Some thoughts on a few Squier Stratocasters...

old mark

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I love my Gibsons and Epiphones, but I have also owned and played a few Stratocasters - and Teles - over the last few decedes. I recently bought a Squier Stratocaster because it had the '70's CBS fat head and I had owned an original fat head 3 bolt neck Strat almost 30 years ago and never should have sold it...I found this black with maple SSS Squier for around $80. Turned out to be 13 years old, made in Indonesia, and a BEAUTIFUL player with a very fine, clean OLD school Strat sound-very good quality guitar.

I liked it so much, I went back to that same online seller-just to look around, you know-and I found a beautiful deep blue Squier Strat listed as Korean, with the standard Strat headstock and darker maple neck with skunk stripe. It was $99, and I bought that one, too...

Turned out that blue Strat was a "Crafted In Korea" model, which began in '96 and ended I think in '98. Mine was made in '97. I did some reading on this guitar, and found the pickups are VERY overwound and hot, from the factory. They look a bit different from the other Strat's pickups, and I am told they are slightly larger and won't fit standard pick guard cut outs. They are very clean played low, but they scream when you hit them hard...so I have 2 different Strats with very different tonal characteristics, for under $200.

The black fat head Indonesian Squier had a noisy jack-I opened it up looking for a bad connection and found none, so I put a little foil in the pucket to shield it and it seems to have worked well. The blue Korean Strat had sharp fret ends-spent a few minutes with an oil stone, and they are now just fine. The tuners on the Korean Squier seem a little sloppy to me, and I might replace them. The tuners on the Indonesian Strat have adjustment screws through the tops of the buttons-I tightened them up and they work just fine.

I find NO other problems with either guitar, except for a slightly noisy 5 position switch on the black one...I might try to spray it, but it's not terrible, and I don't think it would be a real problem just to leave it as is.

IF you are looking for a decent Strat - and I have seen many posts by people who say various Squier Strats are their favorite guitars- I would check these out. My MIM Strat was nowhere near as good as either of these Squiers, and several of my REAL Fenders were no better, and a few were not as good.

Note: The ONLY other Strat type I have now is an '86 US made Peavey Falcon. The Squiers are nearly on the same level as that guitar in many areas.

Just my experience and opinions, but here's a few pics too...

First 2 pics are the 97 Crafted In Korea Royal Blue Squier Strat, second 2 pics are the 2000 Indonesian Squier Standard fat head...
 

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RaSTuS26

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Excellent value Mark, that they cost so little, yet you like them so much speaks volumes, congrats mate.
 

Wekkuli

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Nice to see,there are real deals for those who don´t want to spent a month rent for a guitar!
 

Pal

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You had me until "and several of my REAL Fenders were no better, and a few were not as good."
 

old mark

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You had me until "and several of my REAL Fenders were no better, and a few were not as good."

I have had a half dozen US made Fender guitars since the 1970's. The 2 best were a 71 Telecaster, factory Bigsby that now costs as much as my old Buick, and a 73 CBS era fat head Strat, with the 3 bolt neck. The Tele was a very good guitar, and better than these 2...The CBS Strat was as good, but had been modded with old Duncan pups before I bought it in '91. My LAST Fender - a 90's MIM Strat- was a barking dog. After years of fooling with it to get it right, I gave it to a neighbor kid who wanted to learn to play. Free. It's my last Fender because I won't waste the money for another one.


These 2 guitars are exceptional players, no matter where they were made, and if you check Several other sites that deal with these guitars, you will see that I am far from the only one who says that. I also want to add that for several years I played a '60's Gibson heritage Jumbo...I now have 3 Ephphone acoustic imports that kick its ass and call it names...the Gibson is long sold.

They make a LOT of very good guitars all over the place these days, and have for some time now...US makers, take note.

mark
 

fett

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I LOVE Squiers. :thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

cynic79

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Very cool.

I picked up a Japanese-made Squier a couple of years back that is just fantastic. Word is that the pickups on these aren't too great, but they sound good enough to me, and I'd stack the rest of it against any US-made Fender Strat any day of the week. The same is true for my MIJ Precision Bass. I've rarely played a bass I would consider its equal, and only once played one I considered its superior (and it cost $1,300 more than what I paid for mine).
 

fett

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About my Squiers. They come in all ways. I have one with Lace Sensors. A POS has SD's minis. The fun is finding a cheap Squier that has been modded. I can't tell you how many '90's real Fender cases I have that came with the POS Squier.. You have fun. It's a cheap habit. :thumb:
 

old mark

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Just found this, too - they have a LOT of fans...

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM7cj680eSw]Just picked up a New Squier Standard Strat Today - Best kept Secret! - 8 - 5 - 2010 - YouTube[/ame]

This guy is very impressed!

mark
 

rem22

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Good news.
It's great when members have both Fender (MIM or MIA) and Classic Vibe to actually compare them, because a lot of people compare their gear to gear they don't have.

I'd 'live to see blind tests like Clive did here :

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/epiphone-les-pauls/284113-three-guitars-one-amp.html

between Squiers and Fenders. Because sometimes we say there are huge differences but they're not that great and Squiers could perform well.
I don't know how they'll age however (CV vs MIM)
 

Brocko

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I have a late 80s/early 90s MIJ Fender Strat and Squier Bullet Strat that i did a partscaster job on. Both feel and sound excellent IMO - having been set up nicely.

I was recently in my local guitar shop trying out some pedals on a couple of occasions. The first time, they gave me an american standard strat and to me it felt awful - the second was a deluxe and that felt nice.

We all have diff tastes. I laugh when i see some people relicing guitars as they are slightly missing the point.

Good players don't buy a guitar just because it is old or cos it looks a bit soulful. The reason you often seem them with old beat up guitars is that it is likely that guitar was a particularly nice one and so has been used a lot. Thats generally the way it goes in my experience. You keep the guitars that 'fit' with you and sell on the ones you never play.

OK sometimes you might have a special guitar that you like to preserve but you know what i mean in general.

My mate had an old Aria strat that he said always got good responses from when his friends played it. I was skeptical as i thought they were generally budget gear, like Squier.

His son had borrowed it so he got it back and I had a go - it had old strings, the 3 way didn't work properly. It didn't sound that great but felt nice so I said i would fix it for him.

Got it home - 2 of the pickups were dead and it only had a 3 way rather than 5 way. So i fitted a new 5way, popped a neck on switch on there too, replaced the dodgy pickups one of the pups from the Squier Bullet i had modded and one from the MIJ strat (i had put lace pups on that years ago). Also put a varaible cap rotary on there too.

That thing now sings like a bird and if i'm being honest sound as good as my MIJ in some settings.

He also had a 25 year old Epiphone acoustic that was a bit damaged - some of the trim on the side of the fretboard was damaged leaving a sharp edge. He took it to a guitar shop and they told him the neck was warped. Again i had a look and there was nothing really wrong - it held intonation most up the neck, at least in the 'usable range' - bit of wood filler on the neck, new strings and again that thing sounds great.

People are so quick to write of cheaper gear etc but i think it can sound just as good. Its the quality control that often lets them down.
 

old mark

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Brocko, I once had an Aria bass that I got by accident - Put a downpayment on a guitar, forgot about it and moved across the US for a year or so...the store kept the money as a credit , and they had this used Aria Cat bass, so I got it for the credit + about $15. I set it up, etc and recorded a radio commercial with it...So I got the bass free, and made a profit on it. It was VERY well shielded, had a P bass neck pup and a J bass bridge, great sound and neck...and of course, some people though they were junk.


mark
 

TerryH

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Wow... cool... My first guitar (less than a year ago) in 30 years was a Squire Strat SE that I bought at GC to try and learn again along side my daughter who wanted to learn to play bass, who then decided she liked the Strat better than the bass, so I gave it to her and bought myself an Epi LP. She has now given the Strat back to me and taken up Sax (which she has gotten really good at!) in her school band. But to get to my point, I had been surprised at the workmanship of the Squire, the fretwork seems even better than my Epi Tribute Plus, and the Alder body seems to be the same wood as the Fenders, etc..
But I never quite liked the sound ( plus the pickups seem weak, the tone controls are more like on/off switches). Then I played a MIM hooked up to a Blues JR and was like Wow, what a difference!
So I had been debating whether to save up for the MIM, or replace the pickups and pots in the Squire. Since I have been wanting a Blues JR for a while now, you helped me decide. I'll work on getting the new amp, and upgrade the Squire! :thumb:

Here's my Squire (I tuxedo'd it out) and my first LP...

terryh-albums-terry-s-pics-picture57568-daughter-daddy.jpg
 

Brocko

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Brocko, I once had an Aria bass that I got by accident - Put a downpayment on a guitar, forgot about it and moved across the US for a year or so...the store kept toe money as a credit , and they had this used Aria Cat bass, so I got it for the credit + about $15. I set it up, etc and recorded a radio commercial with it...So I got the bass free, and made a profit on it. It was VERY well shielded, had a P bass neck pup and a J bass bridge, great sound and neck...and of course, some people though they were junk.


mark

Yeah it's like anything - a trendy name and you can charge the odds. I don't know if this is 100% true but apparently the guy who started Aria used to be a master builder for Fender. I imagine the company ended up getting bought out and then became more budget, not sure but certainly the older ones, like my friends are super quality. The neck is an absolute gem.
 

Brocko

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Brocko...I saw a week or so ago that Jimmy Vaughn tours with 2 MIM Strats, right out of the box...that's what he is recording with now, too. He uses custom wound 10.5's, and runs through one or two effects for certain songs, but usually right into the amp...

Rig Rundown: Jimmie Vaughan

You are in good company.

mark

??? I don't own a MIM strat? I have a lovely MIJ though...

I have never much cared for Jimmy Vaughan. Find him a bit awkward to watch
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I've owned an MiM Strat, an MiJ Squier, and an MiI Squier Affinity. The latter had the best pickups of the three for my taste. I didn't care for the neck -- it moved with weather quite a bit -- but it was hands-down the best $80 guitar I've played.

I love how Squier delivers bang-for-buck.
 

sollophonic

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Also don't forget that quite a few players gig/use Squiers.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPy5fuFt0EI]Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival 2011 - Joanne Shaw Taylor #2 - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3lxyLAPrPo]CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS LIVE IN OXFORD. - YouTube[/ame]

Guitar Blog: John Mayall's sawn-off Strats

And they can be easily upgraded at little expense.

Squiers are perfectly gig-able and playable IMO
 

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