“I noticed you playing a beautifully worn Squier Telecaster. So the story goes that Fender sent a Japanese factory the best examples of their vintage instruments they could find and said ‘copy that! Mine is a very early example with a neck date of September 1981 (which is a bit bizarre since they only officially started making instruments there in early 1982).Please tell me about it, I have an affinity toward guitars that don’t cost a tremendious amount of money yet still play really nice. I got mine about 20 years ago for the princely sum of £170.After the demise of the hi-spec ‘JV Series’ and ‘SQ Series’ Squier Telecasters of the early to mid 1980s, Fender’s budget-end Tele dropped the homage to vintage instruments and headed into a new, more contemporary territory.Whilst this new-for-1985 Squier Japan Telecaster had features which would better connect with young players of the day (such as an easier to intonate bridge, and better-favoured pickup selection switching), it also cut costs in quite a pronounced way. They’d built a highly reputable brand with Squier since 1982 by selling top-class gear on the cheap. Cut production costs in areas like the body wood, the pickups and the finishing, but use the brand’s rep to maintain the same prices in the shops.The Fender Japan Standard Telecaster of 1988 to 1991 can be distinguished from the 1987 Korean Fender version by the truss rod access point, which is at the body end of the neck on the MIJ, and on the headstock of the MIK.The MIJ shows only a walnut 'teardrop' above the nut, whereas the MIK has a hole.Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.They have been placed at the top of the neck plate, on the front of the headstock, on the back of the headstock, and on the back of the neck near where the neck bolts onto the body.
Far from dying a tragic death in 1987 when it vanished from the Fender product list, it lived on in semantic limbo for a number of years, flirting with different identities, but maintaining its distinctive features, and (more or less, with market conditions taken into account) its price point. At the time, many other established brands offered affordable copies of classic Fender models including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars. Victor Squier started making his own hand-wound violin strings, and the business grew so quickly that he and his employees improvised a dramatic production increase by converting a treadle sewing machine into a string winder capable of producing 1,000 uniformly high-quality strings per day. Squier Company in 1965; by 1982 the Squier name had resurfaced as a low-cost "value brand" alternative initially manufactured and distributed in the Japanese domestic market and soon offered to Europe, North America and the rest of the world. As his business grew, Squier moved the company to 429 Lake Ave. Up to 1900, the best violin strings were made in Europe.While the brand has produced its share of innovative designs over the past 25 years, its main focus and most successful approach has always been to be the "value brand" alternative to its big brother, Fender. Fender entered the picture in the 1950s, when the V. Squier Company began supplying Southern California inventor and businessman Leo Fender with strings for his unusual new electric guitars. By the mid-1970s, the Squier name was retired as the strings had taken the Fender name. S.-trained violin makers and is often referred to as "the American Stradivarius." Victor returned to Battle Creek, where he opened his own shop in 1890. With a limited market for violins in Battle Creek, however, Squier astutely sought relationships with national music schools and famous violinists.My Squier Jagmaster is just such a guitar; it plays so nice (though the pickups will probably need to be replaced at some point). I did have to go to Scotland to collect it (from London) but I think it was well worth the trip. There’s quite a lot about the JV Squier’s online so I wont cover it here but Fender made their first Japanese models back in the early 80s as a response to the other Japanese brands like Tokai, Greco and Edwards (ESP) who were frankly doing a much better job at producing quality instruments than Fender were themselves in the USA at the time.The neck date simply refers to the date that the neck was produced.Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, a neck may have been produced in one year, placed in a warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.By May, Fender Japan had six vintage instruments— '57 and '62 Stratocaster models, a '52 Telecaster, '57 and '62 Precision Bass® models and a 62 Jazz Bass®.Meanwhile, as the flood of Asian Fender copies surged over Europe, Fender sought a competitive low-cost alternative.