Fender Strat - USA vs Japan? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Fender Strat - USA vs Japan?

I am saving money to buy a new guitar
I want to try something new and I am thinking of buying a strat (or tele)

How are those Japan made strats? They seem much cheaper than those USA strats

I'm thinking of getting a Fender Japan strat and if get a neck from warmoth if I can't get use to those Fender neck .... since the price of a Japan strat + a warmoth neck maye still lower than a high end US strat

or I should get buy a whole custom strat/tele from warmoth?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 04:37 PM
 
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Fender Strat

Honestly...I would suggest buying an American Standard made in the early to mid 80s. *The period between '81 and '87 are pretty nicely made American Standards where you'll easily find great necks that don't intend to give you 'quality' but sure do look that they 'tried' (it's been my experience lately that the woods like the maple necks have a better quality and grain to them during this period).

Used in the US a good american standard (and even the plus' from '87) go for under $600 bucks.

In my humble opinion. They are FAR superior than the American Standards of now (the new "american" series). *

Look for one of those...the japanese ones are actually very well built and sound decent...but the american standard has a more substantial tone because of the weight and wood.

Good Luck!!!
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2001, 10:03 PM
 
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Fender Strat

Actually, the Mexican Strats aren't bad these days...

Or, maybe consider a Carvin Bolt. *Nicest strat type, IMO, if you don't need the nameplate.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 03:00 PM
 
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Fender Strat

A BIG Strat man here,

I would avoid the US strat from 81, and start from around 84 onwards. *I seriously recommend that you do NOT buy a Strat blind, try every single one you can and you will soon find the one that calls to you. *This may be a Japanese, a US or even a Mexican, thats the thing about Strats they are so inconsistent that you cannot pinpoint a year or model as they are all different.

Basically try all you can.

Andy
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 05:15 PM
 
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Fender Strat

Thats the cool thing about strat's, they are all a bit unique.. Its some kind of magic (some call it G.A.S.) with strats, when you get one, you want another one... *My advice is jusst as the others, find and testdrive a used strat, (prefferably a USA) it is cheaper, better, and more fun/exciting... *

(only setback is that it is a 75% chance your next strat will be a sunburst heheheheh)
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 05:30 PM
 
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Fender Strat

I should probably add that with the Japanese + Mexican Strats you will probably need to upgrade the pots and pickups which should be taken into account when doing yer $$$ sums.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 06:47 PM
 
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Fender Strat

BTW strat110, have you tried a lot of different pickupps for strats, and what are your recomendations ? Are the texas special good for example ?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 09:35 PM
 
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Fender Strat

I have played the American Deluxe series even, and man, I have honestly played Mexis that were better feeling and sounding....Strats are NOT consistent from instrument to instrument
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-24-2001, 02:54 AM
 
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Fender Strat

Strats are weird little beasts...each one is a little bit different.

Personally I second strat110s comment: stay away from early 80's Strats. *Historically this was an era when Fender had just changed hands and they were busy getting reorganized. *The instruments weren't terrible but they weren't all that memorable either. *Additionally the industry was still trying to catch up with newer technology and budgets and making some really awful components at the time and calling them innovations.

For American made Strats the era I tend to gravitate to for quality is the very late 80's and early 90's. *This was when Fender was back on its feet and made a very limited number of instruments, and made them well. *The Strat Plus of this era was the flagship no-endorsement guitar. *I've got a Clapton Strat from this era and it's amazing sounding. *You can find American Strats and Teles pretty cheap as well.

Japan made some nice guitars overseas during the 80's. *The early part of it saw them making instruments that were usally superior to the American counterparts. *Worrying that the "Squier" brand would be perceived as a "knock off" they ratcheted up the quality control and turned out top of the line guitars. *I personally own a first year Telecaster that has better contruction and wood than most American series Teles I've played. *Additionally Squiers from this era go pretty cheap. *Consider a few extra bucks for new pickups and you'll be in good shape.

The first year of the Mexican Fenders was also good. *Fender, again worried about quality control, spent the time and made some great guitars that rivaled the flagships. *I let one go a few months ago for a little over three bills. *It was a shame to see it go but the fact was that I just wasn't playing it at all.

The market is kind of infatuated with the new Fenders. *I'm not nearly as enthused about what they have. *When Fender tries to make too many guitars you usually start to see the quality falter. *The new non-Lace Sensor pickups I haven't tried but I'm told they're nice. *Typical Fender stock pickups usually end up being replaced as the first mod; they're just nowhere near as hot-rodded as the replacements that alot of folks are used to playing.

But play them all and see what you like. *I've played cheap ones that blew flagships five times the price out of the water. *The used market is good now since all the kids seem to want Gibsons and PRS'. *Take advantage of it and get a good axe for yourself.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-24-2001, 09:48 PM
 
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Fender Strat

Quote:
Jay Satriani on 5:47 pm on Dec. 23, 2001
BTW strat110, have you tried a lot of different pickupps for strats, and what are your recomendations ? Are the texas special good for example ?
It depends what kind of tone you are after, I have been through quite a few different models in my time so let me know what sound you are after and I will do my best.

Texas Specials are good for that SRV/Hendrix/Trower tone but are only hum cancelling when in the 2 & 4 settings on a 5 way selector. *They are pretty bright but also have a nice thump to them if that makes sense, the classic (as the name implied) Texas Strat tone, they are also great for a Johnny Winter tone.

I have used various DiMarzios/Seymour Duncans/EMG's and Fender pickups over the years so let me know what you are after and I will do my best to help. *Harmony Central is an okay place to start but ultimately 95% of all reviews are written after people have the babies in a few days and are in that "new great gear" mode - this I suspect you already know.

The Japanese reissues are good, if you can go for a Sunburst model as these are Ash or Alder, the solid colours are generally basswood which whilst cool is not that Strat tone as such. *Also fretboard wood should be taken into account, maple or rosewood - who are some of your fave Strat players? *I have owned both on several Strats and they both have their plus and minuses - my own personal pref is maple on Strats, but the difference only becomes apparent when you haven't got the gain set to stun.

Andy
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 10:24 AM
 
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Fender Strat

I guess im after a Blues / Funk combo, almost tele sounding... Maybe i should get myself a Tele.... hehehe
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 10:38 AM
 
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Fender Strat

Quote:
strat110 on 4:30 pm on Dec. 23, 2001
I should probably add that with the Japanese + Mexican Strats you will probably need to upgrade the pots and pickups which should be taken into account when doing yer $$$ sums.
Actually, Mexis have USA pots and switch, but you're right about Japs, although many new MIJ models come wth USA Fender pups.

Cowcowcow- Some of the best playing 60s RI strats I've played are MIJ...even with the non-traditional basswood bodied they seem to be quite resonant as well. *Actually it's the necks in particular that seem so nice. *But if you're after more of an Ibanez feel, a Warmoth should get you closer (available in "Ibanez contour" and 16" radius).

On the US used market MIJs are going up in price due to their good reputation, but I've heard new ones available in Japan are still great quality...so considering were you're located, I'd go in that direction. *MIJs are probably cheaper for you than for us in the US, and USA strats are probably much higher in HC by comparison. *
Greg
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 04:41 PM
 
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Fender Strat

I'm a major strat fan. Stratocasters are probably the most inconsistent production model guitar I've ever tried. Go to all the stores nearby and try every single strat you can find. In general, the early 80s strats were crap, and 91-98 were crap, but there are always exceptions. I have a '96 Strat Plus 50th Anniversary Edition that I'd still say plays tons better than any other guitar I've played (including my 7VWH, JS10th, my guitar teacher's '57 Tele..). There's a certain magic about Stratocasters. You just have to go out and play a ton of them until you find the one that just clicks with you.

A lot of people these days have been loving the Mexican built strats; they seem to be of much higher quality than they used to. Disregard where it was made and pick the one that feels right to you. If you find one that feels unbelievable, but the tone is a little thin, consider swapping the pickups. A friend of mine has a MIM strat that plays fantastic, but he popped a set of Lindy Fralin pickups in there, and god does it sound amazing. I was very tempted to get a set of Fralins for my strat, but I have to admit, I'm a little scared that if I do anything like that to it, the magic might "disappear."
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2001, 03:30 PM
 
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Fender Strat

Quote:
Jay Satriani on 9:24 am on Dec. 28, 2001
I guess im after a Blues / Funk combo, almost tele sounding... Maybe i should get myself a Tele.... hehehe
In that case I would recommend DiMarzio Virtual Vintages, they come in a number of different winds (for different tones) and have the ability to do the clean strat tone very well, and also blues. *The VV54B sounds superb in front of a blazing Marshall too.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-30-2001, 12:30 PM
 
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Posts: 110
Fender Strat

I'll add my 2 cents here. In your hunt for a strat I'd recomend you check out the late 90's Korean made Fender Squire ProTones. They can typically be found in the $250 - $350 price range and IMHO are fantastic guitars for the price. If you're not familar with the Squire ProTones you're probably thinking "yeah, a Korean Squire Strat - this guy needs a clue". But, these ProTones are a real anamoly.
Rumor has it that Fender quickly discontinued the ProTone line because these guitars were so good they were outselling the American Strats at the time. I have a ash-body Transparent-Teal Protone with a maple neck that is one of the best playing strats I've ever used.
You can probably get additional input on these ProTones by checking out user comments in the Harmony Central database.
Good luck!
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carvin bolt , fretboard wood , lace sensor , maple neck , maple necks , mexican strat , neck joint , production model , seymour duncan , seymour duncans , squire strat , strat plus , strat tone , trem arm , warmoth neck

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