Up for sale, a 1987 Fender "Extrad" Stratocaster '54 vintage reissue model ST54-140 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original serialized Extrad hangtag. Finished in Ice Blue Metallic nitro lacquer and complete with all USA electronics, this Extrad model represents the absolute top tier of Fender Japan at the Fujigen factory during the golden age of "Made in Japan" production. Excruciatingly rare, these instruments were designed to be sold in the Japanese domestic market and are rarely seen in their country of origin or elsewhere.
A true Custom Shop offering, the Extrad instruments (in later years rebranded as Custom Edition) 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/Custom Edition 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 '54 Stratocaster is stunning in every detail, with a solid alder body and one-piece maple neck with light flame figuring. The guitar has a notably full and broad natural acoustic tone with plenty of bass register warmth and a deep resonant quality. 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 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, slinky action and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a medium depth soft V-shaped profile with rolled fretboard edges, rounding out closer to a traditional C shape in the higher registers of the fretboard with more shoulder, measuring .840" deep at the 1st fret and .950" at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a vintage-spec 7 1/4" radius with original slender fretwire that has good meat and well-rounded crowns, showing light wear beneath the G and B strings on frets 1-5, and slightly more prominent grooves beneath the same strings from frets 6-9. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The modern hand-carved bone nut measures 1.650" in width. The Gotoh-made Kluson-style tuning machines turn very smoothly and hold pitch well, and the '54 spec round string tree completes the appointments. The "Made in Japan" text and E-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate, and the neck heel is pencil dated 2-14-87. Both the neck heel and pocket have matching model stamps, and the neck plate itself retains the small "140" sticker signifying both the model suffix and the price in yen when sold new (140,000 yen).
The electronics all function as intended, with the traditional Strat control array governing the original black bobbin pickups which have un-beveled staggered alnico pole pieces. The harness boasts two original USA-made CTS pots which date to the late '86, along with one new matching 250k CTS pot. The bridge pickup cavity was also professionally routed to accommodate a humbucker at some point in the instrument's lifetime.
All original hardware is intact, including the Fender American Vintage bridge with steel tremolo block and the original arm. Plastics comprise a modern Fender USA one-ply white pickguard and similarly new Fender USA vintage-spec cream knobs, while the pickup covers are original.
The nitro lacquer gloss Ice Blue Metallic finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, exhibiting faint yellowing of the clear coat and slightly more prominent greening where the forearm crosses the top. Cosmetic wear includes a couple small marks through the finish behind the bridge on top, a small area of light buckle rash just south of the tremolo cavity on the back, and various small dings and scuffs, largely relegated to the back and body perimeter. There is also a spot of wear through the clear coat on the back body edge adjacent to the rear strap button. The nitro gloss on the neck profile highlights the subtle flame figuring in the maple, with light wear through the finish on the bass-side profile edge and a few isolated spots of finger wear through the nitro on the fretboard.
A vintage Fender Japan gigbag is included, along with the serialized "Extrad" hangtag.