#1
Recently I noticed that I have a bunch of great guitars that I love, but my strat is a cheap no-name. Even though it's a terrific guitar "for the price" as they say, it wasn't really cutting it standing amongst my others. So I decided to hunt for a strat. I basically decided on what features the guitar had to have, chose a price range (around $1000-$1200) and went hunting.

Here's what I ended up with...a 1988 Fender Standard Strat (MIJ - made in Japan). It just flat out played better than any other strat I tried in the sub $1500 range (including a few older ones from the 70s). It's in better condition than most of the 2010-2011 used strats I checked out, and came to $499 out the door with both a hardshell and a gig bag...so I'm pretty stoked.

Review: it just hits every one of the five must-haves I had in mind when hunting. Maple neck and fretboard, "vintage" frets (smaller, narrower than usual), solid tuners, a great bridge, and the black/maple color scheme. The action is ridiculously low with no buzzing, and the pickups sound great. I may swap them for an amazing set of Kinmans I have lying around, but I need to demo them for a few more weeks before I decide. I highly recommend one of these if you're looking for a great strat. I'm not going to do the usual "this guitar beats others triple its price" shtick, but I did A/B this one with a red 1979 strat, a 1989 strat plus, and two or three 2010-2013 American Standard strats...and this MIJ bugger beat them all out for tone and playability.

Pics are below as required, some from a great camera and some from an awful one. And now I'm off to play. Thanks for reading!







Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#2
Strats are awesome.

Congratulations, HNGD!
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#3
Nice one. Maple = winning. HNGD!
ZEN JUDDHISM
The new solo project, and spiritual philosophy... Album out now !
----------------------------------------------------------
hybrid 6.0
Debut album 'Silent Destruction' out now
Read the Two Guys Metal review here
#4
I feel the same way about my MIJ. It just flat out hoses the competition in and above the price range.

HNGD
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#5
Quote by CustomAxe
Here's what I ended up with...a 1988 Fender Standard Strat (MIJ - made in Japan). It just flat out played better than any other strat I tried in the sub $1500 range (including a few older ones from the 70s). It's in better condition than most of the 2010-2011 used strats I checked out, and came to $499 out the door with both a hardshell and a gig bag...so I'm pretty stoked.


i've had that type of experience over and over with mij stuff.
#6
Yeah I was pretty shocked. I definitely expected it to best the MIM stuff, but I wasn't expecting it to eat an American standard for lunch.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#7
sweet
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?
#9
Highly recommended! Looks like you have an 80s MIJ Fender Tele, I bet it's a beast too.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#10
Nice, but when did 88 become vintage?
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
Quote by Robbgnarly
Nice, but when did 88 become vintage?


The thread doesn't say anywhere that the guitar is vintage. It says vintage-y. The guitar is older than I am, so I figured the -ish was justified. Sorry if I made ya feel old
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#12
Quote by CustomAxe
Highly recommended! Looks like you have an 80s MIJ Fender Tele, I bet it's a beast too.

It's fairly nice,Got a few electronic issues atm,I can't compare it to an MIA as i've never played one.Would love to try an MIJ Strat though,I've had loads of Strats so i know what i'm looking at more with them.
#13
There are quite a few of us MIJ lovers here! Welcome to Japanese Strat Neuroticism! Don't go googling around for Tokai's if you're trying to keep a tight wallet.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#14
Hell I consider my Charvel vintage even though its an 87. Its a nicer more polite term than saying "Hey I got an old ass guitar!" OP, that's great work, now to make it sound great you need this:

Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#15
Haha, thanks RBM^. I actually have this to make it sound great...I think it'll suffice



Still no decision on the pickups, after further review. I really like the originals but cant help but think the kinmans might be better. I think I'll maybe do the swap and see what I think, cuz I guess I can always swap back if I change my mind.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#16
Quote by CustomAxe
The thread doesn't say anywhere that the guitar is vintage. It says vintage-y. The guitar is older than I am, so I figured the -ish was justified. Sorry if I made ya feel old


2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#17
Quote by CustomAxe
Haha, thanks RBM^. I actually have this to make it sound great...I think it'll suffice



Still no decision on the pickups, after further review. I really like the originals but cant help but think the kinmans might be better. I think I'll maybe do the swap and see what I think, cuz I guess I can always swap back if I change my mind.


See now you makin me mad now That's some fancy gear you got there sir.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds
#18
Gracias sir, you too. Playing through the entire The Wall album right now. I think the pickups are going to stay and I'll be selling my other strat as it is with the upgrades.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#20
Quote by dementiacaptain
I feel the same way about my MIJ. It just flat out hoses the competition in and above the price range.

HNGD

I agree. These MIJ guitars are awesome. The OPs checklist for the guitar he was looking for is similar to my own preferences.

I have a Tokai, and the previous owner before me also brought the action way down, super close to the fretboard. It's a different way of playing, but I really enjoy it. I'm a sloppy player, and the sloppy action merges so well with my sloppy playing.

For the price, MIJ guitars can't be beat by anything if you're looking for vintage looks and sound.
#21
nice. I have my brothers 86 MIJ strat which is a very good guitar. can't say it's better than my 89 Strat Plus deluxe though. enjoy
#22
Quote by monwobobbo
nice. I have my brothers 86 MIJ strat which is a very good guitar. can't say it's better than my 89 Strat Plus deluxe though. enjoy


Yeah the 89 strat plus deluxe was the other one I was really looking at. I played the MIJ one I ended up buying alongside the plus deluxe and the MIJ just had a better neck for my tastes.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#23
After a few days of play, I've decided to put the Kinman-loaded pickguard in, and it sounds better than ever. Can't praise these pickups enough, highly recommended. This is the Woodstock set, AVN69s in the neck and middle and the HX85 in the bridge.

Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#24
nice! i am more into teles now than strats, but you have got a beauty there. and i do need another strat... i only have one. its a '95 MIM. i will pick up an AVRI. or maybe i will find a solid one like you have.

WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#25
Quote by CustomAxe
Recently I noticed that I have a bunch of great guitars that I love, but my strat is a cheap no-name. Even though it's a terrific guitar "for the price" as they say, it wasn't really cutting it standing amongst my others. So I decided to hunt for a strat. I basically decided on what features the guitar had to have, chose a price range (around $1000-$1200) and went hunting.

Here's what I ended up with...a 1988 Fender Standard Strat (MIJ - made in Japan). It just flat out played better than any other strat I tried in the sub $1500 range (including a few older ones from the 70s). It's in better condition than most of the 2010-2011 used strats I checked out, and came to $499 out the door with both a hardshell and a gig bag...so I'm pretty stoked.

Review: it just hits every one of the five must-haves I had in mind when hunting. Maple neck and fretboard, "vintage" frets (smaller, narrower than usual), solid tuners, a great bridge, and the black/maple color scheme. The action is ridiculously low with no buzzing, and the pickups sound great. I may swap them for an amazing set of Kinmans I have lying around, but I need to demo them for a few more weeks before I decide. I highly recommend one of these if you're looking for a great strat. I'm not going to do the usual "this guitar beats others triple its price" shtick, but I did A/B this one with a red 1979 strat, a 1989 strat plus, and two or three 2010-2013 American Standard strats...and this MIJ bugger beat them all out for tone and playability.

Pics are below as required, some from a great camera and some from an awful one. And now I'm off to play. Thanks for reading!








When you run it through some high gain amps, don't be surprised when it slays.

#26
With the new Kinman pickups, it really slays. Dead silent even when used with my incredibly high gain Emma pedal.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.