We're all being suckered......

franblanc

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Recently purchased a 2014 Squier (YES Squier) Classic Vibe 1970's 3 Sunburst Telecaster and I already know what you are thinking because I too was conditioned to dismiss Non US Fenders long ago. I have a 1992 USA Strat (standard) so I am already familiar with the quality of USA builds. The truth is that the Chinese Squier 2014 is FABULOUS. Yes FABULOUS, great looks, nice quality, straight neck, super playable and good tone. I doubted my own judgement initially so I went to the music shop and tested three Player and Player Plus Telecaster (900 euro) models and they were far worse. The 2014 Telecaster was made in China, in particular the "Grand Reward" factory outside of Hong Kong. Still doubting the conventional wisdom, I asked the advice of my brother in law who plays (very well) a 2002 Eric Clapton Series Deluxe Stratocaster. "What do you think?" I asked him. "The Squier is better than my EC Deluxe Strat," he said.

So what's going on? We live in a time when you can buy a 50 inch flat screen TV for 450 euro/dollars, so is there any justification for charging over two thousand bucks for 1950's technology? I think the Chinese builders were out to prove the same point by building the best Classic Vibe models they possibly good, perhaps to show up the Corona factory, who knows. I have heard more than once on this forum that the Classic Vibe is good value and good quality. I realise that few people who have spent over 2000 will agree that they have overpaid but there is something very strange going on if I can pay 300 for a guitar worthy of seven times the price. PS I have been playing for 40 years. We can rave about the Sprague Orange drops and the noiseless pick-ups but at the end of the day an electric guitar works through a vibrating conductor inside a magnetic field (Faraday's Law). Granted a Custom Model is hand made but Computer Numerical Control still governs many of the factory parts. Can we agree, the top prices are affected by elements other than playability and sound. Are we fashion victims who crave a name brand like Louis Vuitton bags and Italian sports cars?
 

Toadtele

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I agree. I too own a 92 American standard strat. I also own two classic vibe Squier telecasters. Now I wouldn’t argue that the Squier’s are higher quality. But given the price difference. There is no way I will buy another American made fender. The Squier’s are just so damn good for the money. Hell you can buy a Squier and upgrade it anyway you wish for less money then an American Fender.
 

boris bubbanov

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That run of production is over. Perhaps it was the best value in a MIC Fender guitar, ever. Guys are invited to go out and find clean used ones of that era, sure enough.

But they're now made in Indonesia and they're not the same. I mean, I have owned 39 Made in Indonesia Squiers and they're really cool, but they're not the same quality. So, what can you buy from a Chinese plant in 2022 that's equivalent to this 2014 Classic Vibe? Nothing I know of.

Respectfully saying, too late. Sermon would have been right on the money in 2014 but today, may as well be speaking of the British Navy, the Ford Model A or the Wehrmacht. History lessons, is what these are.
 

tomasz

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Many tend to buy guitars with their eyes and beliefs, glad you used your ears and like the result!:) Everytime I was tempted by CS Fenders, I found to prefer other, builders with a better price tag.

Or was it just my luck? Who knows.. ;)
 

Rufus

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Yup…but also the resale value is higher for the consumer.
An equally high quality partscaster will resell for less than a guitar with a Fender headstock decal.

It gets us both ways.

As a lefty, I have bought high quality bodies, necks and hardware and painted and assembled my own…and they are every bit as good and most likely better than anything Fender offered me.

An average guitarist should be able to tweak and adjust a setup to their needs. The only thing I can’t do is cut the nut or a fret job…and the stainless steel railroad track frets I like tend to last forever.
 

archetype

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To address a few points:

1. IMO Grand Reward wasn't proving anything with the quality of the CVs. They were just building to specs and a level of quality they were paid for.
2. The idea that CVs are set up, crowned, etc. in the US needs an authoritative reference. That's not how modern manufacturing works for a $300-450 guitar.
3. They're built 100% by Grand Reward, go into a box, and get sold in the US in that state. Recent pictures of Grand Reward's Farida factory show CVs in-process. Farida builds their own brand and a bazillion guitars annually for other brands. My Guild Westerly D-240E was built by Farida.

IMO they're high-quality, high-value guitars for the price point. My CV 50s Telecaster is my "mule" for testing pickups, etc., but honestly it needed nothing to be a good-sounding player.
 

bottlenecker

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I read the post title and thought "finally! Some truth..."

Oh.
It's about guitars.

If you're going to make this statement about a cheap guitar being better than whatever, I think it puts the spotlight on you, and your ability.
Why should I believe you? I don't even believe good players when they say a guitar sounds good, because half the time it doesn't. And I have no idea if you can even play well enough to pull anything out of a guitar.

In every endeavor that requires investing in equipment, there are always hobbyists who won't really benefit from the expensive stuff, and there are always a few who make the jump to believing the expensive stuff is a scam.
 

chris m.

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I've had fantastic guitars made in Indonesia. I have a PRS SE Mark Tremonti out of a Cort Indonesia factory that is perhaps the very best fit/finish and setup out of the box of any guitar I've ever purchased. But PRS went to great lengths to work with the factory to ensure extremely high QA/QC. I also had a G&L Comanche Tribute model made in Indonesia that was extremely well made as well.

My main beef with the CV Squiers is the necks are a bit thinner than I prefer.

As far as what's going on, I think Fender gets away with selling MIA guitars that don't have the level of hand finishing and QA/QC that they really should at that price point. When you buy a MIA PRS or an MIJ Ibanez or Yamaha or ESP, you do pay a premium but at least you are getting impeccable QA/QC such as perfectly polished and rolled frets for your $$. Ditto for Gibson-- for the prices they charge they should be embarrassed by the low levels of QC as compared to other manufacturers. To put it another way, the level of TLC that goes into "Custom Shop" models is probably the level of TLC that should go into all of their MIA offerings. Any MIA PRS gets that level of TLC, IMO.
 

ronzhd

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I have had several Squiers, 3 Chinese CV tele's, and an Indian Vintage modified Tele and the Affinity Tele. Still have an Indian CV Esquire. I have zero complaints, awesome guitars. In the long run, I have larger hands and fat fingers. The necks on those guitar are to slim for me, however having played them so long, when I play my GE Smith tele or my ES 335 my hands don't cramp like they use to.
If you are worried about resale, it is about the only thing you get with the USA models. If you are a history buff, I get it. A lot of historical music was made on the Fender and Gibson Instruments . I was a headstock snob when I was a younger man, but honestly the import quality has vastly improved.
 

bobio

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Not sure how anyone is being suckered unless they are buying guitars without playing them first ;)

Between the kids and I, we have 8 Classic Vibes (6 Telecasters, 1 Stratocaster and 1 Jazz Bass) in the house (4 Crafted in China and 4 Crafted in Indonesia).

Here are 3 of my Classic Vibe 50s Teles and my 2018 American Special Tele.

20211211_232634500_iOS.jpg 20210828_175938171_iOS.jpg 20210918_174250238_iOS.jpg
20210828_180243628_iOS.jpg

Each of the Classic Vibes are GREAT guitars, but the American Special is by far the better guitar in feel, construction and tone. It is no contest for me. One of the biggest differences for me is the neck. The American Special neck is pure joy. Going one step further, my American Professional II Strat neck feels even better to me than the American Special. Love the Deep C profile! Love the Deep C profile so much I picked up a neck and put together a Partscaster around it.

20211001_233545482_iOS.jpg 20211120_001857506_iOS.jpg
 
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nvilletele

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There are many fine guitars made in China and elsewhere. But after trying many and trying many made in the US, I still prefer the US made ones, and prefer the CS models I have even more. They just play and sound better.

Are they worth the much greater cost? That’s a personal decision. For me, they are. But I always bought used, and I got great deals. So I am happy with my US models and CS guitars.
 
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Killing Floor

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You’ll either love or hate when I say this. But I say it all the time.

I love Fender and I buy and play Fenders because they are the sound and style of the tools that made rock’n’roll and that brand with the goofy backwards F is the brand I associate with the soundtrack of my life.

It’s that simple.

I have never said Fender is better or best and I don’t believe they are. I’ve even declared that when I buy a next guitar it will be a Fender AND I’ll have the frets fixed (PLEK or similar) and a proper bone nut installed, I’ll shield it like any $500+ guitar should be and in all likelihood there will be Fralin (or similar) pickups installed day one. And if it’s a Tele I’ll install a decent jack too. But I’ll pay more for that Fender because I want that Brand. It’s the brand I am hooked on.
Hey, at least I admit it. There’s not a square inch of my MiA Tele that is as well built as my Duesenberg or LP or MusicMan but I’m picking up the Tele 9 times out of 10 because it’s a Fender and only because it’s a Fender.
 




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