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1985 Fender '57 Stratocaster ST57-55 Black w/ USA Pickups, Case & Strap, Japan MIJ Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1985 Fender Stratocaster '57 vintage reissue model ST57-55 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, boasting fully upgraded electronics and complete with a hardshell case. An early example produced by Fender Japan at the famed Fujigen factory and designed to be sold within the Japanese domestic market, the ST57-55 model is a well-made instrument, with the attention to detail and precise fit and finish work that has made the early Fender Japan instruments sought after by studio players and serious collectors alike.

Tonewoods include a basswood body and one-piece maple neck, and this guitar channels the essence of the best '50s Strats, outfitted with a set of Fender USA-made black bobbin pickups with staggered alnico magnets, coupled to a wiring harness with a five-way switch, CTS pots, and a Sprague Orange Drop tone cap. The guitar offers a chewy, chiming bridge position tone, with presence, power and sparkle as you toggle towards the neck pickup on the five-way switch. The "in-between" settings have that quintessential Strat quack, and the neck pickup has girth and warmth, retaining plenty of top end snap. The guitar weighs 7lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and a hair more overall heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .815” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a 7 1/4” vintage-spec radius, and the stock slender fretwire has only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-7. This Strat plays cleanly in all registers up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 42mm (1.650") in width. On the headstock, the guitar features the proper '50s-style logo and Kluson-style Gotoh tuners which turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The neck heel and pocket have the original factory stamps, and “Made in Japan” text is present above the four-bolt neck plate embossed with an A-prefix serial number.

On the body, all the electronics work as intended, with the upgraded vintage-spec Fender pickups governed by a five-way pickup selector switch and Volume/Tone/Tone control array. The wiring harness has been upgraded with 250k CTS pots and a Sprague Orange Drop tone capacitor. The chrome-plated hardware has ample shine, with light patina on the bridge saddles. The vibrato responds smoothly with a full-size trem block, jumping back to the original pitch with ease. Original plastics comprise lightly yellowed knobs and pickup covers, and a one-ply white pickguard which displays some requisite scuffing along the pick path. Cosmetic wear on the gloss Black finish is limited to a smattering of faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole, particularly concentrated along the lower bout body edge, and a small cluster of dings on the bass-side lower bout where the forearm crosses the top. The ambered gloss finish on the neck profile is immaculate.

An SKB-brand hardshell case with molded interior is included, along with a vintage Fender-branded strap.