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1985 Fender Boxer Series Stratocaster HSS Model ST-556 Torino Red, Japan MIJ Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1985 Fender Boxer Series Stratocaster model ST-556 in exceptional condition and perfect working order. Built in Japan at the FujiGen factory and 100% original save for an upgraded Seymour Duncan SH-1b '59 humbucker, the ST-556 is perfectly tailored to the "Superstrat" crowd with HSS pickup array, basswood body, medium jumbo fretwire on the flat 12" radius 22 fret fretboard, and a Schaller "System I" vibrato unit and corresponding locking nut, similar to the Floyd Rose systems that were being retrofitted en masse to Strat-style instruments in the '80s.

Acoustically, this guitar has a smooth, balanced sound that translates well through the pickups, and the guitar offers a cutting, articulate sound via Fender Japan's Hot Rod single coils in the neck and middle positions. The Seymour Duncan SH-1b '59 bridge position humbucker is of the same era as the guitar, wound by Seymour Duncan's legendary pickup winding queen, Maricela Juarez. This pickup is wound in the spirit of Gibson's venerable PAF, with warm and crystalline clean tones and full, bright distorted tones with smooth sustain. The pickup has a tailored midrange, a bit more scooped than Duncan's Seth Lover and vacuum wax potted for squeal-free performance. The guitar weighs 9lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mikes Guitar Bar with low action, spot-on intonation, and 10-46 strings.

The maple neck has a medium C shaped profile carve with good shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .845” deep at the 1st fret and .925” at the 12th. The slab 22 fret rosewood board features dot inlay and original medium jumbo frets which are nigh flawless with their full factory height, showing just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The scale length measures 25 1/2", and the graphite nut is 1 11/16" in width. The headstock face features microscopic "Made in Japan" text under the Stratocaster name. The original locking nut is intact, working in concert with the Fender Japan-branded Gotoh tuning machines, ensuring optimal tuning stability.

All of the electronics work as they should, with the pickups wired to a five-way pickup selector switch and Master Volume and Tone knobs. The Volume pot dates to February of 1985, and the body is factory routed to accommodate an HHH pickup configuration if desired. Hardware includes the black Schaller System I vibrato unit, ideally suited to broad, dynamic dives and warbles, complete with chrome vibrato arm and chrome-plated fine tuners. The four-bolt neck plate with A-prefix serial number rounds out the hardware, and original plastics include the one-ply black pickguard and pair of F-capped knobs. The guitar is extremely well-kept, with a couple nicks on the bass side lower bout on top, and a few additional light finish scratches on the body as a whole. There's a bit of light pick scuffing across the guard, and a sliver of cloudiness in the clear coat on the edge of the headstock with a decidedly golden tinge.