Mid to late 80s Fender Stratocaster Contemporary Japan ID help

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by Shockmaster, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Shockmaster

    Shockmaster Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    Hi guys. So today I picked up a Fender Stratocaster Contemporary made in Japan (so I believe) as far as dating goes, from my research I believe it’s between 1985 - 1988. The serial starts with E and is followed by 6 numbers. You should be able to see the serial in the photos I add. I really love this guitar so far. Great feel. Seems like a great quality guitar. Here’s my questions. The Tremelo seems to be factory and not replaced. It’s by Kahler. It does not say spyder, or licensed by another company or fender on it. Just Kahler USA. The entire guitar seems to be original. I’m curious if anyone can give me an exact year this may have been from? Is it a nice Japan Strat? Is the trem factory and is it as nice as the fender or licensed ones? It could use a little bit of work and I just want to make sure it’s worth putting the money in to. I really love the way it feels and sounds. Thanks so much!
     

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  2. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member

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    Take the neck off and see what the date is.... most likely 1986....

    Take the bridge off to see if it is original[any after market routing]

    Post some more pics...please....

    I owned a 1986 contemporary Japan Strat but i do not recall the bridge saying Made in the USA....
     
  3. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yeah.. looks like the real deal, but as for pinning an exact date on it.. that's a little difficult. The E followed by the 6 should represent 1986, but I've found a discrepancy of a year in this myself with my own Contemporary Strat. Mine is E7, but I bought it as near as new in 1986.. so..

    They are lovely guitars though, and extremely well made. The necks on these are 12" radius and the shaping is sublime. One of the best necks I've ever had in my hands. My guitar is fitted with a Kahler but the Spyder version. I do believe there was a factory change in type though regarding this Kahler, so I very much doubt yours is after market.

    Mines made of Basswood, has a plastic 5 way switch and ceramic bar pickups. All three of those items are sneered on by some.. but when you have the guitar in your hands and hear its sweet tone.. oh man.. wonderful.

    I'll wrap up by saying these mid 80's Japanese guitars are top knotch in my view, and well worth investing in.. :thumb:
     
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  4. guitarman1984

    guitarman1984 Senior Stratmaster

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    I had two of these, one was looking exactly the same! Factory fitted teen, it's a Kahler fulcrum tremolo 2520. They later switched to the Kahler Spyder... I dated mine to 86/87...
    Great guitars with fabulous neck, imho...really fabulous.
    Mine had both alnico pickups with flat poles....
    Sounded great, I regret I sold both!
     
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  5. muso.greg

    muso.greg Strat-Talker

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    It looks the real deal to me... I have one with the same trem (but in black finish, not chrome). I contacted Kahler years ago with detailed photos and they confirmed it was OE 2520 fitted to the late '86 to around early '88. Mine is '87.
    [​IMG]

    Not my favourite trem but they are on many a great guitar none the less. If you take the neck and pickguard off you may be able to date it more accurately but my guess would be late '86 ish... It's worth spending some time and $$s on IMO and many other tremolos will fit right in if you want to swap.
     
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  6. Shockmaster

    Shockmaster Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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  7. Shockmaster

    Shockmaster Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    I removed the neck but no date, just these numbers.
     

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  8. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    It's absolutely authentic @Shockmaster .....ST-562 denotes that it's a contemporary...the K is for Kahler....which is the maker of the tremolo bridge on this model..... looks like a Kahler 2520....

    Your guitar is stock.....

    basswood body, flat pole alnico pickups....it all looks 100% stock....
     
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  9. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    That one is nice; like the grain on it.

    Before the Kahler 2520 was fitted these models used the Fender System 1 tremolo, which was made for them by Schaller - and interestingly enough Fender continued to use the Schaller-made string clamp even though they switched to the Kahler bridge. The System 1 era would start when this series was introduced (late 1984 in the rest of the world, 1985 in the USA - after the sale from CBS to FMIC) until as you say late 1986. In 1988 they changed from the 2520 model trem in favor of Kahler's double-locking Spyder trem, with a Kahler-made Floyd-Rose licensed locking nut.