Price paid: $ 283.65
Purchased from: Dolphin Music
Sound — 10
The sound I am now getting is absolutely astounding. A very '60s "surfy" sound. Bright and clear, and with using the combinations of p/ups, very mellow "jazzy" sound. The bridge/neck combination especially gives a sound almost reminiscent of an early Telecaster. For my style of music, '60s especially Shadows style, this is virtually perfect. Fitting the locking machine heads has made a difference to the sound also, no more out of tune after tremolo.
Overall Impression — 10
If this were stolen, apart from buying a Fender Strat, I would definitely track the thief down. For a beginner, or even someone playing for their own enjoyment, this is a pretty good guitar. So all you numbskulls out there, please don't knock it just because it's a Squier.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would quite happily gig with this, forget the Squier tag as being inferior. With a few small mods., and for the sake of another 50, I have got a 300-400 guitar for about 150 (the practice amp was in the original package price). As I said before, the finish is immaculate, and the guitar appears to be well put together (the body is one-piece alder by the way, I checked when I replaced the p/ups).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I thought that the factory finish was pretty smooth, but my nephew, who is a guitar tech. did a few small "tweaks" on the string heights, and it really is now a perfect set-up. The action along the neck is still so smooth and comfortable. He also relieved the string guides in the nut, and showed me the trick of applying a little pencil lead to them, and to the underside of the string trees.
Features — 10
Since my last review December 21 2007, I have fitted Wilkinson locking tuners (cost 14.99), which seems to have cured any tuning problems, even after heavy use of the tremolo arm. I have also fitted a loaded scratchplate with 3 GFS '64 greybottom staggered pickups. This also has had the following mod, top tone control is a master for all 3 pickups. Bottom tone control works like this, bridge p/up selected and tone on 10, bridge pickup. Dial it back to minimum you get bridge/neck combination.