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My take on the Fender JV Modified '60s Stratocaster


Is this the true dream late-'60s design Strat players have been wanting for years?

I played one of these recently with the intention of buying it, but I didn't. On paper, this guitar is perfect. In reality, it's a different story.

For those not aware, my favorite Fender headstock design of all time is the 1968 and 1969 Stratocaster. I literally just saw a real one in person recently at the time I write this. I also recently bought a new Squier Affinity Strat specifically because of the late '60s-ish big design.

The Fender JV Modified '60s Stratocaster at first glance appears to be the perfect "modern '69". Same logo treatment, great color, none of the annoyances present on the real '69, and extra modern goodies.

Some quick specs: The JV comes in one color, Olympic White with urethane top coat, and that's totally okay. 25.5" scale, 9.5" fingerboard radius, medium jumbo fret wire, "Vintage-Style Single-Coil Strat" pickups (I don't know if they're alnico or ceramic), basswood body. There is a push-pull for Tone 2 to add in the neck pickup for positions 1, 2 and 3. The headstock face is glossed while the rest of the neck is satin finished.

Unlike the real '69, the truss rod adjustment is at the headstock; this is a very welcome thing. There isn't any black there on purpose to conceal it as much as possible and is smartly done.

So in other words, it totally looks like a '69 but is a very modern guitar, hence why it's a "modified" model and not a reissue.

Perfect, right?


Some guitars you just can't connect with

The JV is a made-in-Japan guitar, and it is high quality construction. The build was great, no problems with the frets nor the nut nor anything else.

There are only two things I can nitpick about the guitar. The push-pull on Tone 2 was a little stiff, and the color of the neck could have been a little better. That's it. Again, both are nitpicks and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the rest of the guitar.

I just could not connect with the JV, even though I really wanted to. This was the design I wanted and it totally has the look. But after playing it, there wasn't enough there to win me over and buy it.

If you're not nitpicky like me...

...then you will love this guitar. It's 100% Strat through and through, modern in all the right ways with that oh-so awesome '69 look. And with the push-pull you can get some Telecaster-ish sounds out of it too. The guitar needs nothing and no upgrades are required.

I couldn't connect with the guitar personally, but don't let that stop you from getting one. Japan definitely built this one correctly.

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