Fender MIM "Squier Series"

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by woolbrig, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. woolbrig

    woolbrig Squier-holic

    Age:
    56
    Apr 16, 2010
    Bethalto, IL
    I've seen a few of these for sale and was wondering are these Finders or are they Squiers? And are they any good?

    I've tried to do some research, and from what I have found they were produced in the mid 90's. But that's about were the consistency ends.

    I have found everything from "they Fender American bodies & necks with import hardware" to they are plywood bodies and cheap hardware and are not truly Fenders but Squiers. Can anyone shed some light on these?

    Here is the headstock I'm referring to...
    [​IMG]
     
    squierbilly likes this.
  2. DreadSi

    DreadSi Squier-Meister

    402
    Jul 22, 2010
    League City, TX
  3. peskypesky

    peskypesky -----------

    Dec 19, 2009
    NYC
    i have one. a '94.

    from my research, this is what i found. the Mexican factory burned down, so for a while, maybe close to two years, the Fender Squier Series' bodies and necks were made in the US and then fitted with cheaper parts than the other Fenders. i can't remember if the guitars were shipped to Mexico for the hardware installation, and if there was no factory there, i don't see how that could have been the case. but they do say Made In Mexico.

    now i'm confused again.
     
  4. peskypesky

    peskypesky -----------

    Dec 19, 2009
    NYC
    found this too:

    You might have heard of mexican made Fender guitars with a black headstock decal, sometimes associated with some mystery Squier Series made in Mexico. It’s true that there actually was a “Squier Series” that was made by Fender in Mexico and featured a black decal on the headstock, but not all mexican made Fender guitars with such a black label were part of that very “Squier Series”. Since there appears to be a lot of confusion and half-knowledge about these guitars out there, I decided to do some research on my own.

    The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Usually, Squier is to Fender what Epiphone is to Gibson. In this very case, the use of the name “Squier” had nothing to do with the actual Squier brand, as the series was named “Squier Series”, but it was by all means a Fender series, not a Squier series. The keyword is “series”, not “Squier”. The regular mexican “Standard” series was available too at the time, but it already featured the same silver-ish logo that is still used for it today. However, between 1993 and 1998, both labels (the black AND the silver-ish one) were used for mexican made Fender guitars, but for (slightly) different guitars.

    The guitars with the black label consisted mostly of overstock american made Fender necks and bodies. The parts were shipped to Mexico for assembly with mexican made pickups and far eastern hardware and electronics. The overall quality of these guitars turned out to be below the Squiers made in Japan and Korea, whose production came to an end around the time the mexican made guitars with the black label surfaced, yet above Squiers made in China and Indonesia, whose production had not yet begun at the time. The guitars ended up on the american and european market for just about as much as a guitar from the regular “Standard” series would cost at the time.

    Some (not all!) of the guitars were sold for a few bucks less as they came with 1-ply pickguards and hardware of slightly lesser quality. Those guitars (and those only!) had an additional smaller “Squier Series” label on front of the headstock, right were the artist models have the artist’s signature. Though some owners probably sanded off their “Squier Series” label, it is not true that all guitars with a black label had a “Squier Series” label in the first place. Most guitars with the black label featured tuners and bridges of decent quality as well as 3-ply pickguards. These guitars did not have the additional “Squier Series” label and were called the “Traditional Series”, which was stated nowhere on the headstock but the guitars were listed, advertised and sold as such.

    The “Traditional Series” can be considered the slightly better but the “Squier Series” sure is the more obscure. At the end of the day, there really is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference can be found on the Telecaster. The Telecaster from the “Traditional Series” had the traditional through-body stringing, while the Telecasters from the “Squier Series” were Top Loaders with different bridges, saddles and no string holes in the back.

    The guitars from that very “Squier Series” are official and genuine Fender guitars like any mexican made Fender guitar regardless, and if you have a mexican made Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster or Precision Bass with a black label and a serial number beginning with MN3, MN4, MN5, MN6, MN7 or MN8, you have a genuine Fender guitar – with or without a small “Squier Series” label.'
     
  5. houseguitarshop

    houseguitarshop Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2010
    pesky has got it covered.
     
    rorygman likes this.
  6. woolbrig

    woolbrig Squier-holic

    Age:
    56
    Apr 16, 2010
    Bethalto, IL
    So I guess the answer is it's a Fender.
     
    rorygman likes this.
  7. zag1

    zag1 Squier-Meister

    364
    Dec 14, 2009
    Washington, D.C.
    Good stuff to know. Now, what's the deal on the "Gold" labels? I thought I knew about these, but I may be wrong. Maybe you guys got some answers. My baby here has a MN8 serial number. Those aren't the original tuning machines by the way.
     

    Attached Files:

    squierbilly likes this.
  8. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Squier-Meister

    125
    Dec 17, 2009
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Excellent info, Pesky - thanks!

    I acquired a Squier Series black label Tele neck a couple of years ago, which I used to build my partscaster Tele. Note also that it had no "skunk stripe" on the back, neither did it have the black plastic sleeve at the truss rod adjustment hole. In all other respects, a fine exemplar of a Tele neck - nothing felt "cheap" about it.

    A previous owner had sanded off the "Squier Series" decal (and the serial number) but it was still faintly visible (though not legible - I didn't realize what it was until later). Being ignorant of the Squier Series, I had a suspicion that the Fender decal was a fake. It made me uncomfortable enough that I eventually sanded it off. Of course shortly thereafter I found out the story of its origins and had a "D'oh!" moment.
     
  9. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Squier-Meister

    Age:
    53
    379
    Dec 14, 2009
    Mount Airy, NC
    Nothing wrong with the black label Fenders, I suppose. I just bought a 95/6 and other than needing a few upgrades to suit me, it's fine. Mine has no "Squier Series", but has the cheap tuners, ceramic pups, and small pots. 3 ply thin pg. Plays great. Looks great. Does not sound as good to me as my CV, but it didn't cost as much either....

    Not bad and at the end of the day, it does have the F word on the headstock, if you can live with the S word on there too.

    I'd buy another if the price were right and it felt good.

    Randy
     
  10. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    90
    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
  11. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Squier-holic

    Apr 19, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
  12. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    90
    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    Well I can't sand anything off to try to fool anyone..I still shave most every day..I need to respect the man that's lookin' back at me...
    Might jump on that axe though,dunno..
     
    snivlem, squierbilly and Davey like this.
  13. peskypesky

    peskypesky -----------

    Dec 19, 2009
    NYC
  14. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia
    Somone wrote, "this is my findings" ... I never bought it.
    I still think alot of this is BS because all these were the first CNC machining done by fender so they're all machine made, not Fender American ... this whole deal about the Black lable ones is a whisper down the lane.....
    I have one it's nice, but it's not Fender USA ... anyone know when the date of the fire was?
     
  15. grumpy old git

    grumpy old git Squier-holic

    Feb 13, 2010
    Somerset, UK
    I found similar info to pesky when I researched mine, and I understood that the Mexican factory had no machinery at the time, so the necks / bodies were shipped across and assembled. My MIM has Squier stamped in the neck pocket, and I've wondered if this was from when they were originally selected (or rejected) from the main Fender production.

    During the I search also found this, which if the poster really IS Keith Brawley, ex Fender VP, should be a pretty definitive answer.

    It starts about 5 posts down

    Should Squier exist?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  16. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia
    Mine also has a stamp, my serial is MN6* stamp is May '97 or something like that, so I believe this is stamped on assembly date, not pre-prodution. It's you MIM's birthday :D
    [​IMG]
     
    squierbilly likes this.
  17. zag1

    zag1 Squier-Meister

    364
    Dec 14, 2009
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks much!
     
  18. woolbrig

    woolbrig Squier-holic

    Age:
    56
    Apr 16, 2010
    Bethalto, IL
    I found that one too. That entire thread is good reading.
     
  19. claude

    claude New Member

    Age:
    36
    1
    Jan 21, 2011
    holland
    where did you see these guitars i want to buy one

    used to have one mn4

    sold it

    with regrets
     
  20. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia
    Your MN4*-serial was not dissimilar to these guitars. They were all CNC machine designed. If you really want to treat yourself get an E-series Japanese-made Squier, just sayin'
     
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