Up for sale, a 1988 Fender Stratocaster ‘57 vintage reissue model ST57-55 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. An early example produced by Fender Japan at the famed Fujigen factory and designed to be sold within the Japanese domestic market, the ST57-55 model is a well-made instrument, with the attention to detail and precise fit and finish work that has made the early Fender Japan instruments sought after by studio players and serious collectors alike.
Tonally, this guitar channels the essence of a '50s Strat, retaining its trio of original black bobbin alnico magnet single coil pickups. The guitar offers a chewy, chiming bridge position tone, with presence, power and sparkle as you toggle towards the neck pickup on the five-way switch. The "in-between" settings have plenty of quintessential Strat quack, and the neck pickup has bell-like, warm fullness while still retaining excellent articulation and top end snap. This Strat weighs 7lbs 11oz, 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 slender C-shaped profile carve with nicely shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .805” deep at the 1st fret and .945” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius and retains the stock slender fretwire. The frets are practically perfect with well-rounded crowns, showing only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 42mm (1.650") in width. The headstock sports a ‘50s-style logo, and the Kluson-style Gotoh tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The back of the headstock retains the small “55” sticker, denoting the model suffix and original price (¥55,000). The neck heel and pocket retain the original factory stamps, and the neck heel is pencil dated 8-27-88. The “Made in Japan” text and E-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt, “Fender”-embossed neck plate.
All of the electronics work as intended, with the original trio of black bobbin ST-Vintage single coil pickups wired to the stock harness with untouched solder joints and full-size Japanese pots, which date to July, 1988. The chrome-plated hardware has ample shine, with light patina on the bridge saddles. The vibrato responds smoothly with a full-size trem block, jumping back to the original pitch with ease. Original plastics include the uniformly aged knobs and pickup covers, and the one-ply white pickguard has some requisite scuffing on the treble side of the strum path. Cosmetic wear on the gloss Black finish is limited to a few small scuffs on the forearm contour on top, some small dings on the body perimeter, and light buckle rash on the back at the waist. The ambered gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.
A gigbag is included.