You won’t be surprised to hear that Fender Japan – the Big F branch behind some of the company’s most eye-catching electric guitars – has delivered the goods once again. In fact, it’s delivered them in absolute spades.
Enter the Fender Japan Junior Collection – an all-new range that introduces streamlined, shorter-scale Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazzmasters and Jazz Basses in a huge array of gorgeous satin colorways.
What make these six- and four-strings particularly special, though, are the dimensions. Sporting body sizes that are scaled down to around 94 percent of their larger siblings, each electric boasts a 24” scale length – a pretty substantial shrinkage from the usual 25.5” – while the bass has been shortened from 34” to 30”.
In an effort to differentiate them from “mini guitars” that may lack playability, Fender Japan has kept hold of the 42mm nut width for all electrics, meaning they shouldn’t feel too different from standard Strats or Teles.
There’s also a new body cavity design that strips away some weight, a palate of sleek finishes and specially designed Japan Junior Collection Modified pickups.
Read on to find out more about Fender Japan’s latest home run.
Fender Japan Junior Collection Stratocaster
As previously mentioned, the Japan Junior Stratocaster has a 24” scale length and a downsized, cavity-design body that is made from basswood. This is paired with a maple neck and a choice of either a rosewood or maple fretboard, dependent on finish.
Some of the colors on tap include Satin Daphne Blue, Satin Vintage White and Satin Surf Green, as well as the more conventional Arctic White and Black.
Other appointments include 22 narrow tall frets, a 9.5” fingerboard radius and a two-point synchronized tremolo bridge system with steel saddles.
As for pickups, the smaller Strat debuts the Japan Junior Collection Modified single-coils, which, aside from their new design, otherwise subscribe to the Strat’s usual control layout of a five-way selector switch, master volume knob and two tone controls.
Fender Japan Junior Collection Telecaster
The Japan Junior Telecaster features all the standout specs from the Strat, including the 94 percent-sized body, 24” scale length and new cavity design, as well as the basswood body and maple neck. The same wealth of vintage and contemporary colorways is also on display.
Specific specs to note with the Tele include the hardware – comprising a string-through-body vintage-style bridge plate with steel saddles – as well as the pickups, which are Telecaster-specific Japan Junior Modified single-coils.
The usual Tele control layout makes the cut, too, meaning the new pickups are at the mercy of a three-way selector switch and master volume and tone controls.
Fender Japan Junior Collection Jazzmaster
Last in the electric department is the Japan Junior Jazzmaster, which might just be a surf rocker’s dream instrument, what with the satin surf colorways and downsized offset dimensions.
Unsurprisingly, the same specs have been applied to the Jazzmaster and, aside from the instrument-specific appointments – such as the Japan Junior Modified Jazzmaster pickups and floating tremolo tailpiece – it’s very much a standard Japan Junior six-string.
That means it has a 94 percent-sized basswood body, maple neck, 24” scale length and a choice of either rosewood or maple fingerboards. It’s also worth noting the control layout, which features a three-way selector switch on the upper bout and sole volume and tone controls.
Fender Japan Junior Collection Jazz Bass
The three electrics are joined by the Japan Junior Jazz Bass, which, again, features a basswood body size that is 94 percent of the original’s dimension, treated to a weight-relieving body cavity design.
Available in the same colors that can be found on the six-strings, the Jazz Bass features a 30” scale length and a 1.5”-wide nut, as well as a pair of Japan Junior Modified Jazz Bass single-coils.
Prices for the models start at ¥119,900 (approx $980), but unfortunately, as is the case with most Fender Japan offerings, the entire Japan Junior Collection is exclusive to the Japanese guitar market.
You can check out the whole range over at Fender Japan.
The Japan Junior Collection follows Fender Japan's previous recent offerings, which include Hama Okamoto's wacky Squier Katana signature, Daiki Tsuneta's radical Swinger, and the half-Strat, half-Tele '51 Hybrid.