Fender Made In Japan Stratocasters 90s

Discussion in 'Fender' started by Mitchey75, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Mitchey75

    Mitchey75 Member

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    Hi all,

    Could you please give me your opinions on MIJ Stratocasters of the Nineties in terms of quality and playability? I am thinking of an alternative to US and MIM Strats..

    Thank you :)
     
  2. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    They have a great reputation.

    I have a floyded fotoflame strat from 91. It has the lowest action of any guitar i have played, and sounds like a strat. Alder body, 3 piece i think.. neck is great.

    20170424_170348.jpg
     
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  3. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    At the time, people tended to look down their noses at them. But since then, their reputation has grown. Time has shown that they really are very solid products.
     
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  4. Bend'n'Slide

    Bend'n'Slide Senior Member

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    I have two Jap Strats that I've owned for nearly thirty years: an '89-90 I-serial '54RI in candy apple red and a 62RI in sonic blue (that has aged through daphne blue to almost surf green). This one is an E-serial; I thought was about the same age but turns out to be an '86 when I finally took the neck off. Both are fab guitars but the '86 is amazing and, for me, it knocks spots of most '62RIs I've ever played, including several AVRIs.

    With respect to the slightly later Jap strats from the early-to-mid '90s, yes, the specs are not quite the same and you have to be aware of what you are buying and what you are looking for -- but I know a couple of guys who bought them a few years after mine and I have played both and I know both of the fellas have kept them and would never sell them. If you can find a good one, they are solid workhorse strats (that sound like proper starts!) and they are well worth getting.

    Are they necessarily any better than, say, a good, new, well-made modern Mexican strat of similar specs?

    That's a bit more subjective...

    (but at least the relic appearance will be genuine not artificial! ;) )
     
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  5. dsmcl77

    dsmcl77 Senior Member

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    Mine is from 1987, I simply sold my MIA Strat and kept the MIJ when I bought it.
     
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  6. warmachine

    warmachine Senior Member

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    I picked up an excellent condition '86 mij 22 fret sss Contemporary Fender Strat off craigslist for the price of a brand new Squier :eek: Despite being a Superstrat to a degree, the pickups do all the classic strat cleans beautifully! Everything is top notch. Mij Squier's of the same period would be suitable platforms to look at to, though they will likely be ceramic instead of alnico pickups.
     
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  7. RichBrew

    RichBrew Senior Member

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    I have a Japanese-built 1992 Hank Marvin Signature Squier, that I bought on a golf course 20-odd years ago. An excellent guitar, ceramic pickups an' all.
     
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  8. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Senior Member

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    I have a '90 I serial number MIJ 50's RI Black Strat.

    It's a very good guitar and holds it's own against other strats worth a lot more.

    Mine has a nice big 59's neck shape.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
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  9. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    Fender sold a lot of MIJ Strat reissues in Chicago during the early to mid 90's. Many players found them preferable to early 90's MIA Reissues, after replacing the crappy MIJ pickups and switch. Mine was a looker (60's Daphne Blue) but was kinda a stiff player. Other MIJ's and some CIJ's reissues that I played from that era were decent to good players. I was less impressed with the MIJ "Standard" level Strat that a previous girlfriend had/has.

    (FWIW 90's MIJ Reissues imported into the States had Basswood bodies. Some actually prefer the perceived darker tone of a Basswood body guitar, while some can't tell the difference between Basswood and Alder. Either way, Basswood often was/is a light weight body.)

    I recently bought a current MIJ reissue (ST62) from Ishibashi japan. The cheaper model with Basswood body in a very convincing Seafoam Green. Good player, nice light weight with a slightly darker tone... of course I replaced the crap electronics with quality pu's, wiring, etc.
     
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  10. Mitchey75

    Mitchey75 Member

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    Thank you so much for your answers guys
     
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  11. Guitar Rod

    Guitar Rod Senior Member

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    I have a Squier 82 JV 57 reissue. Incredible guitars. Fender may have thought they were too well built. Mine has the Fender "Fullerton" red and grey bobbin pickups. Lucked out on this guitar for a random buy at $300 CDN in 85 from a friend's brother. Thought I probably overpaid at the time, but didn't care.
     
  12. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    I saw a guy play one of those on a cruise ship--he was a GREAT player from Japan, and had a KILLER tone going. Got to chat with him, and he said that he looked high and low for this SPECIFIC model for 4 years. JV 57 reissue, as far as I'm concerned, $300 ANY dollars is a steal for this guitar!
     
  13. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    I have no basis for this comment except from what I read, especially when I got my Jagstang.

    Crafted in Japan vs Made in Japan are 2 different animals. I heard the "Crafted" models are not as good. Someone can expound on that or correct me if I am wrong. Maybe it was juts in the case of the Jagstang cause the MIJ were the first run. (Not that its some collectors piece or anything...........)
     
  14. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    I thought I read somewhere that there were some Squires made in Japan in the early 80s that had "Fender Stratocaster" on the headstock that were very good guitars, and highly sought after, fetching upwards of $800 now. But you have to be careful, because the later ones were just Squiers, no better or worse than any other Squier.
    Not to impugn Squier at all, they are excellent guitars for the price, as long as you block the trem (or replace it) and get some better pickups.
     
  15. Guitar Rod

    Guitar Rod Senior Member

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    The first year (82) and a bit of 83 JV Squiers were the sought after ones. At first they were labeled Fender with Squier in smaller print. About a few months in they changed it to Squier with Fender in small print. Those JV are the collectable ones. The Fullerton red/grey pickups in my Squier have gone for almost 1000 alone. I've seen complete Squier JVs go for between 1600 and 1900. According to 21frets, mine is one of the most collectable export ones, but the original owner thought a Kahler trem was a great idea. Lol. But I know it's worth at the very least 1k because of the pickups.
     

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