Build and features
The Strat XII first appeared in 1988, as part of Fender Japan’s Special Edition series. It originally employed 22 frets spread over a shorter 628mm-scale length, but this combination changed to a more conventional Fender configuration in 2005.
A slimline headstock sports a dozen vintage Kluson-type tuners, while the bolt-on maple neck feels much like a six-string Strat in terms of the shallow ‘C’-profile and overall proportions. However, those proportions tend to restrict operating space on the rosewood fingerboard, so accurate technique and slim fingers come in handy to take full advantage of otherwise very easy playability.
The lightweight alder body is equally familiar, likewise the scratchplate carrying the customary three single-coils. Circuitry stays similarly traditional via the usual one volume, twin tone configuration, plus a selector switch providing the predictable five pickup permutations.
Aged plastic parts add a vintage touch, contrasting the glassy Lake Placid blue polyurethane paint job and brightly chromed metalwork. The latter includes Gotoh’s compact 12-saddle bridge, which replaced the oldstyle Electric XII-type in 2005.