.Strandberg* Boden J8 MIJ - what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by RiksRiks, Jun 14, 2018 at 3:38 AM.

  1. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks Newbie

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    So I'm living in Japan for a while and I decided to buy some nice MIJ guitars, after wandering around at Ochanomizu in one of my trips to Tokio I catches a glimpse of the Japanese made boden Line up from Strandy.

    At first I didn't thought I could afford them so I didn't even try them, now that I found out some of the "J8 Standard models" I want to get one. I'm not 100% of their reputation though.

    First of all, I'm expecting a perfect QC from these (unlike what I've read from the OS line lately) and something along the lines of the Leda signature model (I got to play that one, a little broad for what I'm used to but not a deal breaker)

    So my question is, what's your opinion on these models? Spec wise it's not a fancy guitar like the J series description on strandbergs site, this one is made in 2017, it has a 3 piece roasted maple neck and normal maple fingerboard, X bars and I think a birch top? I got a photo of the control cavity from the dealer and it looked pretty neat to me, although I'm no expert.

    I would like to hear opinions from the qc mainly, Also I would like to hear your thoughts on what and how would you check the quality of this instrument personally (I plan to go to that store again but it's quite far) like, what details do you check and how do you check them? It's gonna be my most expensive guitar (albeit this is hardly an issue now) I just want to cover as much aspects of possible failures when I'm trying it personally.

    What are your suggestions and/ or opinions on this particular series?
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Can't you try it out in person?
     
  3. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Can you read? :p
     
  4. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Never tried one of the J Bodens, so all I can say is that I personally don't like the X-Bar pickups.
     
  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    So you rather listen to random opinions on random examples from random people on the internet than going to play the actual guitar you plan on buying with your actual money?

    OK. :nuts:

    Just because someone here might have played one, doesn't mean that the one you're looking at is going to be the same.

    Unless there is some significant hardship, why not just make sure for yourself?

    Not to mention, they said they had been there before. I assumed that they might have played it and not thought about purchasing at the time. If you were there already, why didn't you try it?
     
  6. Richter

    Richter SS.org Regular

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    Never tried those, but their body isn't chambered like the standard line. Nice finishes though
     
  7. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    Apparently he's not an experienced guitar buyer and wants opinions on what he should check before buying the guitar. For example if some of them had not well aligned tuners, then he could put this on his check list of things to inspect before buying the guitar. Just an example. I think what he asks is reasonable for someone not experienced in buying guitars in that price range. You wouldn't want to buy it to later find out it has some flaw that you didn't notice while checking it for a couple of minutes in the store.
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I wasn't saying the question was unreasonable.

    I just think it's important to play things first hand. Not sure why that illicited snark. :shrug:
     
  9. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks Newbie

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    This is exactly what I meant, sorry if I was not clear enough.

    I want to buy it, of course I'm gonna try it first, I'm not an experienced buyer, specially when it comes to pricey guitars. I played a similar one, did it feel nice? Heck yes it did, is it enough of a "QC routine check from me" to let me buy it? I don't think so. The point I'm trying to make is, in similar (read strandys or multiscale instruments in general) how would you measure in the most objective way, whether a guitar is well made or not? Please note that I'm not trying to know if it's worth the money, but I do care that it's quality goes accord with the "high end" tag that it's being sold like.

    Also asking for an opinion doesn't mean I'm gonna take my decision based purely on other people's thoughts. It just makes me consider potential things that could go wrong without me noticing first.
     
    armand and I play music like this.
  10. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I've played a bunch of J models. There's a wide range of them (which is why prices can go as little as 300k JPY to over 600k). QC has been excellent on the ones I tried, but like I said, huge range made in different years. The Leda sig you're mainly paying for the BKP pickups (on top of the artist markup). A set of BKPs will run you 50k JPY here so keep that in mind that they're stupidly overpriced. Otherwise you just need to play them for yourself. Some are solid basswood, some are chambered swamp ash, and the tops have a pretty wide variety that influences the price a lot. A lot of the J line does not have chambered bodies, but the specs in general are really all over the place. You have to see them in person. Strandberg official has basically forgotten that the J line exists so all the information there is pretty outdated. Other than the Leda sig they basically all use Lace pickups.


    Also if you're in Tokyo most the Strandbergs are in Shibuya. Miyaji Gakki in Kanda usually gets new stuff first though but not as big a selection.
     
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  11. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks Newbie

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    Thank you, this was what I was looking for. Yes, I will play it before taking a final decision, but may I ask what are your personal "attention points" when you try a guitar?

    Also, the specs say basswood so I guess it's not chambered, I hadn't noticed that! I'm gonna contact the dealer anyways. Thanks for the input. Do you find that it makes much difference in the weight from a chambered body? Also, why wouldn't they chambered these ones?

    Did you find any minor detail while you were trying them? Actually im not in Tokio so that makes things more difficult.

    Also I thought the Leda sig was a bit overpriced as you can get those strandberg x sugi for about the same price (which as far as I know have more attention put into them)

    So In any case, this still is an upgrade over a normal boden OS8 right? Kinda what I'm going for is a "bit fancier boden OS with more QC/ attention to details" i get how I need to play and everything of course. By how to tell if it's a lemon or a pretty over the standard one? What if I feel its not a nice guitar but all is lacking is a good setup? That's what I'm afraid of confusing.
     
  12. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    As far as QC goes, other than general body construction (no major cracks on joints or whatever), the number one thing I check is frets followed by making sure the hardware isn't misaligned or otherwise fucked. I'm not a huge stickler for minor cosmetic flaws but I'll check them anyway.

    I don't know why they don't chamber the basswood bodies. I'm sure there's a reason, even if it's a stupid one that doesn't make any sense. Anyway basswood is light as shit anyway and the first time I tried one I didn't notice it wasn't chambered until the shopkeeper told me. As for the spec sheets, as I mentioned they're not totally consistent and anything you find online they've just copy/pasted from Strandberg which is years out of date at this point. The spec sheets physically in the stores are typically accurate. And as I mentioned, some of the newer J models are chambered, so keep an eye out for them if you care about it. The Sugi ones are all chambered but lol @ that price tag. Also Sugi only did the tops IIRC.

    I wouldn't compare the J series to the OS series really. The QC in particular is incomparable. The pre-2017 OS line was frankly pretty awful, and I played a few of those here as well. J series has infinitely better tops, finishes, and color options. They're top end quality as far as production guitars go. I want to get a fixed bridge J7 at some point; maybe the next iteration of them if it ever comes out.

    If you're in town, Ikebe, Ishibashi, Music Land Key, and Miyaji Gakki typically have their guitars set up perfectly in my experience. G Club, Shimamura, BigBoss and pretty much anything along the Ochanomizu strip are pretty hit or miss.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 10:36 AM
  13. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks Newbie

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    You've been pretty helpful, thank you!

    I'm actually living closer to Osaka than Tokyo, so do you know some good stores to check more J series out? I was thinking Music Land Key (the one in Shibuya is awesome, you're right) but besides from that one I don't know that many stores.

    Also, is there any particular reason for birch tops to be in the cheapest ones? I'm guessing sourcing the wood is not as expensive, it sure leaves me wondering (it looks so amazing tho)
     

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