Up for sale, a 1982 Fender '57 Stratocaster model ST57-115 in collector-grade, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. From the first year of Fender Japan instrument production, this "Japanese Vintage" (JV) series guitar is an exceedingly rare example and the highest tier model available, with a nitro lacquer Black finish and the same pickups, pots, plastic parts, and trem block used on the Fender USA Fullerton factory reissues from the same year.
Extremely accurate to vintage spec and sold only within Japan, this Strat has a very lively and acoustically resonant alder body paired with a one-piece maple neck, notable for having a bit more shoulder and roundness than the Fullerton factory necks from the same year. The black bobbin Fullerton-made pickups deliver an array of vital tonalities. The bridge pickup has ample sparkle and clear note attack, with classic Strat quack in the "in-between" positions on the 3-way switch. The neck pickup is girthy and full, with a bell-like quality and a gutsy cut. The guitar weighs 7lbs 6oz, dialed in here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and fresh 10-46 strings.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with full shoulders and rolled fretboard edges, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .915" at the 12th. On the vintage spec 7 1/4" radius fretboard, the original slender frets retain their full factory height. Fretwear is almost exclusively beneath the B string on frets 1-12, with fainter wear beneath the G and High E on frets 1-8. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 1.650" (42mm) in width.
On the correct '50s shape headstock, the original Kluson-style tuners turn smoothly with bright plating, and the small "115" sticker is present, denoting the model tier and 115,000 yen price when sold new in 1982. The microscopic "Made In Japan" text is present under the large Fender "spaghetti" script on the headstock face, consistent with spec for the very first run of JV instruments. The four-bolt neck plate is embossed with the JV-prefix serial number, and while the neck heel isn't pencil dated (not a 100% consistent practice), the neck heel perfectly mirrors the November, 1982 dated Fender factory shim present in the pocket, showing that the body/neck were paired together from the factory.
All of the electronics work as intended with untouched solder joints, comprising the USA-made Fullerton-era black bobbin pickups, CTS pots which date to the 26th week of '82, three-way switch, and a Sprague Orange Drop tone cap. The original plastics are all in great shape, with some greening of the text on the knobs. Hardware includes the chrome plated bridge base, Fender-stamped saddles, and full-size steel trem block.
The gloss nitro lacquer Black finish is sprayed quite thin, with faint, tight vertical lacquer checking across the body. Cosmetic wear is limited to light localized buckle rash at the treble-side waist, and few additional minor marks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless.
Exported directly from Tokyo and a model that very rarely comes up for sale, this JV Strat is one of the earliest and most storied Fender reissues, complete with the original set of "Fullerton" Fender USA black bobbin pickups.
The original Fender-branded padded gigbag is included.