I was leafing through this months Guitarist magazine,when I came across a small mention of a website dedicated to Squier JV series instruments.
I was recently offered one of these guitars for £400 and to me they are a definete investment for the collector on a budget.
The background is a story in itself, by the late 70′s the big two (Fender/Gibson) were peeved at guitarists choosing to buy high quality low price replica’s by Ibanez and later Tokai over their own instruments. Gibson decided to sue Ibanez’s US distributors, hence the term “lawsuit replica” entered the guitar buyers vocabulary.
Fender got wise, formed a company with 2 Japanese distributors and commisioned Fuji Gen Gakki, who actually built the Ibanez brand replicas to build their own guitars, initially for the Japanese domestic market.
Taking the brandname Squier from VC Squier, a string company CBS had bought out in the 60′s, Fender soon had a surefire hit. The instruments are of a much higher quality than the US fenders of the era, if truth be told and according to Fender’s Dan Smith actually informed the rise in build quality seen at Fender since the late 80′s, however, due to the rather racist nature of the US regarding non American made guitars, I doubt if anyone would admit that.
Before long these guitars had been fitted with more generic pickups and an SQ prefix serial number and eventually the Japanese Squier became the made in Japan/ J-Craft Fender, which are now mainly available on the grey import market. The Squier brandname later being used on a host of Chinese and Indonesian made beginner guitars.
But as these original JV serial prefixed guitars are all getting on for 25 years in age now. Prices are starting to rise and the parasites are hovering. Already I have seen a late 80′s Squier strat advertised as a JV’ era instrument on Denmark Street. Even though the serial number began with an E’!
Therefore I would advise anyone thinking about buying one of these guitars to head over to Paul Rumbles comprehensive and informative website.
Although I imagine this is a great resource for anyone trying to fake their own JV’ Strat. That may be far fetched, but as I recently met a man who claims to have faked a large number of 60′s strats for a northern guitar shop back in the 80′s who knows? But we shall save his stories of recutting headstocks, putting guitar bodies in freezers to aid cracking and dipping dinted necks in cold tea for another time.