Up for sale, a 1982 Fender ’62 Stratocaster model ST62-85 in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Produced in the first year of Fender Japan instrument production, this “Japanese Vintage” (JV) series guitar is an exceedingly rare example and a higher-tiered model, with the same pickups and steel trem block used on the Fender USA Fullerton factory reissues from the same year. These Fender USA red bobbin single coils are a rare, coveted set, and this JV series Strat is notable for having a very faithful and fast-feeling ’60s neck carve, with a bit more roundness than the Fullerton factory necks produced in the same year.
Extremely accurate to vintage spec and sold only within Japan, this Strat has a resonant alder body and chiming, clear quality that translates well through the pickups. The bridge pickup has ample snap and twang, with classic Strat “quack” in the 2 and 4 positions on the five-way switch. The neck pickup is girthy and full, cutting through with a dynamic sound that has both thickness and articulation. The guitar weighs 7lbs 12oz, dialed in here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with low action, fresh 10-46 strings, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a very slender C-shaped profile carve (in-line with a 1959-60 shape) with moderate shoulder and a gentle increase in overall heft further up the fretboard, measuring .760″ deep at the 1st fret and .880″ at the 12th. On the dark slab rosewood fretboard, the original slender frets are flawless with their full factory height and well-rounded crowns. The guitar conforms to traditional Fender specs with a 7 1/4″ fretboard radius, 25 1/2″ scale length, and a nut that measures 1.675″ in width (42.5mm). On the correct early ’60s shape headstock, this Strat has the larger “spaghetti” Fender logo seen on the first JV models, and the microscopic “Made In Japan” text beneath it has been lightly scratched out. The original Kluson-style tuners are intact, turning smoothly and holding pitch as intended. The pencil date on the neck heel reads 7-9-82. The early JV-prefix serial number is embossed on the four-bolt neck plate.
All of the electronics work as intended, with the original USA-made Fullerton-era red bobbin pickups, untouched solder joints, and a three-way pickup selector switch. The pickup bobbins have matching ink stamps from 1982, and the full-size Japanese-made pots date to April of ’82. All of the original plastic parts near mint, with a bit of requisite pick scuffing on the treble side of the pickguard. The chrome-plated hardware is positively gleaming, with a full-size USA-made steel trem block for optimal sustain.
The gloss Olympic White finish is stunning in its presentation, and this thin gloss finish is purportedly nitro lacquer according to the Fender factory literature for this model tier. Cosmetic wear is scant, limited to a few small dings on the lower bout body edge, and a few faint scuffs across the belly contour on the back. The gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.
Exported directly from Tokyo and a model that rarely comes up for sale (especially in this condition), this JV Strat is one of the earliest Fender reissues, complete with original Fullerton factory Fender USA red bobbin pickups.
The original Fender Japan padded gigbag is included.