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1991 Fender ExTrad Custom Edition '54 Stratocaster ST54-140 Sunburst Lacquer w/ USA Pickups, Japan MIJ


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Up for sale, a 1991 Fender “ExTrad” Stratocaster ‘54 vintage reissue model ST54-140 in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Finished in two-tone Sunburst 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. Exceedingly rare, these instruments were designed to be sold in the Japanese domestic market and are uncommon in their country of origin (or elsewhere).

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 this example has the "Custom Edition" branding seen before this line was retired in '94.

This particular ExTrad '54 Stratocaster is stunning in every detail, with an ash body and a one-piece flame maple neck. 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 dynamic, the sound is distinct in every position on the three-way selector 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 thinned-out snap and scooped spank. The guitar weighs 7lbs 12oz, benefitting from a professional setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, slinky action and accurate intonation.

Neck Specs:

-Wood: Flame maple
-Shape: Medium depth soft V, full shoulders, measuring .835” 1st fret, .955” 12th fret
-Fretboard: Maple, rolled edge, 7 1/4“ vintage-spec radius
-Frets: Slender, no wear
-Scale Length: 25 1/2”
-Nut: 1.650” (42mm), bone
-Tuners: Gotoh, Kluson-style
-Headstock: Round '54-spec string tree, spaghetti logo, “Custom Edition” decal on back
-Serialization: “Made in Japan”, L-prefix serial, extensive hand-written notes on neck heel and in pocket

Body Specs:

-Wood: Ash, two-piece
-Pickups: American Vintage 57/62 single coils
-Harness: Untouched solder, USA-spec CTS pots date to 21st week of '91
-Controls: Volume x1, Tone x2
-Hardware: American Vintage vibrato with steel block and modern arm, jack cup
-Plastics: One-ply pickguard, parchment pickup covers/knobs

The gloss nitro lacquer two-tone Sunburst finish is limited to some muting of the gloss on the body perimeter from extensive time in a case around the perimeter, and just a scant few tiny dings on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth ambered gloss, highlighting tight, curly flame figuring in the maple, extending evenly across the entirety of the profile, headstock, and fingerboard.

A Fender-branded gigbag is included.