#1
I hope I am posting this in the right place. I have been having nothing but problems with a Gibson Explorer I purchased 4 or 5 years ago so have come on the market for something new. I am the type who doesnt really know much about the ins and outs of guitars, I just love to play them. I also live in a smaller center so guitar shopping, especially used, isnt exactly easy for me. I did manage to come across a Japanese Strat for 500 bucks which seems like a fair price from what I have been able to learn from the net. The guy says he believes it is a 98. I guess in short I was hoping someone would maybe be able to clarify as to if thats actually a decent price for such a guitar. I have been having a hard time finding a consensus on the quality of the MIJ strats, especially those outside the more sought after 80's models. I was going to post pics but that seems to be against forum policy. I really have no idea what to think because at this point almost any guitar I pick up sounds better than mine with all its issues. Any sound advice to a rookie?
#2
Yes, get your Explorer professionally set up 1st.
Moving on.....
#3
is it an actual fender? the big problem with japanese fenders is that they have export and not-for-export models, and it's not always that easy to tell which is which. the non-exports normally have a higher spec more akin to the USA fenders.

Not being able to tell lower models from higher models is a problem that plagues a lot of the other good copy makes like tokai etc., too (plus they often have even cheaper non-japanese models which complicates things even further). Even the lower japanese-made models are normally still good guitars (at least the ones I've tried, and once you hit the late 70s/early 80s and beyond), but obviously you don't want to be paying a custom shop price for a mainstream model, either.

you could do worse than checking out the tokai registry and japanaxe forums and maybe posting this question there, too. They know way more than I do.

EDIT: ^ that too. Just in case there's nothing wrong with it.

It's probably also pointing out that a strat is quite a different guitar from an explorer, if you're used to only playing the explorer.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#4
Quote by Dave_Mc
is it an actual fender? the big problem with japanese fenders is that they have export and not-for-export models, and it's not always that easy to tell which is which. the non-exports normally have a higher spec more akin to the USA fenders.

Not being able to tell lower models from higher models is a problem that plagues a lot of the other good copy makes like tokai etc., too (plus they often have even cheaper non-japanese models which complicates things even further). Even the lower japanese-made models are normally still good guitars (at least the ones I've tried, and once you hit the late 70s/early 80s and beyond), but obviously you don't want to be paying a custom shop price for a mainstream model, either.

you could do worse than checking out the tokai registry and japanaxe forums and maybe posting this question there, too. They know way more than I do.

EDIT: ^ that too. Just in case there's nothing wrong with it.

It's probably also pointing out that a strat is quite a different guitar from an explorer, if you're used to only playing the explorer.


The Gibson is in desperate need of a refretting or a completely new neck. Although it was purchased as a scratch and dent the guy before me must have threw it against the wall as it has had serious issues since day 1 (I was just to foolish and young to recognize it.) Almost every note in the 7-10 fret regions are completely dead at this point. I have sunk around 300 or so dollars into it along the way and am happy to still try to get it in playing condition I just want something new to actually have fun for now. Im sorry for being so dense but like I said I know very little of guitars, are you saying its possible this one is actually of the lesser quality type of fenders which were produced specifically for export or that it is actually a Tokai copy-cat? It appears that tokai and dyna or whatever took over production of Japanese Fenders in 1998 but there is both Tokai strat copycats and actual legitimate fender strats MIJ by tokai? I am so confused lol....
#5
yeah, that's the problem, it's confusing

the big problem with strats (and teles) is that they can be partscasters (i.e. random bodies and necks thrown together) and/or a cheaper model passed off as a dearer one. It could be a tokai (or other japanese copy), it could be a fender, it could be a fender made by tokai, it could be a fender with a squier neck, etc. etc. etc. It wouldn't be the first non-fender to have a fender decal applied to the headstock, either.

I'm not saying definitely not to go for it, but be careful, kind of thing.

"there is both Tokai strat copycats and actual legitimate fender strats MIJ by tokai? "

yep, exactly.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
in my experience MIJ strats are VERY good. so good in fact i have a really hard time justifying the price of a USA strat. i demo them side by side and i really cant tell tone or playability.

i have had many store owners and "underground" local artists tell me that MIJ strats are literally just as good and they only consider a USA if you want to resell or have the pride in "the real deal".

i agree. but, i am not a fender guy. or a gibson guy. thats why i just bought a carvin. cause for 1600 my carvin has features and specs gibson and fender literally cant match. i dont think the fender corp even owns wood that of the quality on my carvin.....
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#7
I have an 86 mij contemporary strat I bought it at a pawn shop for 149.00 its a yellow single humbucker model that had no strings and was dusty. It is very comfortable to play the locking nut on it is the best design as it puts the locking mechanism further past the nut. the pickup has a little bit of a microphonic effect and that is the only issue with it. Mine isn't really a classic strat as its pickup isn't strat like so I cant give much advice other than the build quality and fretwork is just awesome. I would just sell or trade your Gibson as you can get a good price for the Gibson name and get you a well sorted guitar. one that you can try because every guitar is different
#8
"japanese strat" can mean a huge range of guitars.

it's better if you just list the make and models of the guitars as well as year of mfg. it really breaks down like that.

i agree with dave that the tokai registry or japanaxe forums are a good place to get more info.