Fender JV Modified ’50s Telecaster and ’60s Stratocaster review

Forty years on from the launch of the Japanese-made JV series Strat and Tele, Fender revisits the range with ‘modified’ versions that claim to offer the best of the old and the new

Fender JV Modified '60s Telecaster
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

We honestly thought Fender may have missed the mark with these two, but having given them the benefit of the doubt they’ve completely turned our opinions around, to the extent that we’d rate them something of a mini triumph. In fact, we reckon these mods are two rather excellent rockers. Boom boom!


  • +

    Super builds.

  • +

    Impeccable fit and finish.

  • +

    Well priced.

  • +

    Great playability.

  • +

    Some interesting, un-Tele-like tones.

  • +

    Strat has great range of usable tones with clever switching.


  • -

    The Tele's White Blonde is actually grey/blue.

  • -

    Strat pickups set a little low (but that's an easy fix).

  • -

    Pulling up a push-pull pot can be tricky on Strat-style knob.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

When we first heard that Fender was bringing out JV reissues commemorating the release of the original Japanese-made series, we mistakenly believed we would be getting accurate remakes of those game-changing guitars that recreated Strats, Teles, Precision and Jazz basses from the company’s golden pre-CBS era. 

The earliest ones had Fender in large script and a small ‘Squier’ on the bulbous headstock end, and these instruments staggered everyone who saw them with their brilliant build, stunning attention to detail, and authentic looks and feel.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.