Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1983 Fender Japan JV-Series Squier Stratocaster Review

Aloha!

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!

Mahalo!

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