SE Special Stratocaster review by Squier

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 4.6 Poor
  • Users' score: 6.3 (47 votes)
Squier: SE Special Stratocaster

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Sound — 4
The sound of the guitar is obviously average considering the fact that this is just a random beginner's guitar. The sound is very dull, and the guitar fails to emit a decent sound. The clean sound is rather good, but it could be much better. The distortion is just awful. It's too garbled and unclear. I'm a classic rock/punk rock person and I found this guitar to be OK for classic rock, but horrible for punk. I played this guitar through the SP-10 Amp, which was included in the guitar pack. I didn't play this through any other amp, but from my experience, it's not good.

Overall Impression — 4
I have this guitar for about 2 years and let me tell you, learning songs on this guitar is very difficult. Every time, I learn songs, my hands always hurt afterwards. If this guitar was ever stolen or lost, I wouldn't care. It was a bad guitar to begin with and as of now, I need a new guitar. I still have this guitar, but it is resting in my closet where it gains dust. The guitar is only good for practice primarily, but since the guitar lacks playability, practice may be difficult for some people. To sum this up, this Squier guitar does not compare to the others. It is built to low standards and practice, as mentioned may be difficult due to the sharp frets. If I were to buy a new beginner guitar instead of this one, I would buy any other guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 5
I never played this guitar live before and I probably won't. The guitar is, as mentioned, a beginner's guitar so therefore it lacks the quality to play as a real guitar. But with upgrades and innovation, the guitar could be used live. Mine isn't upgraded or innovated so in my opinion, it won't withstand live playing. Another reason why it won't withstand live playing is because of the strap locks. When I decided to use the strap, the guitar fell. It just slipped off the lock and hit the ground within only a couple of second. I didn't even have the guitar for one minute and already, the tuning locks failed me. Therefore, this guitar will obviously not withstand live performances until innovations are done.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The action was relatively good when I got it. Slight buzzing but it played ok. However, the tuners were real bad. Within only one day, the guitar immediately went out of tune. Another problem is every time I tune it, the next day it goes out of tune.I also noticed that the body pick up was misplaced. It was very shaky and it stuck out more than the neck and Bridge pick up.But soon, I also discovered that the Bridge pick up is misplaced also. So overall, only the nick pick up was placed properly. The only good thing about this guitar was the finish. Real nice finish, very shiny, and the guitar looked good. But one major flaw were the frets. They felt sharp and every time I played it, my hands hurt finger hurt a lot. Overall, the guitar looked nice, but it lacks in playability.

Features — 6
The Squier SE Special Stratocaster is a guitar included in their guitar pack along with a amp, gig bag, and instructional DVD. This guitar is made in China in 2008(I think). Its features a: - SE Special Strat - Agathis body - Maple C-shaped neck - Rosewood fretboard - 22 medium jumbo frets - 25-1/2" scale - Dot inlays - 3 single-coil pickups - Master volume/neck pickup tone/middle pickup tone - 5-way pickup switch - Synchronous tremolo bridge - Die-cast tuners - Chrome hardware - Shell pickguard The guitar overall looks nice, but it lacks playability. It is however a good guitar for a beginner. I chose the black version for mine.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This story is true! I did the same, change pups, pots, nut and wiring. Now I use it at gigs together with my American Standard, but with thinner strings. (0.11) It plays and sounds surprisingly good now! I spent about EUR 350,= to mod it.
    The complaints about it's sound should be mostly blamed against the SP-10 amp instead. This guitar will sound much better on higher quality amps, but it still won't blow your mind.
    I just scored one of these a couple of days ago for only 40 bucks, which also came with a Fender gig bag. I'm 56 years old and have been playing for 43 years so after giving it a set up and putting on a new set of Elixir 10's , I plugged it into my Fender Roc-Pro 700 and it's actually not that bad at all. Great for Blues and Classic Rock.
    Got this guitar pack as well so that means I'm a newbie to guitars. One thing worth mentioning is that it does come with tools and instructions on how to set up the action and truss rod. The factory set up is absolute crap, I bet it was put together by a Chinese ten year old. I would never recommend this to anyone looking for a backup guitar to play live. Unless you modify it with better pickups at the very least. This is what it is. A cheap guitar pack to get people started. And for 200 bucks is an excellent deal.
    Well I guess I will toss in an opinion here... I bought this guitar too and have to say it was okay. I play jazz and session and tossed the amp right away because you will NOT get a great amp for less than 200 bucks let alone a strat to go with it. I hooked it up to my Fender Deluxe and it sounded fine. Maybe I am strange LOL...
    Look up Squier mods and you will see that this one is one of the better squiers for gutting and moding