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The most serious problem, though, lies with the sellers who use the great reputation of the very best JV Squiers, to sell inferior Squiers made in the latter phase of the '80s, for totally unjustified prices.

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The right hand image below shows a later Fender MIJ vintage reissue headstock. 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.

I thought for this piece it would be worth exploring the reality of the Squier Stratocaster of the 1980s – just as a guide for anyone who’s been subjected to conflicting pitches from vendors who might be, shall we say, a little over-enthusiastic to sell their merchandise.

The Squier Strat is one facet of the guitar market which comes steeped in hype, and I wanted to provide a bit of balance amid what can sometimes be wishful, hysterically over-gushing, or just plain misinformed rhetoric.

Much cheaper than the last of the Japanese Squiers, making a downgrade in quality inevitable.

If you were looking for info on the Fender-branded '62 Reissue Strats exported from Japan from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s (the Fuji Gen Gakki Fender MIJs), please follow this link.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.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.I’m not going to be including late ‘80s Korean Squiers in this piece.