Strats - US vs MIM vs CIJ - E series, F series?? *head explodes*

Discussion in 'Musicians' started by DJ Fusion, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    So I've been seeing some sweet looking CIJ Strats going off on eBay lately for around $500-700. With Ibanez their Japanese factory is their best, but I'm guessing Fenders USA factory is their best - but hows Fenders Japanese stuff?

    Something like this (finished auction). Fender Japan '57 Re-Issue F-Series Stratocaster, Made In Japan,serial no;F011374(1986-87)


    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/FENDER-MIJ-5...ryZ33034QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    [​IMG]

    or this (finished auction)

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Fender-1988-...ryZ33034QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Japanese made Vintage 1988 Fender 1957 Reissue Stratocaster in Candy Red, H Series.

    [​IMG]


    The black one went for $530, the red one went for $490. Are these awesome prices or are these meant to be even cheaper than the MIM strats? Any reason not to get something similar to these models at these prices? And which series are best/worst?
     
  2. sandwichamwin

    sandwichamwin Member

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    I'd be going Japanese over Mexico. I'm not exactly sure of the differences with fenders, but in general, guitars made in Japan are usually very nice pieces of axe.

    USA is considered the 'best'. But it probably comes down to better hardware and that's it. Mexican strats shit me because their frets aren't much bigger than a bees dick.
     
  3. thunda

    thunda Member

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    Can't really compare it but I have a 2006 CIJ 57 reissue and love it to peices. Awesome quality and simply the best guitar I've owned (I haven't owned any high end guitars :p). My old roomie got one too and once again, flawless. For reference they were about $800 delivered, brand new so I guess $500 is a fairly good price secondhand. And from my experience the CIJ's are a lot closer to USA Fenders than Mexicans, some will argue they are better but I've never played them side by side or owned a US or MIM so i don't know.

    If I were offered a CIJ for $500 and there was nothing wrong with it I'd grab it, imo you wont get a much better axe for the money.
     
  4. spootmonkey

    spootmonkey Member

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    In my humble opinion, if you want to beat a decent Japanese guitar for quality you're going to have to go Custom Shop. They've had this guitar production lark all figured out for three decades now.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    Thx guys, that's what I thought, especially when I noticed one of the CIJ Fenders I was looking at came from Fujigen, which is reportedly Ibanez' highest quality factory for Prestige and J-Crafts so they must be doing something seriously right over there, and maybe I've watched too many South Parks but somehow I can't imagine these guys matching the Japanese QC.

    [​IMG]

    :p

    I can see myself ending up with a tidy CIJ Strat and a CIJ Tele in my collection one day unless I ever see a US version come along for cheap.
     
  6. -Rift-

    -Rift- Member

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    I could be wrong but I seem to remember something about the Japanese Fender production being shut down because they were starting to overtake the USA quality while still being marketed at the current MIM audience.
     
  7. dsanchez

    dsanchez Member

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    Another vote for the Japs.

    I've got a CIJ Tele and an American Deluxe Strat and for some reason I only really play the tele......
     
  8. spootmonkey

    spootmonkey Member

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    I've heard that that was the rationale behind the shift from the export-focused 'MIJ' lines to domestic-only 'CIJ', though Wikipedia disagrees. It was also the behind the initial US manufacturers' expansion into Japan in the 80s.
     
  9. AxlOz

    AxlOz Member

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    Rule of thumb here:

    USA made is the top end; Mexican is the standard/mid end; Squier is the Low end; Japanese made is specifically re-issues.

    Quality-wise Jap models are generally pretty good. The newer mex ones are ~ok, they started getting shit in the late nineties, only now are they starting to look reasonable again.. The US ones are really nice, but u gotta pay more for them.

    A jap strat for about 500 bucks is a good price, but i wouldnt get one off ebay.. There's a lot of dodgy ones out there!
     
  10. AndroidsDungeon

    AndroidsDungeon Member

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    yes there's a reason they stopped exporting the Fender Japan stuff, quality was maybe a little too good to market beneath the USA guitars... (used to be available here, priced roughly midway between Mex and USA)

    I think Fender USA guitars are generally overpriced for what you get (a mass produced guitar of very basic design/compnonents), by comparison the japan stuff represents pretty good value - basically equivalent quality for a lot less money.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    Any more risk than buying anything else from eBay? Or do you know something more?
     
  12. AxlOz

    AxlOz Member

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    I disagree. The US made guitars a far better than any other strat or tele for the same bucks. There's a reason fender has been around this long. Just play them and you'll know.
    Also, you'll find that the US gear, while being built by machines, has a lot of finishing done by hand, especially on the necks and frets. Makes a big difference.
    I agree with an above post that puts the jap gear in between the US and mex.

    Well yeah, coz a musical instrument isnt exactly a simple object like a DVD, its precise in its construction and when something isnt right, the whole thing isnt right..
    Someone could put cheap ass yum cha hardware on a yum cha body with a nice finish, then put a fender neck on it with a legit serial number and you might not tell the difference in the pics on ebay. Then by the time you figure it out, he's had your money for a week or more already..

    I'm an advocate for trying before buying anyway, though I have bought cheaper gear off ebay etc just to try something different.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    Thought so, that's a non-issue to me. Standard eBay rules apply, check feedback, get close-up photos etc. The range and savings easily outweighs the risk if you use your head and buy smart.
     
  14. Santah

    Santah Member

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    The Japanese fenders are superior to Mexicans. Perhaps as good as the Americans but they quite often use mini pots etc so maybe let down with the electronics. For reissues, Japan is definitely the way to go.
     
  15. AndroidsDungeon

    AndroidsDungeon Member

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    I disagree :) i would say that they are slightly better overall on average (comparing fenders with fenders), we know the hardware/electronics is of slightly better quality etc (actually current fender japan use the same pickups as usa, only very slightly lower quality pots and switches which in reality makes no measurable difference). but there is still a lot of variation between instruments, you could quite easily find a mexi that is on par or of even better construction than a similar US guitar.

    at the end of the day you could get a luthier to build you a custom bolt on neck guitar for the price of a lot of new USA fenders so the bang for buck argument isnt really there, guess it depends whether you are buying an instrument or a name. for a lot of people only a 'fender usa' will do
     
  16. AxlOz

    AxlOz Member

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    dude, go play em and you'll notice the difference. You will never find a mex model as good as a US model, not these days. I'd agree with you on anything 10+ years old now, but the new stuff is hugely different.

    But I agree that a luthier could knock up something for a comparable price that would be as good or better, its a good option if you're looking into the high end stuff. Only fender's I own are US or mex standards, no fancy ones. I think the truth in quality is always in the baseline models.

    I havent played too many jap ones, but I've heard good things about them, might have to try and snag one sometime soon and put it through its paces and satisfy my curiosity :thumbup:
     
  17. Hincksy101

    Hincksy101 Member

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    i no this thread hasnt had any posts for a week but i was just curious as to where u would pick up a jap strat? (ie not from ebay).

    Where did you get yours thunda??
     
  18. thunda

    thunda Member

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    http://www.ishibashi-music.com/ then head to the English translated page

    The site is a little difficult to understand but if you get a model number then make email contact with them they'll look after you.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    DJ Fusion

    DJ Fusion Member

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    How does that work? I don't have a model number, I just want a Jap strat. Do they go and find one and take a bunch of photos of it for me? How is that any different to eBay?
     
  20. slashrox

    slashrox Member

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    My strat is a MIM and I love how it plays! Its my main guitar.

    Mine is a 2007. Just wish it had a floyd :lol:
     

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