Fender MIJ Strat, 1990 order-made model hardtail model, black. There's a bit of guess-work in figuring out exactly how this came to exist, so here's our highly-educated guess: a customer ordered a black '57 Strat with a '62 neck and a hard-tail bridge as a one-off special order, and ta-da... here she is! The neck date, serial number, pot dates and body all seem to line up with being built at the same time, so while it's possible the neck was switched from a '57 to a '62 neck at some point, that seems pretty unlikely. The neck is superb: it's a really lovely piece of maple with a perfect slim profile, with a really dark-chocolate rosewood board... tasty. The hard-tail bridge means the strings feed through the body like a Telecaster. This adds a bit of warmth, sustain and bass response to the tone; this really does sound terrific. Obviously there's no tremolo, but the extra tone on offer is well worth the trade-off. This is a super practical guitar that oozes vintage-MIJ magic; if you're intrigued already, you'll be head-over-heels when she lands at your door.
Model: Fender Stratocaster, '57 Reissue (ST57-48)
Made: Japan, 1990 (serial H007874)
Finish: black gloss, 1-ply cream guard
Neck: maple, rosewood board, slim '62 profile
Mods: all original as far as we can tell, neck might possibly be replaced as noted
Pickups: Fender Japan ST-Vintage
Case: good quality vintage gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. There's a handful of small dings around the place: on the end of the headstock, top horn, behind the bridge, and near the bottom edge on the back. There's some normal scratches on the guard from play and some dulling on the chrome. Overall: very good condition (8.5/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Electronics tested and all working properly. Frets have a bit of normal wear, around 7/10 for life left. Sleek!