1970s Empro (Fujigen?) Strat Electric Guitar

This is the stablemate of the same-style Electra bass I just worked-on and it's owned by the same consignor. He thinks it's made by Fujigen and that's fair-enough for me. It's a nice, Japanese-ash-bodied Strat-copy and it's certainly made quite well. It's fairly lightweight, has a comfortable, '60s-shaped neck, and the pickups are crisp and clean with a sort-of Mustang-ish vibe to them -- though position 4 (middle/bridge) gives you that ducky Strat sound, for sure.

While this guitar is mostly original, I'm not entirely sure about the pickguard and parts of the wiring harness. The nut is also definitely not original, but it is GraphTech. My work included a fret level/dress, repair of the wiring harness (it'd been soldered-up all goofy and amateur-ish), shielding of the body cavity, recut of the nut so it'd fit correctly, cleaning, and a good setup. It plays perfectly with hair-above 1/16" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 46w-10 gauges. The tremolo block is actually a nice hunk of steel but the fit is funky with the body and so I blocked the trem with a small wedge of spruce soundpost material. This gives it a tone/feel somewhere between "free-floating" and "blocked."

Condition-wise it's fairly clean for its age but does show an average amount of nicks, dings, and minor scuffs throughout. The dark-brown/faux-rosewood-stripe finish is a neat touch that looks great with the tortoise pickguard and backplate.

Specs are: 25 7/16" scale, 1 11/16" nut width, 1 13/32" string spacing at the nut, 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge, 12 3/4" lower bout, 11" upper bout, and 1 3/4" side depth. The neck has a medium, C-shaped profile with a 12" radius to the board.

Materials are: solid Japanese ash body, maple neck with skunk stripe, rosewood fretboard. It has a bullet truss nut access at the nut (very handy), medium-big frets, and good, heavy-duty hardware with Grover tuners at the headstock that appear to be original.

As far as wiring goes, the harness seems to be replaced (it has 500k pots and the 3-way switch doesn't line-up with the pickguard's holes) but the pickups seem original. The above pic of the harness is from before I cleaned-up the wiring and added shielding to the body cavity.


tim gueguen said…
The number of different brand names used on Japanese imports is amazing. It seems I learn about a new one every couple of months or so. The sales reps for Fujigen, Matsumoku etc. must have been on the road continuously at times.