Fender / Stratocaster - Yngwie Malmsteen Signature / 1989 / Guitar
The 1989 Fender Stratocaster Yngwie Malmsteen Signature model is extremely rare and very hard to find in this condition, specially in Europe.
As being over 20 years old it has an official vintage status. This YJM Strat is the REAL THING!!! A real player's / collector's item!!!
Last time we saw one on eBay, AND not at this condition, was 3 years ago and back then was sold for $3,500 in the USA. In Japan or elsewhere they cost much more!!!
Basic information about the YJM signature models
The Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster was designed in the newly formed Fender Custom Shop in 1987-1988. It became the very first Fender Signature Series guitar being introduced along with the Eric Clapton Stratocaster in 1988.
In his own words when interviewed by Hugh Ochoa on behalf of the Strat Collector in October 22nd, 2005 - " I am the first artist to ever get a free Stratocaster, the first Fender signature guitar. Of all the time they made the Stratocaster, the first cat to ever have his own model - before Clapton, before Beck, before everyone. Can you believe that? This little punk from fucking Sweden! "
In 1984, Bill Schultz, purchased the Fender Company from CBS. His idea was to bring Fender's glory back and he set very high quality control standards. Soon after the opening of the Fender custom shop he introduced the first signature models, the YJM Strat and the EC Strat. Both of them were designed in the Custom Shop and the first guitars were either made by the CS personnel or by Fender's best craftsmen ( H. Gastelum, Servin, S. Buehl and others) that were specially brought from the Fender factory for this project. Most of them used to work there from the legendary pre - CBS years. To my knowledge, nowadays, most of them still work in the Custom Shop.
That was the period of the Fender's renaissance and the YJM signature models produced during 1988 and 1989 are by far better than the latest and current models that are CNC factory mass produced.
***The best woods were selected and the bodies were made by 1 piece or max 2 pieces alder and always marked as MLMSTM, to distinguish them from the rest***. The finish was very thin Nitrocellulose Lacquer for great tone and resonance. Also, the necks were stamped with the builders name. Those guitars were custom made guitars to the highest standards and NOT massively produced. A lot of collectors consider them better than the ones made by the CS at a later stage.
Unlike today, the early YJM Stratocasters were custom made based on received orders. Hence the production was small and that makes those guitars extremely valuable.
If you look at the ads of guitar magazines of that era, you will observe that ONLY a few serious dealers sold them. Apparently only the 20 % - the "High End" shops - used to stock them. In Europe this percentage was even smaller. Generally, at that time the players were not familiar with the Signature models and they were a bit skeptic about them.
Finally, until today, a lot of people believe that there are 3 generations of this USA model. It is wrong. In fact there are 4!!!
The 1988, the 1989 - 1999, the 2000 - 2008 and the 2009 - the present day. All of them made with various design revisions suggested by Yngwie.
The real 1st generation is the 1988 that was only produced in small numbers and is based on a 1956 or 1957 Strat that Yngwie owned. Scalloping, neck profile and the body contours were different.
Officially, 1989 is second year of production and although it is known as the 1st generation model, it is really the 2nd generation model . This model is based on a 60s Strat with more contoured body and thinner neck profile. So, it is a bit lighter than the previous model. Also the scalloping, in both models, is not so deep, compared to recent generations.
The neck is stamped with the name of the Fender luthier SERVIN and the body is also stamped with MLMSTM. Extremely well made, great neck feel, very resonant and light . Amazing tone!
The condition can be described as 9 out of 10, due to :
a) some minor wear at the sides near the brass nut that caused from the wall hanger.
b) a few hair line cracks of the Nitro lacquer at the back of the neck and of the headstock that nobody can feel them. This is a purely cosmetic issue. Apparently, this is the proof of the very thin layer of Nitro Lacquer that was applied to this guitar and a lot of collectors call this " Honored Cracks" and prefer them. A real fine paint job, but unfortunately increases the sensitivity of the lacquer and in 90% of the vintage instruments ( see all the original pre CBS Strats ) as expected show this type of paint cracks.
c) A similar Nitro hair line crack just above the pickguard in the front, between the middle and the neck pickups.
All 3 issues can be seen in the pictures!!! The Nitro cracks can only be visible from a very close distance!!! AND you do not feel them AND they DO NOT affect the playability or the tone of the guitar.
Otherwise, all the hardware and the pickup poles are immaculate. No rust, No corrosion!!!
The neck and the fretboard is in pristine condition with very light fret ware. There are some light pick marks on the pickguard and some EXTREMELY light surface swirls and scratches that I cannot capture them with my camera. No belt marks at the back!!!No big dents!!!
Mind you again, the thin Nitro finish is excellent ( they do not do this job anymore), but sensitive. For a 22 years old guitar this instrument shines!!!
The original Fender tweed case is in immaculate condition and all the case candy is included. That is, a) unused Fender polishing cloth , b) unsigned original Fender warranty card and red warranty booklet, c) unused Fender guitar cable, d) YJM U.S. signature series owner's manual, e) unused original tremolo bar ( I never use it and it was left in the case all these years), f) The brown humidity bags, g) The Fender sales tag, h) An original new blue & grey Fender strap with tags + BONUS a November 1988 original Fender ad for the YJM model in the same color and specs, from the Guitar Player magazine.
The specifications of this guitar are :
Body : Alder ( looks like 1 piece)
Neck : solid maple with scalloped fretboard
Pickups : Di Marzio HS - 3 ( neck and bridge ) Fender reissue 57/62 ( middle)
Finish : Extra thin Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Tuners : Vintage style Kluson ( Although inside the owner's manual it is mentioned Di Marzio, those were only placed in the early 1988 strats and not in any 1989 )
Selector Switch : 5 positions
Tremolo : American Standard
Controls : Master Volume, TBX ( neck p.u. ) , TBX ( mid & bridge P.U.)
Frets : 21 vintage
Nut : Brass
Serial Number : SE 913996
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