Friday, April 6, 2018

1983 Fender JV Series Stratocaster Review


In my old job I used to go to Japan pretty often, and I always kept my eye out for the holy grail of vintage Japanese guitars as I hit up the secondhand stores. That is the case with the gorgeous 1983 Fender 1962 re-issue Stratocaster we are looking at today. This JV instrument has become my new #1 Strat, hands down.

Now is probably the time to 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 Fender Stratocaster, and I am not sure of the model as I have not wanted to take it apart yet to see what is lurking in the neck pocket. This will answer the questions about the model number and born on date, which I will want to know at some point.

This guitar is finished in nice aged burst. When I first saw the guitar and its JV-serial neckplate, I was pretty excited. The shop knew what they had so it was not super cheap, but it was still a better value than what I would have paid on this side of the pond.

I am pretty sure it has the original electronics, but again I will need to take it apart to be sure. It would certainly be nice if it is a higher end model with the cloth-covered wiring and the Fullerton pickups. 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 believe this guitar is completely unmodified, and I dig the vintage touches like the bent bridge saddles. This one might actually be a keeper - it sure plays well and sounds incredible...

I might be selling a few of my other Stratocasters, so drop me a line if you are interested. They are all pretty nice too!



  1. 美しい。Beautiful!
    (Photographed in the studios of the Nagoya Marriott, I see.)

  2. Selling any JV's? My email is