Gigging with your Squiers

archetype

Squier-holic
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 24, 2017
2,278
Western NY, USA
I know we all are proud of our Squires, but I was just curious how they hold up during gigs for the guys who use them. Because(not that it matters) The Bullets and Squires for that matter are so called Beginner guitars. Just saying.

1. Please let us know what "hold up" means. What are you asking?
2. They're guitars, not so-called beginner guitars. A guitar is good or it's not. All of my Squiers are good guitars.
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,253
Honolulu, HI
I’ve said in a previous post that I can’t see the headstock label when I’m on the bandstand. Neither can most of the audience. CV 50’s black guard Tele all night long along with a Starcaster Strat.
LOL, I once went to a jam session and I told them I'd bring my Fenders. I brought 2 guitars. First one I brought out was a 2000 Fender Starcaster S1, but I mostly played my 2000 Squier StageMaster Deluxe Professional that nite! Hey, Fender owns Squier, so technically it's a Fender too, LOL.

Fender_Starcaster_S1-FF2-C(2000x4000).jpg StageMaster-FF-(2000x4000).jpg

My 2010 Fender Japan Standard 1H and my 1992 Fender Mexico Standard Stratocaster stayed at home.

Fender_Mex_Std_Strat-FF-VC-HV(2000x4000).jpg Fender_Jpn_Std_Strat-FF-ZC(2000x4000).jpg
 
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Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,253
Honolulu, HI
How many of you guys actually do gigs with your Squire teles, and how do they do during the sets? Can you tell the difference, in say a Fender Tele and the Squire?

I dont gig, unless jam sessions at somebody else's place counts. In those cases, I rarely bring my more expensive guitars, especially the irreplaceable ones. Altho truth be told, most of my guitars probably could count as more expensive nowdays, when ye factor in the value of the installed mods (mainly the pickups which can easily tack on 180-330$ for a SSS or 160-270$ for a HH, assuming no custom shop pups, which is a whole 'nother thang - easily 400$+).

With any deficient parts replaced as needed (mainly tuners, bridge and saddles, maybe pups too), installed correctly and setup/tuned well, even the cheaper guitars like the Bullets will perform well in any gigging/recording environment. They then should compare well to any more expensive guitars at a lower price point (even when adding the mod prices).

The main point to consider is the rule of diminishing returns. Once ye go past a certain price point, IMO around 1200-1500$, it becomes less a tangible upgrade and more an intangible cosmetic upgrade and/or bragging rights due to brand name and purchase price.

I don't see any reason not to gig with my (more expensive) FGNs

The same reason why I'm replacing all of my pedals with Behringer clones or Boss versions in my road/gig set. They're easily replaced in the case of loss or theft. Same for my guitars, the more expensive and harder to replace Agile, Fender, Stage, etc. stays home and I bring the Squiers, Gios, ESP LTDs on the road.

I don’t understand the question either.

Why wouldn’t the Squier hold up as well as the Fender? The 150mph winds? The searing 800 degrees? The incredible G forces?

I’ve never had a guitar fall apart in a gig. I don’t even think it knew it was gigging.

Until recently, Squiers' quality control had been sporadic at best, but lately newer Squiers and older Squiers (with their issues rectified by the owners) does perform just as well as Fender guitars. Sometimes even better than Fender.

I too never had a correctly setup guitar fail on me during use in a jam session. The failures, if they happen, usually occurs during the mod/upgrade phase, or during the final setup phase, or at latest, during the first few weeks of use/test after final assembly. That's assuming those issues wasn't detected/rectified during the initial repair/cleanup phase.
 

radiotech

Squier-Axpert
Apr 23, 2014
11,093
Freedonia
My Squier stable has shrunk in the last few years, I’m down to the 2014 ‘51, VM Jazzmaster, CV Starcaster, and IV, and V versions of Dimension bass.
I have gigged the ‘51, but since since the Acoustasonic Jazzmaster does electric tone good enough, it’s nice to not have to bring an acoustic, and an electric.

If a band situation came along that I needed an electric for, the Starcaster might be my go-to, but it would be a close race between that my Ibby AM73, and my Fender Blacktop Tele.

Todays Squier’s are made better than many 70’s Fenders, and most of the “affordable” guitars of my youth.
 

brians

Squier-holic
Oct 1, 2017
2,144
South Africa
I think what @Brannon is asking, is how reliable are they. Obviously we are all proud of our Squiers and they can perform just fine in any live set if they are set up properly. But if you’re gigging a couple nights a week, how long is that circuit board box switch going to last? How many times can that dime sized pot be rolled back to “0” before it breaks? If I was playing a few a shows a week (I’m not even playing a few shows a year! LOL) I think I would upgrade those types of parts just for reliability’s sake.
Hey dbrian66,
I've played my Bullets every day, used to jam twice a week, odd social gig, for the last 12 years or so, I've been expecting the switch to break ( causes I do want to upgrade it ) but it's still going strong 🙂

I did change one scratchy volume pot, but it was still working fine.

I play my guitars hard, and they keep going so maybe I'm lucky ( hope I'm not tempting fate ) but I would confidently take them to any gig.
 

Matty78

Squier Talker
Mar 9, 2022
60
Breezy Point, NY
One of the best guitarists in the studio musician world, Jack Pearson, plays a Squier Strat. I've seen him play gigs with it. I saw an interview with him once where he said he bought it for somebody's birthday or something and liked it so much he decided to keep it for himself. He's 30 times the guitarist I am so if I ever gigged, I'd be just fine with my Squier CV 50's Telecaster.
I've had the distinct pleasure of seeing Jack with the Allman Brothers in the late 90s at the Beacon Theater. He was simply mind blowing and continues to do so as I am told. It's been awhile since I've caught some of his stuff. Might have to do a YouTube deep dive.

Had no idea that he played a Squier...didn't matter if he played a broom stick - magical nights!

Happy Friday!
 

SoundDesign

Squier-holic
Mar 8, 2016
3,084
Great. White. North.
I was never a rock star but I gigged in bars at least once a week for three years and I can't recall a single pot, switch or jack failure with anyone in the band in that entire time.

Pots can fail but it isn't their size that makes it happen. You can get a "bad good one" or a "good bad one". CTS and Alpha make quality "dime" pots and I don't really understand how a larger diameter pot or pushback wire make it easier for the average musician to sleep at night. I look at the control cavity of the guitar and if it's tight in there, it's getting "dime" pots. If you want to spend money for peace of mind, make sure your strap buttons / locks are secure and make sure your drummer's double kick pedal isn't a POS.
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,253
Honolulu, HI
Todays Squier’s are made better than many 70’s Fenders, and most of the “affordable” guitars of my youth.

Most definitely agree! Altho mind ye, that doesnt mean that ALL Squiers (and other "Economy" brands) from the past are worse tho. There were still gems to be had thence. However, nowdays with the prices of good old guitars spiraling rapidly upwards like a helium balloon, it makes more sense to take advantage of the new guitars' warranties and take a chance on them! At least if ye get a bad one ye could return it back to the shop and try another one. Then once in hand ye can apply the same upgrade mods (tuners, bridge and saddles, maybe pups) and be mostly guaranteed decades of good performance from the new guitar.
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,253
Honolulu, HI
I was never a rock star but I gigged in bars at least once a week for three years and I can't recall a single pot, switch or jack failure with anyone in the band in that entire time.

Pots can fail but it isn't their size that makes it happen. You can get a "bad good one" or a "good bad one". CTS and Alpha make quality "dime" pots and I don't really understand how a larger diameter pot or pushback wire make it easier for the average musician to sleep at night. I look at the control cavity of the guitar and if it's tight in there, it's getting "dime" pots. If you want to spend money for peace of mind, make sure your strap buttons / locks are secure and make sure your drummer's double kick pedal isn't a POS.

I agree, modern electronics have improved so much across the board that even the Chinese stuffs are half decent. Nowdays I only replace them if I want something specific for a specific purpose like swapping 250k pots to 500k to open up the pups, tweaking the R/C circuit to adjust the tone or volume sweep characteristics, etc. I do not automatically change things anymore.

Another thing to try before replacing a new scratchy pot or switch, try cleaning the component! A couple times a spray of deoxyit was all i needed to do instead of replacing that pot or switch for a new more expensive component.
 

dbrian66

Dr. Squier
Jul 14, 2017
9,726
Maryland, USA
Hey dbrian66,
I've played my Bullets every day, used to jam twice a week, odd social gig, for the last 12 years or so, I've been expecting the switch to break ( causes I do want to upgrade it ) but it's still going strong 🙂

I did change one scratchy volume pot, but it was still working fine.

I play my guitars hard, and they keep going so maybe I'm lucky ( hope I'm not tempting fate ) but I would confidently take them to any gig.
I was never a rock star but I gigged in bars at least once a week for three years and I can't recall a single pot, switch or jack failure with anyone in the band in that entire time.

Pots can fail but it isn't their size that makes it happen. You can get a "bad good one" or a "good bad one". CTS and Alpha make quality "dime" pots and I don't really understand how a larger diameter pot or pushback wire make it easier for the average musician to sleep at night. I look at the control cavity of the guitar and if it's tight in there, it's getting "dime" pots. If you want to spend money for peace of mind, make sure your strap buttons / locks are secure and make sure your drummer's double kick pedal isn't a POS.
For the record, I have never gigged enough to wear out any part on any guitar! LOL. But I do use electronics in a rough environment every day for over 30 years. I see cheap multimeters fail on a regular basis. But rarely do I see a Fluke or something similar fail. So I am just assuming (and we all know what happens when we assume!) that the cheap electronics in a guitar would be the same as the cheap electronics in a multimeter. Not reliable in a professional setting. I still think the $40 you would be spending on a quality wiring kit would be a good investment for a tool I depended on.

But hey, the proof is in the pudding. If you guys are gigging regularly with stock Squiers, that’s freaking awesome!
 

Paulsomeone

Squier-Meister
Dec 26, 2020
218
Canada
I think I've mentioned before, the tree the wood came from didn't care what name was going on it. Everything else is solvable. A good guitar is a good guitar.
 

Faith Nicole

Squier-holic
Nov 14, 2013
1,689
Florida
I gig with my squier almost every weekend .. assuming a bass counts? 🙃
Squier VM Jaguar special HB. Sorry, not the best photo.

20220409_trim.jpg

I am thinking about using my Fender P-bass elite next show. I prefer the jazz profile so rarely play it even though I also prefer the precision tone.
 

AxelMorisson

Squier-Nut
Nov 15, 2021
580
Fagaras, Romania
I do it-small scale true, fooling around someone else's studio, a bit of session secondary tertiary fill-up guy (no, not FEEL UP GUY , we're serious here lol) . But never had a problem with a solid set up instrument. However you got to : check the jacks, to be solid and not let the cord slip out , to make good contact etc. On the ones I regularly carry around, straplocks ,new switches and jack,where needed, all connections checked out at least once at the first setup,and whenever needed, change pots with heavy duty units...check tuners and if not good replace with good stuff, check nut, put tusq or equiv. , nice sets of strings on everything and that is how you never get headaches.Pretty much bring your stuff to the best shape it can be in.. and help a little where help is needed. Since about 2017 or so not many needed swapped parts. Sometimes I do that for fun, or curiosity but not of sheer necessity.
 


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