Guitarz may sometimes speak a little disparagingly of the Stratocaster, it's not really because we don't like the Strat - we appreciate its place in the history of the electric guitar - rather its very omnipresence and a plethora of copies both "el cheapo" and boutique mean that the originality of Leo Fender's great design has become so diluted that when we see a Strat we find ourselves hard pressed to get excited by it. This is why we only ever feature the Strat on Guitarz if it is in some way unusual, be it customised, made from unusual materials, or if it has an unusual or particularly eye-catching finish.
Personally, I can categorically state that I do NOT hate the Strat. I have owned eight or nine of them over the years, having been a Strat player since 1987. I still own and play a Strat nowadays, although not my main go-to guitar it does have its uses and I wouldn't want to be without one. If money were no object and I was in the market for a new guitar, a Stratocaster would not be at the top of my list. However, having seen these latest offerings from Fender Japan does get me thinking, "Oh yes, I'd like one - or both - of those!"
Fender Japan ST62-SPL Stratocaster is available in two quite tantalizing Japanese print finishes reminiscent of Fender's own pink paisley and blue floral designs, and indeed the Fender Japan TL69 SPL Telecaster which we looked at on this blog two years ago. Although I believe these particular Strats are being produced for the Japanese home market only and not for export, it does show how well Fender's marketing efforts work when someone like me sees a few pretty pictures and instantly wants one, even if underneath the finish it is a basic no-frills Stratocaster with all the usual Stratocaster accouterments. In fact, other than the finish the only unusual feature of the ST62-SPL Strat is that the output socket has been relocated onto the side of the guitar, possibly so as not to obscure some of the finish.
It's nice also, I think, to see Fender Japan issue a series of guitars that celebrates their own Japanese-ness.
G L Wilson
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