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MIJ Contemporary Club

Discussion in 'Guitar Owners Clubs' started by 7thSenpai, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. 7thSenpai

    7thSenpai Strat-O-Master

    Sep 8, 2010
    Thought I start this club, these guitars are getting quite rare so it be nice to see all the contemporary's when people pass on by the forum here.

    I have a dual humbucker model with a system III trem. It has a TBX tone and the one volume. The pickup switch blade is my only complaint.. it is harder to switch then typical Fender 5 way switch blade. There is basically 3 main reasons why I adore this guitar, first is the D shaped neck, secondly is the system III tremolo with the easy locking nut handle that stays in tune for weeks and precisely goes back in tune after any push down or pull-up. Third is the unique humbucker tone which personally find it suit lead work in jazz.

    If anyone happens to have the original system III tremolo bar shoot me a PM please, basically need to recreate one, just require a detail picture and possibly dimensions.

    Pictures of mine (So I've been told this is a '84 with a E5 serial):
    Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum - 7thSenpai's Album: 80's MIJ Contemporary
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  2. ifurgoingtoSF

    ifurgoingtoSF Strat-Talker

    Oct 18, 2009
    New Orleans
    Sign ME UP!

    I have an early 1985 Contemporary Std 22. It's all original, and I have all of the original paperwork (including the Fender warranty) and the original hardshell case. It's actually made out of alder, not basswood.

    Attached Files:

  3. ifurgoingtoSF

    ifurgoingtoSF Strat-Talker

    Oct 18, 2009
    New Orleans
    I don't think they were making contemporary's in 1984. Fender Japan guitars first began to show up in the USA in early 1985 after US production stopped. My contemporary std is one of the first Fender Japan strats to have been sold in the USA.

    I also don't believe you can interpret the serial numbers the way you have. Just my 2 cents...

  4. 7thSenpai

    7thSenpai Strat-O-Master

    Sep 8, 2010
    Well at first I thought it was an '85 and then I was told its a '84 no difference to me :)

  5. JasonSD

    JasonSD Strat-Talker

    Mar 30, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    I used to have one, here's a pic

    It was a great guitar, I bought this one used and it was a little beat up. So I sold it to get something else and am keeping my eye out for another in better shape.

    My 1st guitar (that I still have) was a 1987 Squier and that is pretty similar to this guitar and feels about the same, so I'm in no rush, but if I find one, I'll snag it.

  6. Fredrikgroth

    Fredrikgroth Strat-Talk Member

    May 9, 2010
    Posted this in another thread but maybe it's more relevant here:

    I'm on vacation on an island between Sweden and Finland, have been scanning the local ads daily and got this guitar dirt cheap a couple of days ago:




    It probably haven't been played since the 80's, it had reeeeeeeally old strings and the neck had a slight backbow, it was also really dirty. It's completely original and the electronics have not been messed with. After cleaning and setup it plays great, but I haven't been able to try it with an amp yet.

  7. Memphis Slim

    Memphis Slim Strat-Talker

    May 28, 2011
    I have this exact same guitar! Let's compare serial numbers!


    ITSGOTQUACK Strat-Talker

    Sep 19, 2011
    Gotta love the contemporary axes! Here are my contributions.
    fluidG, Flyrz and NullPointer like this.

  9. Paulbiz

    Paulbiz Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 30, 2009
    Northern, Virginia
    Jason you are bringing back memories. I had this exact guitar (color and all) - I believe I bought it around 1985-86 but foolishly sold it in 1992 to help buy my strat plus. I too am on the lookout to buy one just like it.

  10. kchurch

    kchurch Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2011
    Ontario, CANADA
    Wow, I just joined the forum to see if I could learn more about my 1985 MIJ Contemporary strat! Seems like I found the right place. Mine is SN A036865. I will post pics soon. It's a gorgeous guitar - 3 colour sunburst, 3 single coils and System 1 Trem. I'm hesitant to modify it, would like to keep it all original, but so far the biggest thing I've done is removed the locking nut and added a string tree. All quite reversible. One thing that bugs me about the guitar is that it is quite noisy - more so than other strats I've heard or played. I love the tone of the stock pickups though so I'm thinking of rewiring and shielding. Anyways, nice to find other MIJ owners, will come back soon!

    Kchurch from Canada.

  11. kchurch

    kchurch Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2011
    Ontario, CANADA
    My 1985 MIJ Contemporary

    Here she is, my first "good" guitar, bought it used in late 80s with hard-earned cash. It was hanging there in the local store - a true Waynes World moment. I'm still not worthy! Ha ha.

    I have removed the locking nut and therefore fine tuner screws were redundant, so took them off - there is so much damn metal in these bridges!

    I've hung on to all the old parts, just in case these things ever increase in value, but for me I will likely never part with it anyway and own my guitars to play them, not as investments.

    Of my 3 electrics, this one is truly my "pride and joy!"

    Attached Files:

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  12. davecorner

    davecorner New Member!

    Apr 8, 2012
    Hi, just came across this site, good idea having forum for contemporary strats. Mines a 22
    MIJ 1987 bought it in 1995 very cheap, the guy still wants to buy it back.
    I'm afraid its no longer standard, pups changed to texas specials and trem is now a standard fender unit. Guitar has had heavy use with lots of battle scars but still plays like a dream, best strat iv'e ever owned and i've owned a few.

  13. BradH

    BradH New Member!

    Apr 25, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Fender Contemporary Stratocaster E605246

    My first proper guitar was my Fender Contemporary Stratocaster bought new in the late 80's some time. From memory, I paid something like $1100 for it back then as these MIJ models were the only Fender guitars sold new in Australia at that time. I still have it in as new condition.
    Serial E605246
    Colour - Pearl Metallic
    Black scratch plate with 11 screws
    Black painted headstock with Fender Stratocaster decal and serial number
    Maple neck with Rosewood fretboard
    22 Frets
    HSS model (I still have original pick ups) but I have replaced them with a Dimarzio PAF in the bridge, Kinman Woodstocks in the middle and neck position. Bridge pick up has single coil or humbucker selection option via a toggle switch.
    The 5 way selector has been replaced (I still have the original) with a Fender double wafer 5 way selector. This now gives me the option of a Telecaster (B&N) pick up selection in the middle position.
    Series ll Fender Tremolo all with original parts including the tremolo arm with two onboard allen keys.
    Swing arm locking system on the neck
    TBX tone control
    D shaped neck
    Output jack is on the bottom side edge of the body

    I'll take some photos and post it on here soon.

    This is a great guitar and I have never been able to face selling it. It has never been used outside of the home and is in as new condition.
    I know the MIJ tag puts a lot of people off and the value of this guitar has never taken off because of this, but it sounds great, looks great and has great equipment onboard. It's good enough for me and I would rather play this guitar than what I am seeing out of Fender USA today (outside of the custom shop). I appreciate hearing what other owners of the Contemporary have to say about them, it is a niche guitar and it's great to have a place to talk about them. Well done.

  14. Tanchiblues

    Tanchiblues New Member!

    Jun 30, 2012
    Here's some pics of my MIJ Contemporary Strat. Its dated in the year 1988 - 1989 according to the guitar dater project




    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
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  15. kydog

    kydog Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    dads black gutar 001.jpg

    dads black gutar 002.jpg this is mine
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012


    LORDDiESEL Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 18, 2012

  17. muso.greg

    muso.greg Strat-Talker

    Series 1 and 3 tremelo

    I have a couple of mid 80's MIJ Strats and Squiers, but I have really fallen in love with the contempory Strats :D I bought the attached jpeg about a year ago and I am really impressed by the trem. Since then I have been on the look out for a system 2 or 3 equiped guitar and missed one on Ebay a little while ago - not quick enough!!

    I have just bought a body equipped with the system 3 trem. It's missing the blade to lock the trem and has a non-original arm (it's just a 'normal' arm ground to the square shape).

    If any one can help with advise on where I can source either, I would be really appreciative. It's hard to source these bits in Australia! It came without pups, so I plan to do a Dan Smith type set up with 3 switches instead of the 5 way and 3 D.Allen pups. I'll try it with a maple, rosewood and ebony neck/board to see which I prefer (I have a few spare necks that I modify to my own specs).

    I love looking at some of the beautiful guitars above. Serious GAS!! If anyone is selling a contempory Strat and doesn't mind the hassle of shipping to Australia, PM me. I could be interested ;)

    Attached Files:


    LORDDiESEL Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 18, 2012

    Awesome guitar, bud. These MIJ contemp strats are really something else, eh? I know "frets on the net" has parts/trem arms for system 1, but not sure about system 3. I was just lucky my system 3 came with it.

  19. MartinBarber

    MartinBarber New Member!

    Aug 9, 2012
    My first Strat

    ....Just bought an 85' Contemporary Strat. Its my first strat and from what Iv'e read it is a good find right now. I paid 500 for it and its set up perfect and all original except the pick ups are Di Marzzio. Thrilled to be part of the club.

  20. rdvaselenak

    rdvaselenak New Member!

    Aug 14, 2012
    Kelowna, BC, CANADA
    My newly acquired 1985 MIJ Fender

    Was at the right place at the right time, picked this up with case for $50.00.

    According to a s/n search I have E540288, my MIJ Fender Stratocaster was made in 1985. It was in non-working order when I got it. The pickguard was missing, some hardware screws/bolts missing, condition of neck, body and electronics seems to be not bad for a 27 year old guitar. Not sure what the previous owner was going to do with it at the time but he soon gave up on it as he only owned this guitar for a year. Now that I have it I am going to try and get this back up and running and keep it all original except for the pickguard which will be discussed later.

    My particular model is the 27-4100: 2 single coil and 1 humbucking pickups, 5 position selector switch, coil splitter, 1 volume, 1 TBX, System II tremolo, rosewood fingerboard, 25.5" scale length and side mounted output jack.

    The body is a solid type but not sure if it’s Alder or Basswood. They used either wood for construction at the time of manufacturing these. Color of the body is a Pewter Metallic color. The bolt on Maple neck has the Rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, “D” profile neck with a 12" radius, chromed Fender Roto-matic tuners with some sort of chrome nut…not sure what type this is but when looking at it closely it seems there should be more to it that what is on there already. Any ideas?

    The hardware used for the tremolo action is a Fender Schaller System II. No whammy bar was included with it. That can be added on if I really want one on there or not.

    The pickups and electronics used in mine seem to be stock and not replaced with another type. According to the specs they were manufactured by Fujigen. All of the pickups used on the Contemporary models have alnico magnets instead of ceramic. The humbucking pickups used in the Contemporary models have a DC resistance which is approximately 7.6 kilohms. The single coil pickups used in the Contemporary models have a DC resistance which is approximately 5.6 kΩ. The Contemporary models that use a TBX tone control use 500 kΩ volume pots and use 0.022 µF tone capacitors.

    Now the fun starts restoring…

    Attached Files: