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Help Identifying A Late 1980's MIJ Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by declxn, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Hello!

    This is my first post, but I saw others had luck here in the past.

    I am looking to purchase my first MIJ Strat, and found this one (attached) seemingly from 1989.

    While it plays beautifully, and has aged well, I am not certain where the price on this should be (as I'm not sure if it's a reissue or not). Can it be identified by the serial number and a picture of the body?

    They are asking $750 for this, with no case included. It's got a few dings, but nothing major.

    It is in my budget, but my ignorance has me going back and forth. I've seen '89 MIJ's sell for as little as $300 and as much as $1500.

    Is $750 a good price for this, as long as it plays well?

    Details...
    Serial: I005932
    Stratocaster Made in Japan
    Gotoh Tuners
     

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  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ST357 Japanese Standard Stratocaster. Is it worth $750? Not to me.
     
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  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum! Glad you asked us first! @declxn

    It's not even worth $500 - ST-357 like @Thrup'ny Bit says - basswood body, ceramic pickups......ridiculous pricing!

    The 'reissue' 57's, 62's, etc go for more, and the JV's and SQ's go for even more......but not one of these....
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  4. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    As others said it already.
    Don't !
     
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  5. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Oh wow ! Thanks for the insight, guys :D ! I am glad I slowed it down & did some research.

    Unfortunately, this is at a Guitar Center so I can't make a lower offer (they have pretty stiff margins on used equipment).

    I saw /u/Guitarmeggedon say (in another thread) that modern MIJ are not worth their list price (due to shipping/import). This model (pic attached) is available locally at $899, but I hesitated as it didn't sound as 'raw' or alive as the '89 pictured above. It's a "Fender MIJ Traditional 60s Stratocaster Candy Tangerine" my account is too fresh to link to it, but it's online at the Chicago Music Exchange.

    My budget is $1,200 (tax incl.) for a new Fender (I've wavered between Tele, Strat or Jazzmaster/Jag), would anyone be comfortable recommending their best bet for that price?
     

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  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would not recommend that Fender MIJ Traditional 60s.....it's $900 for a $600-700 guitar....with ceramic pickups.....

    Have you ever browsed Guitar Center's online used guitar pages? You can sometimes find a deal, but GC is also highly known for getting what model they have wrong.....so you need to know your stuff.

    In all honesty you don't need to spend $1200 for a nice Strat - a Squier Classic Vibe is EXCELLENT. Also Fender's new Player Series or the Classic Series or Classic Player line is also EXCELLENT. All those are under $800-900.....

    Or, look for a used American Standard around $700-850 used.....

    used Fender Japan stuff these days is almost always way overpriced.....people think they have the top of the line 'reissue' when they only have an ST-357 for example, like that one at Guitar Center.
     
  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The Fender MIJ Traditionals are spec'd lower (electrics wise) and priced by Fender to be more expensive than the MIM Classic Series. It's been that way since the Mexican factory opened, I offer no comment...
     
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  8. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    That's super valuable information, thanks guys !

    I have an affinity for Japanese made products, but I also want to get my money's worth. Will definitely keep this in mind!

    And re: Guitar Center's online used, this is my first new guitar purchase in ~15 years and I want to make sure it sounds the way I need it to. I've been hunting since Christmas for the right sound at the right price and am a bit uneasy about purchasing without hearing/playing it first.

    I will keep hunting, and am very thankful for your help today :whistling:
     
  9. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    They have a no hassle 45 day return policy, it's a no brainer! If it has a problem or you don't like it, you can return it.
     
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  10. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Oh cool ! It looks like I can have guitars shipped to my local guitar center, too. That's a great idea, thanks man :)

    I just found this MIJ Tele for $950, but it looks like it was a 2012 model. I've been hunting for this color Tele for AGES, and can't seem to find it anywhere.

    Were the 2012 / JD serials similarly poorly built? As much as I want the guitar to look the part, I want good wood & electronics, too.

    This one has a no-return policy, so this is likely a no-go. But I'd still love the information, if it isn't too much trouble.
     

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  11. wilbarreid

    wilbarreid Strat-Talk Member

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    Check out the 2018 japan hybrid Stratocaster, comes with American vintage pickups, locking tuners, satin neck and two point tremolo.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  12. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Will do ! The sales guy I talked to said it's harder and harder to find new MIJ models, as they aren't coming in as frequently but tend to sell out quickly. This sounds like a good lead though, thanks!
     
  13. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This is nowhere near worth $950.....again it's a lower end TL-357 type model......like the Strat you first asked about. $500 max.

    They're not poorly built at all, it's just WAY overpriced.....good wood? They use alder and basswood, both are good. Electronics are usually Alpha full size pots which I like better than CTS.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  14. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Senior Stratmaster

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    You need to look at the "Players" model from Fender. You can get it in Sonic Red which is close in color to the one you were looking at. I am attaching a link to Musician's Friend (same company as GC) so you can see the specs.

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/gui...uitar?rNtt=fender player stratocaster&index=5

    I don't where you are located, but I was in Chicago recently and they had a Sonic Red Player at the Sam Ash store in Lombard.

    I own the left handed version in White and love this new model. Fender did really good with all the upgrades to their MIM strats....

    Best of luck on your search.
     
  15. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thm
    Those aren't Lace pups.

    They were sealed covers at first, and said LACE SENSOR in a color (gold, silver, red and blue at first). Later came purple and green (separately) and HB's.

    After a few years they came out with exposed pole pieces, but those still said LACE SENSOR in script on them.
     
  16. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Where on earth does the OP mention Lace pickups? I don't see it anywhere @jaybones
     
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  17. jaybones

    jaybones Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I was sure I read it in the tittle.

    Not there today however, maybe I made it up.
     
  18. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for this break down, Guitarmageddon! Is there any way to be sure of the pot specs? I emailed Fender Japan yesterday, but they won't give information out on models made before 2015 (and this is definitely from 2012).

    I am very torn about it, as the seller has come down from $950 (plus $95 shipping from California) to $700 (plus an estimated $75 for shipping). When I set out to buy a guitar last December, I wanted this exact color orange on either a tele or a strat. It has proved very difficult, unless I want a Squier (or to pay $3000+). I also love the idea of a MIJ model, as I have a collection of Japanese art pieces.

    The seller didn't know the make/model, as he had bought it second hand, so I might be able to get the price a little lower (maybe to $600). My main concern is he won't accept returns & I can't try it out before I buy it. It's a big risk, especially if it arrives sounding bogus.

    Am I being paranoid, or should I go for it? Thanks so much again for your insight, guys!
     
  19. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If there's no return policy, I would never buy something online like that...you have no way of knowing if you'd like the neck, the pickups, etc......
     
  20. declxn

    declxn Strat-Talk Member

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    Update: I bought the 2012 MIJ Tele, but it was damaged in transit by UPS :(

    We insured it, and UPS is asking for a quote/estimate on what it would cost to restore this to guitar to "mint" condition (or as close as possible to it).

    For some context, the guitar was shipped in a gig bag, the metal zipper of which smashed into the guitar's body and caused the dent (pictured below, "A"). It also suffered damage to the top of the guitar head, where the teeth of the zipper appear to have pressed into the wood (Picture B). Some of the frets are buzzing, and I'd want to get this a set up to fix inconsistencies. Finally, there is a small but central crack on the body of the guitar where it meets the neck (Picture C).

    The guitar was insured at $500, and a big reason I had bought it was due to it's resell ability. It looked brand new, and was listed and sold as used but in "brand new mint condition," and had "hardly any playing time on it." I want to keep the thing, it sounds pretty sweet (on the frets that aren't buzzing), and it is the perfect size/feel. I am afraid I might lose money if I keep it, so I wanted your opinions (specifically @Guitarmageddon 's opinion, if he'll come out of pricing retirement ;) ) to see what you think I ought to do here. I paid $550 for the guitar and a gig-bag, (plus $95 to ship/insure it, which will be refunded to me by UPS). It was worth ~$500 before the damage, by all the best estimates.

    I can, if I need, use eBay's Money Back guarantee and get all of my money back. But I lose the guitar, and I have to start my search all over again. Thanks in advance for taking the time to look this over, I appreciate your knowledge and have already learned a ton from this forum!

    Picture A:
    image (5).png

    Picture B:
    zipper teeth (1).png

    Picture C:
    image (1) (1).png
     
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