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Anyone into MIJ Squier E series Strats from the mid 80's?

Dave P

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
767
For whatever reason, I always liked the MIJ E series Squier Strats made in the mid 1980's. They were very well built, made by FujiGen Gakki in Japan, and they were cheap so plenty of them are out there. I'm a sucker for cheap guitars, partly because I never had any money when I was young so they were all I could afford. These are great candidates for hot rodding, since they were just budget beginner guitars, still can be found fairly reasonably, and since they were built very well it isn't like polishing a turd.

My latest desecration is this beast, a really beat to shit rosewood board version. Since I did all the work myself and found most of the parts used, it really didn't cost very much.
Mods-
Refret, fingerboard radiused to 12", with Jescar stainless steel 6105 sized fret wire.
Gotoh locking tuners, these are the new ones with the Sperzel style lock knob one the back, these are excellent.
Gotoh 510 6 screw trem with vintage saddles, a very nice unit.
Completely rewired with quality parts - CTS pots, CRL switch, wired tone control to bridge pickup, cloth covered wire, Dimarzio Area stacked single coils (58, 58, Solo)

The result is a nice, versatile guitar that stays in tune with pretty heavy whammy abuse, doesn't hum, and plays and sounds really nice. And since it says Squier on the headstock, it is theft resistant. :hee
image.jpg
 

fender69

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Messages
985
I have had a few and my main bar gig Strat is a rosewood board Squier. I replaced the pickups and also added a Callaham block, which helped a lot. A refret is in order sometime. Great quality for not much $$$ and at the price, it is always so tempting to pick 'em up in all the colors and fingerboard styles. :dude:
Really nice guitars.

 

Dave P

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
767
Cool, guess I'm not the only one here who likes them. I have a few MIJ and CIJ Fenders which I dig too, especially my 68 RI (though marked as 67 RI on the neck heel). I guess I have a thing for the E series Squiers. I have a few, but with the exception of one red maple board fiddle, the rest are black. For the tightwad prices I am willing to pay for them, it doesn't matter much about the color as long as it is a good guitar. The SQ series are great, but the prices have really gone up on those.
 

fender69

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Messages
985
I've had 3 E series - white, blue, & red - all rosewood boards. Bought a maple board black one for my nephew. For around 3 bill, you can't really go wrong. PS - don't tell anybody.
 

lure555

Swirling Vortex of Sound, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,288
I've had one since the mid-80s. It was my main git for many years, and I've been told it's my best-sounding guitar. I modded the Hell out of it.:hank

Mine says "Fender," not Squier. Is that true for all of the guitars from this series?
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
19,848
I love 'em and have had quite a few since I bought my first one new back in '85. The wood and build of the necks is great. My pepto strat has an e series neck on it.

pinkstratincase.jpg



The MIJ Squier strats get 300+ these days.


Last week I sold my refinned E series P-Bass for 300.00!
 

Dave P

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
767
The only difference I've seen between the E series Squiers and the Fender labeled ones is the price tag. LOL Identical guitars otherwise. I know the Schmitt music chain up here in my neck of the woods back in the day sold the Fender versions, I still remember they went for $229 new. I seem to recall the Squiers sold for around $180 or so?
 

Xpensive Wino

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Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
5,660
I have a newer Chinese-made Squier ("50's Vibe" or some such) that is just killer. It was cheap as chips. Leo would've been proud.
 

peeninety

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
285
I've got a black one made in Japan and a white one made (later) in Korea that were my main guitars for about 8 years.

The black one has a rosewood finger board that has a little more radius than I like, but the white one (with a maple finger board) has almost no radius.

I love them both, and they sounded awesome through the Bedrock 1202 that I replaced my Marshal 4010 with.

I am very partial to the R4 and R8 Historics I've had for the last few years, so the Squires are safely stored under the bed in the guest room.

They are great guitars, though, and definitely got the job done for me.
 

Ed Driscoll

Les Paul Forum Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
4,573
The only difference I've seen between the E series Squiers and the Fender labeled ones is the price tag. LOL Identical guitars otherwise. I know the Schmitt music chain up here in my neck of the woods back in the day sold the Fender versions, I still remember they went for $229 new. I seem to recall the Squiers sold for around $180 or so?

That $229 price sounds about right -- I think I paid about $240 or so for mine (white with a maple fretboard), when I bought it at Russo's Music in Hamilton, NJ around '87 as a backup for my '84 57RI, for which I remember paying well over $500. Between being MIJ and the Squier brand name on the headstock, it thought it would be cheap feeling and rough to play, but it turned out to be a great guitar, and seemingly indestructible.

I sold it on eBay in the early naughts after I bought my Roland Ready-Strat, and don't really miss it, but as a utility/backup guitar, it was tough to beat. (Literally and figuratively.)
 

JJ Jones

Active member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Messages
1,259
I like Squier! The first guitar I bought new was an E-series Contemporary strat, the one with the single humbucker and vol control a la VH. Since then I have had many. SQ, classic vibe, more E-series, vintage modern. And of course a JV; the classic Squier.
 

Dave P

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
767
The late Jeff Healey played a 1986 E series Squier loaded with Evans pickups during the height of his career.
 

Xpensive Wino

New member
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
5,660
Most guitarists know that Squier was a sub-brand of the Fender company, originally made solely in Japan, but later – forward from 1987 in fact – made in a variety of other countries.

The Squier branding was originally used so that Fender could offer high quality vintage reissue guitars at price points which would compete in the highly active unauthorised copy market (which had devastated Fender’s profits), but do so without further damaging sales of its own American guitars.

Subsequently, however, the Squier brand was used to allow Fender to downgrade the quality of its budget end output, without tainting the Fender brand per se. That’s the broad view.

The first Strats made in Japan by Fender were vintage reissue ’57 and ’62 replicas, launched in Tokyo on Friday 7th May 1982. The new line of instruments, produced by FujiGen Gakki, featured serial numbers beginning with the letters JV, and they’re accordingly known as the JV series. From the start, there were multiple variants of the JV vintage reissues, serving different price points.

Among the variables were the type of finish (either polyester or nitro-cellulose), the body woods, and the neck profiles. Initially, all carried the USA-made pickups for which these early JV series guitars have become renowned, but other parts – scratch-plates for instance – could be American on the most expensive variant, but Japanese on the cheapest.

The first wave of JV series Strats intended for the Japanese market carried full Fender branding. That is, a Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo on the headstock and no reference to the Squier marque at all.

Very similar to an American vintage reissue but with ‘Made in Japan’ beneath the Fender logo, next to a slightly chunkier version of the ‘With Synchronized Tremolo’ lettering. On the early JV Strats, the ‘spaghetti’ logo was also a little fatter than on the later export MIJs.

However, on guitars exported to Europe, the ‘Original Contour Body’ text near the top of the headstock was replaced with a black ‘Squier series’ logo – larger than the ‘Original Contour Body’ text, but smaller than the main Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo, which remained in situ.

These export-only models, also shipped with American pickups and authentic vintage cloth connection wire, were the first Strats to feature the Squier branding.

All either ’57 or ’62 reissues, they were exported from spring 1982 for a couple of months or so – notably, however, not to the USA. The export models featuring ‘Squier series’ augmentation on the headstock were said to have numbered not many more than 3,000 instruments.

That’s everything, by the way – not just the Strats. So the number of remaining JV Squier Strats with a Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo and ‘Squier series’ denotation on the headstock is bound to be pretty small – minimally so if you’re looking for one in good condition. That’s why they’re the most collectable of all Squier Stratocasters.

By summer 1982, the Squier headstock markings had been completely revised, with the main branding now reading 'Squier' in gold 'transition' lettering, then the word ‘Stratocaster’ scripted in the large-print 1970s style, and a very small ‘by Fender’ logo underneath.

Despite the mix and match logo arrangement, the guitars still otherwise followed the ’57 and ’62 vintage reissue templates, and since only the branding was changed at this point, there’s no inherent difference in quality between these guitars and the initial run of export models with Fender ‘spaghetti’ logos and ‘Squier series’ augmentation. The only reason collectors want the ‘spaghetti’ logo Squiers is that there were far, far fewer of them.

In October ’82, Fender launched a range of Squier-branded Strats for the Japanese market. This is where things started to get complicated. The Japanese domestic Squier reissues (still part of the JV series) did not have American pickups like the exports, and were vastly cheaper than the most expensive of the Japanese domestic Fender branded JVs.

The range-topping ST ’57-115 1957 reissue, for instance, cost Y115,000 in Japan, whereas the SST-45 1957 reissue cost only Y45,000. One ’57 reissue sold at more than two and a half times the price of the other, and there were other ’57 reissues in between too! For this reason, it obviously can’t be said that all JVs were of a particular standard, and no blanket statements on quality can be made about them.

Some were better than others, because they comprised a higher grade of materials, and they were literally much more expensive guitars – listed separately, with separate product codes.

The export models (thus those coming into the UK) had high, but not range-topping spec, and from memory, prices would normally be somewhere between £195 and £220 in England, depending on the exact guitar and of course the retailer.

In terms of what went into the guitars, there has probably never been a better deal in the history of Fender.

It would be impractical to detail all the ins and outs of this phase or manufacture, but there are some important generalisations to be made.

Up until 1987, Squier Strats were made in Japan.

No model was an accurate vintage reissue after 1984 (in spite of Fender's designations), but aside from their electrics and hi-gloss poly finishes, the '57 and '62 models were still reminiscent of the vintage design. All 1980s Japanese Squier Strats after the end of the JV series had solid wood bodies and poly finishes.


http://planetbotch.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/truth-about-1980s-squier-strats.html
 

lure555

Swirling Vortex of Sound, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,288
Most guitarists know that Squier was a sub-brand of the Fender company, originally made solely in Japan, but later – forward from 1987 in fact – made in a variety of other countries.

The Squier branding was originally used so that Fender could offer high quality vintage reissue guitars at price points which would compete in the highly active unauthorised copy market (which had devastated Fender’s profits), but do so without further damaging sales of its own American guitars.

Subsequently, however, the Squier brand was used to allow Fender to downgrade the quality of its budget end output, without tainting the Fender brand per se. That’s the broad view.

The first Strats made in Japan by Fender were vintage reissue ’57 and ’62 replicas, launched in Tokyo on Friday 7th May 1982. The new line of instruments, produced by FujiGen Gakki, featured serial numbers beginning with the letters JV, and they’re accordingly known as the JV series. From the start, there were multiple variants of the JV vintage reissues, serving different price points.

Among the variables were the type of finish (either polyester or nitro-cellulose), the body woods, and the neck profiles. Initially, all carried the USA-made pickups for which these early JV series guitars have become renowned, but other parts – scratch-plates for instance – could be American on the most expensive variant, but Japanese on the cheapest.

The first wave of JV series Strats intended for the Japanese market carried full Fender branding. That is, a Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo on the headstock and no reference to the Squier marque at all.

Very similar to an American vintage reissue but with ‘Made in Japan’ beneath the Fender logo, next to a slightly chunkier version of the ‘With Synchronized Tremolo’ lettering. On the early JV Strats, the ‘spaghetti’ logo was also a little fatter than on the later export MIJs.

However, on guitars exported to Europe, the ‘Original Contour Body’ text near the top of the headstock was replaced with a black ‘Squier series’ logo – larger than the ‘Original Contour Body’ text, but smaller than the main Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo, which remained in situ.

These export-only models, also shipped with American pickups and authentic vintage cloth connection wire, were the first Strats to feature the Squier branding.

All either ’57 or ’62 reissues, they were exported from spring 1982 for a couple of months or so – notably, however, not to the USA. The export models featuring ‘Squier series’ augmentation on the headstock were said to have numbered not many more than 3,000 instruments.

That’s everything, by the way – not just the Strats. So the number of remaining JV Squier Strats with a Fender ‘spaghetti’ logo and ‘Squier series’ denotation on the headstock is bound to be pretty small – minimally so if you’re looking for one in good condition. That’s why they’re the most collectable of all Squier Stratocasters.

By summer 1982, the Squier headstock markings had been completely revised, with the main branding now reading 'Squier' in gold 'transition' lettering, then the word ‘Stratocaster’ scripted in the large-print 1970s style, and a very small ‘by Fender’ logo underneath.

Despite the mix and match logo arrangement, the guitars still otherwise followed the ’57 and ’62 vintage reissue templates, and since only the branding was changed at this point, there’s no inherent difference in quality between these guitars and the initial run of export models with Fender ‘spaghetti’ logos and ‘Squier series’ augmentation. The only reason collectors want the ‘spaghetti’ logo Squiers is that there were far, far fewer of them.

In October ’82, Fender launched a range of Squier-branded Strats for the Japanese market. This is where things started to get complicated. The Japanese domestic Squier reissues (still part of the JV series) did not have American pickups like the exports, and were vastly cheaper than the most expensive of the Japanese domestic Fender branded JVs.

The range-topping ST ’57-115 1957 reissue, for instance, cost Y115,000 in Japan, whereas the SST-45 1957 reissue cost only Y45,000. One ’57 reissue sold at more than two and a half times the price of the other, and there were other ’57 reissues in between too! For this reason, it obviously can’t be said that all JVs were of a particular standard, and no blanket statements on quality can be made about them.

Some were better than others, because they comprised a higher grade of materials, and they were literally much more expensive guitars – listed separately, with separate product codes.

The export models (thus those coming into the UK) had high, but not range-topping spec, and from memory, prices would normally be somewhere between £195 and £220 in England, depending on the exact guitar and of course the retailer.

In terms of what went into the guitars, there has probably never been a better deal in the history of Fender.

It would be impractical to detail all the ins and outs of this phase or manufacture, but there are some important generalisations to be made.

Up until 1987, Squier Strats were made in Japan.

No model was an accurate vintage reissue after 1984 (in spite of Fender's designations), but aside from their electrics and hi-gloss poly finishes, the '57 and '62 models were still reminiscent of the vintage design. All 1980s Japanese Squier Strats after the end of the JV series had solid wood bodies and poly finishes.


http://planetbotch.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/truth-about-1980s-squier-strats.html

Nice article! I misspoke. Looked at my serial after reading this and found that I have one from the JV series.
 

Dave P

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
767
I've had a couple JV's, they were better than anything coming out of Fullerton at that time.
 

Kevin James

New member
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Messages
492
My first electric as a kid was a brand new Squier Strat from early 1983. It was olympic white with a rosewood board and had a 70's style big headstock with 3 bolt neck and bullet truss rod. I would LOVE to find a clean one like that some day.
 
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