Squier Really Upped Their Game

EsquireOK

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The main things that matter on any instrument are whether the neck is straight (and will stay straight), the quality of the fret work, and the quality of the nut work.

How are those things?

If they are good...then the guitar is good. Anything else is just surface details, and can be dealt with easily at home by your average Schmoe, with no special tools or experience/training needed.

The stock fret work I have on my several stock Squiers in the past few years, from Affinity level up to CV level (all sourced from Sweetwater or Chicago Music Exchange, who tend to be more critical of their inventory, and send crappy things back) has been better than ANYTHING I've ever seen on a MIM Fender, in about 30 years of trying them in shops by the score every year.

MIM Fenders, at their insane prices for the level of quality relative to Squiers, are basically non-existent in my mind now, unless it's a special model or something, like the Chrissie Hynde Tele and 60th Anniversary Jazzmaster that I picked up when they came out. Generally, these days you can skip right over the MIMs to a U.S. Fender if you want to take a step up from a Squier. Otherwise, you're not really stepping up, except in price.
 
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Burn Yesterday

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Durham, NC, USA
Yes, I bought a Squier Affinity J Bass earlier this year, I was surprised at the quality. It's much better than my other Affinity J that I got in 2009.
As far as I'm concerned you get a Squier Affinity P-Bass, put a standard Fender style alnico pickup from GFS on it, and there's a bass that's good enough to gig anywhere.
I'm talking Indonesia now, they might be China these days, I don't know. I love Indonesian Epiphone, but I recently bought an Indonesian Squier Mini-Jazzmaster and it was a Quality Control trainwreck.
 

ricardo1912

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Jul 26, 2011
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Kent, UK
I'd never bought a new Squier as I preferred the F logo models, but I bought a Bullet tele during lockdown and was pleasantly surprised by the way it was built.
More recently, partly because my back likes light guitars and partly as I really like p90s, I got a paranormal Cabronita thinline. Very nice guitar indeed that I've already gigged a few times. Sounds good, nice n light and holds tune, while getting plenty of compliments on it's looks.
I won't be selling my Baja but in future I'll be looking at Squiers for any future buys.
 

3rdworlder

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I've owned several Squier instruments the last 25 years. If my memory doesn't fail an Affinity P-bass, California Series Stratocaster, Showmaster, California Series Telecaster (red), Affinity Stratocaster, California Series Jazz Bass, Classic Vibe MIC Telecaster, and California Series Telecaster (white).

I like the stuff Squier puts out, most the times their quality is really nice. There are better series in their different lines for sure, and I have noticed their Chinese instruments are a bit better than the ones that are made in Indonesia. Or perhaps it is a difference in the series? Tuners are the most noticeable difference between the Affinity and California series. I also noticed better attention to detail in the California series instruments. Now the Classic Vibe line of instruments is definitely one step ahead of the rest. CV instruments are fantastic, and can be used by professional musicians anywhere with a lil setup work. Pots and pickups are good quality, you don't feel the need of doing any changes to them. Again, I have seen slight differences in the CV guitars made in China and Indonesia, the Chinese being a lil bit better. Not that the Indonesia stuff isn't good, don't get me wrong.

I'm surprised Fender is marketing the Classic Vibe guitars under their Squier brand. Classic Vibe instruments sometimes feel better than the stuff Fender is making in Mexico these days. Again, not saying their MiM guitars are not nice, just that the MIC Classic Vibe is really surprising in terms of quality and tone (and of course, PRICE too).

I also remember the Squier instruments made in Japan in the 90's. They're fantastic. If you happen to come across a used one don't let it go. One surprising guitar I remember working on for a client was a 1996 Korean Squier Stratocaster that blew me completely. The thing was awesome. And I remember thinking "this here Strat puts to shame my Cousin's white MiM Stratocaster". I was really turned-off by the quality and overall cheap feel of my cousin's 1993 Mexican Stratocaster.

Y'all have a good weekend, and don't forget to PLAY your guitars! ;)
 

T Prior

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Charlotte NC
@eddiewagner : I have no idea what “all the screws were like pudding” means. But I do know that you can get gen-u-wine Fender pickguard screws for a very low price.

If the guitar sounded good, and the screws’ heads were stripping, I’d suggest the wrong size screwdriver was being used. An easy fix.

It most likely means that the screws never TIGHTENED because the body is not a "hard" piece of wood. Its not the screws or the screwdriver. I very recently filled 3 holes at the rear of a CIC / CV-60 with dowel inserts , the previous owner put screws in for whatever reason. Drilling the holes for the dowels revealed that the body is NOT a hard wood but rather more like MDF.

I had this exact same issue with an OFF SHORE LP copy. The rear strap screw would no longer remain tight. I had to drill out the hole , insert an OAK dowel then TAP the dowel. Its not the screw , its the wood the screw goes into .

Don't take this wrong, I think these guitars are very nice for the money but we don't turn them into HIGHER QUALITY EQUAL COMPARISON Instruments by changing hardware. The foundation is still the same. We can remodel a house with a weak foundation but when we are done remodeling , it still has a weak foundation.

Ever try to put the wrong length screw in a hardwood body Tele ? Right , it stops cold. We will strip the screwhead before we damage the screw hole.

My opinion is play them and enjoy them as they are, they are very nice for the money.
 
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Short on cash

Tele-Meister
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Feb 16, 2022
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Florida
I bought this a few years ago and have been quite surprised
with the build quality.

The pickups are a little weak but overall, for the money, its a
fine guitar. Sounds good as well, not great but good.
 

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mdphillips1956

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I assumed "all the screws were like pudding" meant they hadn't been tightened sufficiently, but I only give pickguard screws the gentlest of tweaks, as apart from them pulling out the wooden thread, after time you get cracks in the pickguard from the hole to the edge.
Mark P.............
 

mdphillips1956

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Yeah, they're excellent. My 2018 MIC is as good as any Tele I've ever played or owned:

View attachment 973441
Hi there,
And a bit off topic here, but looking at the bass (E & A) and treble (B & E) saddles, I think they need to be rolled over 180 degrees and the height adjuster screws re fitted from the other side; this should make the high E shorter than the B for better intonation... or squinting at them again now: are they saddles with angled cuts?
Mark P............
 

Demac

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Alberta
After perusing FB Marketplace, I picked up an Affinity Telecaster yesterday. I've bought and modded numerous Affinity Teles in the past - several BSB, a black, and a couple red ones. This one's a Sunburst. I put an offer of $100.00 on it and it was accepted. I was expecting the usual appointments - thinner than standard body, top-loader bridge, plastic jack plate, mediocre pickups, and budget hardware and electronics. What I ended up with surprised me. I looked up the S/N on a database and discovered it was a "Special run", although it doesn't bear the FSR moniker.
It was an orphan, for sure. Never had a set-up, strings were rusty and not even worth keeping on for a quick test drive, so I got to work right away.
This thing amazed me once I got into dressing and polishing the frets and getting a good look at it.

The good:
Full 1-3/4" thickness, string-through body - it looks like a one-piece mahogany veneer, unless it's a one-piece body.
Comfortable neck with some really nice birds-eye in the grain.
Decent tuners.
Neck pickup is pretty sweet, the bridge tone is a little thin, but passable., so I was going to swap out the bridge pup for a Standard that I have on hand, but when I took off the bridge plate and saw the build quality of the pickup I was surprised to see it had a copper backing plate and the strings are grounded via that plate.
Metal output jack plate and beefier strap locks than earlier models.

The (expected) not so good:
Cheap jack (replaced with a Switchcraft jack).
Dime-sized pots that don't have a useful taper.
Switch is okay, but will be replaced with pots.

It received a proper set-up and new strings and now it is a joy to play... Squier really upped their game.
Congrats on your new axe!! One thing that I've noticed is the quality issues with these lower priced instruments is not workmanship its materials. I don't buy into tone woods too much but I do have my preferences and feel the tone woods just asks too much money for what you get back. The moisture that the materials (wood) have these days when constructed can be problematic later, at the very least it will need several tune ups as the moisture leaves the wood. I've noticed with the new MIM necks, with that awesome feeling finish, but that amount of movement in these necks is a real hit and miss as they age which is why I like to buy used these days or roasted. Check out the PRS process to remove moisture prior to construction its a great case for roasted wood too, which is an added process but worth it I think.
 

StoneH

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Florida Gulf Coast
My new Squier CV '50s Tele is MII. I have been playing it for hours every day (10 days straight) and have not found anything that is not top quality . . . The pickups are alnico, but I don't know about the pots.

Update: 25 days in, and I am replacing the tuners. Something is inconsistent, like some keys turn too many degrees before the string pitch starts to change. The 54 year-old keys on my Strat are far superior.
 

tugginalong

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Mar 2, 2021
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South Carolina
Squier has been making some really quality instruments in recent years. I have a Classic Vibe Tele that I almost passed on because of the Squier label.

I decided to try it and I really liked it! I have been hearing a lot of people express similar love for them as well.


I bought a Squier Classic Vibe on eBay last Dec and I love it. The intonation is perfect. I like the neck feel. I replaced the hardware with one of those StewMac kits which probably wasn’t necessary but I wanted to do it so I did.
 

Jay Jernigan

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10-uh-C
I jumped on the Squier bandwagon the day that I tried a CV White Blonde Tele in a store. That one was followed by two more:a bsb and a Thinline. Later, on down the road, I picked up a J Mascis JM and that has one of the best necks that I have ever played. Overall well made, good fit and finish, solid hardware, good pickups and electronics, fine playability; what's not to like?
 

Gary135r

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Mar 4, 2020
Posts
229
Location
Maine
After perusing FB Marketplace, I picked up an Affinity Telecaster yesterday. I've bought and modded numerous Affinity Teles in the past - several BSB, a black, and a couple red ones. This one's a Sunburst. I put an offer of $100.00 on it and it was accepted. I was expecting the usual appointments - thinner than standard body, top-loader bridge, plastic jack plate, mediocre pickups, and budget hardware and electronics. What I ended up with surprised me. I looked up the S/N on a database and discovered it was a "Special run", although it doesn't bear the FSR moniker.
It was an orphan, for sure. Never had a set-up, strings were rusty and not even worth keeping on for a quick test drive, so I got to work right away.
This thing amazed me once I got into dressing and polishing the frets and getting a good look at it.

The good:
Full 1-3/4" thickness, string-through body - it looks like a one-piece mahogany veneer, unless it's a one-piece body.
Comfortable neck with some really nice birds-eye in the grain.
Decent tuners.
Neck pickup is pretty sweet, the bridge tone is a little thin, but passable., so I was going to swap out the bridge pup for a Standard that I have on hand, but when I took off the bridge plate and saw the build quality of the pickup I was surprised to see it had a copper backing plate and the strings are grounded via that plate.
Metal output jack plate and beefier strap locks than earlier models.

The (expected) not so good:
Cheap jack (replaced with a Switchcraft jack).
Dime-sized pots that don't have a useful taper.
Switch is okay, but will be replaced with pots.

It received a proper set-up and new strings and now it is a joy to play... Squier really upped their game.
My Squier is the same, made a month earlier. I didn't realize it was made in Taiwan. Like posted above, Taiwan has some quality bicycle builds and seems their guitars are the same.
Serial number: CSSK19003XXX


Production year: November 2019 (serial: 003XXX)


Crafted in China by Yako (Taiwan) [Special Run]
 

zippofan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Posts
1,909
Location
Pennsylvania
My Squier CV and Vintage Modified guitars are awesome, my favorites are two Tele Thinlines. I tinker all the time, tuners, hardware, electronics, pickups, but on the '72 style VM Thinline, all I did was a setup, install a set of steel saddles and replaced the pots/switch/output jack. I know some don't like the "WRHB" pickups they came with since they aren't true to vintage and more like regular humbuckers but they sound good to me. I'll have to ask our rhythm guitarist to play it, he had an original Telecaster Custom back in the 80s/90s and he currently plays an American Performer with humbucker in the neck. We have our first gig in 8 years coming up in two weeks as a tribute to our bass player who passed away this spring, and I picked the guitar back up in earnest at the same time we last played (I'm a drummer with a bad back).
He wants to try my Cabronita, I should bring both to the gig :cool:
 

Painter644

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 6, 2022
Posts
186
Age
74
Location
Delaware
After perusing FB Marketplace, I picked up an Affinity Telecaster yesterday. I've bought and modded numerous Affinity Teles in the past - several BSB, a black, and a couple red ones. This one's a Sunburst. I put an offer of $100.00 on it and it was accepted. I was expecting the usual appointments - thinner than standard body, top-loader bridge, plastic jack plate, mediocre pickups, and budget hardware and electronics. What I ended up with surprised me. I looked up the S/N on a database and discovered it was a "Special run", although it doesn't bear the FSR moniker.
It was an orphan, for sure. Never had a set-up, strings were rusty and not even worth keeping on for a quick test drive, so I got to work right away.
This thing amazed me once I got into dressing and polishing the frets and getting a good look at it.

The good:
Full 1-3/4" thickness, string-through body - it looks like a one-piece mahogany veneer, unless it's a one-piece body.
Comfortable neck with some really nice birds-eye in the grain.
Decent tuners.
Neck pickup is pretty sweet, the bridge tone is a little thin, but passable., so I was going to swap out the bridge pup for a Standard that I have on hand, but when I took off the bridge plate and saw the build quality of the pickup I was surprised to see it had a copper backing plate and the strings are grounded via that plate.
Metal output jack plate and beefier strap locks than earlier models.

The (expected) not so good:
Cheap jack (replaced with a Switchcraft jack).
Dime-sized pots that don't have a useful taper.
Switch is okay, but will be replaced with pots.

It received a proper set-up and new strings and now it is a joy to play... Squier really upped their game.
What a great bargain/guitar! Enjoy!
 




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