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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Trying to ID My Strat

Stratokatsu
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 14th, 2019 12:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought this hardtail Strat a couple years ago. In a conversation with someone, I've come to question whether what I have is necessarily authentic.

The neck says it was made in Japan. The serial number is E603036. On the bottom of the neck, it has a printed U on one side and a red C followed by black number 557. The decal doesn't look suspicious at all. There are no visible edges or anything.

Obviously the pickups were replaced because it came to me with EMG active pickups. The pickguard was carved to fit around the neck, so it obviously wasn't original.

Now, what I'm curious about. Inside the SSS cavities, there is what looks like black magic marker drawn in the bottom of them. It's definitely not shielding paint. It looks like it was maeant to hide something, but who ever heard of information written in the bottom of a pickup cavity?

The neck pocket appears to have been sanded on one side. It makes me suspect the neck and body weren't originally married to each other at the factory.

How can I figure out where this hardtail body came from?

(This message was last edited by Stratokatsu at 03:54 PM, Mar 14th, 2019)

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 14th, 2019 01:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

The way it's routed is a real good indicator of its origin.

Do you have a close, HQ pic of the control & pickup cavities?

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 14th, 2019 04:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

LOL - I'm not surprised to see who the first reply came from. How the heck are you?

I don't have anything of the inside of the guitar. I'll take the pickguard off and post some pictures tomorrow.

Is there anything special I could look for?

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 14th, 2019 05:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Doing great as usual. Where ya been? haha

Generally, the channel between the pickup routs is pretty wide on MIM Strats and narrow on MIA Strats. Also, how the control rout intersects with the bridge pickup rout is a good indicator, as well as smaller round registration cavities--these are different, depending on when and where the body was made. The shape of the output jack rout also is an indicator,

as well as the 'worm hole' (or not) on the bridge pickup rout.

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 15th, 2019 07:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here you go...

The wiring for the pickups is very neat, so I suspect the previous owner bought a loaded pickguard and just carved around the neck opening on the pickguard to make it fit. It's just rough enough of a shaping job to be obviously home done.

Overall look...
[img]https://i.imgur.com/BH3uPhS.jpg[/img]

Interior routing.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/BH3uPhS.jpg[/img]

Serial number appears to be E603036
[img]https://i.imgur.com/MXOCTSy.jpg[/img]

Odd that in the neck and middle cavity, there is magic marker as if it was hiding something under it. It's obviously not shielding.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/Wi1o6Tr.jpg[/img]

Saddles and bridge appear authentic.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jDegm2U.jpg[/img]

I don't think these holes are pertinent to anything. i just can't imagine what was once there.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/lmQcOta.jpg[/img]

That's about it. Looking at the body, I can't decide if it's lacquer or poly. It's nicked up here and there, but nothing with edges I can see well enough to tell.



(This message was last edited by Stratokatsu at 09:40 AM, Mar 15th, 2019)

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 15th, 2019 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Apparently, in my absence, I haven't donated recently enough to be allowed to post pictures. I just sent a donation, so hopefully Chris isn't snowed in and returns me to the land of the living soon. ;-)

(This message was last edited by Stratokatsu at 09:38 AM, Mar 15th, 2019)

Leftee
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VA

Toxic Humility
Mar 15th, 2019 08:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

Look closely at the posting box. Specifically below it.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 08:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Your "interior routing" URL is the same as the "overall" URL.

It is a MIJ neck; the thin black plastic tube insert at the truss rod access is 100% correct. The decals and serial number are correct for a 1984-1987 production neck.

The four holes in the headstock show there was once a Batten string damper mounted there. This was a device invented by badass guitarist Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, etc.) that flips down to damp unfretted strings when playing two-handed on the fretboard.

The finish looks like polyurethane or polyester, based on the polishing media residue in the cavities.

Please post the URL to the interior routing pic. Based on what you've shown thus far, it looks like a MIJ body. The sanding in the neck pocket is normal for many factory-assembled MIJ Fenders.

These guitars are not necessarily collectable. Yours looks to be in amazing shape.

The body markings are almost always made before the clear coat goes on. Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a cloth and use it to wipe the magic marker off the finish and see what those markings are underneath.

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 15th, 2019 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Sorry about the mistake with the link. I was trying so many things to get them clickable i guess i lost track.

If I've done this right now, you should be able to click on a link to show you the routing.

Routing

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 15th, 2019 12:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

BTW - I wasn't really concerned about it being collectible. I thought about selling it and someone mentioned some things that made me question what I had.

As for your earlier question about where I've been, I had about 18 months off playing guitar and golf. First I had carpel tunnel surgery on my left hand, then shoulder surgery on my right shoulder, first to remove bone spurs, but then to repair a torn muscle in the rotator cuff. It was uncomfortable to reach over any kind of guitar and it hurt initially to fret anything. I was well on the road to recovery, but just got sort of depressed over only being able to play for 10 minutes or so at a time. My fault...

Anyway, I still do physical therapy every day, but I'm playing again and even playing golf now.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 12:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Okay...that looks like a MIJ JV-Series Squier body. The 'hump' in the control cavity, typical of MIJ Fenders of the time, is missing.

What I think you have there is a mid-80s MIJ JV Squier body with a mid-80s MIJ Fender neck.

CBS sold Fender in 1984 to a group of investors headed by Bill Schultz; when the purchase was made, the Fullerton plant was not part of the sale, so Fender had no production capability in the US. The stuff coming out of Fender Japan was better than the latest US Fender production--and this super high-quality includes the superb JV Squiers.

See below.

the hump

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 12:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

And I'm glad to hear you're back to playing!

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 15th, 2019 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well... It seems I have the illicit child of something or other. Thanks for the help.

I have one question... What's JV stand for.

Thanks for all the help. I was going to sell it, but I'm forming a pretty different idea now. I think I'll keep it, but I also think I'd prefer passive pickups instead of having to open the cavity every time I need to change the battery. Maybe I'll sell the loaded pickguard with the EMGs and get something else for it.

I prefer a hardtail anyway. I have a Squier Bullet Hardtail that's been modded within an inch of its life. The only things that are still original are the neck, neck plate, neck screws and body. Literally every other part has been improved upon.

Since all I do anymore is play at home, I tend to have fun turning things into very personal guitars that suit my whims totally.

It looks like this neck and body will be my next project. Thanks again Peegoo...

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 15th, 2019 08:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

JV is Japanese Vintage.

It never made sense to me to be unhappy with a guitar because of a feature or lack of one. Why even have it? Make changes necessary to suit you!

Unless, of course, the guitar is particularly valuable in its stock form. And if it IS, what the hell are you doing playing it? You're devaluing it by playing the dang thing. Guitars are terrible investments anyway.

So there's my rant, which supports your plan: make it *your* guitar.

Cheers!

:o)

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 16th, 2019 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

LOL - Rant Approved...

Considering I paid $450 for it and it's obviously been modded with the EMG pickups, I never thought it would be valuable.

I'm not the slightest bit bothered by the Fender/Squier mix of parts, but i simply don't like the active pickups with it being so inconvenient to replace the battery.

I think a new loaded pickguard with some passive pickups that satisfy my old soul is going to make this a keeper.

Thanks again...

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
**********
****

Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 18th, 2019 06:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some new information...

I cleaned the 2 pickup cavities that had the scribbling in the bottom and the only thing under one was what looked like a red crayon L.

When i put the new loaded pickguard on, I noticed something in the neck pocket. It has a red ink stamp in it that says STD-5... It could be STD-51.

Could that mean anything?

The EMG pickups are now out of the guitar, intact in the pickguard and I'll be selling it once I can evaluate the value.

What I installed in the guitar is a loaded pickguard from Rock'R Guitars. It's got a Gilmour style switching system in it I really like.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 18th, 2019 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

STD may mean "Stratocaster Deluxe."



Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 19th, 2019 06:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Not that it matters anymore because I'm keeping the guitar, but I don't suppose Standard Deluxe changes the prospect of what this body is. Still a Japanese Squier?

What do you think?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 19th, 2019 11:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Based on the rout--I'm thinking Squier. If it were a Fender, it more than likely would have that hump.

But I'm no expert on this stuff; I just work on a lot of them.

If you'd like to get to the bottom of this, contact Gruhn's Guitars in Nashville. For a reasonable fee they can provide you with an expert assessment of it, based on detailed photos you send them.

Stratokatsu
Contributing Member
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Miami, Florida

Playing wrong notes for over 50 years
Mar 24th, 2019 06:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just as an update, the guitar is now rebuilt, for lack of a better word.

I got a loaded pickguard from Mike Riley at Rock'N R Guitars. It's got the Gilmour switching system, something I'm really enjoying.

The pickguard with the EMG pickups is going to be put up for sale when I get back from NC the first week of April.

I've really in love with this guitar now. Maybe all this was just meant to be.

Thanks again folks...

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Trying to ID My Strat




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