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Fender Japan ST57-US?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 62ohm, Dec 7, 2017 at 6:11 AM.

  1. 62ohm

    62ohm Strat-Talk Member

    99
    Sep 28, 2016
    New Zealand
    Hi guys, I'm travelling to Japan real soon and am planning on getting myself another strat. Has anyone here ever played an ST57 strat? Supposed to be a MIJ 57 reissue, but how is the quality compared to an AVRI?

    Furthermore, I like thick, V or U-shaped neck profile. Would the ST57 get me what I want? I tried looking at some of the store's website, but it's not much of a help..

    At the moment, these 2 intrigues me:

    http://www.shimokura-gakki.com/english/catalog/Fender Japan_ST57-US_64641.html ($426 USD)
    http://www.shimokura-gakki.com/english/catalog/Fender Japan_ST57TX LTD_74686.html ($708 USD)

    Or for $931 USD, I can get myself a 1998 American Standard
    http://www.shimokura-gakki.com/english/catalog/Fender USA_American Standard Stratocaster_72515.html


    So what do you guys think? Would you classify these MIJ 57 strats as "excellent" build quality, or should I just get the American Standard? (For comparison, an AVRI 59 Strat would cost me $2,066 USD)

    Any insight would be appreciated!
     

  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    I'd go for the MIJ every time, but the necks do vary from guitar to guitar, they should be Vs on the ST57s.
     
    muso.greg and dogletnoir like this.

  3. conehead

    conehead Strat-Talker

    Age:
    46
    297
    Apr 12, 2017
    way out there
    Those necks are my favorite thing about Japanese Fenders.
    They're usually on the fat side.

    The V shaped necks are on the ST54s, not the ST57s.

    I have two ST57 necks here, made within a year of one another. One is on a partscaster, the other is on one of those ST58s that you rarely see.
    One is pretty much perfect for me in terms of shape and size, the other one is subtly thicker but with very noticeably more shoulder to the neck, it's a pretty small difference but my hands feel it instantly.
     

  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    Like I said the necks vary. I've played ST57s with Vs and a few with Cs too. Depends on the model, the year and who made them. Some are pretty skinny too.
     

  5. conehead

    conehead Strat-Talker

    Age:
    46
    297
    Apr 12, 2017
    way out there
    Really? Considering the neck shape was the only distinguishing feature between ST54s and ST57s (ok, and the string retainer), you'd think they would be consistent about the neck shape.
     

  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player...
     

  7. Yves

    Yves Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 2, 2016
    London
    The 2017 model ST57
    Retails at
    Sales price ¥ 71,928
    IMG_494.jpg

    Spec
    BODY MATERIAL Basswood
    NECK MATERIAL 1-Piece Maple
    NECK SHAPE Slim "C"
    SCALE LENGTH 25.5 "(648 mm)
    FINGERBOARD MATERIAL Maple
    FINGERBOARD RADIUS 7.25 "(184.1 mm)
    NUMBER OF FRETS twenty one
    FRET SIZE Vintage-Style
    NUT MATERIAL Synthetic Bone
    NUT WIDTH 1.650 "(42 mm)
    POSITION INLAYS Black Dot
    BRIDGE PICKUP Custom Vintage - Style Single - Coil Strat
    MIDDLE PICKUP Custom Vintage - Style Single - Coil Strat
    NECK PICKUP Custom Vintage - Style Single - Coil Strat
    CONTROLS Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge / Middle Pickup)
    TUNING MACHINES Gotoh® Cast / Sealed
    PICKGUARD 1-Ply White
     

  8. muso.greg

    muso.greg Strat-Talker

    that's my experience as well - they were the old style C necks (what I now call a D neck) not the modern C that seem to be on the more recent releases. The more "period correct" ST57s seem to have been made in the 80's IME.

    Play it and see if you like it :)
     
    Twinfen and Thrup'ny Bit like this.

  9. 62ohm

    62ohm Strat-Talk Member

    99
    Sep 28, 2016
    New Zealand
    Lots of great input here, keep it going guys! On a side note, I heard some people believes that the MIJ strats are built 'better' but comes with sub-par pots, pickups etc. while MIM strats aren't built as good but comes with vastly superior electronics - is this true?
     

  10. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    I would not choose any modern production Fender Japan guitar....I'd go with the USA used one for sure!

    To me the only really good Fender Japan stuff was like 1994 and before.....that's just one man's opinion....seems as though they use basswood bodies and cheap ceramic pickups on models that sell for over $600-700 USD which is insane....

    If they had better pickups in the Japan ST-57 US I'd say go for it....but I don't think they're alnico...

    I had an ST-57 made in 1985 (december 1985 neck date) and E6 serial - it did not have any kind of V shape, it was a slim modern C....so i'm not sure which ones have a V which don't...
     

  11. conehead

    conehead Strat-Talker

    Age:
    46
    297
    Apr 12, 2017
    way out there
    You hear all kinds of stuff. If you play enough of them you'll quickly see that there are good ones, average ones, and crappy ones. Like guitars built in any other place. Having said that, I really like Japanese Fender necks.

    The cheaper ones come with ceramic pickups, but there are also models priced higher which available with US-made pickups. Look for ST57US or ST57TX designations. Pots, switches, etc are easy and inexpensive to replace.
     
    muso.greg and RichieS like this.

  12. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    ^^^This.
     

  13. RichieS

    RichieS Strat-Talker

    Age:
    37
    146
    Sep 1, 2016
    The City
    IMO those are generalizations and I would not let that deter you from buying a guitar that plays well.

    I bought AVRI 50's Hot Rod Strat a couple years ago that plays better than any other electric guitar I own. However the S-1 switch died on me, and I was not a huge fan of the vintage style pups. But electronic can easily be replaced and now I love the way my Strat plays and sounds- it is my #1
     

  14. Jamie

    Jamie Strat-O-Master

    547
    Jun 18, 2015
    Australia
    @Guitarmageddon is on the money, I don't think the current production MIJ is anything special.

    Most of the shops sell used guitars, if it were me I'd be on the lookout for a used Tokai or Greco.
     
    stratman323 likes this.

  15. velvet_man

    velvet_man Strat-Talker

    328
    Sep 7, 2016
    Vancouver
    I've been gasing for an AVRI, but the price is too high if I'm realistic. Then I heard about thee MIJ VSP series (Vintage Special Project, iirc). As I understand it, it's basically Fender Japan's attempt to make the best guitars they can. So they're 2-piece alder bodies, nitro finished, all vintage spec (for St-54/62/etc), and they use all CTS pots, Gavitt vintage wiring, etc, and the pickups were supposedly handwound, reverse engineered from vintage Fender pickups (though I see some of these list as "VSP DMC", which have dimarzio pickups in them). The few people who owned one that I could find posts from online all said they were even better quality than the AVRIs they played and on par with custom shops. If I were going to Japan, I'd be looking into one of those myself. This is the ST-62 version that I've been day dreaming about buying for a couple months now: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148356&icep_item=263268881525
     
    muso.greg likes this.

  16. QuackAttack

    QuackAttack Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    38
    16
    Nov 18, 2017
    Kobe
    Can you tell me where you heard this info. I got an ST57 VSP a couple months ago with these pickups so I would love to learn more about them.

    Here they are

    I’ve played the ST54 (it’s actually an ash body) and the ST62 VSPs. Loved those as well. They had Dimarzios and they sounded lovely. Especially in the 54. I haven’t played an AVRI so can’t compare. I liked them better than the few MIMs I’ve played for sure.
     

  17. QuackAttack

    QuackAttack Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    38
    16
    Nov 18, 2017
    Kobe
    I own an CIJ ST57 and have played a bunch of MIJ from the 80s and 90s. The necks were all thick. Shape did feel a bit different sometimes.

    ST54s always feel like a real V to me.

    The ST57 US sound pretty good to me but I like the ST57 TX with the Texas Specials better.

    Here is a great Japanese language website to hunt down your guitar if you can navigate it. The address of the shop with a map link is at the bottom of each listing.
    https://www.digimart.net/search?dis...&bodyShapeOption=&materialOption=&keywordNot=
     

  18. Rob Moreno

    Rob Moreno Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    267
    May 28, 2017
    Tokyo
    I have a 1999 ST57-LS (Lace Sensor model) and it has a very slim neck, nearly as slim as an 80's model Ibanez.
     

  19. velvet_man

    velvet_man Strat-Talker

    328
    Sep 7, 2016
    Vancouver
    To be honest, I kind of went down a rabbit hole trying to find info about these guitars. Google translate wasn't working for Japanese sites, so I could only find info on message boards and sale ads, so take it all with a grain of salt.

    A thread on this site had a bit of info from a couple people that own VSPs: http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/high-fender-japan-today-vs-american-avri.257322/

    A few different sale ads have listed the pickups as "Japan Custom Alnico ST Pickups", but that hasn't helped me find any further info about them. I know I read about them being reverse engineered and hand wound and all that, but for the life of me, I can't find the site I read it on again.