Up for sale, a 1988 Fender Stratocaster ‘57 vintage reissue model ST57-55 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, upgraded with a trio of USA-made Seymour Duncan SSL-1 single coils. An early “Made in Japan” example produced at the venerable Fujigen factory during the golden age of Fender Japan production, this well-crafted Stat was offered to the Japanese domestic market, uncommon outside of its country of origin.
Tonewoods include a basswood body and a one-piece maple neck, and this guitar has a smooth and lively natural acoustic quality, faithfully captured by the upgraded trio of Seymour Duncan SSL-1 single coils. These pickups are designed to recreate the sound of a ‘50s Strat, featuring staggered Alnico V pole pieces, black bobbin flatwork and cloth-covered leads. The bridge pickup has ample sparkle and bounce, the neck pickup has a throaty fullness while remaining articulate, and there’s a scooped spank at the “in-between” positions on the five-way pickup selector switch. This Strat weighs 7lbs 15oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The one-piece maple neck has a modestly chunky C-shaped profile carve with just enough shoulder and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .860” deep at the 1st fret and .945” at the 12th. The fretboard has a vintage-spec 7 1/4“ radius, and the stock slender fretwire has well-rounded crowns, with moderate wear beneath the strings on frets 1-2, with wear growing lighter and extending to fret 12 beneath the plain strings. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The stock nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width. On the headstock, the Kluson-style Gotoh tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The back of the headstock retains the small “55” sticker, denoting the original price in Japan as ¥55,000, and there is a small additional sticker from the original dealer. The neck pocket and heel retain the factory stamps, and the “Made in Japan” text and E-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt Fender-embossed neck plate.
All of the electronics function as intended; the upgraded Seymour Duncan SSL-1 pickups are wired to the stock harness with full-size Japanese pots that date to September, 1988. The pickup baseplates retain their small “1R” stickers. The chrome-plated hardware has plenty of shine, including the jack cup and bridge, with consistent patina on the saddles. The vibrato has a full-size block, actuating smoothly and jumping quickly back reliably to the target pitch. Plastics comprise the lightly aged knobs and the one-ply white pickguard, which has some requisite scuffing along the strum path and extending beyond the guard to the bass-side body waist
Cosmetic wear on the gloss two-tone Sunburst finish includes a handful of minor nicks and a singular small finish chip along the body perimeter, an area of buckle rash on the back, and some light finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered gloss, with a couple shallow marks along the profile length that have no impact on playability.
A gigbag is included.