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Had a play around with a Fender "MIJ" Strat today

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(@yashicamat)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Must say I was very impressed! It was second hand and the scratchplate wasn't sitting completely flush on the guitar in a few places (screws were done up - maybe it was warped for some reason? the wood seemed flat and true though. The pickups seemed to be tilted at an angle too when looking down them lengthways, i.e., not the way you'd tilt them to adjust for thicker/thinner string bias, but tilted in the direction the strings run in). It was a nice darkened (with time perhaps) maple neck which wasn't too shiney on a sunburst body. Had the most beautiful feel to play and I was sorely tempted to buy it although a) I had no idea if the price was any good (£389 second hand? the shop in question is quite known for being expensive . . .?) and b) I was being discouraged my a far more experienced friend who reckons I should give all but the USA Fenders a wide berth due to severe build issues. To be honest, I didn't even know Fender made any Strats in Japan!

So, preamble over with :D , does anyone have any comments on the two points I have risen? My mate reckons that any Fender with a trem will go out of tune if you touch it and started going on about rubbish nut quality etc. . . pity as this guitar, scratchplate aside, was mint. :)

Cheers. :D

Rob

If something's not worth doing it's worth forgetting about.
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(@steinar-gregertsen)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I've had several Fender MIJ Strats from the 80s and early 90s and wouldn't hesitate to buy one again if it's in good shape, they're usually very good guitars.
Is the pickguard on yours a one-ply "50s" style plate with 8 screws? They have a tendency to get a little wobbly over time... The pickup angle can probably be adjusted next time you change strings - take off the pickguard and play around with the springs between the pickguard and pickup "foot", if there's rubber tubes instead of springs then make sure they're cut straight.

The tremolo on Strats are some funny creatures and it takes a little work to set them up right, but I've never met a Strat that haven't stayed in tune after being set up properly. There's a few tricks involved, do a search for "Strat tremolo setup" and you'll find many good resources. Personally I've found that a floating tremolo setup works best for me, never had any serious issues when they're set up properly that way.

"Play to express, not to impress"
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I have been reading in the vintage guitar mags that Japanese Fender guitars are not bad at all.
of course, the quality should be looked at per guitar. that said, a mint strat at that price is not too high.
the 70's are the best years I have read.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@steinar-gregertsen)
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the 70's are the best years I have read.

Uh, the 70s are the worst, especially the late 70s models. There are some good ones around, but for the most part they had serious issues,- too wide neck pockets which combined with the three point bolt on system caused the necks to shift around like crazy, bad bridges (soft metal that broke strings all the time), poor pickups (CBS insisted on using cheap wire to save money), and generally poor/non-excistent quality control at the factory. When I see what some of those sell for today, just because they're old enough to be considered "vintage", I just sit back and shake my head in disbelief...
I've owned three 70's Strats since I got my first in '79, and never again..... (the '70s reissues are actually much better since they have fixed the most obvious issues from the originals). Tokai and several other Japanese made Fender knock-offs from that period far outperforms the Fenders, if you can find a late 70s/early 80s Tokai Strat then go for it (sure you're not thinking of those, Randy?).

"Play to express, not to impress"
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(@jeffster1)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 231
 

I THINK my friend had one of these. It really wasn't a well made guitar at all, and was actually much lower quality than his $200 startup box guitar. I'm not 100% sure it was this guitar, but I'm pretty sure.

On a side note, you may want to edit the subject of this post as it contains an ethnic slur.


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(@the-dali)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1507
 

Japanese Strats come in a few varieties... I don't have the specifics, but the Strats that everyone talks about are from 1984 - 1994 or so... that is when Fender started to manufacture Strats in Japan for export to the USA (the USA plant was down in the dumps at the time). Other than those years the Japanese Strats were manufactured for sale in the Far East (not for import into the USA). Anyway... there are a BUNCH of MIJ Strats that are actually Squiers so really look at the markings. Also, I think there is a difference between "made in Japan" and "crafted in Japan" - I THINK crafted is the higher quality.

Anyway, TONS of data on the Internet about this... I don't think 300 pound is too much if it is a desirable MIJ Strat. They go for $250 - $800 in the USA depending on specifications, model, and condition.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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the 70's are the best years I have read.

Uh, the 70s are the worst, especially the late 70s models. There are some good ones around, but for the most part they had serious issues,- too wide neck pockets which combined with the three point bolt on system caused the necks to shift around like crazy, bad bridges (soft metal that broke strings all the time), poor pickups (CBS insisted on using cheap wire to save money), and generally poor/non-excistent quality control at the factory. When I see what some of those sell for today, just because they're old enough to be considered "vintage", I just sit back and shake my head in disbelief...
I've owned three 70's Strats since I got my first in '79, and never again..... (the '70s reissues are actually much better since they have fixed the most obvious issues from the originals). Tokai and several other Japanese made Fender knock-offs from that period far outperforms the Fenders, if you can find a late 70s/early 80s Tokai Strat then go for it (sure you're not thinking of those, Randy?).

+1

-=tension & release=-


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(@yashicamat)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Cheers for the info guys. :)

I didn't realise "Jap" was an ethnic slur. :? Seems to be in common usage here and was on the guitar label!

Rob

If something's not worth doing it's worth forgetting about.
Epiphone Les Paul Std - Yamaha Pacifica 112XJ - Takamine EG340SC - Taylor Baby - Grainger Hammerhead 50 - Grainger Valve Five
http://www.youtube.com/yashicamatonline


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

the 70's are the best years I have read.

Uh, the 70s are the worst, especially the late 70s models. There are some good ones around, but for the most part they had serious issues,- too wide neck pockets which combined with the three point bolt on system caused the necks to shift around like crazy, bad bridges (soft metal that broke strings all the time), poor pickups (CBS insisted on using cheap wire to save money), and generally poor/non-excistent quality control at the factory. When I see what some of those sell for today, just because they're old enough to be considered "vintage", I just sit back and shake my head in disbelief...
I've owned three 70's Strats since I got my first in '79, and never again..... (the '70s reissues are actually much better since they have fixed the most obvious issues from the originals). Tokai and several other Japanese made Fender knock-offs from that period far outperforms the Fenders, if you can find a late 70s/early 80s Tokai Strat then go for it (sure you're not thinking of those, Randy?).

+1

I checked and yes, I meant the Tokai. thanks for the nudge.
mid 1970s -1980. there are tell tale things to look for.
for example:

http://www.flyingvintage.com/gcmag/srv.html

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@jeffster1)
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Cheers for the info guys. :)

I didn't realise "Jap" was an ethnic slur. :? Seems to be in common usage here and was on the guitar label!

Wow really? On the label?

Yeah, "Jap" is definitely an ethnic slur started during the war. Sorry for the thread derailment guys :D


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(@scott58)
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This is good to know. I'm looking for a project strat and wanted something a little better then a MIM, but not as expensive as a
MIA. I'm going to start looking into MIJ. thanks

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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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I've heared nothing but good about Japanese Fenders, and my limited experience with one of them has been very positive. That's all I can contribute.
Yeah, "Jap" is definitely an ethnic slur started during the war.

[soapbox] [self-censhorship] mumblemumble [/self-censhorship] [/sopabox]

Sorry Nick. :)


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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

Back on topic please, take it offline.

But thank you. I just realized that I am not the political correctness police, just the "what does that have to do with guitar" police.

Don't call me PC. I take great offense as it's a slur.

70's guitars? Strats bad? Not in comparison to the Gibsons of the time.


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Don't call me PC. I take great offense as it's a slur.
Uh ... I think you misunderstood that.
70's guitars? Strats bad? Not in comparison to the Gibsons of the time.
One was really bad out of the box; the other started out questionable and got really bad with use. The Japanese reissues of 70s models are generally good guitars, as are many of Fender's Korean special models.

-=tension & release=-


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(@ricochet)
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Don't call me PC. I take great offense as it's a slur.
Nick's right. I'm a Mac guy myself.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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