Features — 7
The Squier Bullet Strat is an entry level stratocaster style guitar, cutaway so you can reach all 21 of it's jumbo pearl dot frets. The strat was crafted in Indonesia unlike its American & Mexican counterparts, although as a company licensed by Fender the guitar is still a quality. Especially for a beginner guitarist or somebody looking to re-kindle their love with guitars.
The body is made of basswood and finished off very well with a selection of colours from pink to a brown sunburst design. It also features a comfortable C shaped maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
Sound — 8
As a stratocaster this guitar is just about as versatile as you can want it to be. I've played anything from Industrial metal to indie rock and blues on this guitar and with a little know how and a few pedals you can certainly get the sound your looking for 99% of the time, granted you could probably find it easier with a more expensive guitar. But as a squier the idea is for it to be a low cost beginner guitar anyway!
For a starter guitar the pickups aren't great but can easily be swapped out for something a with a little more oomph.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Receiving the guitar for my birthday several years ago as soon as I took it out of the case it was well set up. The action is at a good level so you can just about play anything on it, you can lower or heighten it depending on what you prefer with some adjustments to the easy to alter saddles. If you don't know how you can take it to a guitar shop or luthier to get it done professionally, which I would recommend!
The guitar is very well made for a mass produced model, the pickguard is perfectly flush and lined up with the body and everything sits nicely in place. Pickups came in the optimal position to get a great sound out of the guitar.
The only grumble that I have with squier guitars is that I find after a while the output jack can come loose from plugging and unplugging your jack lead. Both me and a friends squier telecaster had the same problem although it's nothing too serious and doesn't affect the playing or sound whatsoever. Granted the problem could be a fluke! If you were bothered by it at all it wouldn't be a problem to fix either.
Apart from that the guitar is great and handles fantastically for a low cost mass produced model.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has been my main for several years now, I got it as a beginner and ever since I have owned about 4 guitars but never got rid of the Bullet Strat. If you treat it right it will be great back to you. The paint is still in the same condition it was in when I bought it, I've never had to change the strings or nut (although it probably is time to) and for the amount of usage it's had the frets and fretboard barely have any wear at all.
After a few knocks and bumps I find that the machine heads have become a little harder to tune but it really isn't too big a problem, just requires a little extra playing with but for a low cost guitar you really can't complain too much considering the action it's seen!
I've gigged with this guitar previously and I happily would again without a backup, however as a more advanced guitarist it'd probably be a good idea to start looking at something a little more up market as you start gigging.
Overall Impression — 10
The Bullet Strat does exactly what it needs to for a beginner guitar. It's flexible and allows you to experiment with different styles of music whilst you're still learning but is still robust enough to take a few hits here and there as you can expect from a beginner guitarist (A good strap and some strap locks are great investments).
The guitar is low cost, easy to pick up and great if you're planning on trying out electric guitar for the first time. After playing for months on a cheap acoustic once I picked up my Bullet Strat my playing quickly began to improve.
Having played Mexican Strats I'd say that the Squier, although being nowhere near as good to play is definitely a good starting point. For the huge price difference I'd recommend the Bullet Strat over and over again for beginner guitarists. Expensive doesn't always equate to quality and with the right player this guitar could easily outdo those with a guitar in a much higher price range. If you're a beginner this is the guitar I'd recommend your start with.
Advanced Guitarist: Maybe invest in something a bit more up market such as a Mexican model
Beginner Guitarist: This is the guitar for you!