Price paid: $ 384.3
Purchased from: Dawsons
Sound — 9
It suits my style quite well, I play mostly blues, classic rock and a bit of metal here and there, and it handles them all pretty well for what is classed as a cheap guitar. I don't use many effects, only really my Ibanez TS9 Turbo Tubescreamer and the reverb, flanger, chorus and delay that are built into my amp (Marshall MG50DFX). There isnt really much buzz from the guitar, you can only really hear it when you turn it right up and listen hard. There isnt really much variety in this instrument, but you can gain most tones by using certain effects, a very plain tone, a kind of 'blank canvas'.
Overall Impression — 8
As long as you have the right effects and amp by your side, this guitar wont really go wrong. It can work with many different styles of playing. This would be a good choice for any beginner Who is serious about learning and willing to upgrade from a no-name, cheap first guitar like I did. I have been playing for about 4 years, and I still enjoy playing my Squier, I don't think I'll ever get rid of it! I don't think could have asked for any more than this for the money I spent on it. If it was stolen or lost, I would be very sad that I had lost my first proper guitar, but I would probably not replace it because whatever I bought just wouldn't be the same. I like its simplicity, and the fact that it has all the features of a Strat with a much better price tag. I don't like the fact that these can be slightly inconsistent out of the factory, but not inconsistent to the point of being a piece of junk. If anything, I wish it had slightly better pickups as Standard and possibly a better bridge, but apart from that, it's all good!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played one or two school concerts with the guitar, both handled quite well, but I wasn't really playing what I would normally play. If I was playing a proper gig, using my preference in styles and genres, I think I would definately have to take backup with me. The hardware is pretty good quality I guess, never had any problems with it myself. The strap buttons were ok before I got rid of them and bought some straplocks (I have straplocks on all of my guitars apart from my Line 6). I have one or two parts of the finish that have flaked off, but nothing too conspicuous.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The factory set up was a bit crap to be honest. It was my first proper guitar, and even I (I was an 11 year old n00b just starting to play at the time) could notice the flaws in set-up. Where the plate comes out from under the strings, and there is the screw to the left of the neck pickup, the plate kind of bends up, like a small hill, so you can see the springs either side of the pickups. I rang the shop I bought it from, and this did not come into the warranty agreement, so they could do nothing, and there is no way of getting it down. After changing the scratchplate, nothing has changed. The pickups were also adjusted badly, they were very un-even, the low side of the neck was actually touching the strings! The bridge was balanced well, but being a Squier bridge, this did not really matter.
Features — 8
Made in China in 2002. It has 22 medium/jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard. The bodi is made of basswood, but other woods like agathis can be used (this all depends on whether it is made in Indonesia or China). This is to lower the overall cost of the completed instrument. The body style is a very close copy of a Strat as it is made by Fender itself, but it is just a second-line version, made with slightly cheaper materials. The bridge is a simple synchronized trem system. If you wish to play metal and use the trem to death, I do not recommend this guitar to you and no matter how much you alter the existing trem, it will never really stay in tune perfectly, I would recommend either buying a locking trem system i.e. a Floyd Rose or a copy of a Floyd Rose (cost around 120 at it's cheapest). The controls given are a volume knob, two tones (middle and treble) and a pickup selector. The pickups are in SSS configuration, very basic Squier pickups that don't actually have names, I am thinking of buying some new ones once I have some more money to blow. The tuners are non-locking, but they aren't too bad. I recommend removing the two dovetail shaped nuts on the headstock as these create a lot of friction on the strings, which put it right out of tune. I got the basic Squier package, strap, cable, a few picks and a Fender Frontman 15R amp.