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Hey there. I'm new to the site, hoping to get some opinions/thoughts on a guitar I picked up locally. I've picked up a hobby over the last few years of visiting the local flea markets, swap meets, and thrift shops for lost treasures. I've picked up countless speakers and home audio amps, but never any musical instruments. That is, until this morning! I picked up a "Made In Japan" Fender Stratocaster, serial number E512404. I don't see any other markings on the guitar, but it does seem to be missing some hardware. There are some nicks and chips in the body, but it seems to be in ok shape overall. A friend of mine knows a bit about guitars and is going to help me clean it up and set up some strings. In the mean time, I was hoping to get some more info on it. Here are some pics:

Last edited by oliade677 at Oct 17, 2012,
That nut looks ghetto as hell. I would definitely do something about that.
almost looks like a khaler bridge. If it is one, it is very very strange
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What's up with the nut Definitely knock those picks off and put a new nut in there.

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I'll take better pics of the bridge when I get home. There is a fancy "F" engraved in the base, so I would imagine it is a Fender product.
It would appear to be a Fender contemporary strat. Pretty cool guitars, the trem if I'm not mistaken, is Fender's take on a Floyd rose floating trem, made by Schaller. Heres the wikipedia page for more info

Hope this helps

*Edit* It appears to be the model 27-5700, I'm sure if you email fender the serial they could tell you when it was made and what model it is exactly
Last edited by zkhrats at Oct 11, 2012,
I have a contemporary strat. IT ROCKS KEEP IT MAN!! I gig with it regularly and boy it sure screams and fender lovers will notice it right away. You got a diamond in the rough man good job! (I assumed you're male but if you're female- good job bitch!)
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Haha, I am a dude. I paid $100 for it with the hard case. I couldn't pass it up at that price! Thanks for all of the input, I'll try emailing Fender this afternoon.
Quote by oliade677
Haha, I am a dude. I paid $100 for it with the hard case. I couldn't pass it up at that price! Thanks for all of the input, I'll try emailing Fender this afternoon.

Why can I not get deals like that?
100 bucks!? I guess its time to start a new hobby, flea market scavenging.

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"- offset double cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, blackface headstock, double locking vibrato, white or black pickguard, available in three pickup/control configurations (1: single exposed humbucker pickup and one volume control, 2: two humbucker pickups with one volume and one tone knob, a three-way pickup switch, and coil tap, 3: two single coil and one humbucker pickups, one volume knob and one tone knob, five-way pickup switch, and coil tap), chrome hardware, mfg. 1985-89."

That is the description of a "Contemporary Stratocaster, Japan manufacture". Do not confuse with the American made version it is different. If it was fixed up its book value would be somewhere between $275 and $450 depending on actual condition.

Edit: This is just a guess at identification, also book value is just a starting point for actual value. Fix that nut and you got a good deal.
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Last edited by Quintex at Oct 11, 2012,
Japanese made Contemporary Strat. Should be 85. It is a Schaller (system 1 I think) made for Fender, floating trem bridge. There would have originally been a locking nut, instead of that plastic one.

I just picked one of the rarer ones that had the metallic copper paint job and single humbucker single volume, no pick guard. I got it for $60.00 at a music store garage sale. It was beat to hell and back. Totally unplayable the way it was but the neck was straight. I am in the process of refinishing it right now.
pics of gear updated on profile 11/16/09
give ya 200 for it.
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This is maybe the worst comparison in the history of comparisons.
mid 80s.

ippon told me to look in the neck pocket on mine to see the actual model designation.

take the four screws out of the neck plate and look between where the neck meets the body. there should be codes inside. one on the neck and one on the body.

that should just confirm what the guys are saying about the contemporary. 25-5700 or whatever it is.

that's not mine but i just grabbed a 1987 made in japan strat, great guitar.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Thanks Greg, I'll check it out when I get home. Once I do get it cleaned up and such, I'll try to post better pics.
thats a Fender Japan Boxer Strat ST-756
indeed it had a locking nut & the bridge is referred to as a "Performer" bridge

Quote by gregs1020

take the four screws out of the neck plate and look between where the neck meets the body

only if you can be "bothered to"
Last edited by LexiconDevil at Oct 12, 2012,
I've gone to flea markets for years, but all I seem to find is cheap start knock-offs. You, however, seem to have had more luck. That strat is beautiful. My hat off to you sir.
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Quote by LexiconDevil
thats a Fender Japan Boxer Strat ST-756
indeed it had a locking nut & the bridge is referred to as a "Performer" bridge

only if you can be "bothered to"

TS - i trust this noob. he's very wise in the ways of japanzie guitars.

listen lexicon, some of us cba to mess with this stuff. it could kill my super-duper sustain!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Wow, you nailed it Lexicon. Here are some additional images..

The neck is clearly stamped 756, with a 656 stamp on the body. I haven't tried removing the faceplate, but I'll certainly take your word for it on the bridge. Again, thank you to everyone for the input!
The difference between 656 & 756 was twin humbuckers or twin singles with humbucker
It was a 130,000yen guitar new anyway
Wow, no kidding? I'm amazed by your breadth of knowledge, Lex! Two sloppy pics and you knew exactly what it was..

As far as the locking nut, any specific recommendations? In searching online, I found an Ebay listing for a similar model that mentions that the original locking nut was faulty by design. Any truth to that?
That didn't use a locking nut, IIRC. I'm fairly certain they used a Wilkinson Roller Nut.
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Well, my buddy helped me clean and string this guy up. The neck looks gorgeous. The pots and switches are noisy, but there isn't any buzzing or hissing when playing. The picks and plastic piece are still in place for the time being. He had some trouble figuring out how to properly string with the floating bridge system, but he's fairly certain he set them up as intended. Here are a few more pics:

Wow, that's amazing! Thank you for taking the time to locate the guitar! I love seeing a community that's so passionate about something. As far as that catalogue is concerned, what's the primary reason for the ST-756 costing 2x more than those other models? The pickups? Internal wiring? Craftsmanship in the neck/body? Honestly, it's crazy to think about someone saving up 130,000 yen/$1,700 (converted today) some 27 years ago and now it's here in my living room! I'm sure it's seen quite a bit in those 27 years.
they had locking nuts & all those reasons also a lot of those on that page are probably squires
It certainly has the appearance as though part of the fingerboard was chopped off, but I believe that's where the old nut fit onto the neck. I took a pic last night, I'll post it when I get off from work.
wilkinson was making roller nuts in the mid 80s?
that definitely had a locking nut on there that went along with the System III tremolo.
you can tell by the black finish that it's original.they would have done that first then sprayed it then installed the hardware
i think you want something known as a "height adjustable locking nut" but then again I have zero interest in anything after a '57 strat really
setup vid
Yeah, that certainly seems to be the case. I'm surprised how little data there is on these MIJ guitars, or at least on certain models/setups. Here are those additional photos. As Lex mentioned, you can see the original black finish below the picks. I'm fairly certain the guitar was not cut up:

Man, thats weird! SOMETHING was there though as you can see the black finish is worn away in a rectangular shape. Pretty much exactly where a nut and missing piece of fretboard would have been.

But, hey, if its in tune, scale accurate and intonnated, then I guess who cares. Definitly looks different!
the point of it is there's been no aftermarket removing of material from the nut area.

i'm not 100% this is the original nut

i'm saying yes because of the double string trees but then again string trees are easily added later and this was only used for a year.
it's rarer than hens teeth anyway.
if you want to get back to stock like I said a locking nut would be your best bet.
Definitely similar, but my guitar does not have a back plate slot and the back of the neck does not have a black finish. This one below is almost identical, though it has all original hardware. The tremolo, nut, and humbucker look different, but I think this is what it originally looked like:

Note that the locking nut is identical to the one Lex posted just above. My guitar is a Frankenstein version of the ST-756.
Last edited by oliade677 at Oct 17, 2012,
not really a frankenstein.
it's entirely possible at the factory they put the different numbered neck on the body then further down the line designated it one or the was only a pickup difference.
the only changes I see are it's just had a gibson style nut installed thats all it should be a 15 min job to screw in a new locking nut back to original.
that lever nut design was only used for about a year and given the serial number basically only dates it to a 2 year spread it's impossible to say what it originally had but the level was pissed off in favour of a more conventional style cause well it pretty much sucked.

the end game is the replacement of a locking nut and piss that gibson thing off there.are those picks serving some sort of mechanical purpose?doubt that can actually be very good for sustain ...
Lex, turns out you are correct! It's not a Frankenstein. I posted a topic on the Fender forums a few days ago, and they were able to help me fully identify the guitar. Turns out the bridge is a System II tremolo, which was made as a copy of the FreeFlyte bridge used in the Tele Elites. This particular strat is a 27-4100, which features 2 single coil and 1 humbucker pickups, 5 position selector switch, coil splitter, 1 volume 1 tbx, system II tremolo, rosewood fingerboard, 25.5" scale length, & side mounted output jack. In reading on various forums, the original locking nut was defective, which is likely why it was replaced on this unit. Here's one such example I found in the archives of another forum:

"I had one of these in a few months ago for a setup. I loved the guitar and so does the owner, but the System II (or System I, i forget) trem would not stay in tune for nothing. The locking "nut" (it's actually behind the nut, making it kinda useless) would actually accidently cut the string more often than not.

I ended up removing the locking "nut" & installed a Graphtec nut & added some Graphtech string trees. Now it stays in tune perfectly and is one of the best Japanese Fenders I have had in."

As far as the picks below the gibson-style nut, they merely seem to be in place to keep the nut slightly lifted. Not sure if the height is required, but that's what I can make out.

Here's a complete 27-4100:
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