New (old) Guitar Day: 1998 MIJ Fender ST-62

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by diogoguitar, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest US
    New (old) guitar day to me!
    Short version: This is a guitar I've owned since new in 1998, but I have been 6000+ miles away from it since 2013. My parents bought me, so it has a huge sentimental value.

    How I got this guitar in '98:
    My teenage self, my parents and a couple of friends went on an epic trip to a neighborhood known for musical instruments. I had seen a fender reissue that I kind of liked, but felt some stuff were odd:
    • Pickguard and other plastics looked aged
    • Overall look of the guitar was "used", but store was selling as new
    I had let that guitar pass since I suspected the store was trying to sell something used as new (I knew zero about gear...). The only thing that attracted me on that guitar was the headstock that actually said "Fender" on it. Ok, moving on

    I saw another guitar that was exactly what I wanted (on paper): white plastics, all case candies. The guitar was clearly new and the shop was very reputable. It had some "upgrades" that looked nice at the time too: floyd rose trem and HSS configuration.
    It was a squier.

    My mom and dad had already written the check to give to the cashier, when my friend who was with us stopped all of us and said: "I think you should really get the Fender one". My mom tore down the check and we went full circle to the first store to get that guitar that looked "used/aged".

    Many years later, I found out that the guitar was an ST-62, made in japan. Playing it for many years I heck know it's an authentic fender that I bought new (it still had the pickguard/backplate vinyl cover)

    20201226_143853.jpg


    How I departed from it in '13:
    I moved from South America to the US in '13 for grad school. I had a pretty decent collection of guitars, but since it was only a 2-year program, I decided not take everything with me. Upon my graduation, I got an offer to work in the US and never moved back to South America.

    I did have other opportunities to claim this guitar, but since I already had a strat in the US, I thought it would be wiser to pick up other guitars for variety (my LP, a CS I wanted to sell, etc.)


    How and why I finally claimed in '20:
    My mom got very sick recently, so I really wanted to see my parents this year.
    Then, COVID-19 came, delaying my travel plans.

    My mom got even sicker and I decided to take the risk, do a quarantine, test myself then see them safely.
    Since I was only a day trip away from the guitar (where my parents used to live before my mom got sick), I decided to go ahead and claim it.

    Why now: I'll ask my mom and dad to sign the guitar under the pickguard while they can. I'll never sell this guitar anyway.

    What kind of mods are in it:
    Around 2001, I swapped the stock pickups to an YJM Dimarzio set (HS-3's and HS-4).
    In around 2004 I got sick of the YJM set and swapped back to the stock MIJ pickups (which are pretty decent).

    Around 2008, the guitar needed a fret level, but I think the tech was not so experienced, and he basically ruined the already low vintage frets. The guitar was so unplayable that it stayed virtually unplayed for a couple of years until I decided to do something. In 2010, I took it to a very reputable shop.

    They did a stainless steel refret. Can you imagine SS refret in '10? They did a phenomenal job. The frets still feel like new. Just a tiny bit of fret sprout, but it's understandable and easily fixable.

    In 2012 I swapped the pickup set again to a CS'69 by Fender. Now it sounds glorious to my ears.

    Strangely, the guitar was still in tune after all these years in the closet. Only the B string needed a minor adjustment. The strings didn't rust because I had put Elixirs on it.

    Edit: adding more photos of her

    Edit2: this is a 1997, not 1998. I thought it was '98 but neck pocket says '97.
    Edit3: the refret was in '10, not '06. I only know because I still have the service receipt. lol

    20201228_122450.jpg 20201228_122752.jpg 20201228_122608.jpg 20201228_122534.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  2. J4ME5

    J4ME5 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2020
    Location:
    Ireland
    I LOVE how your friend had the courage to speak up like that!!! What a sweet guitar!
     
    diogoguitar likes this.
  3. bikehomero

    bikehomero Strat-Talker

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    206
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Location:
    Frankfurt - Germany
    Congratulation on getting back home this nice guitar! Headstock logo looks little loneley to me. But as it is now at you, we can hopefully see more fotos, maybe taken apart in the future?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
    diogoguitar and crawdaddy like this.
  4. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,363
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    Happy New Old Guitar Day. Nice one. Looks a lot like my ST-62 but lefty.
     
    diogoguitar likes this.
  5. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,616
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Valley o Sun
    That is a great story.....and a fine testament to the great job that your parents did on your upbringing.....

    And it's a lefty.....almost the best part of the story....:):)

    My wife and I will both be praying for your mother to heal and for you as you go through these trying times.....

    To say this guitar is a keeper would be an understatement.....

    Take care.....
     
  6. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,616
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Location:
    Valley o Sun
    Fender Japan does not do us lefty players any justice with their complete lack of correctness when it comes to the headstock decals....:whistling::D:whistling::D
     
    Nubs, diogoguitar and bikehomero like this.
  7. bikehomero

    bikehomero Strat-Talker

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    206
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Location:
    Frankfurt - Germany
    Thanks, just googled it, lefthand MIJ really has only a Fender decal, nothing more.
     
    diogoguitar likes this.
  8. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest US
    Yep. I actually thought it was a fake for a while.
    But after owning multiple genuine fenders, I'm 100% sure this another real one.

    Too bad it doesn't have the original frets to show, but this one used to have "ball-like" fret ends. It was really rounded and comfy.
     
  9. macoshark

    macoshark Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,159
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Location:
    arizona
    Thanks for your story
     
  10. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    766
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Great story. I hope your Mom is okay. Cool Strat! Hope you enjoy it for years to come.
     
    The_Whale likes this.
  11. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest US
    it may not look like, but the frets are well crowned. It just needs a slight polish

    Also, not sure people saw my "edit 2", but the guitar is actually a 1997.
    Does anybody know what "EX-2" means on the neck pocket?

    20201228_160928.jpg



    20201228_160916.jpg
     
  12. Michael919

    Michael919 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,045
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Nice story! Thanks for sharing.

    Fender Japan made guitars for domestic sale and for sale out of country. EX = Export
     
    diogoguitar and The_Whale like this.
  13. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2020
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I love the guitar story, but I can't help but worry about mom.
     
    JJ119 likes this.
  14. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    41
    Messages:
    955
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks for sharing your story. Have your parents signed the underside of the pick guard yet?
     
  15. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest US
    Thank you for reading and commenting!
    The squier guitar (the one I almost bought) was actually a right handed one. I almost started as righty lol

    Thank you for the prayers, brother. It will count. I am praying as well.
     
    JJ119, crawdaddy and Nubs like this.
  16. J4ME5

    J4ME5 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2020
    Location:
    Ireland
    I'm not 100% sure – but I think the 'EX' stands for 'Excellently Cool' and the '2' is not actually a '2' – it is the Japanese Kanji... symbol - for the word 'Guitar'...

    So... if I'm not mistaken – EX-2 means 'Excellently Cool Guitar' :) !
     
    JJ119, crawdaddy and diogoguitar like this.
  17. Nubs

    Nubs Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yeah but they make up for it by giving us models Fender Mexico or US is not willing to produce.
     
    crawdaddy likes this.
  18. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    4,898
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    austin texas
    That's a beauty...I wish I still had some of my 1990s era Japanese Fenders...I let go of a few nice ones.
     
    diogoguitar likes this.
  19. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest US
    Back in the States. It took me zero effort to make the frets shine again, just a quick buff and they look like mirrors again. Pictures don't do it justice

    20201230_164959.jpg
    20201230_164443.jpg

    20201230_164505.jpg
    20201230_164623.jpg
     
    The_Whale, JJ119 and bikehomero like this.
  20. JJ119

    JJ119 Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    714
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2020
    Location:
    Mid West
    Prayer Said For Mom & Family.

    Thank You For Sharing.
    Great Backstory!

    Many Happy Years Of Making Music!
     
    The_Whale and diogoguitar like this.