Up for sale, a 1989 Fender Stratocaster ST650SPL in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This rare Special Edition Stratocaster is a true hybrid between Fender USA and early Fujigen-era Fender Japan production. Its unique amalgam of features includes an American Standard body, neck and hardware, with Fender Japan electronics and serialization. It's also important to note that this isn't a "partscaster," and all mounting holes, component dates, etc, add up to a factory-produced example.
While the guitar retains its yen price sticker on the headstock and Fender Japan serial above the neck plate, the body, neck and hardware are all USA-made components identical to those found on the fledgling American Standard line, complete with Schaller-made Fender tuners and two-point vibrato. The neck heel even has the American Standard micro-tilt adjustment and is stamped by Hector Montes, known for shaping Fender's necks in the USA before his eventual addition to the Custom Shop team.
The alder body is loaded with its original trio of Fender Japan's ST-Current ceramic magnet single coil pickups which have more punch and power than the typical alnico magnet design, sounding distinct and clear in all positions on the five-way switch. This Strat weighs 8lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The Fender American Standard neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .910” at the 12th. The 22-fret slab maple fretboard has a modern 9 1/2“ radius and medium jumbo frets which have well-rounded crowns and plenty of meat, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The headstock is fitted with the original set of Schaller-made and Fender-embossed tuning machines, which turn smoothly and hold pitch as they should. The back of the headstock retains the small “65” sticker, used to denote the price of Fender Japan instruments (this guitar’s original price would have been ¥65,000). The G-prefix serial decal is also present above the neck plate as is typical on early Fender Japan guitars, yet there is no “Made in Japan” text (further cementing the USA-made provenance of the neck).
The neck heel and pocket retain the factory stamps; the heel is dated to December 1st, 1989, and retains the Hector Montes maker’s mark. This neck would have been crafted almost immediately prior to Montes’ move to the fledgling Fender Custom Shop, where he would become known as one of Fender’s premier neck shapers.
The Fender American Standard body has a distinctive "swimming pool" pickup route, and all of the electronics function as intended, with the ceramic magnet single coil pickups wired to the stock harness and governed by a five-way pickup selector switch and standard Volume/Tone/Tone controls. The original full-size Japanese pots date to July, 1989.
The Schaller-made two-point vibrato actuates smoothly and bounces quickly back to pitch, ideal for deeper dives and quick flutters with excellent stability. The chrome-plated jack cup and bridge base are notably clean. Plastics comprise the original trio of knobs and the three-ply white pickguard. Cosmetic wear on the gloss Olympic White finish is limited to a handful of minor nicks on the lower bout on top and along the body perimeter, as well as a few finish scratches and smaller marks on the back. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered finish.
A Fender-branded gigbag is included.