A word about Bullet (1's)

Discussion in 'Japanese Vintage Squiers' started by stratmanshow, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. stratmanshow

    stratmanshow Squier-Meister

    279
    Feb 7, 2014
    BC Canada
    I see a lot of threads about these little guys and I've had a few of these so I thought I would pass on a bit of info. There are 2 main MIJ versions I know of which have the same body shape leaving aside pickup configurations. AFAS I know, the SQ serials are solid wood while the E series are generally ply. The later E6 tele (ish) models are heavy ply with nice thin necks but have poor resonance and IMO lousy tremolos and are not very playable. The SQ originals have typical US like chunky necks whereas the E models have a much slimmer profile. Both are great players depending on your preference. However, there is an issue for adult players...the lower cutaway distance is too narrow from side to side for an adult hand. The top of your wrist will bind against the horn when you try to solo up there. For that reason I sold all mine. At the time they were going for under 200 bucks so it was worth getting them for project necks, which I did. So, cool as they are be aware of this issue because they are generally expensive now

    In the below tracings a full sized Silver Series (grey), a Bullet1 (red) and a true 89 US Squier (black) [which is another discussion:)]
    bodiesn9.jpg

    An 84 SQ
    b1fuxl.jpg
    The E6 Tele model

    100_0318.jpg
     
  2. seua

    seua Squier-holic

    Age:
    61
    Mar 23, 2014
    France
  3. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    36
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Yeah, the general consensus seems to be that the Bullet 1 body, both MIJ and MIK are 7/8ths the size of a full size strat. I love them, but I basically never play high enough for that top horn to be an issue.
     
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  4. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    Glad to see you back on these pages, Stratmanshow!

    I'm commenting only on these guitars narrowly. I agree these "melted Tele" models, actually Contemporary HST, are heavy ply, but I haven't noticed any difference in resonance compared to my wood MIK E7s with the same tremolo arrangement. I've generally found ply guitars to be somewhat more resonant than solid wood ones, since I think the glue makes the body a more integral piece. The original trem of both of these models, relying on small diameter wood screws as pivots, needs some updating to play better than the student-level guitars these were intended to be. The trem can be improved fairly inexpensively to the modern 2-point design, which I did a thread on previously.

    http://www.squier-talk.com/threads/lets-solve-the-bullet-one-2-point-trem-issue.150694/#post-749401

    The weak point of these models to me is the ceramic single coils. I'm going to do a thread soon on installing a budget set of alnicos into the second (MIK) version of these guitars. If that works out, I'll mod one of my 2 MIJ ones to this better spec.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  5. sconniesquier

    sconniesquier Squier-Meister

    Age:
    52
    389
    Aug 16, 2017
    Wisconsin
    I have to agree with Mr. 7. My HST is very resonant. I’ve understood that it’s not so much “plywood” but 1/4” to 3/8” thick pieces glued together.
    I’m waiting for your upgrade post Mr. 7, I’ve got mine tuned to DADGAD currently, great for Kashmir.
     
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  6. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    Thanks, Sconniesquier! I think the layers are thinner than that. Here are a couple of close ups of the construction of mine.

    2015-01-30 06.24.47.jpg 2015-01-30 06.26.41.jpg
     
  7. sconniesquier

    sconniesquier Squier-Meister

    Age:
    52
    389
    Aug 16, 2017
    Wisconsin
  8. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    The white one above is the MIJ. I also have a black one of these, and it will get the mods and I'll keep the white one factory original.

    The E7 MIK version is more conventionally shaped, but shares the same pickup configuration as the MIJ. These are found a bit less than the MIJ version. They have wood bodies with a very thin maple cap, almost a veneer, that is prone to cracking. Fortunately, mine has most of the cracks on the back and only a small one on the front by the neck rout. The PO at least tried to stabilize the cracking, but white glue wasn't a good response.

    Note the wood screw pivoting trem arrangement, with big block (pic 3) and wider vintage string spacing, same as the MIJ one above.

    Here are links if you haven't seen these on the Squier Wiki.
    http://www.squierwiki.com/Contemporary-Bullet-HST-(1st-Version)
    http://www.squierwiki.com/Contemporary-Bullet-HST-(2nd-Version)

    If you have more questions, let me know. Happy to talk about two of my favorite Squier variants.

    HSSbullet1.jpg 2007-01-13 18.45.07.jpg 2007-01-13 18.46.05.jpg 2007-01-13 18.46.47.jpg 2007-01-13 18.51.27.jpg
     
  9. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Those bullets are cool. Are the Japanese bullets pricey?
     
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  10. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    They are, if you just go online and try to find one quickly. There are people asking as much as $700 for the ones like the white MIJ "Tele" models above. But they actually sell for under half of that, or even less if you are patient and keep a sharp eye out. I have 5 MIJ Bullets and I think my average cost was about $100 each, but I think I've been pretty lucky in finding them in unusual ways at well lower than market prices.
     
  11. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    I'm really digging the E6 Bullet. My GAS is acting up, Oh my.
     
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  12. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    There is more than one type of E6 Bullet Squier, so don't get locked into looking online for guitars with that designation. The proper name for the modern Tele type above is not widely recognized and sellers often have them listed under the most unusual or even inaccurate names, which coupled with the common misspelling of Squier makes finding them hard. Here is an example in Northern California.

    https://chico.craigslist.org/msg/d/chico-fender-squire-tele-silver-star/7025991119.html

    Another type of MIJ from this time period looks like this one below, which I found in California. I have a business there and always look for guitars when I'm there, like I am now. This is also an E6 Bullet One. One tell when looking at these guitars is the truss rod adjuster is at the heel of the neck, and the drilling at the head stock is plugged with a solid piece of contrasting walnut, I think.

    Note that the Strat shaped E6 Bullet has a Tele shaped head stock, and the Tele shaped Bullet has a Strat head stock, just to keep you on your toes while looking. All have a Tele type square heel to the neck. My guitar has a custom pick guard for the Tele bridge pickup, so this example is somewhat modified.

    Hope this helps!

    IMG_20170727_122146665_HDR.jpg 100_7290.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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