Today we are looking at a neat utility guitar, a Japanese model ST-62-58 Fender Stratocaster that I found in the secondhand rack at an Ishibashi music store in Japan. This model is a 1962 re-issue strat that originally sold for 58,000 Yen (this is why they call it an ST-62058). From outside appearances, it is a very faithful recreation of the original. This is an N-prefix “Made in Japan” model, meaning it was built in around 1994. When this guitar was originally sold, the Yen was around 98 to the dollar, which equals approximately $592, which was a heck of a deal back then for such a great guitar.
This one has a glossy black poly finish over what looks like an alder body. The factory used a quality three-ply minty white pickguard, which is nice as often times these come with a garish red tortoiseshell guard. On the back, the cavity cover is the original single-ply white, which is how these came from the Japanese factory.
The neck is super-nice, with good frets (vintage thin wire) and a very pretty rosewood fretboard. It has a small headstock with the proper logos and vintage-style inline tuners. The rest of the hardware includes a vintage-style tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles (marked with “FENDER” which is a nice touch).
The electronics are the typical Stratocaster fodder – three single coils, volume/tone/tone and a 5-way selector. The pickups are strong and the electronics do not ass any unwanted extra noise. It plays, sounds and looks just like a Stratocaster should.
Like most every Japanese-made Fender guitar I have played, it is very well made, with level frets and good neck pocket clearance. After almost 20 years, they are nicks and scratches, with some fret and fretboard wear and worn off chrome, but it has not been abused and is certainly a player’s guitar. I have it set up with 0.010s and it is a breeze to play.
These guitars are one of the best values out there, and if you have the chance to pick one up, you will see that this is the real deal!