So what's CIJ?

W

walpow

MIA Fenders are made in America (the U.S., that is).

MIM Fenders are made in Mexico.

So why aren't there MIJ Fenders? Why is it always CIJ? Is it crafted in Japan? Constructed in Japan? Conjured in Japan?

Thanks,
Nathan
http://walpow.com
 

glaswerks

Member
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1,327
Not sure the reason, but my 98' 60's Strat is labled

Crafted in Japan.

Of course, I also have an 85' Reissue rosewood telecaster that I thought for years was made in the US as there is no MIJ or CIJ anywhere on the guitar. The only giveaway was the A at the beginning of the serial number on the bridge.

Gary
 
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2,679
newer fenders made in japan all say crafted in japan on the back of the neck. the earlier versions in the 80s-90s said made in japan. i think the made in japan models are more highly regarded, although i have player a few CIJ's that were nice. I have an '85 MIJ '62 reissue that's great.
 

Unburst

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4,215
homerayvaughan said:
i think the made in japan models are more highly regarded, although i have player a few CIJ's that were nice.
No they're not, the only difference is the name.
 
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Unburst said:
No they're not, the only difference is the name.
Ok then, in MY OPINION, FROM WHAT I KNOW and read & experienced, the MIJ's are more highly regarded than the current CIJ's. Is that better?
:rolleyes:
Geesh...
 

Riscchip

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2,047
"Crafted in Japan" just indicates a later model Japanese made Fender. Those that say "made in Japan" may simply have more appeal to some because they are earlier models. Fender switched from "made in..." to "crafted in..." just because it sounded better (a marketing choice).
 

QuickDraw

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1,354
yup the MIJ and CIJ thing is a Internet myth, there is no difference, both are quality. it was pure marketing. I've owned both CIJ and MIJ guitars.
 

BMF Effects

Great tone made simple.
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The Fender Japan Story

The Fender Stratocaster is arguably the most popular electric guitar design ever. Almost certainly it is the most copied. The copies had always been considerably cheaper than the 'real thing', but by the early 1980's they were also often of a high standard. Bad news for Fender who, under CBS ownership, had let standards slip. Fender's reputation and market share were waning.

In 1981, a new management team largely recruited from Yamaha's American operation, decided on a two pronged attack. They would address quality control via a programme of reinvestment and staff training in the US, and at the same time hit the copyists in their home market by producing Fender guitars in Japan. Following negotiations with two Japanese distribution companies, Kanda Shokai and Yamano Music, Fender Japan was established in March 1982. Fender held 38 percent of the stock, occupied three of the six board seats and, of course, owned the all important product licenses. Fuji Gen-Gakki, best known for building Ibanez brand guitars, were chosen to build Fender Japan instruments.

Back in the USA, in an effort to rediscover what had made Fender's reputation, the company went to vintage dealers and took measurements from pre-CBS production instruments. They even spent $5600 on buying a '57 Precision bass, '60 Jazz bass and a '61 Strat. Both the US factory at Fullerton and Fender Japan set about producing vintage reissues- in fact the Japanese were the first to succeed and the superb quality of their instruments resulted in the famous quote by Dan Smith, Director of Marketing, Electric Guitars at the time :"Everybody came up to inspect them and the guys almost cried, because the Japanese product was so good - it was what we had been having a hell of a time trying to do."

Originally the idea had been for Fender Japan to produce guitars for their home market. However, when Fender's European distributors called for budget Fenders to compete with the flood of oriental imports effecting their sales, a range of lower price guitars was launched under the Squier brand. Squier guitars are outside the scope of this site- suffice it to say that they are a good buy for the price, with early Japanese made instruments being of particularly good quality.

In 1984 CBS decided to get out of the musical instrument business and sold Fender to an investment group led by Bill Schultz, the incumbent President of Fender Musical Instruments. The Fullerton factory was not part of the deal and US production ceased in February 1985. Towards the end of that year a new factory was established at nearby Corona, but for a while the 'new' Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) pretty much relied upon Japanese production. In fact it has been estimated that as many as 80% of the guitars sold in the US between late 1984 and mid-86 were sourced from Fender Japan.

Although Fender Japan still exists, their guitars (aside from a very few special models which do not conflict with the existing US/Mexican range) are no longer officially exported to the US or Europe Those markets are catered for by FMIC's US and Mexican factories. However, because of their justly deserved reputation for quality, the many Japanese instruments floating around on the secondhand market, particularly the Stratocasters, are becoming sought after. The point of this site (if it could be said to have one) is simply to look at the range of different Stratocasters produced in Japan for export and, perhaps, answer some of the questions that may arise when confronted by a Strat bearing a 'Made in Japan' or 'Crafted in Japan' label.'
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
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17,179
Bought a MIJ Strat ca '83 for a friend from Manny's for $110. It was such a nice ax I was considering keeping it or getting another. Damn I wish I kept that gtr.
 

gkelm

Silver Supporting Member
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3,746
Riscchip said:
"Crafted in Japan" just indicates a later model Japanese made Fender. Those that say "made in Japan" may simply have more appeal to some because they are earlier models. Fender switched from "made in..." to "crafted in..." just because it sounded better (a marketing choice).
I've had a couple of each, and I recall them being spec'd differently. The CIJs I had seemed to use alder where appropriate (62 tele custom, for example), whereas the MIJs tended to use basswood where you'd expect alder. The CIJs also seemed to be equipped with Fender USA pups (often TX Specials) whereas the MIJs had Japanese made pups. The general feel was different, IHMO, from my experience...not sure if that means anything across the board (that's what the Fendr Forum is for). :)
Greg
 

showman(tx)

Member
Messages
499
I've always thought "Made in Japan" meant the parts were actually manufactured in Japan and the guitars were then assembled in Japan. Whereas "Crafted in Japan" meant the parts were manufactured in Korea, China, etc and then sent to Japan for final assembly. That's the explanation I heard when the CIJ label first appeared and why (to some) MIJ is more sought after ...
 
W

walpow

Thanks for all your replies. When I asked the question, I did have a vague suspicion that, as showman(tx) suggests, C for Crafted implied assembly, as opposed to M for Made (full manufacture). That post aside, it seems more like a marketing decision about what to put on the headstock. Perhaps they decided the negative connotations of "Made in Japan" were still around. (For the youngsters: "Made in Japan" used to mean "crappy.")

Thanks again,
Nathan
http://walpow.com
 

tdu

Member
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256
showman(tx) said:
I've always thought "Made in Japan" meant the parts were actually manufactured in Japan and the guitars were then assembled in Japan. Whereas "Crafted in Japan" meant the parts were manufactured in Korea, China, etc and then sent to Japan for final assembly. That's the explanation I heard when the CIJ label first appeared and why (to some) MIJ is more sought after ...
I have never heard that anywhere.

The only difference between my CIJ Tele and it's MIA counterpart is a slightly different neck profile, a different type of Fender US pickups....and on the downside horrible tiny pots. Everything on these guitars is so great, then they skimp on something like the pots. Doesn't make much sense.
 

Troubleman

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4,370
I remember reading in a book on Stratocasters (Fender Stratocaster by AR Duchossoir I believe, maybe Tony Bacon) that the early 80s Japanese Strats were pretty much kickin' the butts of the American-made effort at the time (re Dan Smith quote somewhere previously in this thread). I do remember reading that Fender US went to Japan and "de-contented" to some degree, the Japanese-made product. That in theory, accounted for the highly-praised and sought-after Japanese Stratocasters from the early to perhaps mid-80s. After that, there was a nether-period of stamped hardware and harsh pickups with a section of wire welded across the bottom of the pickups. I think those were the ones from the early to maybe even mid 90s. They required at minimum a pickup and tuner swap, and really needed electronics swap-outs (really cheesy 3 and 5-way switches and pots) as well. Somewhere along the way, after the birth and emergence of the Vintage USA '62 Reissue and Vintage USA '57 Reissue, Fender Japan improved again, evolving to offer American-made components on Japanese Strats (witness those with factory-installed Texas Special pickups, etc). They've grown so far as to have developed their own custom shop (not sure if it still exists), and products specifically for the Japanese home market - not intended for export. Some of those guitars - Fender Japan not intended for export, are absolutely wonderful, and do carry the "Crafted in Japan" label. Thus it would appear that ultimately, there is a great deal of latitude in quality in those instruments wearing "Made in Japan" as well as those wearing the "Crafted in Japan" label.

Peace,

jb
 

Unburst

Member
Messages
4,215
showman(tx) said:
I've always thought "Made in Japan" meant the parts were actually manufactured in Japan and the guitars were then assembled in Japan. Whereas "Crafted in Japan" meant the parts were manufactured in Korea, China, etc and then sent to Japan for final assembly. That's the explanation I heard when the CIJ label first appeared and why (to some) MIJ is more sought after ...
Nope, not correct.

MIJ and CIJ, the only difference is the year.
 




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