Looking for a good "as-is" Strat

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by Poor Richard, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    Greetings. I'm looking for some input but first I'll give a brief history of my guitar ownership.

    I had an early 90s MIM Strat (that I bought in the early 90s) that I built into pretty much the perfect guitar. About 15 years ago I got heavily into acoustic music and sold the Strat (big regret).

    About five years ago I wanted to get back into electric. I bought a CV 50s SB off Reverb. It seemed very generic and lifeless, so I sold it pretty quickly.

    I then found a Squier Deluxe Strat locally for $130. It was better than the CV but still seemed dull and uninteresting. Sold.

    I have since went through a Bullet Tele, two Epi Les Pauls, a shredder-type Ibanez, and a hollow-body Ibanez. All sold because none of them grabbed me and made me want to play guitar. Most of these were modded in some way and I lost money on all of them.

    I'm not sure if I'm too picky or just can't get over my old MIM Strat, but I would love to find a good, as-is, ready-to-play Strat at some point. I only play at home and don't need the best of the best, just something that works. I'm also tired of spending money on endless mods that still don't make the guitar what I want, and that only end up wasted money lost upon resale.

    Have any of you found a good Squier off-the-rack that turned into an everyday player? This is what I'm hoping to find. I've also thought about finding another early 90s MIM and trying to build it like the one I sold. But something in my gut tells me this won't work (no one steps into the same river twice, as an old saying goes).

    Thanks for reading my rambling (if you did).
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Age:
    45
    Sep 27, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    I think that all of those guitars could have been great - I personally never expect any guitar to play well and be setup right 'off-the-rack'. I could have set any of those guitars up perfectly to your specs and playing style.......I've never in my life had any guitar bought new or used that was setup properly.....

    Personally even the bottom of the line Squier Bullet Strat can be made to play and sound great, I have never in my life encountered a single 'dud' from Epiphone or Squier.....but I have over 15 years of setup/modding experience and I do it for others......

    Whatever you get, it will need to be professionally setup, for nut slot height/depth, truss rod/relief, intonation, string height, fret level/crown etc, this can cost over $100
     
    brians, JurnyWannaBe, driver8 and 5 others like this.
  3. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-holic

    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    Think you need to get a MIM or MIA :D
     
  4. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-holic

    Age:
    38
    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    Hi Guitarmageddon, good to see you replying in this thread. I missed ya!

    Adding to what he said, even my MIM Player Strat needed a setup to get it to where I wanted it to be. After a couple years of hanging out here and doing setups on various Strats and other guitars, I've found which settings work for me that compromise between the least amount of buzz, action just right (low but not too low). Every guitar is different but I've found that every Squier and Fender I've come across can be set up for the various measurements that I prefer.

    Generally it doesn't matter if I buy a guitar from a pawn shop, brand new or from a buddy. They all need a bit of tweaking to be perfect for me and my play style.
     
  5. IronSchef

    IronSchef Dr. Squier Double Platinum Member

    Age:
    58
    Jun 18, 2012
    Flew here on my Dragonfly
    Well, considering you tried and didn’t like two of the most highly regarded Squiers (classic vibe and deluxe), I would not suggest another Squier ... I think you should look for a used 90s MIM (look for serial numbers starting with MN) — it would likely be very similar to the one you loved. The ceramic pickups in that era MIM were really nice - much hotter than the Alnicos in the CV or Deluxe
     
  6. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    Hello. I really liked the look of the CV (tinted neck, etc) but it just didn't feel right. With the Bullet Tele, I had a lot of professional work done on it. I had the tuners changed, the nut, and had it converted to an Esquire with one PUP. But, alas, I just did not like it. I can pick up 100 guitars and probably not like any of them. But now and then, I'll pick up one that really grabs me.
     
  7. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Yorkshire
    I'd rather buy a Classic Vibe...
     
  8. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Age:
    45
    Sep 27, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    To each their own :) I would get frustrated if that happened to me, I can pick up any guitar and like any of them (after I've had a chance to use my tools and set it up to my liking). I've gigged with stock low end Squier guitars......I'm glad I don't have that problem. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a me vs. you thing, I am just not familiar with experiencing what you have.

    Was the CV just too slim back to front? The neck? Maybe you like a thicker profile....I know I've gravitated toward really big necks in the last couple years or so....but I do have guitars with very slim necks (like my Squier Vintage Modified Surf Strat from 2013 - it's like .816" at first fret and .865" at 12th....
     
  9. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    There was another CV like the one I had for sale on our local CL this week for $300. It was one of the new Indonesian ones. I'd almost made my mind up to buy it and try fooling around with it to get it to my liking. But it was sold before I could get it. FWIW, I think the CVs look way cooler than just about anything Fender is putting out now.
     
  10. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-holic

    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    He has had that.
     
  11. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    You went through a lot of different guitars and bonded with none. Many of those guitars are ones that we would recommend. So buying another, based on recommendations, is a risk. Maybe the best strategy is to go to a Guitar Center or similar store and play lots of them to find the one that speaks to you.
     
    Shine, JurnyWannaBe, drewcp and 2 others like this.
  12. drewcp

    drewcp Dr. Squier

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I would suggest that you consider other brands, just because the neck shape/profile/dimensions can vary so much.

    For example, a MusicMan Sterling SUB Silhouette or similar might look very strat-like, with it's SSS pickup configuration, but the neck shape is Totally different.
     
  13. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Nut

    952
    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    Hard to beat an older CV Tele.
     
  14. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    The best way I can describe my experience with the CV is comparing it to my old MIM that I modded (it was a MIM neck, Warmoth body...that cost more than the entire guitar new..., USA Fender pups, Sperzel locking tuners, and upgraded block - it was killer). The CV, unplugged and in my lap, felt dead, where my old Strat would resonate and sound good even unplugged. My old one just felt right in every way, where the CV just felt clunky to me. Kind of hard to explain, but it just didn't call to me or make me want to play it.
     
  15. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    What was it specifically that you liked about the MIM? If you can pinpoint exactly what the other guitars were missing, it will be easier to find a replacement. And also keep in mind that 15 years is a long time. What you really liked about the Strat back then might be unknowingly different from what you are looking for today. I think a day trip to a guitar center store might be in order. Play as many guitars as you can and see what stands out.
     
  16. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Squier

    Age:
    45
    Sep 27, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    What you describe is 100% a setup issue - string height probably too low so it sounds dead and doesn't ring out. Also, larger frets on a CV than on a pre-2006 MIM Strat.....that could be part of the 'feel' aspect too....
     
    JurnyWannaBe, drewcp, beagle and 2 others like this.
  17. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Yorkshire
    I don't really care what they look like, it's how they play, which is mainly down to how the neck feels.
     
  18. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    A few weeks ago on a Saturday I went to a guitar show, and then to about ten different local shops. I only found one guitar I liked - it was a Sterling Albert Lee model. It just felt right. I played it unplugged for a long time and loved it (almost bought it). If a guitar does not grab me unplugged, I never even bother to plug it in. Sterling also makes a nice Strat-style for about $500 that I've been wanting to try - locking tuners and baked neck. They look really cool.
     
  19. Poor Richard

    Poor Richard Squier Talker

    Age:
    46
    51
    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    PS - mostly what I liked about my old Strat was the early 90s neck profile. I learned how to play guitar on that guitar and think I was just used to the neck, mainly.
     
    JurnyWannaBe, dbrian66 and MrYeats like this.
  20. MrYeats

    MrYeats Dr. Squier Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    66
    Dec 28, 2017
    South Texas Coast
    If you are not into spending a lot of $$ on a guitar, then your risk will be lower. I find that the Squier Standards are about the best bargain out there. I just got a Shoreline Gold that is way better than a lot of more expensive guitars. The neck on this one just begs to be played.