Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Sterling by Music Man vs Squier

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by mj6thbuif, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    In the market for a new guitar. I am considering the Sterling AX3. Can anyone with experience with both Sterling and Squier (particularly the CV Tele) comment on the difference in quality? My #1 is a CV50 that I absolutely love. So tell me... can the Sterling hang? I can get another CV or even a Squier Standard Tele, but would really love to have a guitar with at least one HB.
     

  2. grim83

    grim83 Tele-Meister

    398
    Jul 14, 2014
    alabamy
    I believe the CV is already routed for a hb in the neck. Could always pull a keef.
     

  3. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    736
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    Not sure if you read my posts to your other thread.

    First of all, I would not buy new, find what you want used.

    Second a Sterling AX is pretty much different than most of all squiers ever made. Flat radius, assymetrical neck, 4/2 headstock, weird switching.

    Similarities are cheaper hardware but the AX is more on par with a Standard Squier in terms of quality, so better than affinity, bullet...tuners are decent, trem block is small.

    I've never played a CV but I have A few MIMs, 70s USA, MIJ, MIK. Most of the good modern squiers are made in Indonesia as is the Sterling AX. The AX is just as enjoyable to play.

    Here's the thing. An AX is kind of a unique beast that isn't quite shredder but can shred, nor is it vintage but can play well like one.
     

  4. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    Sorry didnt see your other post. But yeah I def plan to buy used. I plan to take the next few months looking for that great deal.

    And yes I realize the Axis style guitars are much different and I am ok with that. What draws me to the AX is that they seem a little smaller and more compact. I am a small guy so looking for something that plays nice but also something a little easier to flick around on stage. Would you say they are shorter than Teles head to toe?

    Thanks a lot for the comparison. Been having a hard time finding info on how the AXs are with regard to quality. I am glad you find them enjoyable to play.
     

  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    The Sterling is more versatile. The Squier is more traditional. That in a nutshell is where the decision lies.
    Everyone seems to have to have locking tuners, too.
     
    mj6thbuif likes this.

  6. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    736
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    [​IMG]

    Here you go. It doesn't look that much smaller but it feels smaller to me when playing standing up. Weight is about the same. I really like it.

    If you check GC used they don't always know what they are. The ax3 has a traditional style trem with a ledge on the back, the ax4 has a FR and locking nut and I think the ax20 is a hard tail. The giveaway is the cheaper ones have a volume and tone while the higher end have just volume. Again if you can find the ax40d that's the one with the dimarzio axis pickups. I think some people think Sterling=Squier and they mark it low to move inventory. Good luck!
     

  7. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    Nice! Thanks for that. So the headstocks dont actually say the model? Which model is yours? Sorry I know nothing about trem bridges. Pickup-wise the AX40D seems to be the one to get. But otherwise, which is the one to get if I don't plan to use the whammy bar? Which stays in tune the best. I have never owned a trem guitar nor would I have any idea what to do with one. Like I said, I just like the AX for its compactness, HBs, and their ability to split coil. Is it fairly straightforward to replace the pickups on any of these?
     

  8. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    736
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    Mine is an ax3. There is one on GC used website now for 159. FWIW I paid 125 for mine with stand and rocksmith cable. If you don't want a tremolo I believe the ax20 is a hard tail with a rosewood fretboard. They seem to be a little harder to find. The ax3 has a standard type tremolo and nut. The ax4 has the Floyd rose style and so do the ax40 and ax40d. A major difference of the last two is the d I believe stands for dimarzio pickups.

    As far as changing pickups I'd say it's a piece of cake if youve done it before, and still easy if you haven't.

    I really like the stock pickups in the ax3 which I believe are same as ax4, ax20 and maybe ax40. It has a special 5 way switch that does split the pickups and I think runs them in series and parallel. It's super cool and like I said these are the best cheap stock humbucker I've come across. While I'm no expert, I've got quite a few dimarzios, gfs, g&l and an odd Duncan antiquity.

    I'm a big VH fan and always wanted an axis or Wolfgang so when this came up I jumped on it. I'm glad I did because it's way cool.
     

  9. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    Cool. Thanks so much for all the info. I may wait to see if I can find one for $150. This has been very helpful!
     

  10. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    Got to test drive the AX4 today at GC. Was somewhat disappointed with the pickups in HB mode. Split it was good though.
     

  11. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    736
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    How so? Muddy? How about the rest of the guitar?
     

  12. mj6thbuif

    mj6thbuif Tele-Meister

    231
    Mar 22, 2016
    US
    Weak, muddy, lifeless. Those are probably the best words to describe it. I did like the feel of the guitar though. No sticky neck. No sharp frets. And I love the compactness of it. I knew I would probably change the pickups in the future anyway. But I just dont know if the HBs are usable for me. I also tried an Epiphone LP Traditional Pro just for comparison. Not that I would buy a LP style - little to heavy and big for me. With the LP, both HB and split mode sucked. I dunno, maybe coil splitting HBs aren't for me. Are there any out there that are as good as dedicated HBs?
     

  13. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    736
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    Split/ tapped never as good. Were you playing clean or with effects?
     

  14. user34603

    user34603 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    67
    322
    Dec 5, 2016
    Richmond VA
    .... late answer but the Sub2000 has a HB bridge and a quality one with 4-way to coils split is about all the guitar needs. The Classic Vibe 50s I liked a lot, both the Strat and the Tele.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.