#1
Hi

I keep hearing about those Japanese guitars made in the 80's, how they were underrated and yet how well built they were and still are.

Something like the Fender Performer (85/86) has me intrigued, because of the suggested quality and versatility, but availability (they never show up locally and rarely on eBay) and to a lesser degree price, makes me want to consider other options.

What other brands and models of the 80's MIJ era, would you consider and why?

Cheers!

J
#2
Quote by jensendk
Hi

I keep hearing about those Japanese guitars made in the 80's, how they were underrated and yet how well built they were and still are.

Something like the Fender Performer (85/86) has me intrigued, because of the suggested quality and versatility, but availability (they never show up locally and rarely on eBay) and to a lesser degree price, makes me want to consider other options.

What other brands and models of the 80's MIJ era, would you consider and why?

Cheers!

J


you are thinking of 70s MIJ. by the 80s and certainly 85/86 Japanese guitars were accepted and had good reps. the Performer may seem cool to look at but wasn't that great (I've played a few)

you may want to look at Charvel's from the 80s as they are far easier to obtain and aren't to expensive.
#3
I haven't played many except trying them out in pawn shops, but I've seen several MIJ Strats and teles that were pretty good. Had to do some minor work on one for a friend in Louisiana, needed fret leveling and setup so I tinkered with it for several days and had it back several times because he thought the intonation was out...finally convinced him to put on some new strings before paying me to check intonation...that's all I ever did...

Anyway his strat was a very nice one, I played it quite a bit, put on a custom pickguard, and just general maintenance, only thing I ever saw that I wasn't crazy about was the rosewood neck. I always prefer a maple neck on a strat for some reason...Still played and sounded very good though, he never had any serious problems with hardware, first time I took it in I squirted it with contact cleaner, never touched the electronics again, good tuners, no bridge problems, nut and saddles never had to be touched, basically a good guitar.

Some other Japanese made guitars worth paying attention to -

Cort, Lotus, Aria Pro...basically any of the Japanese makers came up with some good ones and some bombs..you have to check them out closely, if it sounds good and has good sustain unplugged, try it in an amp. Look it over good like any other guitar, I've even seen old Teisco and Kingston guitars that were worth keeping.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Dec 19, 2014,
#4
check out the tokai registry forum, a lot of info on MIJ stuff there.

i haven't tried all of these, but tokai, greco, fernandes tend to be suggested a lot.

like a lot of the old stuff you have to know what you're looking for so someone doesn't sell you a lower end model as a higher one, obviously you need to check the condition (as something that old stored badly or not looked after might not be in great shape), and sort of learn to separate the hype from the truth. I really like the MIJ stuff (that I've tried) but I wouldn't pay an absolute fortune for it either. Apart from anything else, the reason it got so well-regarded was because it was really good quality for a pretty decent price.
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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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Thank you for the replies.

I had a quick look at the site tokaiforum.com. Lots of info that I will have to spend some more time on.

I also came across this site stratconnection.com which talks a lot about the MIJ strats with the system one tremolo system.

I don't see any of these system one strats for sale locally, but I may have to keep an eye out for them.
#6
Quote by jensendk
Thank you for the replies.

I had a quick look at the site tokaiforum.com. Lots of info that I will have to spend some more time on.

I also came across this site stratconnection.com which talks a lot about the MIJ strats with the system one tremolo system.

I don't see any of these system one strats for sale locally, but I may have to keep an eye out for them.


just be aware that the system 1 trems aren't that great and parts can be tough to come by. I have my brothers 85 strat W/ system 1 trem and honestly I'd skip them if possible unless you really feel the need.
#7
My first real guitar was an Ibanez Roadstar II in 1984, made in Japan. Strat body shape, Mahogany with maple neck, three single coils with coil tap. The neck is more classic round, not thin like today's necks, which is a preference thing. It was built like a tank, the heaviest guitar I own. At the time, it was a great guitar for the money and they are extremely inexpensive now. You can pick one up in decent condition for maybe $250.

If you get one, I would block the trem and put in some decent pickups. I will never part with mine, as it was my first, but a good value in my opinion.