Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1983 Fender Japan JV-Series Squier Stratocaster Review


If you keep looking, eventually you will find a diamond in the rough, and that is the case with the gorgeous 1983 Fender Squier 1962 re-issue Stratocaster we are looking at today. This JV instrument has become my new #1 Strat, usurping my MIJ 1986 ’62 re-issue.

Maybe I should explain the whole JV thing. JV stands for “Japanese Vintage”, and was the serial number prefix for the first series of guitars that were built for Fender in Japanese factories, and they were produced between 1982 and 1984. These instruments were constructed at the Fuji Gen-Gakki factory in Matsumoto, Japan. This was the same factory that was building Ibanez and Greco guitars.

The JV-series instruments have become very collectible, and were built using the original blueprints to be authentic replicas of pre-CBS Fender models. These models usually got the full treatment, including vintage-style tuners and cloth covered harnesses, as well as the original body contours and neck radii. The quality of these put the US made Fenders of the time to shame, and therefore they were not imported to the United States, though I guess a bunch made it to Europe. I found this one at a second-hand store in Japan on one of my business trips, and had to bring it home.

Our subject guitar today is an non-export model Squier Stratocaster, and I think it is model ST62-65. You can decipher the model number pretty easily: ST = Stratocaster, 62 = 1962 reissue, 65 = 65,000YEN (original price). This instrument has a neck date of 6/10/83, and a body date of 6-83. This is fourteen months after the beginning of JV production.

This guitar is finished in creamy white with a rosewood fretboard. When I first saw the guitar and its JV-serial neckplate, I was pretty excited, but figured it must be a refinish or a fake – it just looked too good for a 33-year old guitar. But, I took it apart, and it is obviously all original, from the finish to the frets to the electronics.

It has the original electronics, but no cloth-covered wiring, so this must have been one of the cheaper models. The neck is very nice. The vintage-style tuners work fine, none are bent and they do not bind. The frets are good, with almost no; the neck is true, and the truss rod works freely. I did not like the nut as it was really short, so my tech installed a new one, set it up with 0.009s, and now it plays perfectly.

I believe this guitar is unmodified (other than that new nut), and I dig the vintage touches like the bent bridge saddles. By the way, I know that is a 1970s style Strat logo, but they still call this a 1962 re-issue. Go figure.

I might be selling my black 1986 E-serial Stratocaster, so drop me a line if you are interested. It is a pretty nice too!



  1. I have a maple neck with truss insert 1983 JV. I bought it in 1985 used by a professional musician with a Fender shop tweed with orange crush furry inside case. Will never part with it. Sorry.

    1. Me too ... bought used in 85 in a guitar shop. Was used heavily by a pro musician. Fender shop tweed plush case. Number one guitar since 85. Will not part with it.

  2. I also wondered why they used a 70s style Strat logo on a fifties re-issue. I think Fender USA got a little worried about competition.

  3. I recntly tracked down a JV Strat and was pretty sure the chap who sol it was genuine in his belief that its was an '83 JV but the neckplate had been replaced so no serial number. Anyway, my luthire did some work on it and it had an August '83 date pencilled in on the inside neck or body, can't remember and a stylised stamp that said either J. Bullock or John Bullock. Where I believe some have a Fender stamp. Anyway, it had been previously modified, maybe with a Floyd Rose but then returned to standard. The headstock matches exactly the '83 70's logo and other text. I've no doubt it is a JV '83 and is in near perfect condition (luthirer thinks maybe pickups changed), plays like a dream (luthier cried when he handed it over; 'a beautiful old girl' said he), and has about 2 inches of wear from the inside forearm of a right handed player on the top/rear of the body. Beautiful. I don't get the business with the stamp 'Bullock' though??!!??. Goes head to head with my authorised '83 SQ Strat that's had similar modifications (I've had it for 30 years, and again that one nearly didn't get returned when I lent it to a friend. Get these, folks if you can!!!) Soz.

  4. pLUS.., HEY IT'S sOZ HERE EVERYONE, i WROTE THE ABOVE POST. i'M TRYING TO GET MY HEAD oops, caps lock.. around what a Contemporary SQ Strat 1983 is as I'm looking at one but it has a square neckplate not a three screw one. Plus a different headstock (a JV type one) and different logo. Thoughts?? Thanks!

  5. i found a lefty 1983 japanese squier strat , prb didnt make too many of those . lol

  6. its stamped st 362 on the body, pencil date on neck where the truss rod is is 11-11 83

  7. yngwie used this exact guitar here https://youtu.be/aVYClRkxGDg?si=aYmnwCSGE-MQzHCy