Mystery MIJ Vintage Strat - whodunnit - any experts out there?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by sergeant.salt, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. sergeant.salt

    sergeant.salt TDPRI Member

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    I scored an awesome sounding/playing strat on a Japanese auction site recently. For less than 300 USD I received a nice sunburst strat with a straight, flamed neck with low action, medium jumbo frets, flat radius bone nut and locking tuners, tight neck pocket with no cracks and lightweight two-piece centre joined body.
    It was equipped with some Suhr PUs and a Duncan single coil-sized bridge pickup.

    Since there are no traces of logo on the headstock, I disassembled it today and found a red ink japanese character (kanji?) stamp near the heel of the neck and a mysterious "LOS", "TOS" or "...OS" stamp in the neck pocket. Guitar says 0004 on the neck plate.

    Due to yellowing of the laquer on the neck, wear on hardware etc. I believe this beauty has at least 20-25 years on her back

    I have done some searches but failed to find out who the maker might be. Maybe someone here can help???[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know but it looks like a great score. The burst and white pickups etc look like a 85 Fender mij strat I owned. That was poly though.
     
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  3. sergeant.salt

    sergeant.salt TDPRI Member

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    Very happy cat!! Would be fun if anyone could shed some light on who made it:)
     
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  4. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are a bunch of obscure (to us) brands that get made in a couple of factories in Japan. I think you can even get smaller run like 50? custom orders made and often stores will do that. Someone will come along that knows.
     
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  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

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    Possibly a Terada-built 'El Maya,' 'Maya,' or 'Rokkoman' Strat from the 80s. These were made mostly for the Japanese domestic market; most have a logo on the headstock, but there are some floating around out there that don't.

    Terada made some very high-quality guitars, and in the 80s there was no way Fender could match them.
     
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  6. sergeant.salt

    sergeant.salt TDPRI Member

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    Terada made both great and cheap budget guitars - they also did OEMs for a range of brands, as did Fujigen, Matsumoko, Tokai, Harayama, Suzuki and others.. What throws me off in this case is the red ink two-character stamp on the neck and the distinct stamp ending with "..OS" on in the neck pocket. The neck does not look like anything I've seen from the Terada factory. The truss rod plug at the headstock, the profile transition from the heel to neck and neck to headstock looks more like Harayama to me (ESP, Moon, Schecters etc).. on these necks (I own a few H-made guitars) the stamps varies from who ordered the necks.

    Still it would be fun if I could learn more about this guitar:)
     
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