G'day cjpeck, Yes mate, I did steal your pic. I hope you don't mind. (after all, we are on the same mission) I couldn't remember your name. Your pics helped me enormously in restoring an original looking pickguard with the proper trem rout- I think I did a reasonable job.
I'm the dude who tried to convince you to take her apart so we could compare stamps, electrics etc. Now would be a good time mate. I agree that the build and sound quality are as good as any Strat, US or MIJ.
G'day Steve-oh-no, Your post was short and sweet and you're probably correct. If only it were that simple. I'm just fascinated with this grey area of Fender's history and this guitar represents over 20 years of my playing life.
Thankyou John C and Xefri for your input. It's great to have contributions from forum members for whom I have a great respect.
My next step will be to take a more detailed photo of the electricals. I guess my main questions are -
1) Where was this model assembled ???
I'm now leaning more towards Japan, mainly because the tremolo rout in the body is neatly painted. The neck is purposely built for the locking nut and the stamped numbers match those of the body.
2) Are the pickups,pots etc US or MIJ ???
I'm hoping that a more detailed photo of the insides will give a clue to someone who knows about such things.
3) Why no "MIJ" or any other indication of origin ???
It's easy to say that a temporary sticker may have been removed from the back or that part of the decal was sanded off and refinished, but in my case and every other case I've heard of, this is simply not true. I think that this omission was deliberate, probably because of the high US content.
I know I'm like a dog with a bone, but I need to know more. I "Made History" when I bought this thing
Time to charge the camera. Where did I leave that screwdriver ?
PS. G'day CA Feathers. Results from the guitar project are inconclusive. THE number is E819948. IT gives dates for both US and Japan.