I'm planning on getting a new electric guitar but I'm not sure whether to get a Squier Vibe 50's or pay a bit more and get a Fender Stratocaster.
Can someone please tell me the differences.

Do you mean a Made in Mexico (MIM) Fender Strat or a Made in America (MIA) Fender Strat?

The Vibe 50s is a great guitar, but it's not much like a real 50s Strat in that the truss rod adjustment is in the headstock, not under the pick guard at the other end of the neck. But it has a 6 point trem, a 21 fret neck, with a maple fingerboard. Also the slimmer style head stock and a nice decal. (Many lesser Squiers have the "70's" big headstocks and printed logos instead of decals). They're only available in an SSS configuration.

MIM (Standard) Strats also have 6 point trems, 21 fret necks with either maple or rosewood fingerboards. They're available SSS or HSS. Whatever pups it has are inferior to the MIA guitars, and maybe even to the Squier Classic Vibes'

MIA (Standarad) Srats have 2 point trems (better), 22 fret necks (better) wieht either maple or rosewood fingerboards. They're also available SSS or HSS.

That's just the Standard MIMs and MIAs. There are lots of other models of Stratocasters to consider. Highway 1s are MIA, yet have 6 point trems and flat finishes despite their 22 frets. American Specials also have 6 point trems and 22 frets, but come in very limited colors. The MIA deluxe has a better 2 point trem with a pop-out arm, locking tuners (awesome--I've got those retrofitted on my Squier Afffinity), a roller nut, and "Stealth Switching (a.k.a., S-1 switch) (also cool and retrofitted on my Squier). The MIM Blacktop Strats IMHO are the best MIMs and some of the few that come with 22 frets. They're all HH config (which I've also done to my Squier). Also consider the Pawn Shop series if you want some weird shit.

That's only scratching the surface. There's lots more models available in all these categories (Squier, MIM, and MIA).

If money is a big consideration, then I recommend the Squier and save the rest of your money for a good amp; that's more important than the guitars.

My other Strat is an MIA Standard in SSS which I've left stock.

BTW, I play my Squier Affinity Strat much more than my MIA Strat, since the humbuckers suit my style better. I also use enough distortion that the thin body on the Affinity and the inferior quality wood/construction on the Squier aren't noticible in the Squier compared to the MIA. It actuall sounds better, due to the humbucker.
I can't answer for the Fender Strat, but I do have a CV 50's Strat. The only problem I had with the guitar was the bridge pickup was very twangy, but that was easily fixed by replacing with a Hot Rails. All in all it is a pretty nice guitar, although if you easily afford an actual Fender Strat you might as well get it instead.
At the moment i have a epiphone SG special, but the bridge pickup keeps crapping out plus i want a guitar that can cover a wide variety of music which is why I'm going for the strat. I think i will get the Squier because of money and the reviews are great.

Also I'm currently using a Roland Cube 40XL and like it a lot but i find the distortion is missing something and I am thinking about getting a distortion or overdrive pedal but am unsure on which one as their are so many. I have heard about the BOSS DS-1 pedal and am wondering whether there is a better pedal i should invest my money into.
Since you're not using a tube amp you might want to get a tube distortion pedal. Here are some options:

Not a pedal, but this is the most inexpensive: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMPSTV3

This one is the heart of the Blackstar HT series amps. Popular among UGers although the purists will tell you it's a hybrid:

I don't know much about this one, but EH has a great reputation:

If you want to cover a wide variety of music, but don't have a huge budget, then I recommend multi-effects (MFX). These will have the ability to do various delay, modulation, reverb, filter, compression, noise gate, etc. effects and most can also do amp/cab modeling too--although you can turn that off.

Here's a tube option:

This, along with a seperate expression pedal is getting a lot of favorable buzz here:

And so is this:

Don't go cheap on the MFX--cheaper units have less controls which actually makes them more complicated because they have more functions per control. I.e., don't get an HD300 or an HD400--only consider the HD500.

For live stuff/band practice, I use an old Digitech GNX4 through a Marshall tube half-stack. The tube pre-amp warms up the digital MFX nicely. For messing around by myself, I use a Digitech RP355 through a VOX DA5 5 watt solid state amp. The tone isn't as nice as on the tube amp, and the RP355 can't handle much on-the-fly, but it's good enough to do anything I need to for basic practice/learning/writing.
Whats the difference between a pedal and a tube thing?. Also with tube amps do you have to replace the tubes and how often?
The first tube thing I listed isn't a pedal because it's not designed to sit on the floor and be operated by foot.

Pedals have heavy-duty stomp switches that can handle you turning functions on and off, or cycling through modes by stepping on them.

Yes, eventually tubes need to be replaced in tube amps and in these tube pedals. How often depends on how good care you take of them (warming them up before using, not leaving them on longer than necessary, gentle transport, not exposing to lots of cycles between extreme cold and heat, etc.), and how much you use them. I've heard of tube amps from the '60s still having functioning original tubes, and I've also heard of people having tubes fail in the first year. Power amp tubes fail more often than pre-amp tubes.

I've had my tube amp about a year and a half and I bought it used. Based on the model, it can't be much more than 4 years old. As far as I know it's still on its original tubes. So that's not a huge deal. But if I had to replace all my tubes at once, it would cost about $200 for halfway decent tubes. Then again, it's a 100w Marshall with a tube driven effect loop, so that's pretty much a worst case scenario. If the tubes failed in the pedals I mentioned, you'd be out around $20 each tube for decent replacements. No big deal.

The Zoom, Line 6, and the Digitech pedals I mentioned don't have tubes, but the VOX MFX does (just 1).
Quote by imaginedbufalo
Okay, I've also heard that tube amps have a nice warm tone thats good for blues

Well, yeah. Of course.

Thing is that as long as you're using tubes as the last part in your signal chain contributing to distortion, then you don't necessarily need a tube amp.

For example, your amp on the clean channel at any volume driven by a VOX tonelab will sound better than a Line 6 Spidervalve with the master volume set low. And even with its Bogner tube power amp stage, the Spider digital distortion is so crappy that those tubes might not be enough to sweeten up the overall tone, even if it's cranked all the way loud. So for just $300 investment, your current rig could sound better than a $1000+ Line 6 setup.

Some of the modeling has gotten very good. If you mainly want to play blues, then check out the Fender Mustang III. I know a blues player who gigs with a Mustang II and it sounded so good I couldn't believe it wasn't a tube amp the first time I heard him play it. The Mustang III is a lot more functional than the II, and well worth the few extra bucks.
honestly for how cheap MIM strats can be found second hand, i would get a Fender MIM. personally i would either go japanese strat or with a hwy1.

you can find a perfectly good strat for $225ish, +-/ $20

i have been through strats, the one that i will probably never sell, is a 1995, IMO the craftsmenship has gotten worse with the time passing. i have owned at least 10 strats. just find them fix them up a tad sell make $50+

again i found older MIM's better than the newer ones, i had two 2002 MIM's and were the worst, followed by a 2006.
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Yeah, the noughties were a bad time for MIM Fenders. Especially 2006. Both of my Strats were from around 2006 and the Affinity was heads and shoulders above any MIM I saw in a store around then. All the MIMs around then had horrible frets that would cut you.

The MIM Blacktop Strats of today, though, rival any MIA I've seen, and the other MIMs have been OK since Fender launched their "Make History" ad campaign (2008, 2009, or 2010?).

So if you'd be happy with the features on a Vibe 50's, then you would be happy with an MIM, too. And if you need to play stuff that needs 22 frets, you always have your SG. Just don't sell that.

You said you want to cover all kinds of stuff. If you want to cover a wide array of metal, then you need a 24 fret guitar. In which case a superstrat would be better. If that's the case, then check out Ibanez RGs, ESP LTDs, Dean Vendettas, and Schecters. Just don't buy any Ibanez that starts with a G (e.g., GIO, GRG, etc.). And stay away from Floyd Rose trems until you can afford a guitar or two for every tuning you want to play in.
What do you guys think of the Squier Vibe 50s Telecaster? What difference is their between the tele and the strat? And what do you guys think of the Fender Mustang III?
Vibe 50s are great guitars if you like 21 frets and maple fretboards.

Tele is a little twangy and won't have a tremolo.

Fender Mustang III is a great amp for it's price. If money isn't an object, then you're better off with about 16 different tube amps and a couple hundred pedals. If you have a $2,000 thousand dollar budget, then you can get one great tube amp and a decent multi-effects pedal. But if your budget is well under $500 then the Mustang III and the optional foot pedal might be your best bet these days.

IMHO, it's better than a Peavey VYPYR tone-wise, but the VYPYR has a better optional foot controller. Just like anything else, it's a bunch of trade-offs, so you gotta consider what factors apply most to you. $$$ is usually the biggest factor for most of us.

The Mustang III is definitely worth the extra $ over the Mustang II because it gives you so much more control over the features. IMHO, the IV and V are kind of pointless because they don't really add anything useful over the III. The IV is bigger and louder, but if you need it louder, then why not just mic the III and run that through a PA? And if you really need a half-stack, like the Mustang V, then you're in a whole different league and should probably get an all-tube Marshall, Mesa, Organge, Peavey, Krank, Engle, Soldano, Diezel, etc.

The Mustang III is way more than loud enough for any home use. I know a guy who gigs with a Mustang II and it can be heard over drums, other guitar & bass amps, and vocals on PA without even being mic'ed. The III is louder than the II.
I can vouch for the Fender Mustang amp. My bandmate's got the Mustang III and we have to keep the volume on 4 the whole time! It's definitely loud enough for gigs. The presets are kind of crappy IMO but he's satisfied with them. If you spend time with the amp to find the perfect settings you'll be happy with it.
strat is a piece of history, and a fender is always better than a squire, no matter where it's built.
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Quote by omidmash
strat is a piece of history, and a fender is always better than a squire, no matter where it's built.

Most Fender MIAs are better than most Squiers. But if you count MIM Fenders, there have been periods where certain aspects of them were not as good as many Squiers.

I have an MIA Standard Strat made in 2006, and it's as good as any Fender I've seen, in terms of craftsmanship. The pups are nothing to write home about, but they're good all-purpose pups and you can't get much better with single coils without starting to make sacrifices; then it gets very subjective and specialized. It's got a great sunburst finish and the maple neck isn't glossy, so it doesn't get sticky. The frets are perfect.

I also have a MIC Squier Affinity Strat made around 2006 and out of the box on the whole it was better than the MIM Strats of the time. Back then all the MIMs I tried (several dozen, including signature models) consistently had really crappy necks with frets that would cut your fingers. The sunburst finishes were a gross orange. The Squier sunbursts were even worse. But the Squiers had great necks. Now the MIMs had a better setup out of the box. My Affinity's setup was so bad it took a $100 visit to a luthier to make it right. He even had to shim the neck joint to get the correct angle. After that and replacing the tuning pegs with the same ones they use on MIA Deluxe Strats (Fender/Schaller locking tuners) it now plays better than the MIA. And since I've modded it with HH pups I get a much better tone out of it for the genres I play than I can get out of the MIA SSS, despite the inferior grade alder.

Newer MIMs are OK, and some are really good, like the Road Worn series and especially the Blacktop series (22 fret necks). But the Squier Vibes are just as good if you don't mind 21 frets. Definitely superior to MIM Standards.

Now theoritically the Squier Standards should be good because they're made to uniform tolerances and a lot of the parts are interchangeable with MIA Strats (most notably, the pick guard). Despite the 22 frets and 2 point trem, it has a crappy bridge with weird plastic-looking saddles and it's made of agathis instead of alder. I don't know if it's the bridge or the wood, but every one of those I've played had a God-awful tone, even unplugged. I suspect it's the bridge, since I've literally heard better tones coming from a cinderblock with a neck, bridge, and pup bolted to it. And from a concrete guitar, too.

High end Squiers beat low-end MIMs any day. And low-end MIM isn't always dependent on price; i.e., the inexpensive Blacktops might just be the best MIMs ever made.

BTW, Squier is a Fender brand, just made in the Far East these days. Gretch, EVH, Jackson, Charvel, SWR, Guild, Groove Tubes, DeArmand, Tacoma, and Sunn)))) are also Fender brands.

Starcaster is also a Fender brand, but those are truly shit. I've seen those sell with splintering necks. Maybe they're the Squier factory rejects. They're equivalent to the Ibanez GIO line. It might be true to say that any MIM Strat is better than any Starcaster built in the last 8 years. I've seen some nicer old ones in pawn shops, though.

Edit: The Squier Affinity tuners weren't that great; the reason I had to replace them with the Fender/Schallers is I broke the housings on 2 of them after 2 years of use. The MIMs might be more durable, but they weren't any smoother in those days--I don't know about now.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Jan 2, 2012,
I've also seen the fender blues jr. Tweed and i like that more because its simple but i can't find one in my country
Quote by imaginedbufalo
I've also seen the fender blues jr. Tweed and i like that more because its simple but i can't find one in my country

That's a great amp if all you want to play is blues and if you want to spend a lot of money for a one-trick pony. Also, it has to be loud to really take advantage of its tone.

I'm pretty sure that's the same amp the guy I know who gigs with a Mustang II used to use at that venue. I used it once at a jam session, playing through my GNX4 pedal. IT sounded great. His Mustang II sounds even better in some situations--like when he's playing slide on his Road Worn Strat. He likes the Mustang II for small gigs because it's so much lighter.

It is a great amp; the question is, is it the right amp for what you would use it for? Only you can answer that.