... '83 Squier Telecaster '83 Squier … If you’re just starting out, the sound of your pickups or the thickness of your finish might not matter as much as it would to someone who has been playing for years and is familiar with the alternatives. Because the Standard pickups are considered to be of decent quality, this all comes down to your personal taste. Fender literally wrote the book on electric basses, laying the foundation for musical innovation and evolution. Though these models are of a higher-quality than their Squier counterparts, some of them—like the Starcaster and custom set-neck Telecaster—are made in some of the same production areas as Squiers, like Indonesia, China, and Korea. As I mentioned in my earlier Affinity Stratocaster review, the Squier family of electric guitars was bought by Fender in 1965. Those of you looking for cool Strat looks combined with more modern performance will likely prefer the Modified edition. With the rising quality of Squiers and their continued low price points, I would consider buying a Squier in many scenarios. Unlike the many, many, signature model recipients out there, Ed didn't want his guitar to come across as a vanity project. Overall, if you’re looking for a legitimate Fender Telecaster and don’t want to pay the hefty price tag of an American model, then the Made in Mexico Fender Player Telecaster is your best bet. Fender's customers loved the Tele but requested some spec tweaks. It is a level up from the basic version but below the ‘Vintage’ versions. Then you'll know whether you're a Strat fan, Tele nut, or one of those people that loves both of Leo Fender's mechanical wonders. From a cheaper start, Squier now produces some Telecaster’s that are virtually as good as the Fender versions. You do get the classic bolt-on maple neck and fingerboard here, not to mention a set of punchy-sounding single coil pickups. A lot of these new and exciting designs have people wondering about the real differences between Fender’s core lines and the Squier spin-offs. The bodies are generally formed by gluing many more pieces of wood together than is the case with USA-made models. Fender The body wood of a Squier can be hard to determine, as the finish is, in many cases, quite thick on these models. Squier has a reputation for being the low end version of popular Fender models. Lest we forget, Jimmy Page employed a '59 Tele for his Stairway To a Heaven solo. Fender and Squier are two of the very popular guitars available in the market. Models with translucent finishes will generally have an ash body as it has a prettier grain pattern. Rosewood has been an option ever since, on Japanese and American Fender models. Rather than mercilessly tweak the Tele, Leo's team decided to create a new model. The Fender MIM line—also known as the Standard line (which includes some recent Asian production)—has been gaining players’ respect for decades. While for decades, Squier's product catalog mostly consisted of basic low-end takes on core Fender models, their offerings have diversified in recent years to include dozens of unique models, including some that were traditionally only available from the Fender Custom Shop. It's like a hood ornament on a vintage Cadillac. The glossy urethane finish on most of these models tends to be quite thick, which is off-putting to many players. 'EOB' stands for Ed O'Brien, the Radiohead guitarist. When owning a Squier long-term, unless you love the model as is, you are paying for the wood, paint, and shape, and one can easily spend more in upgrades than on the entire cost of the base instrument. There's a Strat for just about every scenario. Below is a chart of some common price comparisons between new MIM Fenders and their Squier counterparts to give you an idea of the price spread. ... the quality of the maple on the Affinity is significantly lower than that of its Fender counterparts, so the comparison in terms of quality is not as clear cut. Tele heads have been installing Bigsby vibratos on their guitars since the early 1950s. Today, that's exactly what we're going to explore. As always, your mileage may vary and you should look to your ears and hands to make a decision. Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 50’s Telecaster Electric Guitar (Editor’s Choice). This new signature model is classic '59 Tele. The latter feed off the resonance of the body wood to unlock some classic Tele country, rock and blues tones. Squier Classic Vibe Custom Telecaster Fender Standard (MIM) Telecaster The release of the Classic Vibe series back in 2008 gave Squier a much needed boost in reputation, proving they could cut costs intelligently and maintain excellent quality control from their Chinese factory. Learn more about Fender electric basses. As for the body silhouettes, both are … Do you have experience comparing Squier and Fender guitars? The initial cost will be higher, but the long-term cost will be lower. From 'classic' treatments to vintage replicas, signature models, hot-rodded modern instruments and understated metal monsters, our buyer's guide rounds up the best Fender Stratocasters currently available. Figure in some fantastic sounding single coils and this thing is irresistible. Les Paul vs SG: which is the right guitar for you? Leo Fender and his team in Fullerton, California, began work on the guitar that would become the Telecaster back in 1949. The higher quality parts and build will allow the instrument to age better and let one be more selective on what to change and keep. Similar guitars. These days we consider Jimi, Texas blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and British rock journeyman Jeff Beck as the ultimate ambassadors of the Fender Stratocaster. Shopping advice is off-topic here, but we can answer the question about Fender vs Squier so I am editing to narrow it down to that. Telecasters have a more meaty tone, particularly with the bridge pickup.It’s a bigger single coil and sounds fatter than the bridge pickup of a Stratocaster. For our purposes, we're going to focus mostly on comparing Fender’s well-regarded Made in Mexico (MIM) line with Squier instruments of predominantly Chinese and Indonesian origin. First with Fender decal and with Squier Series decal in 1982. Doesn't matter what anyone says about guitars, it's the look that draws you in first. Bruce Springsteen loves them too. Tele Deluxe Thinline/Classic Vibe Thinline. Squier Standard Telecaster Review. Also, a large number of signature models (Troy Van Leeuwen, Kurt Cobain, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Root, Brad Paisley, Dave Murray) have recently been introduced. The message here is don't be put off by the price. The Stratocaster was born and like its older brother has never been out of production. Generally speaking, Squier uses lower-quality metals for most of its hardware. No, not which one is the best. Let us know in the comments. Vintage buffs will go a bundle on the old school 7.25" fingerboard radius, thin frets, and classic six-screw 'Synchronized' vibrato of the original spec Strat. Fender Stratocaster Player Series from Mexico Expansion of Squier models and ranges. For Fender Standard models, traditional Fender tonewoods have generally been the focus, with most models being primarily made of alder or ash. Replacing parts on a Squier can be a tricky undertaking. A Telecaster made from pine might seem like an exercise in cost cutting. Paul Davids compares his $3,500 Fender Custom Shop Cunetto Relic/John Cruz to his $150 Squier Strat Affinity (currently retailing for around $200). Fender’s Standard line has generally been considered to have higher quality parts all around. If you are totally new to guitar, then a Squier would be a reasonable choice. Fender had bought Squier in the ‘60s and Fender continued to sell strings under that name until 1972. You can, however, always upgrade pickups to whatever higher-end option you prefer. For our purposes we will be focusing on the standard Squier line, including the Vintage Modified and the Classic Vibe series. Ahh, the mighty Telecaster. Bottom Line: Pickups, like hardware, will be superior on Fender-branded guitars out of the box. In previous years, the Standard line has included some diverse models, including limited runs with rare colors like shell pink, swirls and splatter paint, and other unique features. Read the Fender Player Stratocaster review, An affordable retro Strat with some extra firepower, Launch price: £379/€414/$460 | Body: Poplar | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Maple or Indian Laurel | Frets: 21 | Pickups: Fender Designed Alnico humbucker (bridge), 2x Fender Designed Single Coil (middle and neck) | Controls: master volume, tone 1 (neck pickup), tone 2 (bridge and middle pickups), five-way pickup selector blade switch | Hardware: nickel six-Saddle Vintage-Style 'Synchronized' vibrato, die-cast tuners | Left-handed: Yes | Finish: Black (with maple fingerboard), Walnut (with Indian Laurel fingerboard). Surf dudes like Dick Dale got hip to the Strat in the early ‘60s before Jimi Hendrix sealed its reputation as a blues rock icon by the decade's end. There was a problem. Launch price: £559/€600/$666 | Body: Alder | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Maple | Frets: 22 | Pickups: Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil | Controls: master volume, tone 1 (neck/middle pickups), tone 2 (bridge pickup) | Hardware: nickel/chrome two-point vibrato, die-cast tuners | Left-handed: Yes | Finish: 3-Colour Sunburst, Black, Buttercream, Polar White, Sage Green Metallic, Sonic Red, Tidepool. Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster Burgundy Mist. Squier Standard Vs Affinity Telecaster. They might have come off the same drawing board but the Tele and Strat have very distinct tonal palettes. Built in Mexico, the Player Telecaster is a bit like a new Ford Mustang. This article attempts to clarify the doubts from the minds of people who are planning to purchase a new guitar. Explore more of the best Fender Stratocasters around Fender Vintera ‘60s Telecaster with Bigsby, Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, These are the best electric guitars on the planet right now, Play for less with the best budget electric guitars under £/$500. For nearly 70 years this iconic guitar has endured as a touring workhorse and staked its claim in rock history. The Fender Standard series has upgraded pickups, but again, are generally considered inferior to USA models. Vintage-style models are outfitted with ‘50s-style pickups, for instance, while top-of-the-line signature models that are also MIM—such as the Dave Murray Stratocaster or Jim Root models—are outfitted with USA-made pickups by Seymour Duncan and EMG. The overwhelming amount of hardware for the Squier series are sourced from other factories and the parts are generally lower in quality. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, When Leo Fender produced the first Telecaster prototypes in 1949, he built them with a pine body, so the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster is just a remembrance of Fender’s original ideas. Some people think the Strat bridge pickup is a bit of a weed. While some players may discount basswood, many high-end Ibanez models are proudly made of basswood. Given that it's a ‘70s throwback, this guitar features the big version of the iconic Strat headstock. Squier Vintage Modified '72 Tele Thinline with an Ash Body. Launch price: £559/€600/$666 | Body: Alder | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" (648 mm) | Fingerboard: Maple | Frets: 22 | Pickups: Player Series Alnico 5 Tele Single Coil | Controls: master volume, master tone, three-way pickup selector blade switch | Hardware: nickel/chrome six-saddle bridge, die-cast tuners | Left-handed: Yes | Finish: 3-Colour Sunburst (with maple or Pau Ferro fingerboard), Black, Butterscotch Blonde, Polar White (with maple or Pau Ferro fingerboard), Tidepool, Capri Orange. Bottom Line: If owning a Squier long term, you may need to invest more money in upkeep and upgrades than you would with a Fender. Often typecast as the go-to guitar for soul and country music, the Telecaster can also rock with the best of them. Strat pickups should sound warm and woody with a hint of 'plink', like flicking the rim of a wine glass with your fingernail. Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments. We all yakked ourselves senseless over how great the guitar sounds are on the first Led Zeppelin album (1968). While it would be easy to simply say that you get what you pay for, I don’t think that’s the case when comparing Squier and Fender. Launch price: £749/€819/$909 | Body: Alder | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Pau Ferro | Frets: 21 | Pickups: 60s Single Coil Strat | Controls: Master volume, 2x tone, five-way pickup selector blade switch | Hardware: Chrome/nickel Vintage-Style "Synchronized" vibrato, vintage Kluson-style tuners | Left-handed: No | Finish: Ice Blue Metallic, 3-Colour Sunburst, Surf Green. A Tele can mimic a big-bodied jazz guitar, a country pedal steel, and a Les Paul. Telecaster vs. TE. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Even after Leo Fender brought out vibrato-equipped guitar, the Stratocaster, many players still prefer the Tele/Bigsby partnership. The famous guitar that catalyzed the electric guitar industry to become what it is today. The quality of Squier tuners and bridge saddles are a common complaint. Better still, it looks seriously cool. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. From my personal experience, I have found that the MIM models tend to weigh less than the Squier models. Pining for a Tele? By producing the Affinity series of guitars in Asia and using more efficient materials, Squier has managed to make the Fender Telecaster – one of Fender’s most popular models – affordable … The Squier Telecaster Custom’s one-piece maple neck is superb at any price point, let alone the sub-£200 one. As stated previously, many only choose to upgrade some of the pickups in these models. At the bridge, for your extra $50 on the Standard model, you get a "proper" 6 saddle strings-through body … LOOKS - A white Fender Tele vs a Black Squier Tele - do I really need to go any further? Looking for a great deal on a new guitar? Squier Standard Telecaster. There are several kinds of ash trees; for this purpose, we’re talking the American ash. When Leo Fender invented the Telecaster in the early 1950s, he may not have anticipated how many similar-looking guitars would one day be on the market. After a dispute with Gretsch, Fender rechristened its new guitar the Telecaster in 1952 and it's been in production ever since. For nearly all guitars, there will be a cost to upkeep and to upgrade. You can look at used Fender and Squier guitars here. Tele addict? Arguably the most iconic Strat tones are combinations of bridge or neck pickup with the middle pup. Initially, the long-term cost of a Squier will be more, as more elements will be in line for replacement, such as pickups, tuners, and most metal parts. Early Japanese Squiers were known for being made with quality woods, while later models became known for just the opposite after manufacturers started constructing cheaper models from plywood. Squier Strat vs Fender Strat - General Criteria. Tuners are usually upgraded and of a sealed variety, and those on reissue models are generally similar to their vintage counterparts—for better or worse. I have personally found that many of the Squiers not made of basswood are very heavy when compared to similar MIM models of the same wood. Now, thanks to what has become the worst kept secret in rock folklore we all know that Jimmy Page didn't brandish a Les Paul on that record. Due to differences in measurements, upgrading stock parts may not be as simple as it seems. These things have more punch than Rocky Balboa. Fret finishing on many Squiers—especially the lower-priced models—is consistently less precise than on more expensive models, fret ends are not as neatly rounded, and frets are less polished. The Fender Squier JVs were manufactured between 1982 and 1984. Read the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Telecaster review, Launch price: £2,349/€2,599/$2,499 | Body: 2-piece Ash | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Frets: 21 | Pickups: 2x Fender Jimmy Page Custom '59 Tele | Controls: master volume, master tone, three-way pickup selector blade switch | Hardware: nickel/chrome 3-saddle bridge with threaded steel saddles, Pure Vintage Fender Deluxe tuners | Left-handed: No | Finish: White Blonde. Are these the best electric guitar strings in the world today? All rights reserved. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. Fretting is also generally taken to a higher stage of buffing, and fret ends are much more extensively treated—although, generally, not to the same level of USA models. This range of prices makes for some hard choices about whether to save up for a more expensive stock instrument or pay a little less and use your excess budget for potential upgrades down the line. This kind of product diversity makes it easy to find an instrument that is exactly—or at least most of the way toward—what you’re looking for. In fact, the earliest Fender models were made from the very same timber. The Telecaster Deluxe is very similar to another Fender model sold in the 1970s – the Telecaster Custom. Once exclusively Strats and Teles, the current Standard line includes fewer overall models than the Squier catalog, but with more variety within each model. Pickups, like parts, are generally where you can hear the biggest difference between these two lines with Squier generally using lower-quality pickups. Here's our list of the very best. Oops, looks like you forgot something. I thought the white Tele was the most beautiful guitar I'd ever seen, so … My Squier Bullet Telecaster … By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the processing of my data in order to receive emails. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is the largest guitar manufacturer in the world. They probably feel the same to play? Most Squier Telecaster are eligible for free shipping. In the company's own words, Squier is the “value brand alternative to its big brother, Fender.” Squier Teles are made in Asia. More expensive models will, of course, have higher resale value, but both Squiers and Standards have consistently high demand. If you want to ultimate rock Tele it's now easy to get on the same page as Jimmy. More about pricing later. He used a whole lotta '59 Telecaster. Squier, much like Fender, has factories in the USA, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and China. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. More of the recent, higher-end Squiers have had special runs of instruments made of pine, alder, and other woods. For the ultimate comparison, try this and the Tele version. Visit our corporate site. This allows you to play a note or chord and have it sustain, keyboard like, for as long as you like - or at least until the onboard battery runs out. Does Fender’s Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Telecaster Deliver the Goods? It's everything a modern Strat should be. New Squiers top out at around $450, whereas the same amount of money can usually get you a used MIM Fender. With Black Friday incoming, now is the perfect time to be looking for great Black Friday guitars deals. – user28 Apr 22 '16 at 4:06. Both guitars were made in 1997, and the Squier was Davids’ first electric guitar. Many beginner guitarist starter packs include Squier Affinity guitars and practice amps. Opaque finishes also indicate that the instrument’s body is comprised of more pieces of wood than a clearly finished instrument. Soon after the two-pup Broadcaster was revealed. If that's you, consider a Strat in a HSS (humbucker/single/single) format. They wanted an extra pickup, a more comfortably contoured body, and a vibrato unit. Bottom Line: If buying new, Squiers will always be cheaper than comparable Fenders. Bottom Line: Squier uses inferior parts generally speaking. This video lets you judge one such example for yourself. For example, if you’re looking to try out a less common model—like a Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Bass VIs, baritone, or vintage reissue of some kind—the Vintage Modified and Classic Vibe series are an affordable way to do so. It probably wouldn't be too far off to guess that at least half the experienced players reading this article have owned a Squier at some point in their lives, and for many in that group, it all began with a Squier starter pack that included a matching amp. The Player has a supremely welcoming C profile neck with a slippery satin finish to prevent your sticky mitts from dragging. Playability is enhanced by a modern 9.5" radius fingerboard and some hubby frets. Here's one that won't break the bankâ¦, Launch price: £449/€491/$545 | Body: Pine | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Maple | Frets: 21 | Pickups: Custom Vintage Style Single Coil Tele | Controls: master volume, master tone, three-way pickup selector blade switch | Hardware: chrome six-saddle bridge, die-cast tuners | Left-handed: No | Finish: Butterscotch Blonde. Bath Let's try to settle the Strat vs Tele debate. 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