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What are the best Made in Japan Fender Stratocasters?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by miurasv, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    Are Fender Stratocasters still being made in Japan? If so are they not of the same quality of those made in the past? I've read that some of the MIJ Strats are better than US Strats so which models are they and from which years?

    I've seen a few MIJ 57 and 62 Vintage Reissue Strats advertised and I'm wondering if these are as good as the US Reissues and if they follow the original design as closely? Do they use the same 57/62 Pick Ups for example and use cloth wiring? I'm not just interested in the RI Strats and would like to know which are the real good ones. Thanks very much in advance for any info given.
     
  2. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    The JV 115 and 85 are the flagship. Can't do any better than them 1
     
  3. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    Exactly what models are these? When were they made?
     
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  5. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    Go to this site, 21frets.com A wealth of info there .
     
  6. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks very much. I'll have a look.
     
  7. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    they were their first series of strats...also made the -65 model at that time along with a couple of tele models starting in the spring of 1982. I think some folks go for those because they were their first I mean, Fender Japan has always and continues to make some high end models. My best are from the early `90s and I have an ExTrad strat too, true the first high ends are nice but they certainly are not the only great strats FJ made...my ExTrad as well as my custom editions I`d wager were actually made by the same folks...made to the same specs thats for sure. So best is going to depend on who you ask. The high end series they made with DiMarzio pups until 2009 are very nice too, as well made as anything they ever produced.
     
  8. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    So would a MIJ Fender 57 or 62 Reissue from any period, be that 80's, 90's, or present day if they still make them, be as authentic in its detail replicating those guitars, be as high quality in both build and componentry and also play as well as an American Vintage RI?
     
  9. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    It has been said by many with much more knowledge than me that the early JV's are the closest you can get to a pre-CBS . They made the Fender Execs almost cry at how good they were .
     
  10. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    Especially since they are pretty much vintage themselves now !
     
  11. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    yeah the crying thing thing has been written about many many times, and if that was the case then Grecos of the same time period should have done the same thing since they were also made by Fujigen...and I have some Greco strats from the mid `70s to early `80s that are outstanding. If we want to pick the very best MIJ strats made they wouldn`t be Fender Japan in my opinion, there are quite a few other makers that produce top notch stuff. The early JVs certainly were very nice guitars...I have/had some... but as I said, they made other models that are equal in every way in terms of quality, specs and parts used however they sure made a LOT of middle of the road and low end stuff too. I`m judging quality by the guitars I actually own and see here in Japan not by stuff written on the web by people who may or may not have seen what the Japanese make in the country.
    As for FJs authenticity to the originals, the Japanese do not call their Fenders reissues, some models may come close to the American version others not at all, now before anybody posts a pic of their receipt that shows a guitar listed as a reissue in England, I have lots of receipts for guitars purchased in Japan that do not nor does anybody here call them reissues, it`s people overseas that call them that and it`s obvious guitars have to be based on something made by F/USA so they use models from certain years as a base but do not always try to match them precisely, sometimes they make guitars to specs for chain stores so any and everything is possible. I know people use the reissue word for Japanese Fenders but I certainly would not buy a used guitar from somebody who doesn`t know the difference between an MIJ or an MIA Fender. Like I said...best really is going to depend on who you ask...and the Japanese are making high end guitars that do not get sold outside the country so in order to form an opinion that carries any weight at all they`d have to be seen in Japan.
     
  12. thaus

    thaus Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Word to the wise, listen to sneakypete if you want accurate info on Fender Japan!
     
  13. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    I was in your country for a few months in late 82 and early 83 ( Navy ) as a young man and considered buying a JV but was caught up in the it has to be Made in America and passed .Live and learn . Now all these years I am lusting after one ! I recently sold off a few E=serial Squier's , nice little guitars in their own right !and some other gear and am shopping for one now . So please excuse my enthusiasm about the JV's .
     
  14. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    it really depends on the model, and there are many. Time period is less important to me that where a guitar fits into the line-up and often...not always... that info can be found in the neck pocket. personally I don`t expect a model ending in -53, the bottom feeder models to equal my -128 custom edition model based on the USA 1954 strat...made of a 2 piece center seamed lacquer finished ash body with USA electronics and pick-ups, same as the JVs from a few years earlier. I`ve had other high end FJ strats to...had one 54-120 custom edition, had the 40th anniversary ST-150 strat...not the foto flame version but the other one with real flame maple neck and the Blue Velvet DiMarzio p`ups...but the `54s have a hard V neck shape and I came to realize I just didn`t find it very comfortable so I`m down to only one, the 54-128. I`m not saying the JVs are not great guitars, I`m simply saying I own other models they made that are in every way, equal...they just don`t have the JV serial number so some people out there believe that can`t be as good. I`m happy with my JV guitars...both strats and teles...but I happen to have other FJs that are just as good.
     
  15. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    I`m Canadian. But you should expect to pay a lot more for a JV now that you would have just 5 years ago with all the people overseas after them these days.
     
  16. AncientAx

    AncientAx Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes , The prices are thru the roof for sure . I'm starting to get a little old now and not so much into hoarding guitars and amps as I once was so I am willing to pay the price when the right one comes around .
     
  17. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks for your replies, all and especially to sneakypete. I now know that there is no such thing as a MIJ RI so my interest in a guitar being advertised as one will not be great. However, the spec of it will be.

    So do Fender Japan make Stratocasters today that are on par with MIA and if so are they any cheaper?
     
  18. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    it`s really hard to know everything they are building right now because chain shops order special run stuff all the time but going by the 2011 catalog, their top end models at this time...and speaking solely of strats... is the VSP series that replaced the Dimarzio series, I mean the ones that used to come with DiMarzio p`ups are now listed as coming with Alnico Custom [ japan] p`ups...and top end meaning they are the only strats listed as having 2 piece bodies...can`t say ALL other strats from every other series is not...but as far as being listed as 2 piece bodies with USA electronics, they are the only ones. Retail price is 133,350 yen minus the typical 20% off that, speaking strictly for myself, I am not prepared to pay that much for a current MIJ Fender, even my ExTrad and custom editions were less than that but it comes down to every individual...I`m sure some guys have paid that much for their MIJ Fenders and are pleased with them it`s just that at those prices I have options on other MIJ brands that I`d prefer.
     
  19. LoveOrConfusion

    LoveOrConfusion Senior Stratmaster

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    they are cheap-ish. for example the make a NOS 1968 replica (something Fender Custom Shop doesn't even do) that is around $800-$1000 last time i checked [add $100-$200 for oversea shipping]. Ishibashi has a store on ebay where they sell tons of gitfiddles (about half of them being Fender). Good prices, good guitars. Customs are a b*tch though, could take months to get to your destination. They are great guitars, but it's just too much of a pain for me with shipping and all. If they were at an easier reach I would have nothing but them.

    Here's a 1954 re-issue for sale by them right now infact.

    FENDER JAPAN Stratocaster ST54-80AM Black (315948505) - eBay (item 280601376668 end time Feb-06-11 20:06:40 PST)
     
  20. miurasv

    miurasv Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks again, all. Sneakypete, 133,350 Japanese Yen with 20% off that's about £800 GBP and then you'd have to get it to UK and pay the taxes so you'd be talking £1250 GBP which is more than the Street price of a US Deluxe. What in the US line up would these high end MIJ be comparable with?
     
  21. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

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    no idea, since I`m not really interested in adding more guitars I haven`t picked up any MIA Fenders for quite some time...few years ago I bought some but it`s been a while so I just glance at the models hanging in the local shops but don`t play any, not like I need to add any more guitars to what I already have. Still, if somebody made me an offer I couldn`t refuse no tellin` what might happen just that I ain`t really looking these days.
     

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