1991 Fender Strat MIJ Fujigen Mystery

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by ranchonmars, Apr 7, 2021 at 3:54 PM.

  1. ranchonmars

    ranchonmars New Member!

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    Hello, I've been stalking these forums for awhile researching, but I've got a guitar which is a little puzzling so I'm hopeful one of the many Fender MIJ folks on here might be able to help.

    I bought this on Reverb. The seller was honest and told me he didn't know much but for $600 with a hard case I was in just based on the serial # and lacquer neck letting me know that this is a '57 in some configuration.

    The pickguard he changed out about a year ago when he bought it, but said he's made no other changes and he included the original. Everything looks legit except two nagging issues. The lack of stamp in the neck pocket and the wiring and the look of the pickups behind the pickguard. The neck stamp is blank or has faded, rubbed off, etc. The pickups play nice and seem like a decent set of Alnicos, but they look nothing like the Alnico's on my '92 MIJ (L# serial) with the cloth wiring. Based on that and the zip ties I would guess that the wiring and possibly the pickups are replacements. Also, this is an Alder body, full size pots, but with a 5 way switch. My '92 has a 3 way switch and all the old Fender Japan catalogs list the Alder bodies with 3 way switches unless I misread something. Anyway, any help or information would be appreciated. Thanks!
     

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  2. ranchonmars

    ranchonmars New Member!

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    Here are the pictures of the my '92 ST57-650 as comparison
     

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  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly Strat-Talk Member

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    I'm fairly new to Strats, but that switch has me wondering. Did the MIJs use a PCB switch like that?
     
  4. ranchonmars

    ranchonmars New Member!

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    The switch is legit. I've had two other MIJ Fender Fujigen's and they all used the YM-50 switch when they had a 5 way.
     
  5. LTigh

    LTigh Strat-Talker

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    Yes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yes, I know they're different PCB switches, one's a Fujgen, the other's Tokai.
     
  6. beerbelly

    beerbelly Strat-Talk Member

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    Huh; learned something today.
     
  7. LTigh

    LTigh Strat-Talker

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    With regards to the OP, if the seller said that he "changed out the pickguard," did they mean the WHOLE pickguard (plus pups and guts)? Looks like a stock pickguard from a later-model or perhaps a different model MIJ stratocaster. As far as the body is concerned, is it routed for SSS or HSH or swimming pool? Lack of stamp in neck pocket is a bit troubling, but it could have been rubbed/removed if there were originally a label and that got peeled off in the course of neck adjustments over the years. I can't tell from the photos, but does it look like there might have been a label what used to be there?

    [​IMG]
    (This one's from a 1994 St62-65AS 40th Anniversary).
     
  8. ranchonmars

    ranchonmars New Member!

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    I'll take some better pictures tonight, but the body is exact to my '92 ST57. The pick guard is a modern replacement, but he included the original which again, looks exactly like the '92 I have. When I pull the neck off this thing it didn't feel like a neck that had been pulled before so the stamp rubbing off doesn't seem likely, but this is also my first MIJ ST57 where their is still writing on the neck heel with the date. I've read in these forums that these Fujigen Fenders sometimes came with funky configurations. Maybe this is one of them.
     
  9. ranchonmars

    ranchonmars New Member!

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    Here's the original pickguard. Here's another thing about these pickups....non staggered, where my USA pickups on my '92 are staggered.
     

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  10. LTigh

    LTigh Strat-Talker

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    The not-export MIJs had some pretty tight tolerances-- all the ones I've ever owned had really tight neck joints where I'd swear that the neck had never been removed and the truss rod had never been adjusted, which would be odd considering the necks have been adjusted during my ownership at least.

    As far as the pickups are concerned, they could be the "mystery non-staggered alnico" pickups what were on some MIJ strats of the late 80s and 90s, or the stock flat alnico pickups what were on the American Standards of the 90s (I'm basing it off the pickups/pickguard from my '94 American Standard what got swapped out in favor of a tortoise shell, 3-way switch, Texas Specials, vintage taper pots (yes, I know, I know) and orange drop cap. It's currently in a frankencaster I put together from my accumulated spare parts). The next project (since I'm sending my 2 new MIJ Strats to the tech for extra TLC instead of tinkering on them myself because of their near-pristine case-queen condition) is a refresh of that frankencaster (possibly new body, new tuners at least), so I may take pics of the pups to see if they match the ones you have.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 5:20 PM