Up for sale, a 1985 Fender Boxer Series Stratocaster model ST-556 in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Built in Japan at the famed FujiGen factory during the golden era of Fender Japan production, the ST-556 is perfectly tailored for the “Superstrat” crowd, featuring an SSH pickup configuration and FS-1 tremolo system.
Tonewoods include a basswood body, maple neck, and slab 22 fret rosewood fretboard, and acoustically this guitar has a resonant, lively quality that translates well through the pickup complement, which comprises a pair of Fender Japan Hot Rod single coils in the neck and middle positions and a Dragster humbucker at the bridge. The Hot Rods are snappy and responsive, and the Dragster has a throaty richness which, despite being relatively low-output, responds very well to distortion and drive. The guitar weighs 7lbs 15oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with slinky 9-42 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with modest shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .830” deep at the 1st fret and .905” at the 12th. The thick slab 22 fret rosewood fretboard features original medium jumbo frets which have lots of meat, showing uniform wear on the crowns beneath the strings on frets 1-7, with lighter wear extending beneath the plain strings to fret 15. The guitar plays comfortably up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The gloss Black headstock features a 42.5mm (1.675”) graphite nut, as well as the original locking nut for the tremolo system and Fender Japan-stamped Gotoh tuners, working in tandem to ensure maximum tuning stability through even the heaviest of divebombs. Additionally, there is a small “65” sticker on the back of the headstock which denoted the price in Japan in 1985 (¥65,000). The microscopic “Made in Japan” text is present beneath the Stratocaster name on the headstock face, and the A-prefix serial number is embossed on the four-bolt neck plate.
All of the electronics work as they should, with the pickups wired to a five-way pickup selector switch, Master Volume and center-detent Tone pot, providing a dramatic boost and cut. The Volume pot has a visible date code from May of 1985. Hardware includes the black FS1 (Fender System 1) tremolo, with two point-pivot and snap-in arm design based on the Blade Shooter tremolo released prior. Plastics include the one-ply pickguard which has some localized pick scuffing on the treble side, along with the original pair of F-capped knobs.
Cosmetic wear is limited to a number of very light nicks and finish scratches on the gloss Black finish. The rear input jack access cover even retains the protective factory paper over the plastic, indicative of the careful use this guitar has seen over the decades. The gloss finish is clean and smooth on the profile length.
A Fender-branded gigbag is included.