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Whats the difference between a Fender Stratocaster and........

wu11ie
August 2nd, 2012, 08:45 PM
Whats the difference between a Fender Stratocaster and one that says Squire Stratocaster by Fender ?

I've taken a bit of re-interest in my guitar the past few weeks and have been looking around guitar shops and on line etc.

I quite fancy getting a Stratocaster, but there are a fair few about and i noticed a few like the ones above, i was just wondering what the difference was because to me (a complete novice) they look the same :oops:.

Are the Squire ones just a cheap(er) copy of the original Fender ones ?

Thanks in advance :)

Stratburst
August 3rd, 2012, 12:04 AM
Squier (note the spelling) is Fender's budget range for those people who want the Fender look but don't have the $$ to pay for the real thing.

As to which is better, that's where the fit hits the shan, if you catch my meaning. Some players will claim their $100 Squier is just as good as a $4,000 Custom Shop guitar while others will say you get what you pay for.

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I've been impressed with some cheapies but I paid $1,000 for my #1 Strat and I feel it's worth every penny.

teletwang67
August 3rd, 2012, 04:30 PM
Squier is Fender's cheaper brand. They make the same types of guitars, but they usually aren't as good as a Fender. The newer Bullets are actually very good for a $100 guitar. But I think a better guitar is a Fender Standard Strat, I got mine on Craigslist for $200.

Jazzmasterfan
August 3rd, 2012, 05:35 PM
Although there is a price and quality difference between Fender & Squier there are some quality bargain guitars to be had. I have a Simon Neil Squier Strat which is very good value. I read and hear that the Fender Classic 50's Strat us good value.

Lunchie
August 3rd, 2012, 05:46 PM
Also pay attention to the model aka "Standard", "affinity" and so forth. You can find nice playing affinities but you still dont want to pay a lot for them.

bossking7
August 3rd, 2012, 05:47 PM
You could get a used MIM for not much more than a Squier.

backporch guy
August 3rd, 2012, 07:32 PM
Get a Telecaster. Problem solved.:mrgreen:

FenderNashville
August 3rd, 2012, 07:46 PM
Can't really add to anything that's been said.

I have very limited experiences with strats, but this is what I've experienced:

Squire Strat:

cheaper wood material for neck

cheaper wood material for body (sometimes it's not alder. sometimes it's multi-peiced)

cheaper tuners

harder to stay in tune

fit and finish is not up to snuff (poorer setup. poorer nut cutting. poorer out-of-the-box action)

poly coating (thick and covers tone)

cheap composite lightweight bridges (which is a big no-no in the strat world because the floating bridge is one of the most important pieces in the tone path)

electronics are a step down



With that said, you are only paying $200 brand new for them, and they are good value strats for getting your feet wet. You're not going to want to perform with them live unless you get some MAJOR setup done, with tremolo blocking. I've already done this once, and I was tuning after every song, and sometimes during songs.

In my opinion, I always tell strat players there's two options if you're a smart buyer:

Either get a cheap Squier strat and see if it's for you, or buy an AVRI strat. There is no other option in between for value.

nadzab
August 4th, 2012, 10:10 AM
Either get a cheap Squier strat and see if it's for you, or buy an AVRI strat. There is no other option in between for value.


:shock:

wu11ie
August 4th, 2012, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the input folks, the Squire ones look the part, i`m only thinking about getting one at this point, i had a go on one at the shop and it felt a lot more comfortable to play than my telecaster , and it was cheap too which is a bonus lol

colchar
August 4th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the input folks, the Squire ones look the part, i`m only thinking about getting one at this point, i had a go on one at the shop and it felt a lot more comfortable to play than my telecaster , and it was cheap too which is a bonus lol


Weegies aren't allowed to own Fenders :mrgreen:

Sorry mate, I just couldn't resist (I'm from Ayr so I can make fun of other Scots).

If you are looking at a Squier be sure to check out the Classic Vibe series as they are better than the cheaper Squiers. Some say they are as good as MIMs and some say they are as good as MIAs. I don't agree as I find their necks far too thin for my liking but enough people swear by them that you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking them out.

FenderNashville
August 4th, 2012, 03:24 PM
:shock:

The American standards are ripoffs. Did you just want me to say it?

Gnobuddy
August 4th, 2012, 04:59 PM
Thanks for the input folks, the Squire ones look the part,
If you can find one in your neck of the woods, check out a Squier Standard Strat ( http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StratSSRCSB/ ).

This particular Squire has the same nut width as a "real" Fender (other Squires have narrower necks). It also has the same thickness body as a "real" Fender (other Squire's have thinner bodies).

I have one of these, and it came very well set up from the factory. All mine needed was a fresh set of strings. It feels great, it's easy to play, it looks good, and the tone reminds me of early Dire Straits recordings.

In my opinion, this particular model is the most bang for the buck you'll find in a 'Strat type guitar from Fender corp. Mine feels and plays better than "real" Fenders I've tried at $500 (more than double the price), and I refuse to pay four times as much to get the same playability in a Fender-branded instrument.

When I bring up this model in the company of other musicians, more than ones someone has brought up how they prefer to gig one of these Squire Standard Strats, rather than taking an expensive Fender into a bar or other guitar-hostile environment. The typical comment is that it sounds and plays just as well as their much more expensive Fender, so they'd rather risk this Squire at the gig.

The business about quality "tone wood" in a Fender vs Squier Strat is best taken with a grain of sand IMO. The Stratocaster guitar design mounts the pickups to a large thin plastic plate, loosely supported at a few points and mounted over several large holes routed in the body. This was done for low cost and easy manufacturing, like everything Leo Fender did.

That plastic plate is lighter and floppier and more likely to vibrate than any part of the wooden body under it. Since the plastic plate carries the pickups, vibrations from the plastic plate also vibrate the pickups relative to the strings, so the guitar picks up the sound of the vibrating plastic. In short, the plastic pickguard is almost certainly the part of the Strat body that contributes most to the sound, much more so than the actual body wood!

Clearly, this hasn't done the sound of the 'Strat any harm, because the pickups, pickup spacing, string thickness, pick/plectrum thickness, tremolo bridge, and playing technique all affect the sound much more than the plastic pickguard ever did. (And the wooden body affects the sound even less!)

In other words, pay attention to how it sounds, not what wood it's made out of...

-Gnobuddy

alnicopu
August 4th, 2012, 08:24 PM
You could get a used MIM for not much more than a Squier.

+1 on that. I took an 1100.00 Am Std strat back because it wasn't THAT much better than my 250.00 mim with a pickup upgrade. Sure the neck on the Am Std was gloss on the fretboard but that was the only difference I could tell.

Old Cane
August 6th, 2012, 12:23 PM
I'm so glad we have another thread with definitive answers about what you must have or be exiled.

I'm also glad there are voices of reason giving options and opinions. When I see things like IMO and what worked for me I pay attention. When I see this is the best or this is the worst I skip ahead unless they add "for me".

Old Cane
August 6th, 2012, 12:27 PM
+1 on that. I took an 1100.00 Am Std strat back because it wasn't THAT much better than my 250.00 mim with a pickup upgrade. Sure the neck on the Am Std was gloss on the fretboard but that was the only difference I could tell.

There are quite a few more differences but this is what I'm talking about. The extra money was not worth it for you. I'm glad you're happy with what you have and saved the money. That would buy a very nice amp. I had a similar experience with an AM std telecaster but had only paid $250 for it. And I did try to like it. Never happened but I did get $750 for it later. My buddy has a deluxe american that he would have a hard time without. It's all in what works for each player.

tfsails
August 6th, 2012, 01:19 PM
Or, you can do what I did. I took a Squier Bullet (2004 Indonesian model--doesn't even say "Strat" on it) Strat that I bought for $50 with no strings on it and used it as my test mule (or maybe sacrificial lamb would be a better description) to see if I had any talent at all in modifying/repairing guitars.

I'm proud to say that $500 later it's a pretty good Strat! Oh, yea--it's got the thin neck and the thin body, but it's a hardtail so body thickness doesn't bother me a bit. The neck is real sensitive to how much I pull on it when I'm playing it. I've just had to learn to deal with that issue.

The $500 includes the nut-making tools and the fret-leveling/crowning tools that I bought from StewMac. There are only four original parts on this axe now, so it's literally a different guitar.

It's probably still only worth $50 to someone else, but it's a damn fine-playing guitar now and I had a helluva good time modifying it. I'd play it in a gig any time! And besides--it's not for sale.

Matthias
August 6th, 2012, 02:56 PM
I've owned Squier, MIJ, MIM and MIA Fenders. The MIA is the best, but they've all played very well. They've all sounded fine to great. With upgrades they can all sound great. But the craftsmanship does go up with the price, and the overall package is highest quality on the MIA. The value of this depends on if you care about the bells and whistles, or just the essentials. If you're just looking for the essentials, you can get that from a Squier with some fairly minor upgrades. You might not even need to upgrade if it's well set up and suits your sound.

bo
August 6th, 2012, 05:01 PM
Here's a thought: Play whatever guitar is at the top of your budget and compare it to the Squier. If you can't tell the difference, or feel the difference isn't great enough to justify the cost, then go with the lower priced guitar.

StoogeSurfer
August 6th, 2012, 05:33 PM
And another thought; don't buy any guitar unless you're actually going to play and enjoy it. Think about the percentage of gits that leave the store shelf only to spend their lives in a case in a corner. It must be staggering.

Jakedog
August 6th, 2012, 05:33 PM
The American standards are ripoffs. Did you just want me to say it?

The American Standard is probably the best value in the entire Fender line. I wouldn't own an AVRI. They are great guitars, but with the tiny frets and 7.25 radius, they are not really playable for me. Aside from the looks and obvious build quality, I don't dig them a bit.

The only reaosn they are more expensive than the Am. Std. is the (somewhat, not totally) nitro finish, which is more expensive to apply, and the vintage cosmetics, which people will pay more for. After all, if a real 50's strat is worth 50K, one that looks just like it made in the USA by Fender MUST be worth $1800.

Personally, I think the quality on the AVRI totally justifes the price, but they are not for me. At all.

Give me an American Standard. Same quality build and materials, the newest models even have CS pickups, with a finish that saves me hundreds, usually comes in more (and cooler) colors, has a totally playable (for me) radius and fret size, those super comfy rolled fingerboard edges, great hardware, and killer setups out of the box. I can't see how in the world anyone would think the Am. Std. is a ripoff. Especially considering that used, they can be scored easily on the $500-$750 range for clean examples.

I've been playing American Standard strats since 1990. I've also had real vinatge strats, AVRi strats, CS strats, Squier strats, MIM strats, and everything else. The ones I currently own are three Am. Std. strats. A '95, a '96, and an '08. Totally great guitar for VERY fair money. Even new, I'm not aware of a guitar that is made in the USA and touches that build, fit, finish, and hardware quality for $1K. I don't even mod mine. They need nothing. They are also very easy to find and replace in an emergency. You can basically grab any one, and it's basically the same as the one you lost, wore out, or had stolen. The consistency is off the charts. They are a win/win from start to finish.

FenderNashville
August 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Not all of the AVRIs have vintage frets. You have a choice with the AVRI or the AVRI Hotrods. Not sure if the radius changes though between these models, though, so you may be right on that one (I'm too lazy to research, but the radius may also grow with the hot rod versions and you DO get the larger frets).

I'm glad you agree that the materials is better with the AVRIs. Nitro finish will retain more of the tone of the guitar. I personally love vintage only stuff myself. :)

I don't find that the consistency of the Am. Standards are as good as you, though. They are nice guitars, but new AVRIs can be had for only a fraction more, and I would bet money that the consistency is better with them. People have been scoring them NEW for $1050 recently, which is basically the price of a Standard. What did Gilmour do 20 years ago? He went and bought a bunch of AVRIs, and that's what he uses in concert....that tells you A LOT about the quality of an AVRI. Gilmour uses an AVRI '52 Tele, and an AVRI '57 Strat.

One thing I don't like about the American Standards is the pickups, and I know people have made the same complaints before. THe bridge is harsh, the middle is super hollow, and the neck is "merely" ok (too cleaned up for my tastes). I would remove each and every one of them. I don't like the tuners, mainly because they look so "modern" and don't look right to me (I'm being nitpicky on this, I'll admit). I don't like the poly finish, and I don't like the larger frets, though some (if not many) do prefer them. I love how a tented nitro neck looks too, and not the satin natural neck. Though, there's pros and cons with this.

My point is that the AVRI is the nicer guitar for an authentic Stratocaster, better finish, and better materials in some areas, and you can buy one for just a hair more than the American Standards. That to me, tells me that they are much better values because the price point is almost the same. I give the SAME argument on the Gibson lineup. Ignore the Traditionals from the Lester Lineup and get a VOS custom shop (when they go on clearance, they are only a fraction more). A much more faithful, authentic guitar.

Now, if you can score an Am. Stnd for $500-700, then that's a value. But then we're talking the used market, which is another ball game. Then again, if I'm buying something for "value", I'm not going to want to buy something that drops 50% once I take it out the door, which is what happens with Am. Stnds. It doesn't happen so much with AVRIs...

I still put the AVRI series as the best guitars you can get from Fender right now. I absolutely hate the middle pickup in strats. My '57 AVRI was the first strat that gave me a middle pickup that I'll savor, and the neck has a great amount of dirt and vintage vibe. The bridge, even though it's mild, is still not as brittle and harsh as the Am. stnd bridge.

ludashoeless
August 6th, 2012, 06:19 PM
The American Standard is probably the best value in the entire Fender line. I wouldn't own an AVRI. They are great guitars, but with the tiny frets and 7.25 radius, they are not really playable for me. Aside from the looks and obvious build quality, I don't dig them a bit.

The only reaosn they are more expensive than the Am. Std. is the (somewhat, not totally) nitro finish, which is more expensive to apply, and the vintage cosmetics, which people will pay more for. After all, if a real 50's strat is worth 50K, one that looks just like it made in the USA by Fender MUST be worth $1800.

Personally, I think the quality on the AVRI totally justifes the price, but they are not for me. At all.

Give me an American Standard. Same quality build and materials, the newest models even have CS pickups, with a finish that saves me hundreds, usually comes in more (and cooler) colors, has a totally playable (for me) radius and fret size, those super comfy rolled fingerboard edges, great hardware, and killer setups out of the box. I can't see how in the world anyone would think the Am. Std. is a ripoff. Especially considering that used, they can be scored easily on the $500-$750 range for clean examples.

I've been playing American Standard strats since 1990. I've also had real vinatge strats, AVRi strats, CS strats, Squier strats, MIM strats, and everything else. The ones I currently own are three Am. Std. strats. A '95, a '96, and an '08. Totally great guitar for VERY fair money. Even new, I'm not aware of a guitar that is made in the USA and touches that build, fit, finish, and hardware quality for $1K. I don't even mod mine. They need nothing. They are also very easy to find and replace in an emergency. You can basically grab any one, and it's basically the same as the one you lost, wore out, or had stolen. The consistency is off the charts. They are a win/win from start to finish.

this

ludashoeless
August 6th, 2012, 06:23 PM
What did Gilmour do 20 years ago? He went and bought a bunch of AVRIs, and that's what he uses in concert....that tells you A LOT about the quality of an AVRI. Gilmour uses an AVRI '52 Tele, and an AVRI '57 Strat.


so since gilmour uses avris, all models in between them and squiers are a bad value?

FenderNashville
August 6th, 2012, 06:23 PM
I wanted to add:

I'm not too sure why people are so down on vintage frets. Gilmour is the king of bends and control....he uses vintage frets. Not only that, but his hands are HUGE. Maybe it's just because people are not used to them, but I wouldn't pass vintage frets off as inferior (not that you did, but I'm just stating it as a discussion point).

My '57 AVRI Strat compared to my '52 AVRI Tele, has just enough radius to where you can make full bends; not sure if I really want anymore than what's on there now. The '52 AVRI seems a tad more limited because it has a smaller radius than the strat, but plenty for what I use the tele for. One thing I can't stand is a LARGE radius (like the 72 Tele Custom...yuck).

Both of of my AVRIs have super low action (thanks to the frets) and you can move on them lightning fast.

I jump on my Les Paul, and I'm happy with those medium jumbo frets too.

I guess I'm just saying that people make too much of a big deal over fret sizes. They only "limit" what you "think" that they are going to limit. I think anything that causes me to be more "agile' will make me a better player, so I'm glad to play on vintage frets as often as I do.

FenderNashville
August 6th, 2012, 06:27 PM
so since gilmour uses avris, all models in between them and squiers are a bad value?

YES.

Squier Strat: $225
American Stnd. Strat: $1000
American AVRI Strat (with some looking...especially if you don't mind Candy Apple Red): $1050-1100.

How is my statement so unclear?

The best advice I've read on this thread is to "play both, and if you can't tell the difference, buy the cheaper one." That's great advice to a beginner or someone new to the strat world. That's exactly what I did.

My advice if you are ready to buy a legendary strat, don't make the "American Standard" your "maximum" choice. There are better values out there. If you happen to absolutely LOVE the american standards for whatever reason, then buy it. Just don't overlook the AVRIs.

Jakedog
August 7th, 2012, 12:31 AM
YES.

Squier Strat: $225
American Stnd. Strat: $1000
American AVRI Strat (with some looking...especially if you don't mind Candy Apple Red): $1050-1100.

How is my statement so unclear?

The best advice I've read on this thread is to "play both, and if you can't tell the difference, buy the cheaper one." That's great advice to a beginner or someone new to the strat world. That's exactly what I did.

My advice if you are ready to buy a legendary strat, don't make the "American Standard" your "maximum" choice. There are better values out there. If you happen to absolutely LOVE the american standards for whatever reason, then buy it. Just don't overlook the AVRIs.

A new Am Std strat is $1K. I would really like to know where you can find a new AVRI for $1100 or less. If you want to compare apples to apples, you can easily find a USED AVRI for that money, or a USED Am.Std. for $500-$750.

I also did not agree that the AVRI guitars have superior materials. they don't IMO. I find them pretty even with the Am Std guitars. They just have finishes and nickel hardware that cost more money.

Some folks say nitro sounds superior, in twenty five years of playing guitar for a living, I've never seen it proven. now mind you, I own some guitars with nitro, and some with poly, and have owned lots of both. I don't have any guitars that sound bad, because I wouldn't buy a guitar that sounds bad. matter of fact, all of my guitars sound really good, no matter what finish they have. Nitro does cost a lot more, there is no debating that. Then again, meat costs more than vegatables. Doesn't mean it's better, just means it's different, and costs more.

Gilmour bought a bunch or reissue strats because that's what he likes. He likes little frets, and round fretboards, and guitars that look and play like his real 50's models. That's all there is to that. If he liked bigger frets and flatter boards, and didn't care for vintage style appointments, he'd play something else.

I'm not even into the Hot Rods. I like two point bridges. I like modern machine heads. I like that modern C neck shape. I don't really find the AVRI to be higher quality, just different. if that difference is worth the extra money to you, then great. But don't call something a ripoff because it doesn't happen to be what you like. I much prefer the Am Std because of it's much more modern appointments. But I would not call the AVRI a ripoff even though it costs much moremoney for stuff I don't want or need. It is what it is. If I were going to order a CS Masterbuilt one-off just the way I wanted it, it would be an Am Std with some subtle changes and a custom color. I don't want or need the nitro, vintage style nickel hardware, and the super duty tweed case that you pay a premium for with the AVRI. Not to mention, in all the years I've done this for a living, I've never lost a gig or not been hired because I didn't have that stuff. In any outfit I've ever worked with, from garage bands to label artists, the Am Std has always been considered a damn nice axe.

teletwang67
August 7th, 2012, 10:29 AM
so since gilmour uses avris, all models in between them and squiers are a bad value?
You can't tell us that a rich guy like him uses them because they're a good value, he could buy all of the '50s and '60s Strats he wants!

Jakedog
August 7th, 2012, 10:59 AM
I wanted to add:

I'm not too sure why people are so down on vintage frets. Gilmour is the king of bends and control....he uses vintage frets. Not only that, but his hands are HUGE. Maybe it's just because people are not used to them, but I wouldn't pass vintage frets off as inferior (not that you did, but I'm just stating it as a discussion point).

My '57 AVRI Strat compared to my '52 AVRI Tele, has just enough radius to where you can make full bends; not sure if I really want anymore than what's on there now. The '52 AVRI seems a tad more limited because it has a smaller radius than the strat, but plenty for what I use the tele for. One thing I can't stand is a LARGE radius (like the 72 Tele Custom...yuck).

Both of of my AVRIs have super low action (thanks to the frets) and you can move on them lightning fast.



I jump on my Les Paul, and I'm happy with those medium jumbo frets too.

I guess I'm just saying that people make too much of a big deal over fret sizes. They only "limit" what you "think" that they are going to limit. I think anything that causes me to be more "agile' will make me a better player, so I'm glad to play on vintage frets as often as I do.

Ok, this is getting weird...

The AVRI '57 Strat, AVRI '52 Tele, and the MIM '72 RI Tele Custom ALL have a 7.25" radius. They are not different. The neck profiles are different, but the radii are all the same. They also all have the same sized fret wire...

The Hot Rods have (I believe) a 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets, like the Am. Std., but still retaining AVRI neck profiles.

Your Les Paul has a 12" radius. What most people would consider rather flat. You like it ok, even though it's FAR larger than the '72 RI, which you don't like, and think is too big.

I'm not picking on you, or calling you out, but I will say that it has become obvious to me that you need to learn some more about guitars and how they are built before you start handing out loads of advice about them.

Fret size doesn't have much to do with action height. You can set any action low, no matter what the radius or fret size. However, if you want to bend big, a flatter radius and bigger frets aids in that department. It's not necessary by any means, but it helps facilitate that style. With a round radius, like Fender's vintage 7.25", if you want to bend big (a step and a half or better), you need to jack up the action a bit to keep it from fretting out at the peak of the bend. It also helps sometimes to put just a touch of relief in the neck. if you don't need to bend, you can lay the strings almost flat on the frets and use the neck super straight.

With larger frets, you have more space between the fret and fretboard on fretted notes. This allows more finger meat to get under the string and really really push it up to bend. It's a help for large bends. Combined with a flatter radius, you can bend really big, with the strings much closer to the frets, because with a really flat radius, you don't fret out going over the "horizon" of the middle of the fretboard. This is why shredder guitars almost exclusively have large frets and 12" or flatter boards.

This is not to say you can't shred on a vintage tele, you certainly can. If you're used to it, it can even be comfy and totally rockin'. But it is a physical impossibility to set the action and relief as low on a 7.25" guitar with vintage frets as you can on a shred guitar with a 12-16" compound radius with jumbo frets, and have them execute the same bends.

Bigger frets and flatter boards also have their cons. People used to vintage fret wire ofetn play jumbos out of tune. You have to use a lighter touch on taller fret wire, or you push it down between the frets, resulting in a micro-bend that puts the note out of tune. Poeple with meat clamp left hand technique often have this problem. Rounder radii and smaller frets also lend themselves well to rhythm playing. They are very comfortable to chord on all the way up and down the neck. Flatter radiused necks with larger frets require more effort to play complex chords on, but are much easier to bend and speed on in most cases. Everything is a trade off.

I like the Am Std because it's kind of a best of both worlds. You get a little flatter radius at 9.5", but it's still really easy to chord and comp on. You also get med jumbo frets, which are little easier to bend big on while keeping the action in line (I often will go two full steps) but aren't so big that you bend them out of tune if you clamp a chord a little "off". Perosnally, I'd like it a little flatter, but I cna live with it. The Bonnie Raitt and SRV strats both use a 10" radius, and that feels about perfect to me. if I ever have one built, that's what I'll use. but I also like my Gibsons, with their 12" radii. They make me play a little different, and are a pure joy to bend big on.

LarsOS
August 7th, 2012, 11:11 AM
Some years ago, I received a cheap Indonesian Squier tele in ok condition. It was probably worth $100 or $150. After spending less than $100 on parts (and a few hours sourcing the cheapest "quality" parts I could find, and installing them), this guitar now plays and sounds better than the "real" Fender teles I've tried lately. Of course I'm biased, but I also own some other decent guitars (and some not-so-decent ones) to compare with.

So I'd say that this guitar is worth ~$200 in parts, and still it easily competes with $1000 guitars. My point is: You don't always get what you pay for. At least not if you're
a) conscious about guitars, and about what you want
b) willing to do a little bit of work yourself, and
c) not interested in paying for the privilege of having some particular logo on the headstock.

That being said, I also tried upgrading a Orfeus LP copy, but that didn't work out quit as well. It's still a [feces] guitar, despite my efforts. So obviously you need a decent platform to start with. And that is one area where Squier really delivers, IMO.

FenderNashville
August 7th, 2012, 12:49 PM
A new Am Std strat is $1K. I would really like to know where you can find a new AVRI for $1100 or less. If you want to compare apples to apples, you can easily find a USED AVRI for that money, or a USED Am.Std. for $500-$750.

PM me and I'll give you a phone number to a shop that is selling brand new Candy Apple Red '57 AVRIs for $1050 w/ a setup. I have no reason to lie. You wouldn't want it anyways because it's inferior to an American Standard, right? :smile:

I also did not agree that the AVRI guitars have superior materials. they don't IMO. I find them pretty even with the Am Std guitars. They just have finishes and nickel hardware that cost more money.

Some folks say nitro sounds superior, in twenty five years of playing guitar for a living, I've never seen it proven. now mind you, I own some guitars with nitro, and some with poly, and have owned lots of both. I don't have any guitars that sound bad, because I wouldn't buy a guitar that sounds bad. matter of fact, all of my guitars sound really good, no matter what finish they have. Nitro does cost a lot more, there is no debating that. Then again, meat costs more than vegatables. Doesn't mean it's better, just means it's different, and costs more.

Nitro is a superior finish to Poly if you do know anything about materials. I don't think you're going to get much agreement on your side here. All of my high end, "top of the line" guitars use this finish, including my acoustics. It's lightweight, and allows for better resonation. You seem to think that it's all a myth, so I'll leave you to think that.

Gilmour bought a bunch or reissue strats because that's what he likes. He likes little frets, and round fretboards, and guitars that look and play like his real 50's models. That's all there is to that. If he liked bigger frets and flatter boards, and didn't care for vintage style appointments, he'd play something else.

That could be true, but have you also considered that he MAY think that they are superior guitars as well? As another poster said, he could have purchased REAL '57 and '52 guitars. He went for the AVRIs, and my primary point here, is that they are amazing guitars, and I still disagree that they are only merely just "different" than an American Standard.

I'm not even into the Hot Rods. I like two point bridges. I like modern machine heads. I like that modern C neck shape. I don't really find the AVRI to be higher quality, just different. if that difference is worth the extra money to you, then great. But don't call something a ripoff because it doesn't happen to be what you like. I much prefer the Am Std because of it's much more modern appointments. But I would not call the AVRI a ripoff even though it costs much moremoney for stuff I don't want or need. It is what it is. If I were going to order a CS Masterbuilt one-off just the way I wanted it, it would be an Am Std with some subtle changes and a custom color. I don't want or need the nitro, vintage style nickel hardware, and the super duty tweed case that you pay a premium for with the AVRI. Not to mention, in all the years I've done this for a living, I've never lost a gig or not been hired because I didn't have that stuff. In any outfit I've ever worked with, from garage bands to label artists, the Am Std has always been considered a damn nice axe.

Fair enough. But this doesn't deter from the fact that I think Standards are overpriced when new (look at their used value), inconsistent quality, and the pickups sound like crap to my ears. The vintage appointments (v-neck, vintage frets, gotoh tuners) I will agree are my personal preference.

You're talking to someone here that will also dismiss Gibson's Lester-lineup as well. To me, the American Standard and the Gibson Traditional Lines are commodity American instruments. They are nothing special, and they are far, far, far, from my being historically accurate or even sound instruments, if that's what you're going for.

FenderNashville
August 7th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Ok, this is getting weird...

The AVRI '57 Strat, AVRI '52 Tele, and the MIM '72 RI Tele Custom ALL have a 7.25" radius. They are not different. The neck profiles are different, but the radii are all the same. They also all have the same sized fret wire...

The Hot Rods have (I believe) a 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets, like the Am. Std., but still retaining AVRI neck profiles.

Your Les Paul has a 12" radius. What most people would consider rather flat. You like it ok, even though it's FAR larger than the '72 RI, which you don't like, and think is too big.

Good information here. I didn't care to look up everything; just going by memory (which can be faulty). I will add, that I think certain guitars fit better with certain size fretboards and string spacing. The '72 RI's string spacing to me, is just wrong. This is why I had a Custom Telecaster built just for me following the exact playability specs as a '52 (check out my build thread).

Fret size doesn't have much to do with action height. You can set any action low, no matter what the radius or fret size. However, if you want to bend big, a flatter radius and bigger frets aids in that department. It's not necessary by any means, but it helps facilitate that style. With a round radius, like Fender's vintage 7.25", if you want to bend big (a step and a half or better), you need to jack up the action a bit to keep it from fretting out at the peak of the bend. It also helps sometimes to put just a touch of relief in the neck. if you don't need to bend, you can lay the strings almost flat on the frets and use the neck super straight.

Whether or not they have a "testable" difference is not what I was getting at. I was mainly getting at a perceivable difference. My AVRIs feel, and seem, like they have the lowest action out of any of my guitars, bar none. In-fact, they are the first guitars where I've actually had to RAISE the action. Not because of "fretting out" issues, but simply because it was hard to dig into the fretboard with the action.

With larger frets, you have more space between the fret and fretboard on fretted notes. This allows more finger meat to get under the string and really really push it up to bend. It's a help for large bends. Combined with a flatter radius, you can bend really big, with the strings much closer to the frets, because with a really flat radius, you don't fret out going over the "horizon" of the middle of the fretboard. This is why shredder guitars almost exclusively have large frets and 12" or flatter boards.

Shredders are boring, and are totally 80s. :) But yes, you are correct. That's not my style of guitar playing, though.

Good information, and I'm not disagreeing much with you. I agree that most of it is preference. But again, if vintage is what you're after (which is currently and has been a huge hotspot recently for guitar players), the AVRI guitars are where it's at.

Jakedog
August 7th, 2012, 01:38 PM
Good information here. I didn't care to look up everything; just going by memory (which can be faulty). I will add, that I think certain guitars fit better with certain size fretboards and string spacing. The '72 RI's string spacing to me, is just wrong. This is why I had a Custom Telecaster built just for me following the exact playability specs as a '52 (check out my build thread).

Ok, strings spacing has nothing to do with radius. String spacing has to do with nut width, and saddle width. If you wanted to, you could build a neck that is six inches wide at the nut, and has a 7.25 radius. Or, you could build a neck that is a half inch wide at the nut, and has a 7.25 inch radius. Radius is the curvature of the fretboard, measured from the bass to trable side, or vice versa. The lower the number, the rounder the fretboard. the higher the number, the flatter the fretboard. Width and string spacing is not the same thing.



Whether or not they have a "testable" difference is not what I was getting at. I was mainly getting at a perceivable difference. My AVRIs feel, and seem, like they have the lowest action out of any of my guitars, bar none. In-fact, they are the first guitars where I've actually had to RAISE the action. Not because of "fretting out" issues, but simply because it was hard to dig into the fretboard with the action.

This perception is because the frets are so short. With more height, you get more space to dig in. Action refers to string height over the fret, not the fretboard (unless the instrument is fretless). With tall enough frets you could run your action as low as you please, right down on the fretwire, and still be able to "dig in" and get under the string very easily.



Shredders are boring, and are totally 80s. :) But yes, you are correct. That's not my style of guitar playing, though.

Good information, and I'm not disagreeing much with you. I agree that most of it is preference. But again, if vintage is what you're after (which is currently and has been a huge hotspot recently for guitar players), the AVRI guitars are where it's at.

:grin:

Jakedog
August 7th, 2012, 02:14 PM
PM me and I'll give you a phone number to a shop that is selling brand new Candy Apple Red '57 AVRIs for $1050 w/ a setup. I have no reason to lie. You wouldn't want it anyways because it's inferior to an American Standard, right? :smile:

That's a smokin deal, that many here would probaby like to hear about. I never said they were inferior, I never even implied it. I just said I prefer the Standards. They are fine guitars, but not useable for me, so I have no interest. If I liked them, I'd still own the ones I used to have. Doesn't do me any good to get a smoking deal on a guitar I'll never play.



Nitro is a superior finish to Poly if you do know anything about materials. I don't think you're going to get much agreement on your side here. All of my high end, "top of the line" guitars use this finish, including my acoustics. It's lightweight, and allows for better resonation. You seem to think that it's all a myth, so I'll leave you to think that.

Nitro is more expensive to apply, and easier to repair, two reasons it costs more. You'll probably be surprised, but I'll probably get a lot of very experienced players on my side with this one. It is the opnion of many people that it "sounds" superior, but it can't be proven. Period. It never has been. I own both nitro and poly guitars. i happen to think ntiro feels better when i start sweating, I don't dig the way poly gets so slippery feeling. Tonal difference? Prove it. You can't. I have high end acoustics and electrics finished in nitro, and I have high end guitars finished in poly and UV treatments. I used to drink the kool-aid too, but I don't anymore. A very thin full nitro vs. a very thick crappy poly on a nice acoustic would obviously make a difference, but so would a very thin modern poly vs. a veryt thick and goopy nitro. It's smoke and mirrors. Nitro is great, poly and UV cured can be too. Nitro costs a lot more, and is "vintage correct" so it gets used on more high end stuff to help justify price, and for that classic nitro look. For what it's worth, your AVRI guitar only have a partial nitro finish. most of it is poly. With a nitro topcoat.



That could be true, but have you also considered that he MAY think that they are superior guitars as well? As another poster said, he could have purchased REAL '57 and '52 guitars. He went for the AVRIs, and my primary point here, is that they are amazing guitars, and I still disagree that they are only merely just "different" than an American Standard.

Hemay think they are superior, or he may really like 50's strat, and would rather road dog Reissues than $50K guitars. Lots of artists do it. That's why relics were invented. So that famous artists could have guitar that looked like their old standbys, but could leave them at home and play affordably replaceable guitars with no sentimental value on tour.



Fair enough. But this doesn't deter from the fact that I think Standards are overpriced when new (look at their used value), inconsistent quality, and the pickups sound like crap to my ears. The vintage appointments (v-neck, vintage frets, gotoh tuners) I will agree are my personal preference.

The fact remains, you can't buy another USA made guitar brand new, with their quality and features, for what they sell for. You can't. That in itself makes them a good value. Pickups are personal preference, I love them. Just like I love the RI pickups. they are different, but not at all bad. I gig over two hundred dates a year, nobody ever tells me I sound bad. My '96 and '08 have stock pickups. They sound killer. My '95 I just rememberd has Texas Specials in it, they were in it when I got it the second time. They sound fine too. The newest Am Std guitars have CS pickups in them straight from the factory, so...

You're talking to someone here that will also dismiss Gibson's Lester-lineup as well. To me, the American Standard and the Gibson Traditional Lines are commodity American instruments. They are nothing special, and they are far, far, far, from my being historically accurate or even sound instruments, if that's what you're going for.

And that's not what I'm going for. If one WERE going for that, why in the world would they even play an American Standard? Much like I think that increased fuel economy, airbags, anti-lock brakes, etc are actually IMPROVEMENTS on new cars over old automobiles, I think that flatter fretboards, larger frets, modern C necks, two point bridges etc, are an improvment over vintage strats. They increase performance, and make playing more enjoyable for me. it's the only job I have, and the only one I'll ever have, so I have to enjoy it. if I wanted a vintage guitar, I'd buy one. I've had plenty, with a couple of notable exceptions, they didn't do much for me.

The AVRI is a killer guitar, no doubt. If that's what somebvody wants. The Am Std. is ever bit as nice, if that's what somebody wants. It also happens to be cheaper, because it sports a less expensive to apply finish, a less expensive case, and hardware that costs less because it is not vinatge correct in any way. If a nitro finish, tweed case, nickel vintage hardware, and that whoe vintage thing are important to you, then it's worth it to pay the extra money. All things considered though, the two models are on a very even playing field from a build and materials quality point of view.

As for inconsistent, I can't see it. I've owned over 150 Am. Std strats from '87 to '08 models,and never had a bad one. I went through almost two years where I got a different one at least once a week. It was fun. I would get one, play it for a couple of gigs, then trade it for another one, but in a different color. I did this every few days for almost two years. I figured I'd never be able to own one of every color ever made, but I could make it look like I did at gigs. It was a blast. Did it almost enitrely with even trades on Craigslist. Red ones, blue ones, a purple one, green, yellow, razzberry, carribean mist, I'll bet I had almost every color they've ever made. The one biggest factoor that made it work was the across the board consistency of this model. I would get one, throw on new strings, make some very minor adjustments so it had "my" setup, play it, then trade. They were all virtually identical. never a rough one in the bunch. All great playing, great sounding instruments.

There have been minor changes over the years. I don't dig pre-'95 models as much as later ones. The body contours are too shallow, they feel like MIM bodies. Not for me. Also, in the late 90's, they stopped veneering the bodies and thinned the finish considerably. In '97 the delta tone system came in. Very good, but I still prefer the TBX tone control. With the advent of the "American Series" in '99 we got staggered tuners, rolled fingerboard edges, better fret and nutwork than was ever seen previously (and it was great before that), the return of THE original contour body with headstock decal, all kinds of cool stuff, but still with totally modern and improved playability. With the re-introduction of the Am Std name, we got modern two point bridge with vintae bent steel saddles, re-calibrated pickups (very nice) glossed headstocks and maple boards, just a ton more nice features. The cases got crappier though, and take up too much space. SKB will never have my love for these new ATA cases. They suck big balls. if somebody gave me a brand new AVRI, I'd sell it and buy another Am Std. It's a great guitar, but I like what I like, and having as much experience with instruments of all kinds as I have in this business, I know it's a top shelf axe for low dough, which is just a huge bonus. because I'd still have to play them, even if they were $500 more than the AVRI.

One of the best things about the Am Std? You never have to re-wire one to have a tone control on the bridge pickup, they are all done right from the factory.:mrgreen:

Vomact
August 7th, 2012, 09:18 PM
My recommendation:

Pick up Play both a Squire or a MIM and an American Standard. Not just one or two, but seven or eight.

Note: The GC was created for this very reason and no other. The GC serves no other useful purpose.

Then you decide.

You could be happy with the MIM ( or Squire), I was, and you could be VERY happy with the MIM after some strategic upgrades such a Callaham bridge kit, new PUPs and some minor modifications to the tone circuits. All for less than the $1,000+ you will drop an American Standard. AVRI's are O.K. IF you find one that is a variation that suits you and your budget. They are generally much more expensive than American Standards, so if you can't find a decent used one be prepared to drop $1,500 or more.

IMHO you are going to get what you pay for. An American Standard is going to have a better build quality (although MIM's are getting better every year) a better neck, better neck to neck pocket fit (a critical issue) better shielding and definitely better pickups.

My first Strat was a MIM. I was happy with it but I wasn't completely happy with it as it hummed like an S.O.B. so I bought Dan Erlewines book and read it.

I then made all the changes myself; new bridge, pups, pick-guard and rout shielding, tone control wiring and I learned A LOT about how an electric guitar works and why a Strat sounds like a Strat. Just fiddling with the tone control and caps was an education in itself. They never tell you this but all Strats should come with a treble bleed circuit on teh Volume control and Squires and MIM's don't. In fact some(lots) of American Standards don't for that matter.

This exercise I would recommend as beneficial to all budding guitarist getting ready to drop some serious cash on an instrument.

You will learn to understand and appreciate what you are playing.

All this being said, I love my American Standard. It sounded great right out of the box and after a pro setup it was all that I expected, it cost $1,100 not $500-700 and with the exception of having to stick a bleed circuit on the Volume control I have had to do nothing to it.

wu11ie
August 8th, 2012, 08:46 PM
Well a big thank you to all of you for your input, i've had a look around and around and around lol, and i finally picked this bad boy :lol:

I played it and to be honest i just loved the sound of it, sounds a lot better than my Tele' IMO, anyway, here's a picture :smile:

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn131/wu11ie/20120807_111434.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn131/wu11ie/20120807_111448.jpg

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn131/wu11ie/20120807_111508.jpg

And one with its brother :smile:

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn131/wu11ie/20120807_111637.jpg

FenderNashville
August 8th, 2012, 08:56 PM
A strat sounding better than a Tele? Would DEFINITELY NOT go that far!

But, a Korean Strat is better than anything Squier makes today, so NICE pickup! Is it floating? You're going to want to educate yourself on how to make a nice floating 6-point setup that stays in tune.

wu11ie
August 8th, 2012, 10:07 PM
A strat sounding better than a Tele? Would DEFINITELY NOT go that far!

But, a Korean Strat is better than anything Squier makes today, so NICE pickup! Is it floating? You're going to want to educate yourself on how to make a nice floating 6-point setup that stays in tune.

I have no idea what floating is ! lol

To me it sounds a bit heavier than the Tele', maybe my untrained ear right enough, but i'm happy with it.

FenderNashville
August 8th, 2012, 10:55 PM
That's excellent man! Floating means = is the bridge locked down or does it move?

Here are the differences between a Tele and a Strat:

The Strat gets its sound primarily from its bridge design. The springs, bridge, all provide a DIRECT path to the tone..because it IS the tone! That is why strats sound "spongey" and "metallic." There is NOTHING ELSE that sounds like a strat, and it's a one of a kind design. You either love them, or you hate them. For songs that don't need that spongey sound, that is where I think Strats sound completely wrong, and I disagree with some that think they are the ultimate "all in one" guitar. If I hear a spongey sound to a song that I know doesn't have one when watching cover bands, then I get uber mad. :twisted: One other thing that I haven't mentioned about strats is that they have outstanding, if not superior, playing dynamics. Everything you do with your playing gets directly translated to the pickups.

The Tele is more like a conventional guitar. You WILL get better tuning stability, and you WILL get better sustain (unless the Strat is blocked). With a Tele, the strings are strung through the wood (through the ferrules). That is what the term "hardtail" means--it doesn't move. The Tele, strictly my opinion, is the better guitar. The reason being, is that it can sound like a strat decently enough, but it can also sound just as powerful as a humbucker guitar. When discussing which guitar can do more, for alls types of music, the tele is the hands-down winner, no contest or debate. The simplicity of a Telecaster is completely staggering. There's not much to them, but the simplicity of the design gives a wonderful, yet original tone.

Strats should actually sound higher pitched, especially when doing a bridge comparison. The strat bridge tends to be brittle and harsh (worst part about them IMO)...that's why you see many HSS strats. The tele bridge has a fat, warmer, more powerful sound. The neck pickups are similar in sound, but not necessarily in looks. Tele's have that slighter "lipsticky" tone to them, whereas strats don't, but the neck positions are similar. The middle pickup is where the Strat really offers something completely different, which is kind of a warm, light, hollow tone.

I wish someone explained to me the above before I went through many guitars. I LOVE my strat. But nothing is replacing my teles.

StoogeSurfer
August 9th, 2012, 08:26 AM
Put a hotter pickup in your Strat bridge and add a blender pot, it makes a huge difference and IMHO turns a Strat into a rather more versatile guitar than a Tele.

I said IMHO, that's cyber speak for 'don't send me your hate letters.' :wink:

Aronkovacs
August 10th, 2012, 04:22 PM
There is a problem that no one seems to notice. Squiers sound weaker and less natural, since some of them is made from only 1 1/2 thick wood as a weight relief. No one (including Fender) Discusses body depth, so you could get fooled if you get a squier online. Affinities are definately, thin, but a lot of them are a gamble. If you want to upgrade, youll need a body transplant. Fenders will definately have a thicker body herefore more natural and better sustaining. Keep your eyes peeled if you want a squier online. Many dont care, but it pisses me off, feels like I'm cheated, however with the lower priced models they target students and kids, on the other hand, vintage modifieds are for more expert players, since many players no nothing about what vintage means.

Aronkovacs
August 10th, 2012, 04:33 PM
+1 on that. I took an 1100.00 Am Std strat back because it wasn't THAT much better than my 250.00 mim with a pickup upgrade. Sure the neck on the Am Std was gloss on the fretboard but that was the only difference I could tell.

I've seen American Fenders (Highway one, and standards) for around 500$, just keep your eyes open. Craigslist often.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brx/msg/3195368646.html

Oakville Dave
August 10th, 2012, 06:12 PM
If you are looking at a Squier be sure to check out the Classic Vibe series as they are better than the cheaper Squiers. Some say they are as good as MIMs and some say they are as good as MIAs. I don't agree as I find their necks far too thin for my liking but enough people swear by them that you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking them out.

+1 various Squier models have varying neck characteristics. I'm very pleased with my Squier Classic Vibe 60's Strat. It's build quality, playability, and sound are great.

Enjoy the search!

Oakville Dave
August 10th, 2012, 06:16 PM
There is a problem that no one seems to notice. Squiers sound weaker and less natural, since some of them is made from only 1 1/2 thick wood as a weight relief. No one (including Fender) Discusses body depth, so you could get fooled if you get a squier online. Affinities are definately, thin, but a lot of them are a gamble. If you want to upgrade, youll need a body transplant. Fenders will definately have a thicker body herefore more natural and better sustaining. Keep your eyes peeled if you want a squier online. Many dont care, but it pisses me off, feels like I'm cheated, however with the lower priced models they target students and kids, on the other hand, vintage modifieds are for more expert players, since many players no nothing about what vintage means.

I agree this is true with many, but not all Squiers. The CV 69's Strat is not thin ans is made of alder, the wood of choice of many Fender Strats.

Wileyone
August 10th, 2012, 07:23 PM
The early JV and SQ series Squier's made alot of MIA Strats run and hide.

Brett Fuzz
August 10th, 2012, 11:09 PM
Just a tip for the OP

I have two Strat's, one a Squire CV50 and a really cheap Legend Strat copy.

I replaced the cheap, tinny blocks on both (with CeltRocka ones) and it improved the tone and sustain heaps.

That and a good setup will do wonders for some of these entry level Strats.

wu11ie
August 12th, 2012, 09:40 AM
Thanks again for all the extra info folks,

I won't be replacing anything on it at the moment, as its good enough for me, but when the time comes i'll definately be back for some guidance :smile: