Fender Japan Stratocaster STR-100LS Midnight Wine 1994
Fender Japan Strat, STR-100LS model, made in Japan 1994. Here's an unusual one! If you're familiar with the Strat Plus, a late eighties cult hit made in the new Corona USA factory, this will look a little familiar. This model was the Fender Japan equivalent of that, made for the local market and wedged into the wacky section of the catalog for a year or two alongside the medium scale models and Floyd Rose equipped beasts etc. It's got some modern conveniences: a flatter 12" radius, 22 medium jumbo frets, an American Standard style bridge and a set of sweet Lace Sensor pickups. Lace pickups were designed as a low noise single coil; these silver/blue models were the second incarnation with a whole lot more midrange and natural compression on tap. As such, this is a fat, full, rich sounding Strat with a heap of clarity and sparkle and a nice low noise level between notes. The neck is exceptional: slick and quick in the hands and conducive to big bends and snappy lead lines. The neck pocket reveals this as a limited run finish; usually these came in trans burst finishes, so the solid deep rich red with matching headstock is a tasty little rarity. These Fujigen era Strats suffered none of the inconsistency issues that irritated their USA made cousins; it's a truly remarkable Strat with a whole lot of dark cabernet sauvignon flavours.
Model: Fender Stratocaster, Limited Edition Series STR100-LS
Made: Japan, 1993-4, Fujigen plant (serial M013598)
Finish: midnight wine (best guess!), 1-ply white guard
Body: light weight USA ash
Neck: maple, rosewood board, 25.5" scale, 12" radius
Mods: nut replaced with bone, two pots replaced, boost circuit wired out and setup as standard V/T/T setup, knobs replaced, bridge modified to attach arm permanently and some filler added behind the bridge, cavity cover holes filled
Pickups: Fender USA Lace Sensor Silver (neck and middle), Lace Sensor Blue (bridge)
Cosmetic condition notes: minor cosmetic wear. The headstock has some scuffs on the front, nothing major. Neck is clean and smooth in the hands, no major marks. The back has a handful of light scuffs around the outside, no major marks. Note the cavity cover is missing and the holes have been filled. The sides are nice and clean, just some dimples near the jack. The front is also nice and clean, just some scuffs behind the bridge and some light play scratches on the guard and top horn. Note the little bit of filler added under the bridge. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Electronics tested and all working properly; note the mods above and the removal of the boost circuit. Frets have minimal wear, 9/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/46 Moonshiners strings.