Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What is the Squier story? Is there more To them than I think?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by hawkman, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. hawkman

    hawkman TDPRI Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    So basically, I'm an on-and-off lurker that's back to ON and wanting to build a guitar. So I'm back on this forum and wondering if there is more to a Squier than I realize.

    Is the subforum more than just about the low-priced guitars I see everywhere? Was there a separate brand called Squier?

    I am considering starting with a Squier body and/or neck once I figure out what to look for.
  2. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot TDPRI Member

    Jun 14, 2018
    Squiers are great guitars. They are good platforms to mod and can be had for a good price! I’d so go for it
  3. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 26, 2014
    Well they started off in Michigan in 1890, so they've been around a lot longer than Fender!
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    You’ve heard of Classic Vibes, right?
    blakestree likes this.
  5. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2006
    I think @LunarSlingShot has it right. Any "problem" with a Squier is more often than not down to crappy hardware or electronics. The wood itself is fine. My first electric is a black Squier Strat I still have, and the back of the neck is the nicest piece of guitar I've touched. And that's from one of those %150 guitar-and-amp packs.

    And even though hardware and electronics can be a Squier's weak point, that doesn't mean they necessarily are such on any given guitar. Plenty of people here love their stock Squiers, and not just because they were cheap.

    But yeah, Squier's popularity these days with players who can afford "better" or whose playing "merits" better is pretty much down to the ability to put together your own custom guitar for relatively little.
  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I read somewhere that Squier was a string manufacturing company. Fender bought them as their inroad to making their own strings.
    They also got the Squier name in the deal and used it as a name for their budget line of instruments.
    I don't think the original Squier company ever produced a guitar.
    Someone else may have a more accurate account.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  7. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Meister

    Oct 22, 2011
    Wiltshire UK
    Everything you need to know right here.

    bender66, Bri-Sonic and BorderRadio like this.
  8. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    Quite a few threads on them here on the forum.
  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I like the name Squier. It has a nice ring to it, sounds fancy.
    Hello young Squier.:)

    Depending on where you live i'd prefer to just buy a classic vibe rather than build a partscaster. Works out cheaper for most people and you can always sell the neck and buy another if you don't bond with it. Mine cost me $220 delivered condition two used about 6 years ago. It was only missing the tone knob. It's my main player out of 14 electrics some costing more than ten times the price.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    BorderRadio likes this.
  10. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Squier is Fender’s “budget” brand — but don’t let that fool you. They make some great guitars. I REALLY like both the “vintage modified” and “classic vibe” lines! I have also used parts from those lines for several custom builds - been happy w every one of them
    nicod98, Treynor and BorderRadio like this.
  11. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

    Mar 4, 2009
    Jack Pierson of Allman Brothers fame. he uses stock squiers I think there is a lot more to inexpensive guitars now then there was in the past .. CNC machining makes a more consistant product . most low end guitars are very giggable for little money and usually the pickups are far better then their counterparts from years ago. So give it a go !
    Treynor likes this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Like @RodeoTex said, Squier was a string manufacturer that Fender bought out long ago, and then in the '80s when Fender was struggling with all the import copy guitars cutting into their market share, Fender went to those offshore guitar companies building illegal Fender copies and found one to sell Fender copies to FMIC with the Squier brand on the headstock.

    While Fender has never made a Squier, the first Squiers were made in Japan and some were made in Mexico.
    Seems Fender Mexico is more like actually Fender making guitars, as opposed to Fender paying the Jay Turser factory or the Tokai factory to make essentially Fender copies.

    The early MIJ (Japan) Squiers were really good, and after a short time, Fender told the factory to put Fender decals on those Squiers, because buyers were getting used to the idea of offshore Fenders made by another company.

    I'm not sure about the Mexican Squiers, but there are rumors that some early Mexican Fenders were actually parts made in the US, then shipped to Mexico for assembly.

    Current Squier production is all over the map, but Fender does not make any of them.
    That's not a bad thing, and I still love some of the old MIJ Fender copies including the very popular and now valuable '80s Tokai branded Tokai and Squier branded Tokai guitars.

    The early Tokai made Fender copies were exact and included the trademarked Fender headstock.

    Part of the reason Fender contracted with these offshore copiers was that they couldn't sue them all and get them to stop making copies, so when they couldn't beat 'em, they decided to join 'em.

    The '80s saw a lot of this, and Gibson as well as Floyd Rose all chose to license their products to the copy makers who were essentially stealing from the big US companies.

    Squier amounts to legalized thievery!
    Seems to be working great for FMIC now though, and the Squier brand might be considered more popular than the Fender brand.

    All this talk of CNC leveling the playing field makes sense, but IMO once the milled hunk of wood comes off the CNC, the real work begins.

    I wish the current Squier line was as good as the old MIJ Squiers.
    Many feel they are, but none that I've tried and even bought have been satisfactory to me, and they have a great rep so the better Squiers never really get very cheap.
    Ten years ago I could buy US parts Fenders for the price a CV Squier brings today.

    If you want to build a parts guitar, I'd buy two whole Squiers and swap the parts around.
    CV Squier necks sell very high on the used market because they are possibly the most popular guitar in the modding hobby right now.
    Look into the manufacturers of each Squier line and you'll find that some are made where for example the Jay Turser line is also produced. The Jay Turser brings much less on the used market just because of the brand logo.

    If you want to be really hip, buy Jay Turser or Cort parts and build a Squier that way!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    RodeoTex likes this.
  13. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

    Jun 30, 2007
    Swanton Ohio
    If you're gonna be dealing with the Squier brand, The place to be looking is on the Squier-Talk forum..
    There's people there with knowledge of the product..
  14. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    The only Squiers I ever thought were truly substandard was a short-lived run that came from India. Short-lived for good reason, because they looked and felt awful.

    Every other Squier I've owned, about 6 total, has been decent-to-great.
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Figure out if you like chunky or thin carved necks. That's the first big design issue that is more difficult to 'mod'. Go find a couple of those vs MIM/MIA to feel, make a 'C-chord' down by the nut (my hand cramps on the Squire necks doing that). Easy method to tell is if the carve starts behind the fretboard glue line or right near the front face of the fretboard so the side of the neck has a flat or an acute angle.

    The Indonesian built Squiers are, manufacturing repeatability-wise, much better built than prior factories. More variability in the China guitars but the necks on some are chunkier. Fender specifies the neck shape profile -- so it's a design issue.

    From there I'd say just buy the same control parts as go in the MIM/MIA Fenders (CTS/CRL/Switchcraft) which if you do careful shopping should only be around $25 total and leave the stock pickups. 'Tune up' your guitar (rather than overshoot and try to hit it on the way down) and your guitar will have stable tuning (so you can use any tuners stock or custom).

    Also look into Spectrum, Washburn, Yamaha, First Act, and so on.

    Any of them can be good players with a fret level, nut work, and deep setup.

  16. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    I think one of the cool things about Squiers is that lots of the parts are interchangeable with Fender guitars (although sometimes it can be a roll of the dice...) Similar neck pockets, sometimes the bridge screw holes are the same (but sometimes not!).
    BorderRadio likes this.
  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Squier Vintage Modified offsets are great guitars, as are the Classic Vibes. I’ve parted them and swapped parts with nearly a dozen and all have been excellent guitars/parts straight out the box. Electronics are fine, pickups are excellent, and hardware is great to average. Buying Squier bones is good way to start a project.

    My Jazzmaster partsmaster is a VM Olympic white body, with a J.Macis neck (JMJMs are the best squiers ever built, maybe except those hollowbodies from awhile back). Everything but the tuners are swapped out with the ‘best’ stuff, including Novak JM goldfoils. My Thinline Tele started with a CV Thinline body, and now has a 72 VM neck (fatter profile, darker colored), a MIM pickguard, MIA bridge plate, and Lollar CCs. My VM Mustang has a vintage 60s tort guard (cheaper than a Spitfire), Staytrem, ‘66 vintage Vibrato, and Buddha early 60s spec pickups. The Mustang neck is FAT, .91 or so at the 1st fret. All of these are great playing and sounding guitars, and I could not care less that it says Squier on the headstock—these are legit Fenders ya know ;)

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  18. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    Squier was a separate company that manufactured Fender's strings for them. At one point in time, you could buy the same strings in the same gauges that had either the Fender or Squier name on them. When Fender bought the Squier company, it became their string making division for years, and the Squier labeled strings disappeared. It wasn't until Fender moved their string making division to Mexico that they shut down the old Squier plant.
    Interesting thing (to me), there used to be an ad in Guitar Player magazine years ago for Squier strings that used a pic of Jimi Hendrix, suggesting that he was a Squier string user/endorser. He really used the Fender ones, so it was technically true but sort of misleading.
    RodeoTex likes this.
  19. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2009
    It was the V. C. Squier company

    Attached Files:

  20. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    That's the ad, I doubt Jimi ever saw a package of Squier strings, he used Fender branded ones which were exactly the same but the two brands co-existed on the market for a while after Fender acquired them.
    warrent likes this.
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