If I just want a decent strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Bluego1, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Depends a lot on what you consider "decent", if you're willing to buy used and if you can do your own guitar work.

    The Affinity is OK but has some quirks, most notably the thin body and neck profile. You really need to try one to see if it works for you. Also, typical Strat replacement parts don't fit it well due to the size difference.

    The Squier Standard is very good at the price point. I have one that I bought used for $27 due to damage and it cleaned up really nicely.

    Classic Vibe, Contemporary and Vintage Modified (recently discontinued) are also quite good. I like the VM models better since they mix some old and new features.

    Used prices for Squiers are all over the place. You're as likely to find them selling for almost, or even more than, new retail as you are finding fantastic deals. You have to be patient and ready to pounce.

    As for Fenders, the new Player series is very good, a cut above the old Standard, but you'll pay for it. You may find some NOS Standards around from some dealers at great prices. I've noticed that used prices on Standards have been creeping upward recently. It used to be you could find them in the $275 to $375 range but, unless you're lucky, add at least another $50 to that. Watch out for badly modded examples.
     
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  2. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Sooo is the good ol' MIM Standard no longer made under that moniker?
     
  3. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Fender (MIM) Classic '50s Strat. Go used, via Reverb.com, etc.

    Great guitar in stock form, and an even greater value.

    A Strat has to be very Stratty to please me: smooth player, bell-like chiming tones, quack when/as you want it but can bite and rock, too. But above all, smooth-playing, smooth-sounding bell-like tones. This thing does that. The only one I ever played that was more Stratty was the '56 original that stole my soul at the Chicago Music Exchange a few years ago. This thing is like its loyal cousin....
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    "I just want a strat that gets classic strattish sounds without modding. I’ll probably play it maybe 20% of the time, and just at home."

    The real differentiator to me is the neck shape. Squiers have a thinner carve (the width and depth are practically the same) where they start shaving off from the leading edge of the fretboard and cut back where the MIM/MIA don't start carving until behind the fretboard glue line. If you like skinny necks then the Squier is a home run, if chunky then you need to start with the MIM or find a non-Fender Strat-Like-Object (I find the 'Spectrum' guitars often are chunky necks, these are sold by walmart/etc and are as well built as the Squiers for a sub $100 price point, might investigate the Harley Benton Strat types too from "Thomann USA").

    As far as the classic Strattish Sounds ... the Squier Made In Indonesia (all the current ones) Bullets and Affinities have been surprisingly well voiced for this. Nearly every one I've bought has been the classic 'springy sound' easy.

    Those surf green Squier Bullets have been very popular due to their low price.

    Yes the imports have the 1/2inch pots, but you won't wear those out with home playing. If the model ships with trapezoid tuners just make sure to 'tune up' your guitar and not try to hit pitch on the way down and you won't have any troubles. I always block the trems so I have no issues with small blocks nor tuning issues after whammy tricks -- which is the reason I block or deck as I waste too much time doing tricks than practicing and then figuring out tuning stability after the tricks instead of practicing.

    Key though is that neck carve.

    .
     
  5. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    You can make ceramic Strat pickups sound a little better with an EQ pedal. Boost 100hz, cut 1.6k and boost 6.4k to taste. The Bullet Strats made in the Indonesian Cort factory have 42mm wide nuts, making the neck fuller than the Squire Affinity necks.

    Good luck on your quest.
     
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  6. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd take the player series. Skip anything affinity or bullet. The CV aren't bad, and are LIGHTYEARS above squires of old, but you said you didn't want to mod it, so that's out.
    B-Stock Player Series go for around $500. New ones go on special for lower than normal sometimes.
    They feel nice In the neck. You wont feel like you spent too much, you wont feel like you cheated out. I can only describe it as how a strat should feel like. Not quite like the American ones, but easily worth bonding with.
     
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  7. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    My preference is the "Standard" Squier if you are ok with two pivot bridge. Just my two cents. At 250,00 USD they are a good starting point for modding, 22 fret all maple neck, I believe at least one of mine is a solid one piece maple neck, satin finish overall. Paint is thin. I swimming pool route them so I can experiment. :D
    IMG_20190716_092604.jpg IMG_20190704_125849.jpg

    Just sold a black black mom in CAR because it was redundant. Not the lightest guitar you will shoulder but hey for 250 I think it's a bargain. Takes mom 21 fret necks perfectly.
     
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  8. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    well maybe this helps
     
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  9. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Just offering this thought: I used to only want to buy new guitars, but then I found my dream strat, a 99 Am Std in black, used for a good price. Once I broke through the mental "buy new" barrier, the whole world of guitars opened up for me.

    Especially now, when there are thousands of them out there bought for gifts and never played, you can find amazing deals on essentially mint guitars.
     
  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I played one of those Bullet HTs in a shop. The neck was awesome, I liked the Indian laurel fingerboard.

    What I didn't like about it is that the pickups sounded awesome. I need a guitar with crappy pickups because I have some pickups I want to put in something.

    That's what you're looking for though since you don't want to change anything.
     
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  11. lost sailor

    lost sailor TDPRI Member

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    +1 on an MIM -- put a full size block if it is an older one....newer ones already have one and better pots and switch, then swap pickups to 57/62's and you have a great guitar.....with THAT sound.
     
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  12. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Sounds like your gut is with the CV. Old video, but tell me the Squier CV doesn't sound like a Strat... If your main concern is the tone, I think it gets you there. It's not going to sound like it has Custom Shop pickups in but it wouldn't, would it?



    I think the quality of Squiers compared to MiMs and especially MiAs is often overstated in Squier's favour. A lot of that is based on things like QA though so if you find a good one, it can really punch above its weight. Just try before you buy if you can or buy from somewhere with a good returns policy. I've seen a lot of Squiers with issues in stores like poor fit, finish flaws, plus some really bad set ups. That's basically a big chunk of your price differential there.
     
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  13. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Most Affinities can become decent guitars with a good set up (decent is what you stated :) ), but there are some that need a bit more work - they can be hit and miss. The CVs are quite nice, if the gloss yellow neck suits you (it doesn't suit me ;) ) The Fender Players are very nice, compared to any price point - and <$1000 CDN (which means even less USD).

    I just played a gem of an Affinity Strat in a local pawn shop this week - $119 CDN and it looked and played beautifully - practically mint. I don't know what year it was, but this one has the skunk stripe on the back of the neck. I left it there simply because I do not need another strat (and I have another tele on order!). Although I still keep thinking I should go back and get it!

    Having said that, I've played a few Squier Standards lately and with a proper setup, they are great little guitars for $330 CDN - price point right between the CVs and the Affinities. Some nice upgrades over the current Affinities such as a very nice modern bridge, skunk stripe neck, walnut plug in the truss rod hole, full size body, slimmer neck. I ordered a Squier Standard Tele. At this price point, I might be a bit averse to buy online sight un-seen, though. I ordered through my local dealer and am not committed to buy if its a total dud! The only thing about these is that they only come in two colors (Antique Burst and Vintage Blonde) and only in rosewood fingerboards.
     
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  14. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    The thing that would put me off an affinity is the neck, it does feel narrow and thin, the pickups are ceramic (not awful sounding) and the body is 1.5" thick (instead of 1.75") and it does make a big difference in feel and weight (shaves off a pound).

    If I wanted a new decent strat without spending an unnecessary amount, that also didnt need upgrading I would get the Squier CV. Sure its made in Indonesia and the body isnt made of a traditional tone wood but it has the right dimensions, good pickups, good hardware.

    You can spend a lot more money and youll get a nicer finish, wood, pickups, electronics, etc but I dont think there is anything wrong with the CV and some things on my list could be considered subjective or unimportant to some.

    My advice would be to give whatever you get a setup. If you cant do your own consider learning how, getting a friend who knows how or pay a professional to do it.
     
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  15. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Buy the best and cry once!

    I'm in the same boat but really like the refinements of the above standard models. Nicer contours and finishes and overall refinements. If you KNOW the Strat tone you're after...chase the low dollar. If not go play a couple certified killer ones before you "save" money! Every time and I mean EVERY time I go budget eventually I'm unhappy with it and sell at loss and get the "better" one. Hence my motto "Buy the best and cry once!"

    It's crazy! My local independent has like 4 weird models (Used 2 knobs) under $1000 but 30 over $3000!!

    No wonder GC is still in business!

    BTW I'm not seeing any Vintera's on the shelves yet. I thought I saw some reviews and can be ordered but none locally.... Are they shipping in numbers yet?
     
  16. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Loads of Vinteras in the UK. Not picked one up to play but they look superb. There’s something about them that looks a touch more vintage than the classic series. I think they’ve got a more realistic neck tint, at the very least. I wonder if the overall finish is thinner?
     
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  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Holic

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    Value wise I think Squier CV is the best bet. Personally, I would probably aim for a Player for the simple reason that just having the "Fender" name can help resale value if you decide to sell it. That said, I don't think a Player strat would necessarily be a $250 - $300 better guitar.

    It's funny, I buy everything brand new with the exception of musical instruments. I've never bought a new guitar -- have to try that sometime!

    Good luck and welcome to strat town!
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    "Standard Strat"
     
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  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Are those 'weird' ones MIA? If so they would likely be 1983-1984 CBS strats. Had one that was a bit of a lemon and sold it. A friend has one that plays and sounds absolutely incredible. Those free-flyte tremolos were tough to set up correctly, though.
     
  20. stevemc

    stevemc Tele-Holic

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    from your description of requirements i'd highly recommend affinity or cv.
     
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