I've never owned a Japanese Fender before, so this was a nice surprise. Build quality seems very good, the neck feels really good (a nice, moderate D shape) and the pickups sound great. And look at that lovely, dark rosewood! The pots, the switch, the output jack and the wiring were all of budget quality, though, so I just replaced with quality stuff (and shielded the guitar while I was in there).
I like this much better than an Eric Johnson Stratocaster I recently sold. Could never bond with that one, but this one feels like a friend already.
The neck heel is stamped with July 1996 and the code ST-62 DEX2. Does anyone know what the last part of that code means? Haven't been able to find conclusive information on the net about this.
Also, this looks like Daphne Blue to me. Or is it Fender Japan's idea of Sonic Blue? Doesn't really matter, I like the colour. Too bad about that ding, though.