...and it was quite the learning experience. no photos because i couldn’t be bothered. so i popped into this music store because it happened to be there just to see what they had. now where i am there’s only one fender dealer and it’s not them so i was curious to see some strats hanging on the wall and a big fender logo above them. i go to check them out and the prices are insane. so i ask the salesman about them he says “they’re used japanese strats.” i’m already suspicious but okay, i’ll bite. he takes one down ($7000 price tag). it’s got gold hardware, the serial # is on the base of the neck, and it’s a roasted pine type finish. even my untrained eye can see the frets are uneven and some of them aren’t even bottoming out at the neck, like there’s a gap. i ask him what the pickups are, he hesitates and then says “custom”. he plugs it into the crappiest amp in the store and, well, let’s just say it played like crap, the pickups all sounded the same, the tone knob barely changed anything, and the tremolo felt heavy. i asked him why is it so expensive and he says “because this is the 48th anniversary strat from fender japan and it’s the only one in the world!” (absolutely no mention of this on the guitar itself). then he takes down another that equally plays like trash and has a pot switch that feels like sand is in it. anyway i firsthand experienced a fake strat. then i went home and played my AmPro.