Up for sale, a 1985 Fender Boxer Series Stratocaster model ST-556 in 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 8lbs 12oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, slinky action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .795” deep at the 1st fret and .885” at the 12th. The thick slab 22-fret rosewood fretboard features dot inlay, and the stock medium jumbo fretwire has been leveled and crowned in this instrument’s lifetime, retaining plenty of meat and showing no wear. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a 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 date code from February 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 pick scuffing on the treble side, along with the original pair of F-capped knobs. The F cap is missing from the Tone knob.
The Black body finish has a somewhat matte and faintly textured appearance from prolonged contact with the lining of a case, with a number of small dings and finish chips on the body perimeter, and some scuffing north of the tremolo cavity on the back. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless.
A gigbag is included.