my feedback testimonial page

Fantastic experience! Great communication with shipping updates and extra info on the guitar. It arrived in great condition, as described, and it was packaged like a pro. Definitely recommended!

October 08, 2021 by James 

Communication and timely shipping

October 06, 2021 by Terry

Great transaction, fast shipping. Item arrived as advertised. Thank you.

September 16, 2021 by Robert

Cabinet arrived in perfect shape, seller kept after Fedex to expedite shipping and kept me up to date, cant wait to plug it in but not at all worried that it will work perfectly!

July 06, 2021 by Nick W

Papa Tom has been great as a source of knowledge and supplies to keep this awesome vintage MIJ strat alive.

June 14, 2021 by Joshua Sanders



Fit perfect. You do a fantastic service.

Many thanks.

Maurizio Ferrario.

Rome - Italy


I really appreciate you fixing me up with two nice strats and the cds. Doing business with you has been a pleasure my friend. 



Hi Papa Tom, I just wanted to write you and thank you! I have a 1986 Contemporary Strat that my uncle gave to me for free years ago. The guitar feels great but I could never keep the guitar in tune, even one bent note would send the whole thing out of whack. I stumbled across your website and found you had a setup page on these tremolo system so I thought I'd give it a shot. Keep in mind I am no guitar tech or luthier. After the tutorial on your site this guitar plays like a dream! I can bend all day and it goes right back in tune. This is now my number one guitar. You saved this guitar for me! Greatly appreciated, Tim



Sent on FEBRUARY 16, 2018  Bridge Repair and refurbish  

This all looks tremendous, PapaTom.  I just paid the invoice (you should have already gotten confirmation email from PayPal).  Yes, I am very thankful that I have been put in touch with you and your knowledge and skills held together by integrity.  It's amazing how fortunate I am to right my previous wrongs and now TRULY know that I'm set up for years to come with my trusty Fender.  I probably didn't take optimal care of it back in my teenage and early 20s years.  I'm much more settled  and careful, so I'm sure it will be with me until I can't play guitar anymore!  Don't let anyone tell you that you overcharge on anything (well, some will always tell you, but you and I know the truth).  There's a price associated with scarcity and quality--you deliver both (an increasingly rare set of products backed by your top-notch craftsmanship).  I can't wait to receive and get back to rocking!

Kindest regards,


Hi sir, Kern Ramsdell of "Home Recording Weekly" podcast here, and I just wanted to pass this along...
After receiving my refurbished Fender 1 bridge in the mail today I wasted no time in putting it back on my "E series" Strat. It works flawlessly now thanks to your hard work and attention to detail.
Thank you so much for not only repairing what I asked you to repair, but also for pointing out the flaws that you found and repairing those too. I would not be this happy had I installed my tremolo only to find it didn't work at 100 percent. You brought my vintage guitar back from the dead and I just cant express how happy you have made me.
Thanks once more!
1/3/17  System one bridge
WOW Tom!

Oh my goodness, this bridge is beyond pristine. I'm debating whether I should mount it on a stand inside an alarmed bulletproof glass case or send it to Fender CS. What an amazing work of engineering art this bridge is, I couldn't be happier seriously. Here I was all excited about buying a new plane until this arrived. Thanks again!  
Sincerely, Sean


12/16/16  Gibson les Paul

December 16, 2016 by Wade A

09/28/2016  System one bridge 

Hi PapaTom! Thank you very much for the feedback! I would like the chrome one, it fits better with the chrome fs1 bridge. I've been looking for this item for long time, you saved my e-series strato!  

 Andrea, Italy

09/04/2016 Fender stat with system one 

July 20, 2016 by carmen 

05/05/2016  Fender mij strat


03/10/2016 Neuman microphone

March 10, 2016 by Darren M.

02/27/2016 Ampeg amp

March 02, 2016 by Mike C.

02/27/2016 Speaker celestion

February 27, 2016 by Thewl W.

02/11/2016 fender amp

February 11, 2016 by Diana & michael G.

02/08/016 Peavey Bandit

February 08, 2016 by John M.

01/05/2016  Guld Taylor 

January 05, 2016 by Joe C.

12/21/2015 Fender MIJ Z Jazz Bass special neck

December 21, 2015 by Jason H.

12/19/2015 Steinberger Synapose bass  hard shell case/candy 

December 19, 2015 by Randy S.

11/02/2015  Steinberger Spirit XZ-2 Headless Bass (sale thru REVERB.COM store)

WOW! What a beautiful Bass! And I can't believe how good it sounds. Even better than I expected. This store will deliver exactly what they say, and more. You can buy with confidence. Many, many thanks. Be looking for more deals with you in the future. Cheers!

Howard H

10/13/15 Fender stratocaster (sale thru store)

If I could him 6 stars I would. Very passionate and well versed. Will definitely be back!

Knox R

May 25,2015   website/youtube  Comment

Good afternoon, Papa Tom, 

I follow You on Youtube and have learned an awful lot from Your fantastic website, thank You for all you have done.

04/05/2015   Tascam DP-24 Recording console and Mixer

PapaTom went above and beyond with every aspect of this sale. I was very impressed with the fast shipment, friendly professional correspondence and the quality of this recorder. I was made to feel like my complete satisfaction was very important and he was very thorough with his attention to every detail. He kept a constant open line of communication through every step of the process. Thanks PapaTom and I just want you to know that you have made this purchase a very pleasant experience for me. I would buy from you anytime. All the best, Bryan

03/23/15  MIJ Jazz Bass

Highest Recommendations !


03/21/15 Fender Deluxe

Very responsive, fast shipping, and a pleasure to do business with. Would definitely purchase from again!!

Michael B

03/04/15  Guld JF-30 12 String 

Excellent, reliable and honorable seller. Accurate description of the guitar, including any flaws. Prompt shipment. Lives up to his word. You can do business with him with great confidence, and I would do so again.

Kevin K

02/20/815 Trace Elliot 1994

Fast delivery. No hassles


02/05/15 fender mij Jazz Aerodyne Bass

Great Interactions, shipped fast and on time. Had an issue with a shipping address (my fault) and he helped track down the mistake quickly. Would buy from him again for sure.. Neal

01/06/15 Fender Mij telecaster 1996 aged vintage white

Guitar was here in a flash!!! And in even better condition than I imagined. Beautiful piece. Very fun and knowledgeable seller who can give a ton of helpful and useful info about the instruments he sells.

Scott H 

12/23/14 fender Burgundy Mist telecaster 1984-1987

beautiful work of art this Tele, also has a bitchin' sound to it..all Tele's are hard to keep in tune , but the lock nut and fine tuners on the whammy make it sound so sweet..what a nice Christmas present..Thanks ..I'll keep this relic alive and well..

Neil H 

12/20/14  fender plus Stratocaster 1995 circa

outstanding process from browsing, to purchase. Even great customer service from PapaTom at point of sale....I received a message of appreciation and a shipping timeline. Im impressed.....great buying experience....don't see that much these days....give all these folks an atta boy and a beer from me....thanks,  Norman


Absolutely awesome guitar! Exactly as described, shipped fast and fantastic seller with great communication. Many thanks!

Joshua G

11/28/14 Pre Gibson 1994 Trace Elliot amp

Amp arrived as described - everything intact- good correspondence from seller- am as advertised- thanks Tom,   John K

02/11/15  sears Silvertone danElectro

Great seller! The item was shipped promptly and arrived speedily, in good condition.

Omar L

09/30/14  .....thank you.....

Hi Papatom,

I just want to thank you for all the help you have given me through the years on my FS1's The quality of this system on the strats are just amazing.

Again thank you for being there for all us Contemporary Strat die hards :-)  


Dear papatom,

Of course,

The only one that really knows the ins and outs of the FS1 :) zjimboy

07/12/14  Website and Ebonite info from Japan

 {My English skill is not enough so please forgive me if it's difficult to understand my English.} 

I have seen your professional website, and I have VERY impressed your knowledge about MIJ guitars and your experiences.
Regarding Ebonite, it is synthetic thing and seems that Ebonite itself was developed by Charles Goodyear(old famous inventor. famous tire supplier "Goodyear" company name comes from his name). And it's used for mouthpieces of saxophone and clarinet and other instruments. Ebonite is named because it just looks like Ebony, however it's not mixed with Ebony material. I think it's similar thing of phenolic fingerboard which is used for fingerboards of Steinberger guitars, Modulus Basses. Ebony wood was expensive so I guess Greco have decided to use it for fingerboard. And I think they also had to consider the neck to keep straight-ness against dry season in Japan. Japan is too dry in winter season for Ebony wood...

Hyosuke. Japan

06/12/14  Sale of "mint"  1986 mij strat  (2 emails)


1st email:
I believe you are right - it is the most exquisite MIJ strat - or any strat we have seen
We'll set it up and let the music play, All the best. Terry
2nd email:
Papatom - you take us to the top of the world
If this is normal you are beyond exceptional
I can't believe this is 1986.
My children, who play these fine instruments, are in awe - jaws on the ground - and one hash' t seen it yet - its a gift to him and he arrives back from Quebec on Saturday.
For future considerations tell us what else is in your store that we should consider as musicians.

Thank you again, Terry (Canada)

Check out  Stratconnection .com store on or website webstore for              Guitars and MIJ parts  (click links in red to go to stores)

6/1/14  finding MIJ Vintage system one parts at stratconnection

Hi Papa Tom,

I recently got back into playing guitar and dug out my 85-87 MIJ Strat
that has been sitting in my closet for the past 20 plus years. It was
missing a fine tuner knob, the tremolo arm and the 5 way switch was a
little gummed up. Other than that, the guitar still looks, feels,
sounds, and plays awesome. It has also aged really well and now has that
killer vintage patina everyone desires.

I was pleasantly surprised to find your website where you sell vintage
system I tremolo parts. I ordered the few missing parts that I need and
I am delighted that the parts you sold me are original vintage Fender
MIJ parts so I can keep my MIJ Strat vintage. Excellent foresight on
your part to start collecting these parts so people like me can keep our
MIJ Strats in original condition.

Thank you,


03/31/14  homeless/love from above CD 
hi tom.  I got the cd (actually two) last week and gave a listen today.  pretty good message in your songwriting.  the 2nd copy is going to a friend who coincidentally will be burying her mom tomorrow.  she's a devout Christian as was her mom.  the cd will ease her sadness on her drive out west after all is done here with her mom's estate.  regards, Art

Thank you very much Papa Tom!  You and your website have been an immense help.  I saw a used plate on ebay, but it was your knowledge and dedication clearly evident on your website, that made it easy for me to order from you.  I know these parts will be as good as you say they are and peace of mind and doing the proper job is most important to me.  I am just waiting for confirmation from my client and then I will be ordering through your website with paypal.

Again thank you

All the best and take care!     Peter J

Blog site TALKIN ABOUT FS1 parts  and  (1/31/14)

below comments copied from blog ,    

             Thank you Keith for blog and comments! "

The site that has the most information on the System One Tremolo and Fender in general is StratConnection....PapaTom knows his stuff when it comes to Fender Made in Japan....His site is full of useful information and he sell's some truly wonderful vintage guitars....his used System One Tremolos and Parts are also first class and compared to ebay show hardly any signs of use considering the age of the System One stuff....Then again if you have a System One Fender you will probably already know about StratConnection....PapaTom pretty much has the whole internet to himself with the hard to find new and used parts.... (written by Keith Johns).

Click link below to go to  Keith Johns  excellent Blog website for more comments and info on FS1.


 Tom from Virginia sent a Christmas card in appreciation for servicing his FS1 bridge. 



12/01/13       Ernesto from  Brazil, "Really helpful website"
Let me introduce myself, I´m Ernesto from Brazil.
I decided to contact you because I have a Fender Guitar, wich I really didnt now
the year , model, for years.
Some time ago I found your website and learned a lot of stuff about this guitars.
I found, that´s my guitars is a Super Strato HH with serial number starting with A. Its a MIJ 85?
Really helpfull website.
HI again Papatom,
I received the lucking nut, it is perfect, and it look lilke a million bucks. Thanks a lot.
Greetings from a sunny Copenhagen.


03/01/13 Original MIJ Bars and parts

Papatom;                                                  Those whammy bars for the System1 are impossible to find. I bought a copy and it just doesnt look right (not shiney chrome). Glad you have the originals. You definately seem to be the go to guy for 80's MIJ Strat parts. Congrats on focusing on these beauties, they seem to finally be getting the recognition for the quality product that they are.                  Thank you, Darren 



I was doing a lot of looking and reading around your site and I have to thank you for your clear love of children. A child is more than a blessing. Cry for the children is a fantastic song and I have sent the link to several friends.

Thank your for your time,


Hello Papa Tom: 

Awesome website!  I have a mid-80’s MIJ Sunburst with the Type 1 system on it.  Everything is in working order except that the locking nut is missing the set screws and plates.  I noticed that I can get a rebuild kit through but it does not include the thin square steel top plates.  They recommend replacing the locking nut with a different model.  Do you think that makes sense?  If I get the rebuild kit for the Type 1 nut would it be functional without the top plates?  Do you sell the top plates?  Please advise . . . . . 

Chris in Vermont



Hi Papatom, 

Loved your playing and guitars seen on your website. I watched each video about three times. Couldn’t believe it.  Very inspiring. Thanks heaps. Can you send me some info about your guitar lessons. Thanks again!
Regards, Graeme  
02/06/2013  SYSTEM 1 BRIDGE

 I was SO happy to find your site, it is very informative. I'm the original owner of a beautiful sunburst E Series Strat (27-4300) that I absolutely love. I also own a Jimmie Vaughan MIM '57 Strat and my professional musician brother owns an AVRI '62. 

Of the three I can honestly say that my E Series is far and away my favorite. My brother loves it, but hates the trem bridge. I disagree. I was also surprised, and thrilled, to find out that the pick ups are real Alnico and not ceramic blocks. I recently put some Custom Shop '54s in, but have cleaned and stored my original/stock pups and plan on putting them back in eventually. 

In any case, after many years of not really realizing what I had, I've messed around with the bridge a lot and now would like to have it restored. The whammy bar is long sense lost and the locking nut has been removes, though I do still have it. The bridge itself has the fine tuners removed. Basically, it will take a lot to restore it. 

Since I've since realized that these are collector's items, I'd really like to restore it though. 

Can you help?  What might it cost? Would it be easier/better for you to just sell me a new/restored System 1?  

I look forward to your response. 

Thank you!  JESSE K
12/14/2012    WEBSITE FAN !
What a great website!  Came looking for System III info and spent a long 
while reading nearly all on your website - very informative.
I've just purchased a beautiful 27-5800 Strat and have downloaded a 
manual and gone over the entire guitar cleaning, tuning and learning the 
intricacies of set-up.   What fun! 
Just  wanted to say thanks and let you know I appreciated your website.


12/14/2012  " International sale vintage parts"

Dear Mr. Tom,

I’d like to buy the item in the subject of this email but I notice that your store only ships in US.

Is there any way to have that item sent in Italy? If yes, I will really appreciate it because your website is the only place in the Internet where i found the locking nut that I broke many years ago on my guitar - a ‘85 japanese Stratocaster.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer me.

Kind regards.


I have seen the great work you do on youtube and I was wondering what the cost would be to have my 1985 strat's system 1 repaired. It seems works fine but is missing one fine tune screw and the trem arm. I have been using it without locking the nut and it holds tune well but I would like it to function as it should.
anyhow any info would be great
Cheers     .CLICK HERE TO VIDEOS featured on YOUTUBE

Had to give my man Jerry a chrome bar and a wrench after that....

        "ROCK ON  JERRY"


Dear stratconnect,

Thanks for all the information and extra care in the packing. You may remember another e-series dakota that you sold to Dale from South Carolina. Dale was who recommended me to you. I have played that one many times and it sounds awesome. Hoping this same for this one.


08/10/12, Sale of Whammy Bar and collet wrench

I run a small tech shop way up in the north woods of Ontario, so I never expected anything like this to show up! The owner acknowledges this is a genuine piece of American music/guitar history and should be re-patirated some day. Chances are Les himself played it. We have a couple of you tubes about it (Les Paul 1968 NAMM Guitar). It is the customer playing it.

Anyway thanks again! I won't hesitate to look you up FIRST the next time the need arises for a bit or a piece.

I should mention the whammy bar snapped in the first time like it had always been there and the collet wrench worked brilliantly, just like it was supposed to.

The article in the upcoming issue focuses on John Page, who was just a kid and designed the Performer. There wasn't a part of the thing that wasn't thought out. It represents, probably, the last design from scratch Fender. It was meant to be a "Super Strat" , from all the other manufacturers, killer. It never got a chance. But man, this is one amazing guitar! And my customer is very, very happy to have the bar and the wrench!
So thanks again! Cheers!  Drew
Hello Papatom,
My name is Joe I live in the UK,i've just managed to acquire one of the best built guitars i've ever owned and played .It's a 1985 Fender Contemporary Stratocaster
That I came across whilst trolling through a UK site called Gumtree.Before i bought it i began by doing some research about it and i found a guy who is completely crazy on strats also someone who is obviously
Loads of fun to be around "You".
I absolutely love your site you have an abundance of knowledge with the skill to back it up.Your workshop tours full of so much hanging history, every guitar you have on your wall has style plus a story of its own.
The dedication of your life's work has made me more informed about what i have purchased.When i first read the advert selling my strat i fell in love with the colour straight away i bartered for nine days to win the
Guitar. £300 pounds was the asking price,i managed to get it for £200 in the end with it delivered to the door by my son in law.
The guitar has made the journey from Japan/America to Blackpool England and ended in Leeds .My son in law is a delivery driver for a big electrical company,he was on a run to Blackpool and brought back for me,
I couldn't wait to get my hands on it fast enough.
The first thing i noticed was the weight of the body then the painted neck and head stock The build Quality hit me like a tonne of bricks."it was beautiful to the touch and made me feel content" I played it for 7 hours straight.
I've been playing for 29 years now and tried every guitar going even strats,i could never get on with fender for some reason so i never kept one but this guitar just ticks all the right boxes.
I love the floating trem and the overall choice of colour 's of the logo to scratch plate.
I've just got the guitar neck off ready to have the frets levelled crowned and polished i was going to do this my self but decide to give it to a professional the last thing i want after its life long journey is to destroy it.
I've sent some pictures for you to look at, mainly so you can pass your professional eye over them with the hope to some more information you might share.

Again Papatom excellent web site Thank you for all the info you've given not just to me but to every body thats ever logged on wanting to know about Japanese Fender.
Hope to speak to you in the future,
Kind regards joe

Man, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. You've been a HUGE help to me. I can guarantee you'll be getting more of my business. Thanks again Tom!


Wow. You weren't kidding - what a great sounding bass. Those pups must've been wound on the right day of the week. Needless to say, the bass arrived safe and sound (and very well packed). A few wonky fret ends (and I see where the repair was made), but nothing to sweat about. Very happy with it.

Thanks again!   Jackson


Thank you so much for the very nice letter and compliments., I was not disappointed when I plugged in the Deluxe/Plus. Golden-Brown STRAT and played it a bit. IT IS A REALLY NICE GUITAR. The Tone is Great and that NECK you Bragged about is Very Nice to Play. I am 100 % Happy with the purchase. My INSTINCTS were RIGHT when I fell in Love with this guitar and HIT the pay now BUTTON. And THANKS FOR THE BLESSING....... And the Offer to Exchange items at your store and the Carte-Blanche hospitality TREATMENT! By the way, That Guitar was Packed & Shipped Very Well. Thanks again, And May you be Blessed As Well!

Very Truly yours, Gary and "The Golden-Brown Bear -Strat!"


Thanks. I normally wouldn't buy a bass without playing it first, but i've had great experiences with 80's Japanese gear (Fujigen, who had the Fender contract, also made Ibanez and Yamaha guitars). And don't worry, it's going to a good bass-playing home with some vintage Ricks, Fenders and a blackface Bassman (although using GK these days). Very excited.   Jackson


Hi Papa Tom,
    Firstly I wanted to say thanks for putting together such an amazing website with such a huge amount of info.
    I love the dedication and attention to detail that you put into restoring and custom building your guitars.
    I love the job you did on that custom Geddy Lee bass, I've got a 2004 USA made J bass deluxe but have been looking for some ideas on what I could do to it to make it that little bit more special.
   Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks again Papa Tom and I hope it feels good for you to know that your amazing craftsmanship is being admired the world over!

    Kind regards, Jade from Australia



I just found your site while searching out Japanese-made guitars on Google. What a wealth of info and resources.

Thank you for putting all of this “under one roof” for everyone to enjoy. 




Hey Tom,

I was wondering if you have a video on how to adjust (String Height) on the Schaller Bridge?  Your video on the Snap-in-Bar and how to adjust it was very helpful for a novice like myself!

click picture to see youtube video on how to use wrench


got the bass in perfect condition. Great player!  I'm gonna really enjoy this one!!  Thanks for all your great communication through the shipping process.  Pleasure doing business with you!

Thanks again, Jon

Ebay Item # 320639591474 

Hi Papa, This is David in Florida. I found one of these awesome Tele's a few years ago and I have to agree with you, this is one walking the dog Telecaster. I was wonderin, just what would you say the neck radius is on these? You're a great guy, keep up the good work!


You were right. The ground wire came off of the jack. 
Your the man!   Arlene

Tom, I have been on your site .. its amazing .. and I have watched some of your vids .. you wail, young fella :) ... you do good work, my neck went to the right place, its in the hands of a master .. have fun, but dont kill yourself 'working' so hard ... tom

- 8764tom
1/11/11 - Fender system one bridges, you tubes, and site.....

 Dear papatom609,
   So, should you ever wonder if anyone has been affected, moved, motivated, etc. by any of those videos....YES. . 
   Thanks, you have done more than you will ever know. 

 Dear papatom609, 

  When you explained your ministry...I got it. My disease is one that primarily involves a large amount of pain. So much so, that as a demographic group, people with RSD have the highest suicide rate. At any event, I use the computer as a distraction from the pain, and when I watch you play on you tube, it's something more than a distraction. I was uplifted. I got into this whole scene, Fender System One MIJs, because of your videos. When I researched what I had, naturally, your name and site came up. Then I went to you tube and BAM, I was hooked. Seeing the sheer & utter joy when you play, I catch myself smiling as I listen.    duke


Dear papatom609,

Excellent seller !   I am extremely HAPPY :))))))))))



Rec'd the whammy bar glad I found your site! Will keep you in mind for all future projects, I am on the Japan hunt!


             12/25/10- a candy apple red guitar christmas present 
Great website PapaTom! I bought a 1987 MIJ E series Squier and found out on your website that it is a 62 RI Contemporary. Ordered a replacement whammy bar. Again, great website, nice work and have a Happy New Year! You have a LOT of great information and a love for Fender! YEAH Baby! :)

*"I live the life I love", "I love the life I live" *
12/13/2010 - sale of 2001 Fender olympic white strat

Hey Tom,

Strat arrived today in perfect condition!!!  Looks awesome and can't wait to plug it in.  Thanks again for hangin in there with me and now you can be confident that equipment can get to Hawaii in great shape. 

Fred T


Mannnnn!  I am blown away, after looking over your site!  Because I love nice guitars, just like nice cars, nice ladies, etc etc etc....U must have 13 of those elusive system 1 Tremolo's... Probably more, that's so Kool.  plus wonderful basses & other guitars.  When I grow up I wanna be just like U  papatom.       thebigdeal123 


 I am ALWAYS checking out your guitars pretty much every day in the ebay listing and Stratconnection,both!

 I really admire all your hard work and all the precious time that you have taken to share all your knowledge and experience with the music community!  You are also providing an enormously important services beyond educating the public: namely: a good. solid, honest source of really superb and beautiful instruments.  Joe B

12/1/10  vintage guitar Consultant/appraisal 

Hi Tom;

Since I have very little experience I decided to ask for help from an

Expert in the field.  I am really glad that I got you as a consultant.  I am grateful to you for your detective work!  Many thanks Tom. 

 Kind Regards, Joe B

11/29/10 - sale of Fender MIJ blue Aerodyne Precision Bass

Dear Papatom;

My son has hardly put it down since it showed up at the house.  Your 5 star feedback is on the way.  Kevin

11/25/10 - Sale of Fender MIJ 1986 Contemp Candy Apple red strat

Dear Papatom;

Just now opened the box. The guitar is really beautiful and lives up to your description in every way.

It will be definitely be well cared for and loved by its new family.

kind regards, Linda, Joe, and Ceci

11/24/10 - speed bar

Hey Tom,

I just received the complmentry speed bar!  Thank you very much; that was really cool of you to do that - I really wasn't expecting that.  It's really awesome and so easy to grab too!  I just had finally got the chance to see your video. 

 Thanks again,  David W.




Thanks again Papatom...

I have been to your site and its awsome, actually you gave me some good advice on a guitar that  I was looking at on ebay because of you I didn't buy it and instead bought another strat that was an MIJ.

thanks again,  Ian L.


Dear Papatom;

I love your Video's on are awsome!  I sure hope you keep it going. I must watch at least 2 a night.  You and your web site are no stranger to me In fact, all I have to do is type S T in my browser and it pops up.  Thank you for your web site (very informative) and youtubes.

Thanks, Duke  


Dear papatom609.

Got the necks and the bonus Blues Berry air freshner. Always a pleasure doing business with you Tom. May you have a very prosperous and jolly holiday season. Peace to all and to all a goodnight.

  Axes bold as love Guitars, Jimi Davis



I didn't realize what a special instrument I have until I visited your site.

God Bless, Ken



I wrote from Italy cause I've fround your Stratocastor website ....Its so cool!!!!

Regards,  Massimilano 


Hey Papatom

This is my first time to your site in about a year, congrats! It looks Awsome! You are still Putting out some fine guitars.

Tom E

Nice jam bro! Like what you did with the custom Strat. Love the "Jesus" logo on the headstock and the pick guard. Just snagged a Japanese reissue '68 Strat with a maple fretboard in Olympic White built in 1996. Has that 'Hendrix" vibe for sure. ;0)

Keep rockin' for the Rock papatom609
Hi Papatom,
thanks for the great work you did on my fender bridge, love it!!!!
Work's like a new one!!!
Brian  S. from Canada.
Maybe we can do business again one day.
Thank you!   

i ran into your site after linking from the listing of the system I tremolo on ebay.  a truly epic effort indeed. the site is alot of fun and a really great resource with tons of good info!  i haven't checked it all out yet but it is bookmarked for future reading pleasure.
once again thanks for a great resource.
sincerely, robert d

HI, I am from Canada and I was looking at your website. I see you have rebuilt tremelo sysytem 1 bridges for my fender (early to mid 80's, Japanese) strat. I was wondering how much the system goes for. While I was playing live, I lost a long adjusting screw and some of the  round fine tuning knobs seem striped.( It has seen many live shows, and is one of the most reliable tremolo systems)

Exactly like the chrome one!!!!!! Can't find these anywhere?



5/12/10-sale of FENDER MIJ / USA STRAT, WHITE E SERIES 1985

Hi, The guitar arrived today.Ron is playing it and finally put it down cause he had to eat.He says the guitar is AWSOME. He will be showing the guitar off to his friends.He said it's everthing you said it was but give him a couple of days and he'll give you more feedback. I just wanted to let you know it was here!  Sandra

4/21/10=sale of FENDER MIJ / USA STRAT, WHITE E SERIES 1986
Tommy, it’s Steve
I received the Strat today from , UPS!!!
Wow, I am totally blown away with the quality
of this fine machine!
I followed your instructions and everything went well
bringing it into tune an all.
Well, I plugged it in and it was like a dream come true.
The tone the ease an playability of the neck the cool tremolo 1 system.
It all comes together in such away that all I can do is, tip my hat to the Japanese and to you, PapaTom.!
This jewel will be my main AX
Your very happy customer, Steve T.

Dear papatom609,
Bravo on your asking price. I have two different abalone logo Japanese basses from the 60's/70's and think they are every bit of instrument that any Fender from that era could be. I would not part with either of mine for less that $1000 each. Not only from a quality standpoint but historical signifigance and the fact that these are hand made pieces. Name anything for under $3000 that wasn't CNC made. Thanks for your informative description. Filled in a few holes in my Japanese guitar knowledge. Good luck
- captainshines


Papa Tom,.
    I am a constant visitor of your site and spend a lot of time there looking at all the old beauties. Your website is like Lay's Potato Chips, "Betcha can't eat just one!" Your site is habit forming like (in my case) nicotine. I can't get enough. I have seen one or two youtube videos also.
    I really appreciate all the information you put on your site!.  Kind regards to you & the lovely missus,

Did this answer your question? If not, let the er know.


I really appreciate all the cool info you sent to me about the history of these japanese made E serais's nice to know a fellow christian is on the other end of this transaction:)
i will be joining your site as you recommended. i also told a buddy of mine about you and this strat and well we both are on pins and needles with anticipation.
yours truly,steve

I have been watching your auctions for several months & checked out your website with complete joy at how much pride & enthusiasum you put into it. Kudos to you for many,many jobs well done. 
Keep up the GREAT WORK!
Bob, w


Dear papatom609,
This is a fascinating informational auction. I have had one of these for years and never knew all this information, despite countless Internet searches. You have clearly done your research. Thanks for posting this. I hope someone buys it.
- cowbell-


Click to add text, images, and other content


Dear Papatom,
I have seen all your wonderful guitars on Ebay and also found your web-site.
I'm a Contemporary enthusiast from Sweden.
Best regards
Jan L.   (from Sweden

4/6/10  - papatom built, "FRED'S FLYING PURPLE PEOPLE EATER"
   I love you man....... That bass looks great with those nobs and white pick guard.  Wow! Papa Tom does it again.    Fred P.    

Dear papatom609,    

nice!                 (click here for pictures)

(sent via email from an admirer)

3/25/10- sale of FENDER MIJ JAZZ BASS, 93-94 BIG BLOCK INLAY japan

Dear papatom609,
Got the bass today. It's a beauty. Thanks for the good followup and fast shipping. Jim

3/24/10  Locking nut hole project

what I do is get a round, not the square, round tooth pick you can pick up at the diner. in fact that's where I get mine... take a little elmers glue or elmers wood glue, it does't matter.  break the tip of the tooth pick off so the round part fits right into the hole, eye it up... now here's the fun part...carefully and sparingly, dip just the end of the toothpick that's going in first, you don't want too much glue, believe me, a little goes along way. figure your hole depth to be the size of the screw that was in there, no more then a quarter of an inch.. You sound maticulous to me so if you want to saw the end that's going to be sticking up before you put the tooth pick in, just so it's staight.  I usually break mine off, but I've been doing it for a while and have the magic touch.. then just use another piece of wood, small enough to go flat to the neck to press the tooth pick in level with the neck. then wipe off the excess glue.. Elmers is water soluable, a little warm water on a paper towel will do the trick. then put your nut back on...done deal ....papatom

Tom, Took your advice and got a round tooth pick with a little, I mean a little glue and went after it . Turned out pretty nice. I want to really thank you for your help on this project. . Once again Thank you thank you thank you!!!!.    God bless and have a great day!     Bob K


Thanx for shipping the pups out promptly. Can't wait to install them. It looks like you have put together some very impressive instruments and you can certainly be proud of them.  I can only dream of owning anything as nice as the things you have. Thank you for sharing them with me. Maybe someday I can afford something that nice. You do good work. Good luck with your guitar building and selling. I'll just keep on dreaming.
Thanx, Elliott

3/10/10- praiseworthy guitar

Tom, Thank you sooo much for the cool guitar, i am soo grateful that the Lord has blessed me with such a gift as an instrument like this and a great friend in you, god bless you and i cant wait till i get to show my family and freinds in church!. thank you very much and may god bless you brother!!!      Rafael E.

3/9/10- Sale of 12 String Lapore

Made it in great shape. I have played it and you were right on. It is one of the best I ever played. It was what I was looking for, this one is right on and needs no work.  Outstanding art work. The feel is outstanding.  
Many thanks for having this one up for bid on eBay. I will have this one for many years to come. 
Many thanks, Paul C.


Hi Tom, I picked the guitar up last night. I am very pleased with it. I actually like it more than my Eric Johnson model.Wanna buy one? The pups have a nice bite to them. It sure doesn't look like a 25 yr old guitar. You did some nice work on it.I will air this beauty out this weekend. Thanks for your superb customer care. I wish all of my transactions were this smooth.Oh yeah.How did you know I needed a guitar stick up for my car? Ha Ha!Take care! I'll call you some time.    Paul 58

p.s liked the youtube demo. I'll re visit. See ya'

Hi Tom,   Thanks so much for the honest and very detailed assessment! You have amazing knowledge about these guitars!   I truly appreciate your taking the time to look it over! You are a kind human being.
All my best,  Suzanne F.
                                         Great video, PapaTom! You rock!           



    I have a MIJ Telecaster that belonged to my cousin, who recently passed away, and was given to me by my uncle. I was searching for info and came across your site, hoping you could enlighten me on it as there is very little info that I can find. 
most of which is thanks to your site

   Made at the Fujigen Gakki plant between 1984-87
   Entirely black telecaster (body, neck, headstock) with H/H setup
   Coil tapping switch, 3-way selector, volume and TBX control knobs
   Body is solid something, not plywood
   Has a black System I Tremolo system with locking whammy bar

    I saw that you have a similar Tele except with an H/S/S up for sale. My condition is in equal or better to the one you have listed. 

    The fact that I can find so little info on these would seem to indicate that these are fairly rare.  Thanks,  Brian K.

2/19/10- sale of TAYLOR 2003 414 CE GRAND AUDITORIUM Acoustic

Dear papatom609,
I finally got some free time to play the guitar. It looks, plays, and sounds fantastic. It even smells good. You were so thorough in representing it that I was pretty confident I had made a good purchase, but it's nice to finally play it and confirm it. Thanks for the great guitar!   
- krill-

Hi Tom,  I just got back from checking out your sight for the first time.
I will check out your music,and your webpage further.God Bless you Tom.
Thanks,  Gary

Dear papatom609,
Good sellers like you make Ebay worth coming to. Thanks again. Thank you for the neck too; it is a pretty nice neck.
Best, Seth B.


Hi Great Site,   I have 5 contemporary strats and 2 teles.
They are excellent guitars. You have to be into the Contemporary Series MIJ to really appreciate the Quality.  I will now check if I have the cash to buy another ConMIJ Strat. Thanks for your time.


Hi Tom;  I think it is realy cool the way your web site is set up.  I go on it from time to time for info. Keep up the good work.  = gbrun

 2/3/10- Sale of fender strat nicknamed "Junkyard dog" 

Dear papatom609,
I did see the other strat. I was really tempted then I saw this one. I did teeter as I already have a black tele. It was the rosewood fretboard and the pickups that got me.  I have seen your other work. they are also good and tempting. thanks for all the extras you are extremely generous. 
Thank you again I can't wait to plug her into my amp! sorry but I don't think I'll be calling my new girl "junkyard dog". hope you're not offended.
thanks again     
- joe


Dear papatom609,

Hi your website is great! I bookmarked it.  The more I researched for one for myself the more I like the MIJ's. Now its finding the right one. I am interested in learning more so I make a good choice.
- sdhill

Hi papatom,
Thank you for hosting the stratconnection website.  I've learned a ton of valuable info from it. your expertise with these fine MIJ instruments.   
Thanks, Boyd

Dear papatom609,
Very nice work


Hello Papatom,
First off, I'd like say that your site has been very informative for me.
I recently purchased an '86 Contemporary 1HB Strat, and the info on your
site was very helpful for me to make an informed decision to buy the
Thanks! Clint


Hi Papatom;
I've been to stratconnection .com and find your site very informative and entertaining..thank you..

I just found your web site.  Your restorations look amazing. Thanks, Kenneth

I like the site! Thanks, Joe 


Q: Hey Tom I like yor tenacity! Honestly, I do! I'm glad to see you raised the price. I follow all of your offerings. I'm hoping that you get every penny that you are asking for these fine guitars. I'm betting a share of my savings in these guitars as I think they will pay off better than a 2.5% CD! YOu're helping this market by puting the best of the 80's up for sale at what should be market price. I think the buyers are becoming more savy each month. The sale prices of the Contemporaries are going up at a noticible rate. I like that! YOu and I may be bidding against each other from time to time, and thats OK. I've started losing more auctions lately and that dosen't bother me too much. That just means that the market for these is being realized. I'm also glad to see you putting some nice Squires out at a respectable price. Actually, I currently have 10 contemporaries and my favorite is a Squire, system1... I'm also glad to see that you're featuring contemporary tele's. I have some as...Erickson
A:  Thank you, what kills me is musicians will spend all kinds of money on American Fender Strats, after Fender sucked the money out of them all those CBS years. For Strats and basses that were pitiful. Did you see the backwards grain of some of those 70's natural woods? And even now the quaility is below standards, as the economy has risen and unavailabilty of good woods is become scarce. The Japanese invented and designed even todays American Deluxe Strats. Look at the MIJ Contemporary Fender Strat bodies. They are all Fender Deluxe bodies with the micro tilt. And the finishes are better. Look how the MIJ Contemporaries lasted the test of time. You see what a 25 year old American Fender looks like? I'm selling this guitar cheaper then the others on my other auctions because the body has been compromised with the routing of the Humbucker cavity, not original. Even though it's compensated with that killer 1979 pickup. Your auctions will pick up as well, and for the money you should be getting for your Vintage, Once in a Life Time Fender Stratocasters. Remember, this is all that's left, after these, there is NO MORE. These are more then Fender Contemporary Strats, these are like you said, 2.5% CD's. And will grow in value as they become more scarce. You can see the difference in availability between this year and last. The Squiers are Fenders without the micro tilt, some have Bass wood. But the double Humbucker Squiers, are really colectable with the Gibson style Humbuckers and neck scale. I will be putting up another Fender MIJ Telecaster as well. Although I would love to keep one if I weren't so old. They are the best I ever played. I love those switches. Keep in touch, get connected and join my site, where I have other venders who sell on Ebay as well. It's a total Musicians site, and fun too! free to join and etertaining as I will be putting up Blues Tubes and having Competitions. Thank you again for the encouragement. papatom

Hi Papatom, 
I just wanted to say thanks for the info in your recent ad in regards to Japanese Contemporary Strats as it was very helpful to me. I am a collector and a trained luthier. I studied here in Canada with the master builder Joe Lado himself. I enjoy buying used guitars and fixing them. Some I end up selling then regretting. I just picked up the same Squier that you are selling on ebay. I bought it from a guy who was cleaning out his cottage. I got it for $100 CAD. Thank goodness I read your ad or I probably would have turned it for less than it's worth. I've set it up and it is absolutely amazing. I've owned so many strats and I agree with you that this is a special model indeed. The only difference that is present on mine is that the serial number is on the front of the headstock and not on the neck plate. It's a 1985made in Japan and the same colour. The neck has also the same hand written date markings like yours. 
Thanks again sharing this info,
Best Regards,  Dennis
Hi Papa Tom,.
Thank you very much for your kind email. I very much appreciate that you would take the time to write to me at length. I did as you suggested and had a long look at your internet site StratConnection, and I have been reading there for several hours now. I also linked to a video of you playing the guitar. Wow. It must be nice to be able to play like that. Such a blessing!.
I hope you and yours are all well and enjoying the beginning of this New Year, 2010!
Kind regards,

Geetings Tom, I know your an expert with these classic/vintage guitars   I like your web site, lots of information, great guitar playing also!!! Thanks again, Brad


Hey Papatom;

 I have come across your website and I find it quite helpful to me.  I have 
a 1985 SuperStrat that I bought new in 1986, and I have owned it ever 
since.  I have the EXACT guitar you have on your Super Strat page. Same 
color, pickup, trem, etc.  It is the only other one I have seen exactly 
like mine.  Thanks Ken 


Dear papatom,
I have the identical guitar. I am in need of a nut
and tremelo arm. Please advise me were I can get
these items as I would like to bring mine back to
life. Your guitars are really beautiful.
Thank you ahead of time and Happy New Year.


Papa Tom,
You look like an expert in guitars.  I have played a Les Paul custom my entire life and would like a nice Strat to add some variety.  I prefer the American Standard (Deluxe) with the Maple necks (I think).  Can you tell me about this guitar?  Did you buy the parts and put it together?  I am not clear how you get parts to do such great work!

Thank you for the great guitar. The guitar plays really nice and the setup is perfect. Pots and switches are clean. Frets are in great shape also. As you mentioned, the nicks on the neck do not affect the playability of the guitar at all.

 Thanks again for the great guitar and the super fast shipping.



Dear papatom609,

I purchased from you because you seem to be very passionate about your work and it is a bit risky buying an instrument sight unseen. We as a family went a bit over our budget, but I feel we made a good investment when compared to a comparably priced MIJ Fender. My brother was a tremendous musician before his injury and we are hoping this instrument helps bring him closer to his old self. Thanks for your help and God Bless You. Ken P.S. I love your website.


12/17/09 =  Candy Apple 86' MIJ contemporary strat
Dear Papa Thomas,
Absolutely beautiful......thePapa Thomas, ad, the guitar.......Wow !!!!
Nice photos....especially with the Christmas lights reflecting off it.
Your narrative/description made me want to buy that guitar ! Your genuine enthusiasm and love for those guitars shines through.
You have have a good talent. I know that takes time to do a listing like that.
For the first 12 years after college, I became a professional graphic artist. I Worked for the number one free circulation paper in the USA. I was schooled and worked with great pros who taught me everything.  
Anyways, your listing is excellent, way better than I have ever done or attempted. Like I said......I want that guitar and almost bid on it....I couldn't stop looking at it.
Anyways.....great job, and love your enthusiasm and knowledge. You bestow confidence on the bidder as well, with your genuine knowledge of these great guitars.
Great Job My Friend,

Dear papatom609,

I just signed up with I cruised around the site a bit taking in some info. Very nice and nice to see that you are a Christian. I will look around the site some more, there is a lot of really good information on the website.



Dear papatom609,

You seem to be the right person to ask about an investment instrument.
If I wanted to buy a lawsuit Japan electric, which ones do you think are the best made/best playing from all the brands and models?


    The bass was a big hit with everyone.  It's size makes it easy to jump around on stage.  Our fans said we never sounded better and everyone had a great time.  
     Went to your site looks good, I'll go back later and join...
Thanks for your help with the bass.
Hi Papatom!
I can not be thrilled with my new Les Paul! I love it!
I really missed playing a Les Paul from my past days gigging (when I was younger!)
I really appreciate all your efforts and service!
No issues with strings have plenty here
Thanks again!

Dear papatom609,

I want to soooo thank you for your wonderful surprise of an extra freshener. I am sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. What a treat indeed. We returned from vacation to find your package and the bonus was a "refreshing" treat to my husband. Though not his favorite scent, we agree the blue guitar in our blue vehicles is quite cool and helps us to find our cars in large parking lots...we are getting old LOL. I am anxious to check out your website and order more for stocking stuffers...Christmas is coming and let's face it, they are cool:) Thanks a million!!!!! Many blessings to you and yours, Sonya


Dear papatom609,

I just signed up with I cruised around the site a bit taking in some info. Very nice and nice to see that you are a Christian. I will look around the site some more, there is a lot of really good information on the website.



Dear papatom609,

I have been looking at the guitars that you have restored. Nice work.

Best Regards...Doc