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1986 Fender ExTrad '62 Stratocaster ST62 Sunburst Nitro Lacquer w/ USA Electronics, Japan MIJ Fuijgen


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Up for sale, a 1986 Fender "ExTrad" Stratocaster '62 vintage reissue in 100% original condition with a nitro lacquer gloss finish and all USA Fender electronics and hardware. A first-year example of an ExTrad, these Fender Japan instruments are among the most sought after and excruciatingly rare instruments ever produced at Fujigen during Fender Japan's golden age.

A true Custom Shop offering, the ExTrad instruments were ostensibly made to order one-offs with features that paralleled Fender's USA Custom Shop output. Established by Makoto Sugimoto, who benefitted from a quarter century of experience in R&D, custom guitar building, and engineering at Fujigen, the ExTrad instruments were produced by a small team of expert craftspeople, representing Fender Japan's absolute best. This premium instrument line was first offered in 1986 and was retired in 1994.

This particular ExTrad '62 Stratocaster is stunning in every detail, with a solid alder body, maple neck, and thick slab rosewood fretboard. The instrument is extremely lively and resonant acoustically, with equal presence afforded each string and notable clarity in every register. The trio of pickups are the original Fender USA black bobbin single coils (the same pickups seen in the American Vintage line and early USA Custom Shop Strats) with staggered alnico magnets and cloth-covered leads. Lively, sparkling, and very dynamic, the sound is distinct and vital in every position on the three-way switch. The bridge pickup has bite and bounce, with a woody, percussive middle pickup, and round, bell-like chime at the neck. The “in-between” settings have a delightfully thinned out snap and scooped spank. The guitar weighs 7lbs 9oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve, very representative of an actual 1961-62 Stratocaster shape with just enough roundness in the shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .885" at the 12th. The rosewood slab fretboard has a vintage-spec 7 1/4" radius with practically perfect original slender fretwire which has ostensibly benefitted from a light level and crown in the guitar's lifetime. 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" in width. The Gotoh-made Kluson-style tuning machines turn very smoothly and hold pitch well, and as with ExTrads produced from 1986-87, there is no "ExTrad" badge on the back of the headstock. The "Made in Japan" text and E-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate, and the neck heel is pencil dated 3-13-86.

The electronics all function as intended with the traditional Strat control array and untouched solder joints. The harness boasts original USA-made CTS pots which date all the way back to the 22nd week of 1982, along with a Sprague Orange Drop tone cap. These components mirror Fender's Fullerton and early Corona-made Strats, as Fender's USA stock of CTS pots from 1982 in some cases extended all the way to guitars produced in 1988. Plastics comprise a three-ply parchment pickguard and lightly aged pickup covers and knobs with greened text, and the hardware includes a premium Fender vibrato unit with a full-size steel block for optimal resonance and sustain. The vibrato actuates easily with three springs for deeper dives and subtle gestures, and the chrome plating on the bridge and jack cup is notably clean.

The nitro lacquer three-tone gloss Sunburst finish exhibits various small dings on top behind the bridge, a few tiny touched-up finish chips on the lower bout body edge, and light buckle wear at the edge of the belly carve. Wear is otherwise limited to some small finish scratches and dings on the body as a whole consistent with light, careful use. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered gloss finish.

A gigbag is included.