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Fender Japan Limited Editions Hitting US Dealers

Fender Japan 2013 Limited Edition '72 Stratocaster

Fender 2013 LTD '54 Stratocaster 2-Color Sunburst

August 30, 2013
Above are just 2 examples of current MIJ Fender models on limited release to USA dealers. Generally, Fender Japan product is designated for non-US markets. This year also saw Fender Japan's Richie Kotzen Artist Tele become available to USA, while the Kotzen Strat remains unavailable except thru eBay Sellers.

But as some might guess, Fender appears to be hitting price points with MIJ special-for-US, rather than simply allowing in standard MIJ models. In other words, the '54 above is selling for $999.99 from most US dealers, whereas NEW Fender Japan ST54/VSP's are currently marked in the $1700 range by various Japan based dealers on eBay. So how do they differ? One can only guess it's pickups & hardware, like always. Otherwise, both are ash with "V" necks and an expectation of the usual top MIJ fit and finish.

As for the '72, we don't find a direct cross equivalent. However, Fender Japan does produce an ST68 and an ST71. Both have fat headstocks, and the ST71 is a 3-bolt neck ash body. These are going for about $1070 + shipping from Japan. The MIJ '72 Limited for USA is selling for $700 (no case or gig bag). It's a 3-bolt with basswood body.

Do your own research. Although Fender can be very confusing with all these price points, models and points of origin, they seem to work hard at providing something for every budget. And anyone familiar with the under $400 Chinese produced Classic Vibe Squiers, knows that fit & finish have improved drastically. Again, it's largely about hardware & electronics. Bodies are solid.

I recently sent my 15 year old cousin to Sweetwater for his first guitar. Sweetwater does complete checks and set-up on their $300+ guitar inventory. He chose a CV Tele-- and if he gets into it we can upgrade his pickups, pots and other stuff as needed. Otherwise, his action and intonation are verified good thanks to Sweetwater.

So, it's a good time to buy guitars! Regardless of your budget.


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