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#1
I have heard many people being dissapointed in Fender USA's quality these days. Are the Japan fenders any good? I have a Fender Highway One HSS (USA) right now. But my dream guitar is a 57 strat. I love that era of strats. So I was wandering, would this guitar be better than my highway one?

http://cgi.ebay.com/FENDER-JAPAN-57-REISSUE-STRATOCASTER_W0QQitemZ180213093303QQihZ008QQcategoryZ38082QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I love the maple neck and the 2 tone sunburst, those are my favorite qualities in a strat. This guitar is very inexpensive and would cost less than half as much as the american reissue. If I wanted the japan one, I could get it right now, but the american 57 reissue would take a while, and I might not even get it because of the price.

What do you think? Any other suggestions?
#2
Imo you can't beat american fenders. I have a highway one too, i love it
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#4
Fender Jap have a great reputation as being equal or in some cases better than the US; although of course it'd depend on which factory and model you wanted
#5
well my Jackson from Japan is still pretty amazing, but i don't know if i'd get that guitar at 650, not really worth it, cuz as said before, you get what you pay for
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#6
I have a Highway 1 Tele, and love it, but would have gone for a '62 Japanese made Tele if I'd had the money.
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#7
on the other hand, THIS IS BIDDING, NOT A FINAL PRICE

most serious bids are put in at the last couple of minutes, that is probably not a very good indication of how much it would end up costing, and the final price might be a better indication of what it is worth
#8
Quote by ChaoticVengence
well my Jackson from Japan is still pretty amazing, but i don't know if i'd get that guitar at 650, not really worth it, cuz as said before, you get what you pay for

ehm...650 is enough to get a rather good decent guitar. And where did the TS hear that american-made Fenders have bad reputation in quality? I think you're confusing them with Gibsons...now THOSE are getting rather crappy and too expensive quality-wise. Of course, you'll find ones that are great but u sometimes kinda have to search for them.
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#9
i wouldn't buy it until you get to play it, ebay might not be a good idea because lots of the sound is in each piece of wood, and not two pieces are the same. so it's a matter of wood more than the factory that made it.
#10
Quote by evening_crow
ehm...650 is enough to get a rather good decent guitar. And where did the TS hear that american-made Fenders have bad reputation in quality? I think you're confusing them with Gibsons...now THOSE are getting rather crappy and too expensive quality-wise. Of course, you'll find ones that are great but u sometimes kinda have to search for them.


No Fender are as bad as Gibson in some cases, except LP's are just pricier; if you buy a fender, you're still paying alot for the name on the headstock
#11
Quote by dime187
always remember you get what you pay for


I always hated this mentality.

Try them out and compare them side by side if at all possible. I've read many times of Japanese makes being on par, and sometimes surpassing the quality of American makes. Just like any guitar though, quality can differ from guitar to guitar, even from the same manufacturing line. For this reason, I don't like to buy a guitar that I can't get my hands on to try first.

I just recently got a MIM Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster from GC. I spent hours upon hours comparing it to various other MIM, and MIA strats as well as strat-like guitars from other manufacturers. Yes, plenty of the MIA strats felt a little better than the MIM, and many were finished a bit nicer as well, but I can also honestly say that the MIM also played and felt better than a number of the MIA strats that I tried. In the end I took the MIM because I didn't feel the differences in a much higher priced MIA were significant enough to warrant the price. No doubt, the best playing strat that was there was an MIA, but at a price that was easily over three times the price I got my MIM for.

And no, I'm not going to name specific MIA strats that I tried (Highway 1 or Standard or whatever) because I purposefully blocked that out of my head. I was going strictly for playability, build quality, sound, afterwhich I then started comparing prices.

Sorry for the long post, but I just had to get that one off my chest.
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#12
Quote by dime187
always remember you get what you pay for



+1 no more said
#13
Quote by Hakael
I always hated this mentality.

Try them out and compare them side by side if at all possible. I've read many times of Japanese makes being on par, and sometimes surpassing the quality of American makes. Just like any guitar though, quality can differ from guitar to guitar, even from the same manufacturing line. For this reason, I don't like to buy a guitar that I can't get my hands on to try first.

I just recently got a MIM Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster from GC. I spent hours upon hours comparing it to various other MIM, and MIA strats as well as strat-like guitars from other manufacturers. Yes, plenty of the MIA strats felt a little better than the MIM, and many were finished a bit nicer as well, but I can also honestly say that the MIM also played and felt better than a number of the MIA strats that I tried. In the end I took the MIM because I didn't feel the differences in a much higher priced MIA were significant enough to warrant the price. No doubt, the best playing strat that was there was an MIA, but at a price that was easily over three times the price I got my MIM for.

And no, I'm not going to name specific MIA strats that I tried (Highway 1 or Standard or whatever) because I purposefully blocked that out of my head. I was going strictly for playability, build quality, sound, afterwhich I then started comparing prices.

Sorry for the long post, but I just had to get that one off my chest.


+1.

'You get what you pay for', BS. That's like saying when slats found a Jazz Chorus for $175, it must be rubbish. What about other bargain items? What about Gibson LPs? Are they really worth $1600?

The MIJ strats are awesome, and they're generally pretty good value for the money.
#14
of course theres exceptions, but by and large a 100$ guitar is gonna suck and a 2000$ guitar is gonna be really nice, you do get what you pay for most times

second hand is obviously less clear as not everyone knows the value of what theyre selling
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#15
Keep in mind that GM priced the Vette at its current price not because it's worth it or because of any R&D, they did so to position it in a different segment of the market and to make people believe it belonged in the company of more exotic vehicles.

Pricing is carefully planned by marketing departments. They decide what the price point is quite early on. They then do costing studies, and adjust the final price only if necessary. More often, though, they work to bring their cost per unit down to maintain a greater manufacturer's profit margin, as the dealer margin must be taken into consideration too.

Fender has carefully chosen their target market, and it is middle-age men with significant disposable income. They still make entry-level instruments for the other less nostalgic and less wealthy customers. These are made where the labor is cheaper and with cheaper materials. Price is not indicative of quality - in ANY type of product. Sometimes there is a correlation, but true quality usually announces itself the minute you try out the product. Location of manufacture is also no indication of quality. There are plenty of really bad North American products being foisted upon consumers (any Chrysler product for example).

The MIJ Strats are known for their consistency of quality. You don't need to try 25 of them to find the only one that plays well. That aspect of them really put a dent in Fender's North American - made sales many years ago. The MIJ Strats were well made to a consistently high quality, and they were cheaper. I had one back in the '80s and it played like a dream. My friend has a Squier MIJ Strat from the same era. It also plays and sounds fantastic.
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#16
Quote by gishuk
of course theres exceptions, but by and large a 100$ guitar is gonna suck and a 2000$ guitar is gonna be really nice, you do get what you pay for most times

second hand is obviously less clear as not everyone knows the value of what theyre selling


I think most people would agree that the $100 vs $2000 is a little extreme.
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#17
+ whatever number we're too now on the BS on getting what you pay for (Sorry if that came out sloppy)

Some of the Gibson SGs or LPs that you're buying for $2,000 really aren't worth nearly as much, especially with the inconsistent quality of their guitars. Sometimes you can strike gold with Gibson, other times I've had my $300 epiphone LP play better than a Gibson Studio, simply because Gibson is sloppy now and will use any kind of wood they chop off the tree, and if you know anything about trees, you'll know the bottom of the tree will be more dense than the top, so you could be getting the ****ty part of the tree.

If you're looking for that dream guitar with the godly quality that's sang to you since the age of 14, that's when you pump out the $2,000-$3,000. If you're looking for a great playing guitar that sounds amazing and feels comfortable too, I personally don't think over $800 needs to be spent.
#20
Well, the Japanese Strats have the look of a vintage American Strat straight out of the box. Americans don't.
They are way cheaper than their American counterparts but they won't have the resale value that American Strats will.
#21
Quote by strummin67
Well, the Japanese Strats have the look of a vintage American Strat straight out of the box. Americans don't.
They are way cheaper than their American counterparts but they won't have the resale value that American Strats will.

i dont see any american strats going that high on ebay. on the other hand i seen couple japanese strats going above 2 grand lately
#22
Quote by Hakael
I think most people would agree that the $100 vs $2000 is a little extreme.


I wouldn't necessarily. I have a $200 Ibanez that compares quite favorably to any
of my other guitars (at anywhere from 4X to 40X the price). A guitar only has to
do a few things well and most do that nicely. Beyond a certain point its all
subjective and a matter of opinion. People sure love trying to make an opinion seem
like a fact!
#23
^ You have an $8000 guitar?

But I have to agree that comparing that extreme a difference is it a bit odd, where as in this case Jap Fenders can be comparable in price to mexi or even american made ones, and i've seen some sold for high ammounts and with more praise than alot of the American equivalents
#24
my point, which seems to have been missed is that as an overall rule its generally true

of course within a smaller range theres gonna be alot more variation, a 600$ jap strat could sound as nice or better than a 800/900% usa one for example
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#25
what about japanese copies? MIJ tokais etc.?

ones i tried annihilated a highway one.
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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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
yeah, but to be fair, that's a gibson copy (it's an edwards). But i've been trying a bunch of MIJ tokai fender copies recently, and they're really very nice. just waiting for one in a nice colour to come up on ebay, lol.
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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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
Haha fair play
But i'd probably agree with pay for what you get up to an extent and it's very subjective, i'd be hard pressed to find an instrument that would last me a long time and be pleasing to use for under £100; but whence you get up into the sort of 400-500 pound range it's a completely different ball park; and then when you get up to very high prices it'd be the name and the aesthetic details such as inlays and wood pattern etc that cost you
#30
The "you get what you pay for" thing is bull crap. IF you pay 500 for the marshall MG, are you getting the tone that you payed for? **** no. I was playing on this MIM stratocaster yesterday, and it was bought for 240 bucks, It was ****ing amazing. Almost felt like an American one.
#31
Quote by sum_ugly_man
The "you get what you pay for" thing is bull crap. IF you pay 500 for the marshall MG, are you getting the tone that you payed for? **** no. I was playing on this MIM stratocaster yesterday, and it was bought for 240 bucks, It was ****ing amazing. Almost felt like an American one.

that is so true lol +10000 for this statement of truth
#32
Quote by philipisabeast
Haha fair play
But i'd probably agree with pay for what you get up to an extent and it's very subjective, i'd be hard pressed to find an instrument that would last me a long time and be pleasing to use for under £100; but whence you get up into the sort of 400-500 pound range it's a completely different ball park; and then when you get up to very high prices it'd be the name and the aesthetic details such as inlays and wood pattern etc that cost you


agreed. under a certain amount, unless you get very lucky, you're almost guaranteed to get crap (not counting used, of course).

over a certain price, unless you're very unlucky, what you buy should at least be decent. (though granted some things are more over-priced than others, etc. etc.)

it's in the middle where the vast differences can happen- you can get a pro quality guitar for £400, even £200-£300- but you can also get little better than a starter instrument. at this price range you kinda need to know what you're doing to not get gipped.
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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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#33
i got one for like $460USD ish. and it's not the starter strat either. a '57 reissue, basswood body, MIA vintage pickups. tobacco sunburst with tinted maple neck, the saddles have "Fender" written on it.


and its pretty good. the tremolo stays in tune too. i gotta love vintage style tuners.
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#34
Quote by philipisabeast
^ You have an $8000 guitar?


Hm.... yeah. And some others approaching it.

Anyway, I'm not saying there's not ANY difference, but compared to the overall
functionality, could I say there's a $7800 difference that was not attibutable
to mostly pure opinion and preference?

No.

The $200 Ibanez does NOT suck.
It's a perfectly fine, well built guitar. The action's good. It holds a tune. The neck
is comfortable. It's sounds good plugged in. How much MORE do you need than
that!?
#35
Thanks for the info everyone.

So do you think that a CIJ stratocaster would sound as good, or better, than my highway one? If it even sounds the same, I would sell my highway one and switch because the 57 looks too sweet.

If I decided to get a CIJ, is there any info I should know? Certain models to get or wood types/etc? thanks
#36
i love my CIJ 62 RI
i've never played an easier playing or better sounding american strat, but i've played a few Custom Shop models that equalled it in playability and sound, but they did surpass it in the looks department. My guitar has a somewhat shoddy neck pocket routing job that scared me until i played it. if i can get a better playing better sounding CIJ strat for a quarter of the price of a 2100 CS strat, i'm willing to sacrifice looks. keep in mind though that the japanese strats built for export in the 80's were made of basswood, not alder, and had cheaper bar magnet single coils.
#37
I see the point edg is making. He likes his $200 almost as much as his $8000 Alembic (I'm just guessing thats the $8k one )

I think with anything, the main thing that sets them apart is QC, Quality of Materials, and hardware. The USA will have better QC, higher quality materials, and better hardware. all that together means a longer lasting, generally lower maintenance guitar, which is what is huge when paying. Now in terms of Fender, I feel the quality of MIJ is equal to the Americans, but the Americans have better hardware and pickups.
#38
Quote by CJRocker
I see the point edg is making. He likes his $200 almost as much as his $8000 Alembic (I'm just guessing thats the $8k one )


Well, close but no, it's the Gibson Super 400CES (but it was only like $2300 when I
bought it).

It's not a matter of which I personally like, as just comparing them on the overall
function. The $200 guitar compares pretty favorably against nearly everything
else. Sure, it doesn't have all the fancy materials and craftsmanship, but there's
absolutely nothing wrong with it either and its quite a comfy guitar to play.
#39
Quote by CJRocker
I think with anything, the main thing that sets them apart is QC, Quality of Materials, and hardware. The USA will have better QC, higher quality materials, and better hardware. all that together means a longer lasting, generally lower maintenance guitar, which is what is huge when paying. Now in terms of Fender, I feel the quality of MIJ is equal to the Americans, but the Americans have better hardware and pickups.

what you are saying is partially true. the CIJ guitars that were built in japan for export to america were high quality guitars, but were made of cheaper materials: basswood bodies, lower quality trems and tuners, bar magnet ceramic singlecoils, polyester finishes. but the MIJ guitars built for the japanese domestic market were of equal quality to MIA ones in terms of materials and parts. Fender stopped importing guitars from japan to america and europe in the early/mid nineties, and these CIJ guitars were made of american components in japan. try and get one of the non export models, they are AWESOME! and come with USA custom shop pickups.
#40
like anything, quality differs for each guitar

i got my japanese strat with a hardshell case for around $400 and i like it more than any of the American strats i played at the music store

but with ebay you're taking a chance by not playing it first,

if you go to a guitar store you'll notice some of the gibson LPs are really shoddy and poorly made with paint peels and nonfiled frets or something, and some are beautiful and play like a dream , quality differs with each guitar
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