M-80 Special review by Squier

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.6 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.8 (170 votes)
Squier: M-80 Special

Sound — 7
I have a variety of sounds that I'll play in. The main one would be grunge, and it does actually give an okay sound for that. But, I like to play a lot of hardcore and Morello-like things. And it is no good there. I don't use a ton of effects. A wah and a comple distortion pedals. My amp has built in effects like delay, chorus, tremold, ect. and really if I use the slightest distortion I can't even hear those effects well. It has an overall mediocre sound.

Overall Impression — 6
I answered style up there. I've only been playing for somewhat over a year. I own a wah, distortion, and delay pedals. I wish I had asked for another guitar. I would definately get something else if it were stolen. I like that it's light and sturdy. I think you know how much I hate most everything about it though.

Reliability & Durability — 5
Yet again. The hardware is awful. So no. The strap usually stays on fairly well though. And I can depend on it for jamming and acting crazy (and no, that isn't why it gets messed up. I started going crazy with it when I found out what a pile of crap it was and how little I would care if I broke it). The finish is okay. Since I got this as a gift it isn't really what I wanted. But it's okay, plus the guitar itself only weighs about eight pounds. And since at the moment I have no backup. Yes.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
It was set up terrible evidently. Maybe that's why I hate it so much. The pickups are probably my biggest problem. Within two months of owning the guitar out of the blue both screws on one of my pickups go flying out. I pick them up to notice that one is significantly larger than the other. And it has other flaws. The wiring is bad. When you plug the cable into it, a wire inside revolves, and if you plug it (or move it at all) much at all. The wire breaks. And I'm suprised after about five times of this happening it even works.

Features — 6
The M-80 is a 21 fret piece of crap basically. It has a maple neck that within about two or three months of getting it becomes very worn hard to play on. It really doesn't have many good features to it besides the fact that strings can be put on it very easily and it's impossible to break.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    And don't overlook the fact that you can cancel hum in your strat by simply changing the tree-way pick-up switch with a five-way switch. Positions 2 and 4 are hum canceling.
    I bought a secondhand Indonesian made M-80 a few months ago on the cheap. It was in good condition. It had a bit of fret wear and one or two high frets. The standard pick ups were ok, but didn't have much punch. I levelled and recrowned the frets, which brought the action right down. I also put a set of Seymour Duncan 'Whole lotta humbuckers' in it. Now, it's a light-weight swinger with heaps of guts. I have a Hagstrom Super Swede as well. They are very different guitars, of course. The biggest difference is the sustain, but the M-80 does hold its own as a light-weight screamer and belts out a lot of ACDC and bluesy stuff very well. Whereas, the Hag does a much better job on LED Zeppelin, as expected. Straight off the shelf the M-80 is a cheap double cutaway Gibson Las Paul junior knock off, but with a bit of tweaking and a decent set of pick ups it's a great light-weight rocker for under 500 bucks.
    I have this guitar. I love the way it looks and I can strech my arms out a little when I stand up to play it and C-tuning doesn't feel too loose on it. The way I have to tune the strings to get good harmony is similar to how I had to do it on my crappy Affinity Strat, though: The first string (highest tuned string) needs to be tuned a little sharper and the third string needs to be tuned a little flatter (the third string's tuner is also really sensitive and clicks when you turn it if it hasn't been touched in a while just like it was on the Affinity Strat). This makes these two strings sound like shit played open but putting pressure on the neck (essentially bending it a tad) while playing evens it out meanwhile playing on any fret on those two strings slightly detuned as I described doing above makes them sound more in tune with the other normally tuned strings while playing. I don't know if that's a common Squire thing since my last Squire did the same thing or what but to me, since I don't have enough money to buy a top of the line guitar, it's a minor inconvenience since I don't consider myself a pro worthy of a premium axe anyways. It looks good, I've had it a year and played it quite a bit and it's still holding together without a single hardware problem besides the bridge pickup slipping down slightly over the course of time since the screws are either a little too short for the casing or the screw holes in the casing are a little stripped... But what makes me sick is that that's how it came in the box. Hopefully MusiciansFriend.com didn't just ship me a defective return like I'm starting to think they do a lot... Anyway, it's sexy and it holds together but it's got some flaws that most people would prefer not to have to deal with after shelling out 200 bucks for a 120-140 dollar quality guitar. The humbuckers are probably the only reason it's more expensive than a low-level Strat but they're good enough for me since I play rhythem and don't really crave a better pickup set. When I see it in the corner, I just can't help picking it up and riffing on it for about 20-30 minutes after I get it tuned. It's a good looking guitar to have laying around for casual rocking and if you can get past the flaws (or have the know how to fix them) then it'd be totally worth the little extra work to make this sexy bitch perform!
    Ben Edelstein
    THIS GUITAR IS SHIT. I have it and i feel stupider every time i see it. It duznt stay in tune for shit. I play metal and this guitar is a ****ing piece of crap for metal. Whoever made it needs to go kill themselves
    ^LMAO, I've owned one for about four years now(got it around the time it was introduced). I play death/thrash and I've had: no tuning problems in drop D, drop C or drop A, played countless shows without back ups, recorded two demos on it. The only thing I need done to it now after four years is a slight neck adjustment(a year plus in drop A with 13's will do that to just about any guitar). I've had techs, soundmen, and fellow metal musicians, jam on it and come to me in shock telling me how well it sounded/played. Best $250 I've ever spent! Sorry you feel so stupid.
    Man, you see a lot of ill-informed and biased comments on your way down to the bottom here. So much of these comments aren't even in reference to the review. I own an M80 bolt-on and have just written a review which should appear on here soon as a comparison to the Special reviewed here. Judging by my example this is a fantastic quality guitar for the price as well as being something a little different from the norm. While mine does not have the set neck and block inlays as well as non-branded pickups it still rocks and I prefer the stripped back look (no fret inlays). the picture on this review is actually the bolt-on model not the more fancy Special. BTW 1. Single coils are not 'rubbish' - if you think this then you don't know what you're talking about. 2. Fender an Ibanez are totally different in approach, if you like Ibanez more then that's your preference - not everyone wants a guitar geared towards fretboard pyrotechnics. Going way back to Zolderzombie - 'this is NOT a Fender type guitar...it's designed by fender but it doesn't sound like one' Thats kind of the point here, they were trying something more Gibson-like. Contrary to what it seems when you visit their website, Fender make more than just Strats and Teles.
    obviously you guys haven't played a Fender '58 Tele through a Marshall JM series stack. Beats any ibanez hands down...playing rock, jazz, blues...man Ibanez just can't compete with that shit bro. And to whoever said Jimmy Page didnt use fenders, your terribly wrong, up until Led Zeppelin's 4th album he was using a telecaster, and the solo for Stairway was on a telecaster. During the 4th album was being recorded he was experimenting with different gibsons
    I have the squire vm jaguar bass and its frickin awesome,I traded my fender jazz bass because it plays and sounds better. Squire have really gone from a poor man's fender to a great,affordable,quality manufacturer and I love there Tele line and vm basses.years ago I saw so many people cover the squire name on the headstock with the fender logo but I'm proud to be a squire user. The only area where they could really improve is with the pups but only on certain models.
    Oh good God! Here we got people dissing Jimmy Page, got people dissing Alexi Laiho, dissing fender, dissing ibanez, eachother, etc. first, Jimmy Page should at least be respected by all guitar players. Second, Alexi Laiho should also be respected, he's a very good player. Third, fender makes some very good guitars. However, thick skulled death metal heads wont respect them, because they have have low tolerance for anything but the straight forward metal guitars. Fourth, ibanez also makes good guitars, but they have their purposes as well. As for single coils vs. humbuckers, humbuckers are for thicker tones. Single coils have a certain quack on lower distortion that you don't get anywhere else. My arsenal contains some of both, because they both have their purposes. Each to his own.