Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster review by Squier

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (57 votes)
Squier: Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster
2

Price paid: C$ 300

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 7
When starting out on the guitar, my music style could best be described as 'rubbish'. Nowadays, I'm playing mostly British-indie-style guitar: bright distortion (if that makes sense) and snarling with attitude. Sadly, this guitar does not fit that style at all. First things first, it's much more suited for a blues player. Not being generic or whatever, but that's how it is. The pickups are twangy, and it arrives all wet and pleading for your blues licks and fingering. Hell, it even comes with hilariously light strings. I broke the 1st string after 10 minutes of handling it. Durrrr I tested it through an Orange Crush 10 amp, first directly, then through pedals: Big Muff Pi, Screaming Blues, Vox Wah. To my surprise, it sounds terrible with the Screamin Blues. The Classic Vibe, you see, suffers from being too twangy. With the highs dialled down, it turns into indecipherable sludge. With the highs turned up, it screeches like Maria Ozawa. Seriously, there's a not-so-fine line between a roaring treble and shrill shrieking. The Classic Vibe crosses that line with gusto. In my opinion, skip the bridge pickup or switch it out for something else. It's piercingly annoying to listen to. The neck pickup is a lot more toned down, with interesting hints of warmness. The middle one is nothing much to talk about, subdued without being warm and just completely underwhelming. The best bet (other than switching pickups) would be to set the pickup selector to the neck and middle pickups, and dial down the tone knob for the middle. Unless you like that piercing wail, of course. It sounds good with a slight touch of the fuzz pedal - very crackly and bitingly sharp. Ironically enough, the Screamin Blues pedal works much better with my Les Paul. My advice would be to skip sharp overdrives and distortions with this guitar. Try hitting a warm tone with the rest of your gear and pairing it up with the natural twang the Strat provides.

Overall Impression — 8
Oh, I forgot to add this earlier, the sustain you get on this guitar is pretty damn good. I sense it's more because of the pickups than anything else. With all that being said, the Strat fits a tonal space that I don't generally venture that much into. Definitely worth purchasing if you like teh bluez and I doubt you'd find a guitar this good in this sort of price range. The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a bit more well-rounded, but that shit is dull. The First Act Lola has a meatier sound, but there are better LP-clones for slightly more money. In the land of mediocre beef, the Classic Vibe 60's Strat is a well-cut chunk of grass-fed steak. Lathered victoriously in red wine, naturally.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only had this guitar for about a week and played it at gigs twice, so I'm really in no position to comment on its durability. From first impressions though, it seems pretty solid. Well-built without being a back-breaking like Les Pauls (took some time getting used to something so light), sturdy strap buttons and surprisingly dependable knobs. I usually fiddle with the knobs and selector a lot, and they seem better built here than on my Gibson LP Studio. As I said, it came glossed-up to hell. And it's pretty much stayed that way. I give it wipe-downs after playing, but I've never had to touch my guitar polish so far. Good stuff. Shame though, I'd have preferred it being more roughed-up. My other guitars are already polished. I look like a dandy.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I haven't got the guitar set-up yet, but only because I haven't seen the need to. It came pretty damn well set-up from the factory (as opposed to the Epiphone Les Paul Special I bought a few months back, and even my Gibson LP), but that might just be my model. The action's pretty low, so I might be getting that adjusted a bit if I go for even heavier strings. I'm trying to find the heaviest strings I can get to avoid having to listen to the shrill highs again.

Features — 8
While made in China (I cringed when I saw that on the back of the neck), this guitar is surprisingly good. Here are the specs to get you drooling: - Vintage two-colour sunburst finish - Pastel-coloured tone and volume knobs - 3 Alcino III single-coil pickups - 5-way pickup selector - Glossy maple neck - 21 frets of awesome - Strat-style body, mainly because it is a Strat Decent features, pretty much what you'd expect. Crazily glossy, presumably to Shine light off during your solo in a music video. Would have preferred a more 'vintage' look, since, you know, it's called Classic Vibe and all. Also loses points for being made in China, just because. I know eventually it's going to be the death of me.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jindk
    for all you who wont give it a chance just because its a squier : http://www.fender.com/blog/?tag=squier-c... ocaster its voted for the best guitar under 600... and by english pricing the Highway one is 619, so it's beaten ANY mexi fender already. its beaten guitars 3 times its own price, try it before you go all fender-snob on it guys
    MrFlibble
    Good review, indeed it's nice to not see another blind 10/10 across the board. Though if this is the '60s version then the pickups are Alnico V, not Alnico III. Also not surprised that it sounds bad with the Screamin' Blues and a Crush 10, the Screamin' Blues is really meant to be a boost for a valve amp rather than a stand alone pedal for a solid state amp. Doesn't surprise me that single coils with that doesn't sound the best.
    ProgFolk12
    Guys the squier CV series is NOTHING like squier affinity's/standards. The quality is in a different universe, Mexi fender rivalling. Even the low end squiers are often very good guitars, inconsistent quality wise, but I'd take a squier affinity over an Epi LP special. Seems a decent review, but the thin trebley sound to me is what a strat sounds like. It's not your thing, but through a 10watt amp you wont get much chunk anyway. I'd love to hear it through a nice tube 212 combo with the neck pup on and the tone rolled off. I bet it's heavenly. Still I'd love it to have a satin finished neck and a nitro body
    Time Seller
    For those of you who haven't tried out the Classic Vibe guitars, you really should. Probably didn't mention this in the review, but it's miles ahead of what I expected from a Squier.
    Old LesPaulRock
    Here's a video of a SQUIRE classic 50's vibe stock playing "Cliffs of Dover". He also does the 60's but this is impressive. It's in the fingers,NOT the price tag!
    ated
    rocknroll93
    good review, instead of the usual 10/10 ect ect.. though for me its still a squier. I don't like them and I love fenders. my mate has a squire and it is horrible.. too twangy, sounds awfull with distortion, through my good amp and his little 10watter. I will never buy a squire although I have heard like one good one.
    Jindk
    rocknroll93 wrote: good review, instead of the usual 10/10 ect ect.. though for me its still a squier. I don't like them and I love fenders. my mate has a squire and it is horrible.. too twangy, sounds awfull with distortion, through my good amp and his little 10watter. I will never buy a squire although I have heard like one good one.
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=jack... arat#p/u/27/xN1-gQsHrMo see if this vidchanges ur mind
    oneblackened
    Yeah, there's a reason I don't like A5 single coils. Too damned bright! @Progfolk: At this price point the chance of getting a nitro finished guitar is slim-none. But, yeah, it's bright, but I really only like the neck PU on strats. It's awesome for the price, and good review.
    JohnnyApplecore
    Why is that nobody can accept that even a Squier can be a good guitar, just like any? I have this guitar, with different pickups I installed myself, and it sounds great. It has a rich tone. Looks fine. Plays fine. My only complaint is the neck. The fretboard could be a bit better and I'm not a fan of necks being so... thick. And the bottom line is that there IS someone out there that can take a guitar like this and make you look like you have no business playing guitar, regardless of how high-end your rig may be.
    toypilot
    For people that are bagging squires.. unless you have played one of these your just short sighted..
    htt p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a1m9wrjddo These look, sound and feel amazing.. watch the videos and do the math!
    Old LesPaulRock
    Old LesPaulRock wrote: Here's a video of a SQUIRE classic 50's vibe stock playing "Cliffs of Dover". He also does the 60's but this is impressive. It's in the fingers,NOT the price tag! It's the cheapest I own & I love Playing it!
    ated
    daimjagv12
    good review ,but tried on out a while ago in 2 guises 1st was standard and it was ok but the pick ups too twangy. meatless 3weeks later mate said "try it now" big big difrence the 3 pickups were changed a seymour hotrails in the bridge and 2 di,marzio middle an kneck , so the guitar is as good as any strat the action and feel is on par with my srv strat try them ,,dont condem them,
    Joost1795
    hmm, i tried this guitar in the local guitar store, and it sounds pretty fine to me, not expensive, plays fine, the sound was good to me either, but yes a little too twangy, but hey 300$ .. xD, i think this is a good guitar for a beginner who likes blues. Good review, and for the Fender snobs, try it, switch the pickups, no effects, just the guitar and a regular amp. It sounds great.
    MT in Austin
    Good review. It is important to look past your brand name biases. I have a Squire Fat Strat I traded an old practice amp for. After blocking the tremolo (I block the tremolo on any "traditional" tremolo) and setting it up, it is actually a pretty good guitar. I don't know about 10s but I would say the action and fit is pretty close now. The finish is now custom so I can't appraise that - the original was very good, I just wanted to do something different. It's not my main guitar but I have gigged with it several times. The custom finish makes it more theatrical.
    Seref
    ProgFolk12 wrote: but I'd take a squier affinity over an Epi LP special.
    qft
    Jindk
    wtf the postin thing is screwin with the link, delete the space between "a" and "s" in stratocaster
    leftinflinflon
    a $300 guitar about says it all..high end guitars maybe score 10's...Squire is entry level stuff...expectations should be low....its like a Xmas present for a beginner...then its a good guitar.