Dating a japanese fender
All either ’57 or ’62 reissues, they were exported from spring 1982 for a couple of months or so – notably, however, not to the USA.The export models featuring ‘Squier series’ augmentation on the headstock were said to have numbered not many more than 3,000 instruments.The early '80s 'JV Series' Squier Strats were undeniably amazing value for money, representing as they did the premium Fender Japan product in Europe, at a budget price.But not all JV Strats were created equal, and in my experience their appeal fluctuated quite markedly.I’m not going to be including late ‘80s Korean Squiers in this piece.I've now added a full study of the first Korean Squiers, which you find in The Truth About... But suffice it to say that the ‘80s Korean Squiers were inherently and consistently inferior to their Japanese predecessors, and they had what I’d describe as ‘double-take’ retail prices.I thought for this piece it would be worth exploring the reality of the Squier Stratocaster of the 1980s – just as a guide for anyone who’s been subjected to conflicting pitches from vendors who might be, shall we say, a little over-enthusiastic to sell their merchandise.The Squier Strat is one facet of the guitar market which comes steeped in hype, and I wanted to provide a bit of balance amid what can sometimes be wishful, hysterically over-gushing, or just plain misinformed rhetoric.
Despite the mix and match logo arrangement, the guitars still otherwise followed the ’57 and ’62 vintage reissue templates, and since only the branding was changed at this point, there’s no inherent difference in quality between these guitars and the initial run of export models with Fender ‘spaghetti’ logos and ‘Squier series’ augmentation.
THE PREMIUM OUTPUT The first Strats made in Japan by Fender were vintage reissue ’57 and ’62 replicas, launched in Tokyo on Friday 7th May 1982.
The new line of instruments, produced by Fuji Gen Gakki, featured serial numbers beginning with the letters JV, and they’re accordingly known as the JV series.
Very similar to an American vintage reissue but with ‘Made in Japan’ beneath the Fender logo, next to a slightly chunkier version of the ‘With Synchronized Tremolo’ lettering.
On the early JV Strats, the ‘spaghetti’ logo was also a little fatter than on the later export MIJs.