Saturday, April 05, 2014

Fender Japan ST-357V Strat

The Japanese Fender Strat featured here came in for fret leveling and recrowning. According to the Guitar Dater Project, it was "made at the Fuji-gen Plant (for Fender Japan), Japan in the Year(s): 1985 - 1986." This guitar was originally Vintage White, as can clearly be seen with the pickguard removed. Hmmm ... it does look good au naturel @ nekkid like this, don't you think? The neck is a solid hunk of maple (that feels like a baseball bat) with a 7.25" fingerboard radius, skunk stripe, 21 frets, a truss rod adjustment screw at the heel end (the pickguard features a corresponding scoop), and "ST-357V" stamped on the heel. The bridge looks a bit too shiny and rust-free to be stock, while the pickups bear a remarkable resemblance to the stock pups on Blackie, my Squier California Series Strat. The pickup covers look the part, though. Last but not least, the pots and 5-way switch appear to be stock, while the headstock sports Gotoh tuning machines. In conclusion, based on observable characteristics and research, I dare say that this guitar could have started out as a Japanese 50s vintage reissue Strat. In any case, feel free to check out the references cited, and draw your own conclusions.

Reference List
The Guitar Dater Project - Fender Serial Number Decoder
Vtg 80s Fender Stratocaster E Series Mij Japan St 357v
MIJ strat neck stamp "ST-357V"
FDP - Forum

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