Looking on craigslist and ebay, I've seen a bunch of Japanese 80s Squier's go for about 1000 dollars and up. What is it about these guitars that make them so good? Why aren't they "Fenders"?
they're thought to be better in quality than the american fenders of the same period... this was at a time when Japanese manufacturers like Tokia were doing a better job of making guitars than Fender

so much so that Fender ended up having the Japanese making fenders for them permanently... if you can't beat em, join em I suppose
Because they make modern day fenders look like **** basically, theyre japanese and from the 80s, anything from japan in the 80s = automatic win.

Generally japanese squires are considered pretty good guitars even the more modern ones, the fact the 80s ones are near enough 30 years old adds on to there value and squier were producing pretty good guitars back in the day (and they still do).
heh, weren't those only going for like $300 and less just a couple of years ago?
Well, there are a lot of reasons. As someone who has owned one, I can say they are worth the hype. Excellent guitars. All the hardware in them was Fender USA stuff, as were the pickups. They were built to the old '57 and '62 blueprints and were made as close to spec as possible. They play much better than the MIA stuff you find now, or even around the same time period.

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JV squiers are absolutely bloody awesome, thats why.

13 years ago the lead guitarist in the band I was in had one, it really was a great instrument- although the neck was a bit thin on that one for me, can't win em all!

IIRC it had fender USA parts (stamped saddles, staggered pole piece pickups) and gotoh tuners- all original. olympic white with a rosewood board.

I have a 90's MIJ, and the JV was much better (apart from neck size, personal preference). Infact I don't think i've ever played a strat as good as that one. (not played loads tho)
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