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Post subject: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:11 am
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Hi guys

I'm in desperate need of help with someone who knows a lot about MiJ guitars from the 80's. I have what I believe is an ST362. Serial number search says its an '87 model. At the bottom of the post, I will have a link of an ST362 to compare.

Here is where things start to get a bit funny. The guitar has no indication to say where it was made. Not on the heel of the neck, neither on the headstock. Another thing people mentioned is the 12th fret marker looking odd. But this is a standard mij and not a 62 reissue. Hence why I think the fret marker spacing is different. (Japan had a reputation of building some funny combinations, this being a 60's style neck with 2 sttring trees and gotoh tuners)

Someone who worked for fender in the '80s told me the famous rumor of MiJ being assembled with US necks/parts and those were never stamped with Made In Japan. (Hope someone could verify this). It is to be noted that the guitar was bought here in South Africa.

I can't think that this is fake. It plays and sounds so much better than my 2010 Fender MiM. Please leave me with your opinion. I will be checking the neck stamp soon and will post pictures on here once a have them

Kind Regards
Corne



Link of a ST362: https://kytary.co.uk/fender-1988-stratocaster-st362-mij/HN195506/


Pictures of the guitar: (I can take more on request)

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:33 am
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The decals look to above the finish on the headstock.
A previous owner might have removed the Made In Japan bit.

The guitar looks to be legitimate.

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:54 am
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I own a 1995 MIJ Strat which has no "made in Japan" label anymore

I bought the guitar new from a well respected music store (it had a MIJ logo and serial no on the back of the neck then), The only problem was the "stratocaster" bit of script on the headstock was ever so slightly kinked under the heavily tinted laquer Maple fretboard (it was one of those with a bold modern Fender in gold and Stratocaster small script)
I thought it wouldn't bother me so took it home (it was a 1968 reissue ordered in from Japan by the shop specially, so to dump it and wait for another could take a few months)

I only had it a week and the very heavily tinted laquer was shedding bits off the top of the frets like mad , so I loosened the strings, dropped them off the guitar held by a rubber band and carefully with a stanley knife started scoring lightly the bottom of the frets either side then scaping the excess laquer off with an old credit card

All was going well, I had the guitar laid on our kitchen table on top of thick towels, the strings dangling well out of the way, I was up to the 13th fret, when disaster struck ......someone knocked at our front door . Our dog jumped up running towards it, right past me, the curled up string ends caught her on the back and she jumped, pulling my guitar across the table . I caught it but looked down, I now had a deep scratch right across the fretboard on the 13th fret!

I went ballistic and tried to cover it but it rendered that fret unplayable, so reluctantly took it to a luthier in Manchester who said he wouldn't be able to match the laquer (no re ranch back then ) and he didn't think he could match it adding coloured laquer, so he stripped the neck (the laquer was crap to play anyway, sticky)
He refretted the neck , put a new (illegal) Fender logo on it and I was happy (After all it was a proper Strat)

All was fine for around a Month, then I noticed the fretboard had crazed like mad, so I took it back and he didn't understand what had gone wrong until after a few minutes we realised, he'd used 2 pack laquer and the nitro still in the grain had reacted with it and crazed it, so he offered to strip it again and re laquer it FOC, then mid week, he rang me and said he couldn't get another( hooky) correct logo, so would it be OK if he put a transitional logo on it (black Fender curved bold Stratocaster), I said OK and he redid it

He rang me a few days later and explained everything except the headstock front was fine, but that needed a few more coats over the logo and he was due to go on holiday for 2 weeks so did I want to take it like that with an obvious ridge round the logo or wait 2 weeks , I opted for the first , got it home then managed to get from a car paint shop, some nitro cellulose , gave the headstock another 7 coats over 2 days , wet sanded and buffed it with metallic t cut

Here it is and I don't care if somebody says it's not worth much because it plays like a 50 year old guitar (although it is only actually 24 years old)


Imagefree upload pics
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Image
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Image

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:56 pm
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That's a great job ted! :)


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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:36 pm
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Thank you Jimmy

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:21 pm
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On both of those instruments; looking pretty.

@Corne, (and I don't claim to be an expert on MIJ's), there were many oddities in the late eighties MIJ Fenders. Some models just for domestic markets, some for Europe (and, as it seems, other markets non-US) and so on mix the palette even more. Plus, the records were nowhere near complete, and even that went missing-in-action with different subcontracts and such. So, it's almost "anything is possible", although I personally really doubt the "MIJ made with US woods" myth; it would sort of contradict the whole idea of MIJ's. (That myth might be a misunderstanding from the use of US electronics.)

Your guitar looks like a credible MIJ on those pics. But, as always with MIJ's, it's best to check the neck pocket/heel markings, and also check the wiring, pickups, pots etc. under the pickguard. So, mo' pics, please. :wink:


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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:52 pm
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The pickguard screw on the top edge, between the middle and neck pickup strikes me as odd, because Fender stopped using that screw position in early 1963.
Your guitar is still a beauty, despite the historical inaccuracy.

Image

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:17 pm
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ted j wrote:
I own a 1995 MIJ Strat which has no "made in Japan" label anymore

I bought the guitar new from a well respected music store (it had a MIJ logo and serial no on the back of the neck then), The only problem was the "stratocaster" bit of script on the headstock was ever so slightly kinked under the heavily tinted laquer Maple fretboard (it was one of those with a bold modern Fender in gold and Stratocaster small script)
I thought it wouldn't bother me so took it home (it was a 1968 reissue ordered in from Japan by the shop specially, so to dump it and wait for another could take a few months)

I only had it a week and the very heavily tinted laquer was shedding bits off the top of the frets like mad , so I loosened the strings, dropped them off the guitar held by a rubber band and carefully with a stanley knife started scoring lightly the bottom of the frets either side then scaping the excess laquer off with an old credit card

All was going well, I had the guitar laid on our kitchen table on top of thick towels, the strings dangling well out of the way, I was up to the 13th fret, when disaster struck ......someone knocked at our front door . Our dog jumped up running towards it, right past me, the curled up string ends caught her on the back and she jumped, pulling my guitar across the table . I caught it but looked down, I now had a deep scratch right across the fretboard on the 13th fret!

I went ballistic and tried to cover it but it rendered that fret unplayable, so reluctantly took it to a luthier in Manchester who said he wouldn't be able to match the laquer (no re ranch back then ) and he didn't think he could match it adding coloured laquer, so he stripped the neck (the laquer was crap to play anyway, sticky)
He refretted the neck , put a new (illegal) Fender logo on it and I was happy (After all it was a proper Strat)

All was fine for around a Month, then I noticed the fretboard had crazed like mad, so I took it back and he didn't understand what had gone wrong until after a few minutes we realised, he'd used 2 pack laquer and the nitro still in the grain had reacted with it and crazed it, so he offered to strip it again and re laquer it FOC, then mid week, he rang me and said he couldn't get another( hooky) correct logo, so would it be OK if he put a transitional logo on it (black Fender curved bold Stratocaster), I said OK and he redid it

He rang me a few days later and explained everything except the headstock front was fine, but that needed a few more coats over the logo and he was due to go on holiday for 2 weeks so did I want to take it like that with an obvious ridge round the logo or wait 2 weeks , I opted for the first , got it home then managed to get from a car paint shop, some nitro cellulose , gave the headstock another 7 coats over 2 days , wet sanded and buffed it with metallic t cut

Here it is and I don't care if somebody says it's not worth much because it plays like a 50 year old guitar (although it is only actually 24 years old)


Imagefree upload pics
Imagefree image upload
Image
Image
Image


Still a fine looking specimen, Ted!

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Very Odd '87 MiJ (Fugigen Gakki) , Need Help
Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:20 am
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Thanks Arjay
I went to a local trophy shop who did engraving and got the neckplate engraved "FENDER" and the serial number UOO2695 , which dates it as made at the Fugigen Gakki plant in 1995-1996, but i know it's a '95 because the bill of sale is November '95

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