Preaching To The Choir...

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by JRSIV, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. JRSIV

    JRSIV Squier Talker

    Dec 22, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    As thread title states, I know I'm preaching to the choir...but I'm tired of the qualifications and caveats the guitar community assigns to Squier's Classic Vibe line whenever it's brought up. The "great guitar for the money", "great guitar for what it is" & "great for an Indonesian/Chinese guitar" BS is played out and reeks of lazy, ill informed elitism.

    It can absolutely be argued that this applies to the Squire brand as a whole but it's positively the case for the Classic Vibe series. I mean this isn't a new phenomenon; Squier has been making the CV series for over 10 years. When an instrument line is able to withstand factory changes, issues sourcing quality and legal wood supplies and balancing the supply & demand fluctuations of the online era it's not by accident. These are guitars of exceptional quality, taking advantage of the latest CNC technology and mixing in good old fashioned human craftsmanship.

    Fender almost cannibalized their own lower end Mexican made line by introducing the CV guitars in the first place, but they stuck with it and it's become one of their most successful lines in decades. That doesn't happen by selling sh#t guitars.

    Whether it's misguided patriotism or a seething indifference that the $2000 Strat they bought doesn't sound any better than a $400 CV, I don't know...but there's still a fair amount of downplaying done to Squier's Classic Vibe guitar's.

    For me personally it's always been about how a guitar feels & sounds, regardless of price or origin. Allow me to relay a quick tale...

    In 1992 as a 16 year-old marching/concert band drummer I started playing guitar. After a few months on a nylon string classical guitar my Dad & I went to a local guitar shop here in my hometown of Las Vegas. I played a few of the electrics and because I knew that Hendrix, Clapton, etc played a Stratocaster, I veered towards two they had, a red & a blue.

    After playing both, the red one really felt good in my hands and sounded very lively when not plugged in. Playing through an amp it "spoke to me", as corny as that sounds. I chose that guitar and while we were finishing the deal (getting a practice amp, etc). the guy said something to my Dad that made him say "Oh! Well that's even better." I asked my Dad what was up and he happily told me the red one I was getting was cheaper than the blue one...see the red Strat was a Mexican made Standard Stratocaster and the blue Strat was an American Standard Stratocaster.

    That day at Accent Music I had no idea where the guitars were from, and since I was worried about my Pop tripping out about how expensive this new interest in guitar was going to be I never looked at the prices. Moral of the story is that the feel and sound of a guitar is paramount, where it was made and the price point are purely incidental.

    The guitar industry has had a great growth in sales due to the pandemic. I hope all the young people stuck at home this past year who decided to play guitar didn't disqualify a guitar simply based on it's origin and price.

    I know playing guitars in a store is a touch and go proposition lately but online ordering, which I used to loathe, is a good option if their return policy is good. My first CV was a 60's Strat I bought in 2009, and it gets better every year. I bought a 50's Strat, Custom Telecaster and a Starcaster over the course of the last year and I couldn't be happier with them.

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  2. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    CV’s are great guitars for sure. But I am not against saying “they are great guitars for the money”. To me that is not an insult. To me that is saying that it is a great value. I am not it the camp that thinks the best Squier is as good as the top of the line Fenders. If most of us were given the opportunity to go into guitar center and have any guitar we want for free, most of us would not leave with a Squier or Epiphone. But on the flip side, a good Squier or Epiphone is just fine for most of us, so why spend the extra money if we don’t have to?
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  3. MrYeats

    MrYeats Dr. Squier Platinum Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    South Texas Coast
    Every once in a while, I used to get the urge to buy a Gibson or Fender, just because it was a Gibson or a Fender. I ended up selling them. I just could not justify spending that amount of money for a guitar when I can be happy with a Squier or Epi, and in my case, a Maestro or some of the other offshoots of Gibson.
    As nice as the high end guitars are, I found myself leaving them at home when I would go to a gig or band practice. Why? I didn't dare want to put a ding in one. That never is a concern with a Squier or Epi.
    I am not a bragadocio about guitars because of their "status". It is just that I can have alot of fun making a $50 pawn shop guitar into a player and not just have a bunch of expensive closet queens.
    CVSteve, Tele56, RoyalWe and 6 others like this.
  4. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    I really like my CV Jag and my nodded SEs but I like my Fenders more. My Fender Tele and Mustang are better guitars. I got rid of my Squier versions of those guitars. Now I'm looking to buy a CV Jazzmaster because it's an excellent guitar for the money. I can't get a Jazzmaster with the same features for under 1K. I sold 2 older Fender MIM Strats and kept the Squier SEs. I like my modded SEs better. It's all relative. Like what you want and buy what you can afford.
    MrYeats, Shine, VealCutlet and 2 others like this.
  5. brians

    brians Squier-holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    South Africa
    To the OP post.

    It's a really good post and it's factual.

    This subject has been discussed probably since this forum was started.
    It seems sometimes that people try to force the justification of the Squier brand, which is nonsensical.

    Either you are happy with it or you are not.
    I do believe a lot of justification exists because some cannot ( as opposed to do not want to spend on ) afford a Fender.

    As dbrian66 says, if one was offered a Squier or a Fender for the same money, the result would be obvious, lets acknowledge that and move on.

    So, now we are at the point of discussion of why a Squier? Well the answer is multifaceted.

    If one has been around here for a long while, the Squier brand is a captivating one for so many reasons, whether it's cost, or being able to having multiple guitars as opposed to one or two ( again this is cost related ) or it's the pleasure of learning and modding, or having different models etc etc.

    In reality, some have spent more money modding a Bullet to their satisfaction, that they probably could have bought a MIA in the first place. But that's not important.
    What is important is having the right ( or close to ) instrument that makes one happy, and sharing and learning from like minded people, i.e., this forum.

    I made a comment the other day to someone looking to buy a CV and asking for advice, and I told them ( a little tongue in cheek ) that I could offer my Bullet but they wouldn't be able to afford it . This is somewhat true, because it's one guitar that I love and will never sell because it is just right for me.

    As far as the brand is concerned, I believe it was regarded as a lowly brand in the early years and maybe that is also true. Fender only introduced it in order to save their market share against the copies being made in the thousands and Fender had no way of competing, so it was a real case of having to introduce their own brand to fight in that market, or lose that market share completely.

    And it was a smart move, as they could now compete and offer a genuine Fender product at a tenth of the price. And at that point who would buy a knock off copy against a genuine Fender brand.

    Yes of course the quality was not the same then, but neither was the price.

    Low and behold the Squier brand was born, and eventually gained acceptance from many in terms of its capability of being a real instrument in its own right.

    Today, Squier as an established and capable brand is facing a similar situation against some house brands and other "copy" brands, which by the way are not bad products.

    But the underlying marketing strength of Squier remains that it is a real Fender product and that is a selling point of immense strength.

    The on going debate of " my Squier is equal or better than a Fender " is ridiculous.
    Absolutely no point, as it either is a great guitar for you or it isn't. Simple.

    If one can afford to only buy the best by way of brand name , all the better for you, if I could, I would have a room full of Taylor, Martin, Gibson and Fender guitars and I would be very grateful and love them.

    Having said that , I would probably still rock my favorite Bullet as well because I've told you why.

    So, in closing, and I hope I haven't bored you to tears , let's just acknowledge that Squier is a genuine Fender product and we love it because it is a brand of choice to us, and I am as proud of that logo as I am of the logo on my Fender guitar.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  6. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    Nice guitars but I have never bought one. Necks are just too slim for me. For the same amount or $50 more I can buy a new MIM with a neck I like better and needs zero upgrades.
    MrYeats, VealCutlet and dbrian66 like this.
  7. Tele56

    Tele56 Squier-Meister

    Jul 22, 2012
    A good guitar is a good guitar regardless of the name on the headstock, body shape, neck or price. A high price tag is no guarantee of a good guitar and a low price is not indicative of poor tone or playability. The one “given” is a higher price tag usually equates to higher quality components and workmanship.
  8. VealCutlet

    VealCutlet Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Brookyn, NYC
    I put my CV50s (2010) Strat up against anyone's $1000 Strat for playability, looks, and sound. A lot of this is obviously subjective, and maybe I got one from a really good batch, but that guitar is fantastic. I've bought other Strats in the sub-$1000 range but found no reason to keep them.

    My Vintage Modified Jazzmaster (which was further modified by me) plays almost as well as my Thinskin AVRI JM. The AV has a thicker neck, which is fine by me, the VM is in no way lacking. My VM sounds better, IMO, but I think there's an issue with the rhythm circuit on my AV - just sounds like pure mud. My CV JM plays great after a fret polish and shim, though the stock bridge collapsed on me mid-song during an online Open Mic a few weeks ago. Loctite applied since them and all is well.

    So @JRSIV - I agree that no qualification is needed when talking about CVs. I don't mind that they're not for everyone, though. I don't mind the condescending looks or questions (why do you have all those Squier offsets?....because I CAN!)

    I enjoy playing them without apology.
    MrYeats, dbrian66 and Tele56 like this.
  9. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010

    I am with you on that. My VM Jazzmaster, Jaguar and Mustang are as fine examples of those that I could ever need. I did only pickup swaps on them. Fender ‘62 pickups in the Jazzmaster, Fender ‘65’s in the Jag and a set of vintage wound pickups for the Mustang. Other than Tusq nuts that was all I did to them. Oh, and a set of 11’s on all.

    I did buy a new Jazzmaster in the spring of 1965 and my lead guitar player had a 1964 Jaguar that I played some so I have some experience with what the old ones were.
    MrYeats, dbrian66 and VealCutlet like this.
  10. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Squier-holic

    Mar 11, 2017
    The BEST GUITAR you will ever own is the one you enjoy the most.
    Amelia, MrYeats, RoyalWe and 3 others like this.
  11. JRSIV

    JRSIV Squier Talker

    Dec 22, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    As @brians points out I knew this topic was one that has been covered extensively here but the impetus wasn't so much Fender VS. Squier but as @blackspider57 said, if you you enjoy a guitar and it feels & sounds good there's no qualifications needed.

    I appreciate all of the feedback, and I see @dbrian66's point that saying CV's are good for the money isn't necessarily an insult... it's the context in which it's said. I agree if I was told to go into Guitar Center and pick any guitar it would most likely not be a Squier, but it would be if the other guitars in the shop felt & sounded sh#tty, regardless of it's name on the headstock.

    There's also something to be said about the "platform" take that Squier's are known for. They are prime candidates for customisation and after market improvement for sure. I think that's the point however when judged against some other guitars. If I pay $2500 for a guitar I shouldn't have to go replace pup's, tuners, bridges, etc. The magic of the CV's is that even though you can upgrade them and they may improve significantly, the stock CV experience is still a great guitar as-is, at least in my experience.
    MrYeats and dbrian66 like this.
  12. BT224

    BT224 Squier-Meister

    Feb 7, 2020
    Well, get the flame throwers out.

    I think most people couldn't tell the difference between an Affinity and a $200o USA Fender, me included. But at the same time, I think I would like one, even a MIM. Dunno why, but just would. I can say that my modified SE isn't as nice to play as my Gibbie, although it's very nice. Without the comparison, I would be happy and clueless. I think there is something that makes them better, and it's more than a sum of the components. It's the whole package coming together. Love my Squier, but I'm not so sure it's better or equal. Sometimes you gotta get out of your bubble.
    MrYeats likes this.
  13. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I’ve been happier with the feel of my CV and VM Squiers than I have been with the few Fenders I’ve owned. Ended up selling the fenders and keeping the Squiers. Even compared to the vintage fenders I’ve tried, I liked my Squiers better.
    dbrian66, Amelia and MrYeats like this.
  14. Trumpy

    Trumpy Squier Talker

    Feb 5, 2018
    Western WI
    I have MIM and MIA Fenders. Also have a CV 50's strat. But the best one of the bunch IMHO is a Fender Jaguar that was made in China. Its labeled a Fender but apparently made in the same factory as my CV
    dbrian66 likes this.