MIJ 62 reissue or MIM classic?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Lankytwang, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. Lankytwang

    Lankytwang Strat-Talker

    Age:
    79
    Messages:
    470
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2020
    Location:
    Lancashire englandSTRAT
    I'm considering buying one when the right instrument comes up...I like vintage style Strats...I have heard that the pickups on the MIJ model are different to normal and wonder what the affect would be on the sound.I know there are a lot of you out there with MIJ guitars and would welcome any feedback you can give me.The same goes for the Trem system which I have read occasional rumbles of discontent about.

    As I said I like vintage style Strats (I have a 63 L series) so another option would be the MIM classic range if I was buying pre owned so would like to know opinions on this range.
    I know I could buy a new Vintera but the colours don't appeal to me.

    Thanks.
     
    rafasounds likes this.
  2. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,028
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    I have owned guitars from both side of the globe, specifically from the series you mention. For the vintage-style guitars, both Japanese and Mexican Fenders will have a similar level of craftsmanship, with Japanese being just a hair superior in my opinion, and from my personal experience. This is mostly due to the fact that Japanese guitars tend to be more consistent, and Mexican ones are more "all over the map". There can be a Mexican made one just as good or better than a Japanese made one, but I've seen sloppy things on some Mexican examples that would hardly happen on a Japanese made guitar, like very bad alignment and other things.

    On the other hand, a MIM Classic (either Classic Series or Classic Player) will always come with good alnico pickups, where as a Japan-made Fender, depending on the model designation, may have either alnicos or ceramics.

    Japanese Fenders are divided into two broad categories: MIJ and CIJ ("Made in Japan" and "Crafted in Japan"). MIJ are guitars made roughly from '82 to '96 at the FujiGen factory; CIJ are guitars made roughly from '95 to 2010 at the Dyna Gakki factory. There is a period in the mid-90s in which they overlap a bit, with CIJ being produced at the FujiGen factory, but these are very few, so generally the designations are pretty precise.

    Sellers and internet lore tend to push the idea that MIJ is invariably superior to CIJ, which I don't think it necessarily is. MIJ guitars tend to be more valuable simply because they're older and made at the FujiGen factory, and this reflects on prices. Many examples are indeed of excellent quality, and the fame isn't completely unfounded, but the same can apply to CIJ guitars which in recent years have gained a bit more respect as they're increasingly recognized as guitars of excellent craftsmanship etc. MIJ guitars carry a certain mythology because that's the factory that started it all in Japan with the "legendary" JVs of the early to mid 80s.

    I would personally always prefer a MIJ or CIJ to a MIM, but we have to look at individual examples. Models also come to mind. For example, I have an absolutely great MIM Telecaster, which is the Baja Tele (a model only made at the Ensenada factory in Mexico). This guitar is flawless, and generally very well regarded. Fender Japan also produced great Telecasters, but the Baja Tele (MIM) seems to be a model that stands out. Considering Stratocasters, I would put my money on a Fender Japan guitar sooner and with more confidence than on a MIM.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  3. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Location:
    UKEH
    I'd go MIJ over MIM if prices were comparable also.
    At the end of the day though, it will come down to what's available at what prices in what condition and how much you like what's on offer.
    Things like pickups are cheap to replace. Stuff like weight, radius, neck profile, nut width .. less so.
     
  4. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,180
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    _DSC0061.jpg


    Not '62s but certainly a 2005 CIJ ST72 alongside a MIM Classic Series 70's which is probably a '72 (or a '73 or '74... 2 string trees and staggered pole pups define it).

    The CIJ came with Alnico pups in a white guard since changed for the Blackmore set up and black trem tip switched for the chrome for the Blackmore look. Only mod to the MIM is the switch to vintage correct die cast saddles from the bent steel which come standard yet belong really in the previous decades. Anyway, which is the better?

    The MIM is more resonant, lighter (7lbs 3oz vs 8lbs) and has a slim U neck shape whereas the CIJ is more a C/D shape.

    The MIM does feel like quality and plays very well with a really low action for a 7.25 neck but the fret ends needed work from new (2017) whilst the CIJ feels like it was all carved out of one piece of material it's so solid. Action is just as low with no issues and the neck is more comfortable after a while playing. Tuning stability is great on both. As for the pups I had a hard job distinguishing between them myself ... levels, strings and amp all being even. They both sounded ... stratlike.

    If the house was on fire though and I could only grab one? I'd be going Japanese I think.
     
  5. Willmunny

    Willmunny Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    667
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2019
    Location:
    Mcleary Wa
    I have my number one and number two sitting out currently, and because of all of the fires in Washington I asked myself "which one would I grab if the house was on fire?"
    2019 fifties Vintera tele or 2013 classic series fsr strat (mij)
    I think I decided on the tele but I am sure I could carry 2 guitars
     
  6. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,180
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    So could I but the missus wouldn't forgive me if I didn't save at least one of the twins...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020