MIJ strat golden years?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Shockmaster, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Shockmaster

    Shockmaster Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    Ive played many, and owned a few MIJ strats. Love most of them, love the feel of the neck, electronics tend to lack and most a little noisy. I’ve played ones from mid 80s to 2010s. In your opinions are there golden years for fender japan? I’ve heard they’ve made them with different distributors over the years, so you can’t really lump all FJ into one category or quality. Are there certain years where they were made in better factory’s? Are there better models? E series? 80s Contemporary? 57 or 62? Let’s hear your thoughts!
     
  2. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    The early 80s saw what many perceive as the finest reissues produced. But I think they are still producing high quality instrument these days.
    Here I found an interesting write up on the Fujigen Gakki.

    I regularly visit guitars shops in Japan and play on a few newly produced instruments, and always find the craftsmanship to be of excellent quality.
     
  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    The best ones were the JVs with Fender on the headstock, followed by the ones with Squier. Then Fender got scared by the quality and popularity and lowered the specs and price to build down to on export models. I prefer the Fujigen years, 82-95, but they're all well made.
     
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  4. dearlpitts

    dearlpitts Strat-O-Master

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    Was,nt there a moment in time(1976) when the strat was only made in japan,not the us?
     
  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    MIJ Fender production began in 1982. You're about 10 years out, and not correct about only being made in Japan either.
     
  6. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

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    That was in 1985 when USA production of Fenders stopped and C.B.S. was in the process of selling the company to what was to become Fender music instruments corporation(F.M.I.C.) nowadays.There was that lapse where the only actual Fenders being built were the Japanese models until USA Fender production resumed in 1986.
     
  7. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talker

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    Í‘m not sure if there are really ‚golden‘ years. I‘d rather watch out for the higher end models, something like xx-85 xx-115 or ExTrad.
     
  8. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    It was almost one full year - CBS stopped production of parts toward the end of 1984 (some time in December), but from what I've pieced together there was likely some assembly of those parts done by CBS in January 1985. The sale was completed in early February 1985, and FMIC also did some final assemblies in February/March (until they could no longer assemble a complete guitar). But there likely weren't all that many of these "leftover assemblies" done in early 1985, but you can find a few AVRIs with February 1985 body and neck stamps (they likely weren't stamped when initially produced as there was no production of wood components at Fullerton in 1985 - the last of those employees were laid off in December 1984).

    FMIC did actually rent space in the Fullerton factory from February through end June/first of July 1985 - ostensibly for office space, warehouse space and setup/QC work on the MIJs - before moving the Corona (production work) and Brea (office space).

    There was very limited USA production starting in the fall of 1985 - circa October - of the reissue (i.e. first generation AVRI) models. But it was very, very limited in 1985, as low as 10-15 instruments per day at the beginning. Corona didn't really have high production until 1987 - once they started full production of the American Standards alongside the AVRIs.
     
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  9. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I have an '89 MIJ ST57 and a '04 CIJ ST62. It's a well estabilished popular saying that MIJ (Fujigen) is better, and the market tends to follow this. I don't know the early JV stuff in person. All I can say is that both my MIJ and CIJ are very well built guitars. I can't find one construction flaw in them, like misaligned things or similar problems of manufacturing. Both of them came with quality alnico pickups from factory and good electronics (full-size pots, round vintage style switch).

    I have a preference for the MIJ, but just yesterday I picked up the CIJ and thought it's a very good guitar too. I like the MIJ ST57 because it has an all maple neck which is quite chunky, smaller frets and nice stock pickups that sound very good to me. I like its tone better because it's what I associate with a nice maple board 50's style Strat. Construction-wise I'd say they're pretty similar. The MIJ has more interesting grain patterns on the maple. The CIJ has rounder sleekier contours. Both have the same type of very thin paint layer on the body.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  10. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Electronics do not lack, and noisy is only because most models didn'thave an RWRP middle pickup....that's all.....and even within the ST-57's and ST-62's there's price differences, bottom of the line was basswood body and ceramic pickups, top of the line was alder body and alnico pickups - they would sell the 'reissue' models at 2-3-4 different price points depending on the year......

    The best to me is the FujiGen Gakki factory - 1982 to 1996......
     
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  11. guitarman1984

    guitarman1984 Senior Stratmaster

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    1982 1983, the highest specs Febder JV, are the most acclaimed ones.
    Necks on the contemporary line are wonderful too... I can't speak for the rest of the production.
     
  12. guitarmikey

    guitarmikey Strat-O-Master

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    Have a '86 Contemporary Strat and a (probably) 2009 Tele with upgraded pups and electronics
    (with '64 Pure Vintage). Looove that strat!!!!!
    Both good resonating guitars, but the Strat is a special guitar! Original vintage pups in.
     

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  13. lonegroover

    lonegroover Senior Stratmaster

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    Mine says hi


    jvstrat_headstock.jpg
     
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  14. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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