"E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by MatthewK » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:27 am

It’s worth pointing out that an E series JM is about a hundred times rarer than an E series Strat, which is a big factor. I’ve never seen another 80s JM in the wild apart from the one I own. They’re out there - even JV serials - but the model was a very low seller at the time.

User avatar
Glasgowm82
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:30 pm

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by Glasgowm82 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:51 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:21 am
Glasgowm82 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 am
Sorry for the ignorance, are the 80’s e series Japan some of the better jazz out there in vintage land? Found one for 1k that I’m about to push the button on...
FYI, this was quite a necropost. Don't be afraid to start a new topic if you have a question like this.

The 80's MIJ Fenders are pretty nice guitars, but at $1k there are also a lot of competing options.

Generally, the body and neck are extremely well made, the hardware is OK but not great, and the pickups and electronics are not very Jazzmastery or very good.

I had an E series strat. It played nicely enough but wasn't the greatest strat I've ever played. MIJs are good guitars, especially if you're a modder/pickup swapper, but with their increasing price over the years, they're now running into competition with other guitars that could be argued to be equal or better value for money.
Thanks for the reply. Appreciate your input, so Japanese have always been known for the better build but poor electrics. Was only really aware of them since my 2007 Japanese jm. Been pining for an excuse to get a vintage aged instrument and this is the first 80’s one I’ve seen in a while. Maybe I look in the wrong places. If the £1000 was yours what do you see as a better alternative?

Also, it has a weird brown tort pickguard that I’ve not seen before.. I know it’s just a visual thing.. the grain looks beautiful under the sunburst also. Will try and upload pic in morning after I’ve celebrated Scotland winning a game of football! Unbeated in 8 games.

User avatar
Glasgowm82
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:30 pm

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by Glasgowm82 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:53 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:27 am
It’s worth pointing out that an E series JM is about a hundred times rarer than an E series Strat, which is a big factor. I’ve never seen another 80s JM in the wild apart from the one I own. They’re out there - even JV serials - but the model was a very low seller at the time.
So worth buying for the price then? It’s more a sentimental thing as it was made near enough when I was born! Wasn’t aware of its scarcity I actually thought they’d stopped making them during that time. I always get dates mixed up tho.

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by MatthewK » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:23 pm

Like I said, they were making them in the JV era as well (Fujigen were making Greco Jazzmasters in 1980, and presumably just updated a few parts to make Fender Japan Jazzmasters in 1982). Mine (pictured upthread) is an A serial so probably 1985; an E serial would most likely be 85-87 I think. There is likely to be a pencil date on the neck heel, that's the way to date the early Japanese Fenders.
Looking at Reverb there is one E serial JM for about twice the price you mentioned, and six 1990s MIJ JMs, all above that price too. It wouldn't be a waste of money if it plays well. The weird brown/orange tort was replaced by bright red tort in the early 90s - mine had it too but I switched for a black pickguard to match the very last original-run USA 1982 JM. http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... =6&t=82868

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5866
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by mbene085 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:28 pm

Well, it depends whether you're buying it because you want something old, or because you want something that plays or sounds a certain way.

I'm not familiar with the UK market for used guitars the way I am with the North American one - I know you guys pay more for everything Fender.

If I wanted an early 80's guitar of the highest quality, I'd buy an early G&L. I just finished selling my two that were up in the classifieds here and can vouch for them. They're both cheaper than that MIJ Jazzmaster and far better built.

They're nitro-finished guitars designed by Leo himself and made in Fullterton, CA. The hardware, the pickups, the electronics - they're all fantastic, and the QC was tighter than anyone else at the time for sure. Even if you had to pay significant import duties, most models would come in at less than that Jazzmaster if you value age and quality over being an offset (sadly, none of their shapes are).

Like I said, the MIJs are good guitars and are obviously a niche if you desire something that is both offset and from the 80's. As offsets, though, I'd rather take a modded or upgraded MIM (or a stock used 60's lacquer model) or parts build of a similar price, and as far as guitars of 1980's vintage, I'd take a G&L without hesitation every single time.

If the MIJs were still cheaper, they'd be more attractive to me, but they're commanding prices now where I feel you should expect great hardware and electronics of a guitar, and they're more "usable" than "nice" in that respect.

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5866
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by mbene085 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:34 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:23 pm
Looking at Reverb there is one E serial JM for about twice the price you mentioned, and six 1990s MIJ JMs, all above that price too.
Don't know if you saw that OP was speaking in GBP. That E-serial listing is 40% higher, not double the price, and it's a pretty silly asking price. Reverb asking prices are not the going rate.

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by MatthewK » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:38 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:28 pm
If I wanted an early 80's guitar of the highest quality, I'd buy an early G&L.
G&L made Jazzmasters early on?

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5866
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by mbene085 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:45 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:38 pm
mbene085 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:28 pm
If I wanted an early 80's guitar of the highest quality, I'd buy an early G&L.
G&L made Jazzmasters early on?
Nope, I specified non-offset. I said if he wanted the best guitar from the 80's for his money, G&L. If he wanted the best offset for the money, there are options for 1000GBP I'd take over it (60's lacquer, modded MIMs, parts builds, even the American Performer is selling new for under 1000 quid locally to him, so a used one would definitely come in way cheaper).

If, however, it must be both specifically 80's and offset, then sure, MIJ is the best option.

User avatar
andy_tchp
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6352
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:36 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by andy_tchp » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:15 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:27 am
It’s worth pointing out that an E series JM is about a hundred times rarer than an E series Strat, which is a big factor. I’ve never seen another 80s JM in the wild apart from the one I own.
Yep, agreed. I've never seen one, and Fender Japan offsets are ubiquitous here.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2092
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: "E Series" MIJ Fenders... snagged a Lefty Strat....

Post by MatthewK » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:25 pm

I bought mine from Japan, I don't think they were exported until the 90s, actually.

Post Reply