stratocaster
    1985 - 1997. This Japanese-built guitar is identical to the American Standard Stratocaster
    as introduced in 1986 in the new Corona factory.
    Differing Features:
    Model no. 027-4600/2, Japan
    Head 1 string clamp
    Changes over the years:
    1988 Locking nut
    1989 2nd version, similar to Mexican Standard Stratocaster
    but with 2 string retainers
    1992 3rd version (?)
    1996 only LH version (027-4620)
    Basswood body
    1-ply white pickguard w. 8 screws
    1.2.3

     
    Pulp likes this.

  9. Michael A.

    Michael A. Strat-Talker

    293
    Oct 18, 2012
    Virginia
    Now that you have posted photos of the rear sides of the black Strats, I note both have the aligned screw holes in the trem cover plate.

    Here's mine, same offset center screw pair as on Am Std. It was made this way, there are no unused holes in the body.
     

    Attached Files:


  10. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA


    No, and a lot of that info you posted above from that link seems incorrect. I know of no "Japanese built 1985-97 guitars that were "identical to the American Standard Stratocaster as introduced in the new Corona factory." "1989 2nd version, similar to Mexican Standard Stratocaster
    but with 2 string retainers 1-ply white pickguard w. 8 screws" None of this correlates to the Standard Series of 1989, nor the MIM Standard series of 1990.
    And the pics of the Squier posted in that link do not look anything like the 2 guitars I compared above. I think someone got their numbers mixed up.

    As for your trem cover screws... that's not surprising to me, as it seems the early MIM Standards varied between the straight across style and the staggered style trem covers too, both the same single-ply non beveled covers. Eventually they began to only staggered type like yours, with the long slot rather than the 6 oblong string holes. This style is still used to this day on MIM Standards.
     

  11. Hash

    Hash Strat-Talk Member

    42
    Sep 15, 2011
    Canada
    joey, you don't happen to have access to a 1990 Fender Price List do you?
     

  12. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Not yet.
     

  13. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Kansas City
    Great finds; the price lists can be a treasure trove of information on Fender from that era.

    Joey - how about another mystery from that time: are the HM Strats in your price list and if so are they identified as USA models?

    I think we all know by now that HMs used FujiGen-built bodies and necks regardless of where they may have been assembled; the theory being that after the first year they were assembled in Corona because they had enough USA part content to be considered "domestic" by the lawyers if they put some of the labor in here in the States.
     

  14. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Thanks. The HM is listed (at 799.99) but there is no specific mention of country of origin.
     

  15. Elypsis44

    Elypsis44 Banned

    551
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hollywood East

    It's called Dunning Kruger effect.

    ;)


    Great thread with good info!
     

  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Sorry fella, didn't mean to hijack your thread. The point I should have made is there are more variants to the USA Fender line than most people know about. You found one, and a lot of people said it was 'wrong'. I congratulate you for sticking with it and finding out the real story.

    (I've just read what the Dunning–Kruger effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is and now I'm torn between wondering if I'm helpful, or perhaps simply delusional. It's certainly true that most people think they're above-average drivers, which is possibly part of the same syndrome.)
     

  17. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA

    No worries! And again I agree with you that there is A LOT of info that is not widely known about USA Fender production, branding, and export/importing in the 1980's. Many think it's all cut and dried, that it wasn't a "normal" American Standard like they're used to seeing so it just had to be "fake", with no further research or questioning. I just knew that wasn't the case with this one from the very beginning, and was set to figure out just what it was. I was determined to stick it out and continue researching and encourage you to do the same with the USA branded model you have. There are indeed many helpful members here and they're always willing to help. I'm sure you've probably been told its "fake" at least once too... so you can likely relate. :)

    As for the "Dunning Kruger" effect, I'm certain that's not directed at you, but to some of the others who popped up early in the thread simply to dismiss the guitar as a partscaster and/or fake without any real knowledge of what they were talking about. No worries anyhow, as I'm just happy I was able to talk to the people who own or have owned similar guitars, find some the pics of others like it including the one I recently spotted on ebay, and finally finding "real" documentation of these officially existing within the factory Fender price lists from 1989.

    The funny thing is I don't even own one of these. I just was struck with the desire to figure out the true history behind them when I spotted one in a local shop and knew there was a story behind it!
     

  18. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Check this out...

    Fender® Forums • View topic - Fender Replica? Any help is very welcome.

    I was doing some browsing and stumbled on this old thread on the Fender forums... it seems these Standard Strats were built all the way into 1991. This guy has one, and of course just about everyone in the thread proclaims it's a "fake" just like they did here. It's not, it just isn't an American Standard.

    I believe it to be another "Standard Stratocaster" similar to the 1989's shown in this thread... with a few production changes that seem to have occurred between 89-91, (tuners/bridge). Incidently these are the same changes that were made on the MIM Standard during the same timeframe. I'm tempted to post a link to this thread over there, but the thread is so old I think I'll just let it go... I just hate to see a thread with 3 pages of misinformation posted as fact.
     

  19. Michael A.

    Michael A. Strat-Talker

    293
    Oct 18, 2012
    Virginia
    Isn't the first year of MIM production actually 1990? So there are MIA Strats of the specs described in this thread, including my guitar, that were only available in 1989 when there was no corresponding Mexican Standard.

    You may want to bring your expertise to bear on my old thread on the Fender forum, which has recently been revived by a guy with questions about his N serial number Strat. The latest poster on that thread is trying to explain what an American Standard should look like and has missed the point entirely about understanding that Fender made Standard Strats in America before MIM production began.
    Fender® Forums • View topic - Did Fender build fake MIA Strats in 1989-90?
     

  20. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    PA
    Yes, 1990 was the first full production year for the Standard Strat made in Ensenada. The "Standard Strat" likely lived on for a year or so after the MIM Standards started being made as a cheaper alternative to those who wanted a USA labeled Strat. Keep in mind these were priced much less than an American Standard.

    As for that other forum, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. I don't really frequent there, I just come across specific threads from time to time while doing "Strat research". Some guys just can't come to grips with the fact that there are legitimate Fender MIA Strats out there that are not American Standards, and love to be the first one to "spot a fake" and tell you why it must be one. It actually just makes these guitars even harder to verify, as every time someone finds one and does an internet search they find a thread with a similar guitar there are 20 people saying it's counterfeit, or a partscaster, etc.

    Oh well, I know what they are...and hopefully this thread will pop up in future searches. Feel free to link it, although I doubt it will do much to convince the fake strat spotters.