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Indonesian Squier Experiences

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Charlie Fleming, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Charlie Fleming

    Charlie Fleming TDPRI Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Gainesville, Florida USA
    Greetings Forum Readers,

    I would like to survey folks that have or have had Squier-branded instruments that were made by Cort in the Indonesian factory. These axes would have serial numbers that began with the letters IC. The only one I've ever had is a Precision Bass Special, that while having nothing really very exciting about it, tunes up, plays great and has been very dependable. I am curious to know how folks feel their IC instruments compare to ones made in Korea or Japan in terms of fit, finish, playability, quality of sound, et cetera. Perhaps if the responses built enough of a thread, we will be able to ferret out the IC models that are considered the best value and most desirable to own.

    Thanks for reading, and responding,

  2. pchilson

    pchilson Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2007
    I have a 2001 Affinity Strat that fits the criteria. Fit and finish is absolutely fine. Only thing is the pickups aren't great sounding. Not a complaint just a fact.

  3. electrablue

    electrablue Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 18, 2004
    North Carolina
    I had a standard strat I got in 2004 and eventually gave to my son. I thought the pups sounded great. Fit and finish was good except for a crappy nut (too high at the first fret so intonation was hard to maintain). The width of the neck at the nut was too narrow for me but that's just a function of the specs I guess.
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  5. bluesjr315

    bluesjr315 TDPRI Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    i own a china made affanity and i say the same thing fit and finish are great but the pick ups suck
  6. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

    Jun 26, 2008
    Group W Bench
    I have an 07 "Crafted In Indonesia" standard Strat. Love it. Took some tweaking to get the neck and intonation right on. Big help was replacing the 09 strings with 11's. The alnico pups are great. The guys I jam with have a Mexican made 60's type reissue and and a an American VG. Mine plays and sounds better than the Mex. The only thing I like better about the VG is some of the sounds from that Roland bridge pup. Other wise it doesn't play as nice as mine. At least not $1000. as nice.
  7. satorotas47

    satorotas47 TDPRI Member

    Sep 10, 2008
    London, England

    I have bought and sold many many Squiers over the last 28 years, and I have to say that in my experience the Cort-made Squiers were, and are, the WORST.

    You only have to compare a Korean Squier from the 90's with a Samick-made Squier from the 90's to see a massive difference.

    The Cort ones had crappy tuners (with no securing nut) and plywood bodies.

    The Samick ones were actually superb guitars and had fast smooth necks with skunk stripe, good tuners with securing nuts, and solid bodies.

    Massive difference.

    Up to date the best Squiers have been made by (in order of excellence)...

    1. Fuji Genn Gakki

    2. Samick

    3. Yako

    This does not of course include Mexican or U.S made Squiers.
  8. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

    I have an IC05... Squire 51. Overall it sounds, feels and looks great. I bought it as a budget guitar for project experiments, but still haven't changed a thing. It's a notch above other Squires I've tried, maybe equal to an MIM Standard for quality.
  9. Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 7, 2007
    My VM Jazz Bass is GREAT. Quality all the way -- looks, playability. $280 new.

    My mini Strat is very good, and fun to play, but not life-changing. $100 new.

    My Indonesian Strat had REALLY rough fret ends, so I filed them down. Pickups are very tinny-sounding, but that works well with certain effects. $150 new.

    All these instruments have IC serial numbers, all bought in the last 3-4 years.

    How do these compare to instruments I have from other countries? The bass holds its own with anything from anywhere. The other 2 are inexpensive instruments that are 100% functional, and they're right on par with other inexpensive, functional instruments.
  10. mcearlock

    mcearlock TDPRI Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    kirklin in
    indo p bass special
    indo custom 2 (converted to custom 1 specs with duncan jb/jazz and cts pots/orange drop caps)
    I love them both!!

    way better than chinese aff tele i had!!(seemed like a toy compared to custom)
  11. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    I have never seen an Indonesian Cort Squier Tele that came from the factory with a plywood body, or that didn't have the nuts securing the tuner to the headstock.

    My experience with the Indonesian Cort products is exclusively with Squier Teles. I have 7 of those, the oldest is a 1998 (first year production) and the newest is a 2006.

    I have a Korean Cort guitar that is styled like a Tele other than its headstock shape. I think it is a 1993 year production model.

    Some of my experience with Indonesian Cort Squier Teles...

    Much of the hardware appears to be the same as Mighty Mite parts. Both Cort and Mighty Mite are Westheimer Corporation brands. But Mighty Mite seems to be very ineffective in terms of communicating with consumers, so their online catalog is outdated and getting a response to a phone call or forum inquiry is like pulling hen's teeth. Note their use of the word blah in the folder name and page name for the forum in that link, I'm not making this up. The point is, you have to dig hard for Squier/Cort/Mighty Mite information from several places and connect the dots yourself to figure out some things.

    I think the Mighty Mite hardware is reasonably well designed and produced, and the quality control is acceptable. The tuners work fine for me.

    The quality on the nuts seems to vary a bit. The frets aren't perfect, but they are way better than cheap guitars from the '60s and '70s. In spite of these shortcomings, the only one I have that needed work to be playable was one with fret wear requiring a L&C, and the nut on that same one had deeply worn nut grooves and tight string spacing so I had a new nut made with a better string spacing.

    Current production pickups on the Standard Tele are Mighty Mite AlNiCos and are fine IMHO except in an application where a different eq is needed. Folks who want boutique pickups will surely dismiss them though.

    Current production (since ~2004 apparently) Standard Tele pickguards have screw holes in the same location as MIA and MIM Teles, however the Mighty Mite control plate has been slightly wider and longer since the start of their production in 1998. You need to consider these characteristics when replacing pickguards.

    The pickup selector switches are rectangular circuit board based items with a somewhat flexible switch lever. The flexible lever makes them feel flimsy. The location of the solder points very close to the circuit board makes them prone to shorting out with me after several soldering efforts to swap pickups. The pots are often dime-sized instead of quarter sized and 500K instead of 250K even for single coil guitars, and are split shaft. The dime sized ones turn very freely, I like that about them. But I generally prefer 250K pots so I usually swap out the switch and pots. I do find it educational to not combine my swapping of the pots from 500K to 250K, with swapping out a pickup. Better to make those mods separately and in that order, so I don't mistakenly blame the pickups for an undesirable eq or range of tonal control that is caused by the pots.

    Beyond the Indonesia Cort Teles...

    The Korean Cort I have also seems to have Mighty Mite hardware and Mighty Mite AlNiCo pickups, although both its pickups have a lower DC resistance than the ones from the Indonesian Cort Squier Teles, and they give it a brighter tonal character and the output level seems a bit lower. I put my amp volume on 6 with that guitar to get about the same volume as my others on 5.
  12. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    my 51 was fine ,no issues or problems ,stayed in tune OK,didnt bend in the middle or leak notes .Wish I had kept it
  13. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    My 06 Squier Standard Tele.

    A great guitar, but I have done a few mods. It has a lovely neck, the tuners are reliable, and the neck pickup is one of the nicest Ive heard. I ahve done the following mods though.

    1) Widened the nut spacing using a bone nut.
    2) Wired the pickups so the middle position is in series
    3) Opened up the chrome cover on the neck pickup to boost the tone.
    4) Put .011 strings on.

    Things I don't like. Very little, except the edges of the body are a bit sharp and can dig into your forearm. Sometimes I look at it and think the red torty pickguard is a bit kitsch! Maybe a black or a white pearl would look better

    Also I got it used for about half of what they sell for new, so to me this guitar is a dream. Mind you IMO, its worth its new price too.

    Attached Files:

  14. RatherBeFishing

    RatherBeFishing Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 29, 2008
    where the trout are
    I have one of these. An affinity in a rather uncommon dark green color. I purchased it back in High School for $50 with amp, case, and cord. It has surprisingly good fit and finish. It does not stay in tune though.

    The pickups, what someone else called "tinny", I would call very bright. Many Tele players seem to want brightness. It is the brightest strat I have ever played. Supposedly, these have alder bodies too which is cool. I am planning to sell mine because it has an extremely skinny neck on it.
  15. KCKC

    KCKC Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hingham, MA
    I have an IC Squier 51 blonde, all stock, it's been great! Straight neck, stays in tune, for my needs the stock pups were fine.

    The gent from dolphin street has a video on his site featuring his 51, its range of tone and playability. Good take

  16. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 13, 2004
    Garden City, KS
    I bought this one last week. It's a Standard. Nice solid body. HSH routed. Ceramic mag pickups. Sparkle finish. No problems with the frets or the tuners, which are decent quality no-name sealed tuners.


    I'm putting the neck on what is fast becoming my number 1 Tele.

  17. I respectfully disagree.

    The tuners on the Cortek Squiers are just as usable as the "Schallers" on the American series/standard or the Pings on the MIM standard; scores of guys use them as they are; I put Gotoh "Klusons" on all those above named guitars anyway so it doesn't matter. The 10.5 mm tuner bore is a headache but most other Squiers use this standard, anyway.

    Plywood bodies? I've disassembled approximately 40 of these Cortek Surubaya Squiers and I've never seen plywood; I've seen the posts of scores of guys at the Squier 51 modders forum, and nobody has ever suggested any of those bodies are plywood. They are made of basswood, agathis or alder, depending on model.

    I think the Surubaya Cortek Squiers are exemplary guitars.
  18. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 13, 2004
    Garden City, KS
    Amen, boris. I don't know why Cort gets such a bum rap. Between Cort and Samick, you've got something like half the world's production of guitars, give or take a bit. Not sure about the exact figures, but they make guitars for everybody and neither would be in business if they couldn't build a good one.
  19. Rocks

    Rocks Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2007
    Out of curiosity, what guitars are made by Cort and Samick other than the Squires? I've heard they make guitars for quite a few different brand names, I just never knew which ones.
  20. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2008
    Hi, Boris. Just li'l correction. It's Surabaya, not Surubaya. 2nd largest city in Indonesia. To be exact, Cort Indonesia located in industrial district named Mojokerto. Few brand guitars that built in there: Ibanez, Epiphone, Cort, Washburn, ESP LTD, Hammer, Peavey, Condor, Parker, Morgan Total Music, Tradition, Grand Mystery and Daisy Rock. I heard soon they will build PRS SE line too. 24% electric guitars in world market come from this plant (50% come from China).
  21. satorotas47

    satorotas47 TDPRI Member

    Sep 10, 2008
    London, England

    Everone wants to big up there own guitars.

    Only makes sense.

    But I am telling you that Korean Cort guitars of the 90's had plywood bodies and crappy tuners. Also rough frets.

    I think perhaps some of you are thinking things like modern-day Standard Squiers are made by Cort, when they are not.

    Yako make most of these in Taiwan.
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