MIK Fender Stratocaster (first post!)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by tuuur, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi all,

    I got a Fender Stratocaster MIK. Recently I wanted to check the serial number, but I couldn't find info about serial numbers starting with K.
    My guess is that it is an 1980s guitar, probably just before the time Fender started producing Squiers in Korea... but that is just an idea.

    Does anybody have more info on these Korean Fenders?

    Also, threads about guitars are worthless without pics... :D so here it is:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. aznrambo481

    aznrambo481 Strat-O-Master

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    If it's K+6 digits, it could be a MIJ fender. Hmm....

    linky.
     
  3. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    Boy, she's a good looking guitar, the only help I can be would tell you that it looks like a 57 Reissue with the 8 hole guard... although I would not expect to see two string trees ...Is there a serial # anywhere on it, ( bottom of neck, back of neck )...?
     
  4. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    I see the number now , have you googled the serial #....
     
  5. Strat-Talk

    Strat-Talk Administrator Staff Member

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    I've never seen a "Fender" MIK... I take that back. That run of Koa Wood Teles were MIK weren't they. And they were super nice. but that was recently. An 80s K serial number could be a MIJ but not with a "Made in Korea" on the headstock.

    That's an odd one. But I don't see how it could be from the '80s.
     
  6. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    I suspect it be from the late 80's, early 90's... the pups dont look staggered, if you get brave, pull the neck and look for dates and stamps
     
  7. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks, I like her too. She even made it as the avatar for the Fender group on Flickr.

    OK, took the neck off today and made some more pics...

    Here is the headstock again. As you can see, I put on some classic string trees. Never liked those black plastic ones:
    [​IMG]

    Zoomed in on the Fender logo with serial. I think it says E1049787.
    [​IMG]

    Nothing to see in the neckpocket except for some 400 grit sandingpaper shim:
    [​IMG]

    No date on the neck as well. Label says:
    7 (korean letter) B LOT
    M.ST-357
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  8. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    The bridge, there are some grooves in the saddles. Polepieces are not staggered:
    [​IMG]

    Another view of the bridge. It's not lined up well with the pickguard:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    Some more info I dug up from memory... I bought it around 1995 at a local guitar store for some 400 dutch guilders, which roughly translates to maybe a bit less than 200 euros nowadays.
    Used it quite a bit during my blues days (played in a band called Bad Blues which wasn't called like that by accident).
    Those who are daring enough can hear the guitar, maybe, buried in the racket the mp3s on this page produce: http://arthur.kamst.com/mp3/Bad_Blues/

    [​IMG]

    Then one day had it set up by an employee of that same guitar store and got it back unplayable. It was that badly set up. Didn't use it for a few years.

    Now I got Dan Erlewine's 3rd edition of the guitar repair guide and I try to set it up myself, with some encouraging results.

    Some other guitar tech who worked on it once said the truss rod was as tight as it could get, and he couldn't get the neck any better. It is quite skinny by the way which I don't like that much (got some big hands...), but the finish is great; very smooth.
    Pickups aren't that bad, but aren't especially unique sounding as well.
     
  10. Strat-Talk

    Strat-Talk Administrator Staff Member

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    The E1 is an '81 - '83 serial, but usually it's considered 81 because that was what it was supposed to be. That ST-357 sounds like a Fender Japan Strat number for a '57 reissue.

    MIK in '81? That's super unusual. As, in I've never heard of a MIK that early.

    Fender Japan didn't even start making Fenders until '82. So I know there weren't any 1981 MIK Fenders. If there wasn't the MIK on the headstock I'd say it was a MIJ 57 Reissue from the early 80's.

    I think there is something more here, but I have no idea what the answer is.
     
  11. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    It is a somewhat non standard Fender, that's for sure.

    I found a thread on MIK Squiers on the FDP forum (hope it's ok to link to them) where I found a few pics of a ST-357 Squier.

    Here's the Squier:
    [​IMG]

    Here's my Fender again, for comparison:
    [​IMG]

    Here's that Squier's headstock:
    [​IMG]

    Here's my Fender's headstock:
    [​IMG]

    Furthermore, if we assume it to be made in the Squier-making Korean factory, this is from the Squier wikipedia page:
    So... my guess is it is a guitar made in the factory that made Squiers in Korea; but the Fender decal doesn't seem to be added later... maybe it was made as a first run, when they didn't decide on the Squier name yet?

    In any case, this is fun to research!
     
  12. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    gotta love the pic with the 400 grit shim, thats a normal insert as they used anything back then, while you have it apart pull the guard and lets see if the pups are any good....
     
  13. aznrambo481

    aznrambo481 Strat-O-Master

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    The character after the 7 on the heel is not necessarily a korean character. I know for a fact that it (boxy-looking thing with 3 horizontal lines and 2 vertical) means "month", and is used in both chinese and japanese. that would mean that it was manufactured in July. Haha I'm sure that didn't help AT ALL. :p

    I think it's odd that fender wouldn't have this stuff online... there are a good load of obscure serial number that they routinely fail to mention.
     
  14. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    Reason is...Fender has had so many different companies and countries make their off shore guitars that it's impossible to keep all this info...so it is scattered all over the place, the jv forum is also a good pool of resources to look, but their main forte is jv's and sq squiers...
     
  15. Strat-Talk

    Strat-Talk Administrator Staff Member

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    Not back then they didn't. For a long time it was Fender and Fender Japan. It's more of a 90's and 2000 phenomenon that brought in all the other factories.

    I'm of a mind to call it a Squier that someone fudged on the decal after it left the factory.

    With that photo of the Squier I've seen all I need to see. I was leaning that way too. There are lots of folks that don't want a Squier logo on their guitar. They want a Fender and so they get one and put it on or have it put on. It's not hard to make it look original.

    No matter what it is... it surely is a great looking Strat.
     
  16. dan P

    dan P Strat-Talker

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    Sorry, did not know when then is... I agree that it sure has the squier look to it, and was almost going to say the body looks to be ply, looking at the neck pocket. my take is its a 91...and yes fender was america and japan through the 80's...and all fender guitars were produced in japan late 85-86 till their new factory here was built. Sometime after that the out sourceing began..
     
  17. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for the replies all!

    Strat-Talk: I'm with you in that it is a Squier factory guitar. But... assuming the guitar is from around 1990-1991, and I bought it in 1995, I don't see why someone would forge a Fender from an original Squier and leave the Made In Korea part on... plus, the decal seems to be in one piece.

    I took some more pics.

    Pickup cavity and pickups:
    [​IMG]

    The cavity is shielded (not by me). Some tape marks of adhesive tape that is not there any more. There are knife marks around the cavity, probably by the one that cut the aluminium foil that way:
    [​IMG]

    The pickups. Again, not staggered, and I am no expert on pickups but they look mighty cheap from this angle.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. tuuur

    tuuur Strat-Talk Member

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    250k pots:
    [​IMG]

    5 way switch, fitted when the original one died while I had it:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. 60strat

    60strat Strat-Talk Member

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    i own the MIK lite ash strat simply brilliant!
    nice strat man
     
  20. 60strat

    60strat Strat-Talk Member

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    i just went through tons of reviews on the MIK Fender Lite Ash Strat
    it seems every guitarist that owns or comes in contact with this Brilliant strat
    all say that this strat is one of the best sounding/playing strats out there.
    and that it does compete with the Fender american ash strat.
    playability/tone is just as good as the american ash strat. craftmanship
    of the MIK Fender Lite Ash Strat is fantastic and in a lot of the reviews the word flawless was used. are there any of you on this site that own this strat?
    and if so i would like to see your opinion of this awesome strat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008