Fender Japan '54 Reissue Stratocaster ST54-85LS Torino Red 1990
Fender '54 Strat, torino red, made in Japan 1990. Here, ladies and gents, we have an example of just how good an MIJ Strat can be. This model is styled after the taste of Eric Clapton; it lacks a signature decal but is a clear nod in that direction. As such it gets a deluxe trem, an alder body and a set of Lace Sensor Gold pickups. Those combine for a tone with clarity, sparkle and articulation in abundance; all balanced with a rounded warm bass and a full midrange. This will easily match and surpass with all but the absolute fanciest of USA instruments for tone and feel; it's a stellar sounding Strat. The soft-V neck is slim and comfy; perfect if you're a habitual thumb-over-hanger and an intuitive match for lead playing. The quality of maple and alder on offer here is one of the hallmarks of early MIJ instruments: good wood was easier to come by, and Fujigen's expert luthiers were exceptional at picking the right pieces out. The workmanship on offer is exceptional; everything is exactly how it should be and that adds up to a feeling of ease and confidence in the hands. This model was mostly only offered in black, so scoring an example in a superb non-catalog finish is a rare treat. The red is vibrant and cheeky and pops perfectly against the naturally aged hardware and plastics and the golden maple board; plus it's in crazy-clean condition for a guitar that turns thirty next year. So yes, this is very, very good indeed.
Model: Fender Stratocaster, '54 Reissue (ST54-85LS)
Made: Japan, 1990, Fujigen plant (serial J023944)
Finish: torino red (TRD) 1-ply white guard
Neck: one piece maple, soft-V profile, 7.25" radius, 25.5" scale
Mods: mid boost circuit disengaged
Pickups: Lace Senor Gold single coils
Case: basic gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. Couple of minor marks on the end of the headstock. Neck pretty clean, very minor dimples only and smooth in the hand. Back has no major marks, just some light scuffs near the cavity cover. Sides also pretty clean, minor dimples on the shoulder and around from the knobs only. The front is free of major marks, just some dimples behind the bridge and some light play wear on the guard and top horn. Overall: excellent condition (9/10).
Playing condition notes: action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Electronics tested and working properly. Frets have some minor wear, they're pretty even with no major buzz issues, 8/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/46s.