SE Special Stratocaster Review

manufacturer: Squier date: 05/24/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Squier: SE Special Stratocaster
Chinese made low end Squier Stratocaster, it doesn't have a serial number so it almost impossible to date, 25-1/2" scale, 21 frets w/maple C shaped neck/rosewood fingerboard.
 Sound: 6
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 6.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 5.1
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (2) 34 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 5.4
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: Bojangler, on august 20, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Comes with the guitar, strap, tuner, stand, gig bag, lesson cd, 10 watt amp, cord. Body is agathis wood, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, 5 way selector Switch, 1 volume, 2 tones, 3 single coil pups (passive). I only rate this at a 10 because it comes with a bunch of stuff. // 10

Sound: Ok, here we go... I got this package being fully aware of what I was getting and I knew I'd be spending alot of time setting it up and replacing parts but I'll review it based on the OEM stuff. The pickups are terrible out of the box, they are not made with any alnico parts, pretty much each pickup has 6 steel pins linked together by a cheap black magnet under the pickup. The resistance is somewhere near 4.5k ohms and they sound thin, tinny and do not take to dist well at all. the clean tones arent bad, just a bit bright. I replaced the pickups immediately after getting it home with Fender tex-mex....huge difference and I also wired the bridge pup to the tone pot. the rating is for out of the box sound. // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is hard to describe since the tremolo system is HORRIBLE. The trem springs are flimsy and the guitar will not hold tune with the factory trem set up which also affects the action. The trem bar is made from cheap pot steel and has a tendancy to break off at the threads. I tightened down ALL the trem screws, adjusted the springs and blocked the trem to make it solid but unusable ( I never use trem anyway ). After the trem adjustment the action is ok but still have room to adjust it to how you like it. The intonation is WAY off but still it is able to be tuned at the bridge with no prob. The tuners are OK, seem to hold fine. The finish is not laquer it's polyurethane so it will fade and scratch etc. Since the body is agathis wood which isnt really soft or hard, the screws can strip out easily so be careful, also the strap knob screws should be changed out to keep them from pulling out of the body while playing. The neck is surprisingly nice, maple with rosewood fretboard, seems to be same as an unfinished Fender neck, you will want to hit it with some tung or lemon oil to keep humidity out of the wood. The pickups will need to be adjusted, I like to have mine 3/16 below the strings. The rating is based on stock setup since it's unplayable without setup. // 2

Reliability & Durability: I see this guitar having many problems if not addressed straight away, especially with the trem and agathis body, I can see trems pulling out of the wood, strap knobs pulling out etc... Just make all the fixes I did and it shouldn't be a problem. Rating is based on stock. // 5

Overall Impression: This guitar pack is sold as a beginners item but I would NEVER recommend this to any beginner. It will make you pissed off and quit playing. However, for the price and the low cost mods and repairs this IS a tight little guitar. After the setups I did to pretty much every part of the guitar, I would gig with this anytime and without a backup. With some new parts and some tweaking you can have american Strat tone and reliablilty for about 300 bucks. // 6

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overall: 6.6
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: random_B-RAD, on february 09, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Chinese made low end Squier Stratocaster, it doesn't have a serial number so it almost impossible to date, 25-1/2" scale, 21 frets w/maple C shaped neck/rosewood fingerboard. Solid Agathis top with either sunburst, black or white satin finish. Stratocaster body with ynchronous tune-o-matic tremolo with passive SSS Squier low output pickups with Squier chrome tuners. Can only be purchased in a beginner pack with Squier SP-10 amp, gig bad, strap, cable, tuner, instructional dvd and everything else you need to get started. // 8

Sound: I got this guitar as my first guitar and soon upgraded to a Schecter Omen 6-FR, I play mainly metal so it didn't suit my style well. I am using it with a Peavey Vypyr 30 and I can get some decent blues and classic rock sounds out of it. The pickups are very noisy and give a lot of feedback with high gain channels but with low gain channels it is fine. The pickups give a very bright sound and it gives a very twangy sound sort of what you would expect from a Telecaster. The guitar basically has 1 sound: on. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up very poorly when I bought it, the truss rod needed major adjusting as with the tremolo being very angled instead of flush with the body and there was a lot of fret buzz. The pickups were at a great height of begin with and only needed a bit of adjustment. There were no major flaws on anything else except some fret wire being a bit sharp. // 6

Reliability & Durability: It is not very reliable, the tremolo bar broke on the first day I had it, the hardware will last but it could do with a few upgrades like on the bridge and tuner. The strap buttons are very flimsy and I have dropped the guitar a few times because of this. I would not use it in a gig without a backup, first of all it has very poor pickups, with some few pickups, tuners and bridge I would use it in a gig but never without a backup, one broken string and your done for without a backup. The finish gets chips in it very easily. // 6

Overall Impression: For the style of music I play it is not a very good match but it does do blues and classic rock quite well, it is routed for HSS so it is an easy pickup upgrade to change it completely. I have been playing for 5 months and I own a Schecter Omen 6-FR and I prefer the neck on the Squier a lot more then my Schecter however it does need a lot better hardware. Since it was my first guitar and it was in a package I should have asked if there were better options by not buying in a package which there were. If it was stolen or lost I would look into buying something a bit more suited to my style, I really love the neck on this guitar and it is one of the reasons I haven't pawned it yet. I really do wish it came as a fat Strat, it would give it a lot more options in term of tone and I would considering buying it if it was a fat Strat. // 8

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overall: 8.4
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: RandyRhoads818, on february 10, 2009
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Guitar center

Features: The pack came with a guitar, amp, strap, gig bag, and 3 Fender picks. My guitar was made in China. It has an agathis body and a rosewood fretboard.It had a regular black Strat finsh but the pick guard is sparkly and it is also a single ply fret board. It 3 knobs which are volkume and 2 tones. It has a 5 way selector and came with a whammy. The 3 pick ups are all single-coil. The amp which is the Squier Sp-10, isn't good. It only has 3 controls and overdrive sounds really crunchy? (I can't find a way to put it.) It is good on clean but overdrive is horrible. The gig bag is okay, it doesn't give any protection. The strap kept on falling off. // 10

Sound: This guitar is good for most of the styles I play like ACDC and some Metallica. I am using the Sp-10 amp that came with the guitar. I am getting a Peavey Vypyr so my guitar actually sounds good. It is noisy when you put the overdrive to 10. It starts to make a high pitched noise. It has a very rich and brught sound. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up really well. Fretboard is good and the pickups were set up perfectly. The pick ups just give a lot of feedback. The problem with this guitar is the strap holders break too easily. it does not have that many flaws it just pretty much the amp. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It probably will not stand Live playing. It will laast a long time but the strap buttons are not really durable. They break easily.I can depend on it with a better amp. I would probably use it at a gig as a back up. The finish is very thick so it will probably be good enough to last. // 8

Overall Impression: I play metal to classic rock. It is a good match. I've been playing for 2 years, just acoustic, and this is my first electric. I don't really own anything else but an acoustic. If it was stolen, I'd probably get a better guitar. I love most things of the starter guitar pack except for the amp. The problem with the amp is that it only has a 6 inch speaker. // 8

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overall: 5.8
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: snelseb, on december 18, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 173

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Features: You get a package with all teh starter equipement you can imagine. Everything is listed in the other reviews, so I won't go inte details! You basically get eeerything you need.. It's the quality you should be worried about. You get your regular, think it's 50's style, Strat(mine has a sunburst finish), a 10 watt amp, a tuner, a guitar stand, a gig bag of poor quality and a beginners lesson DVD! // 8

Sound: I was playing the guitar with the 10 watt Squier amp it came with.. I barely remember how it sounded, but I know the guitar sounds okay through my Marshall MGFX50. It does pretty descent clean tones, which I did not expect, and even though I don't play with dist I hear it's prety good dist whenever I try it. So all in all, as long as you have a so-so amp, the guitar will not sound horrible, only thing is that the tone feels a little thin. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is horrible, strings are very far away from the fretboard, and it's not a very pleasant experience playing on it, really.. The tremolo system is by far the worst I've come across (granted I don't have that much experience, I certainly know when something is not right), the birgde tuners is not even alligned with the body! And my tremolo bar broke the first day :( As said in other reviews, you can't rely on the strap. I don't know if it's the strap or the buttons, but I should think it's the strapholes that keeps getting bigger. Also, there is major issues keeping this sucker in tune, especially since I got new strings with .10-.46 instead of the .09-,42 that comes with it. Now, it seems it falls out of tune while you're playing it, ALL THE TIME! // 4

Reliability & Durability: I don't think this guitar is something to rely on. But hey, you get what you pay for, and I knew that when I bought it. And for what it's worth, I geuss it's priceworthy. You can't rely on much with this guitar, I've only played it in my room, but I have serious doubts I would dare take it somewhere else, were it my only choice. // 5

Overall Impression: I'm trying to get good in blues, mainly improv. But I also play a lot of John Mayer, some Hendrix and a bit of other things. Come up with my own chord progessions and so on, I play a lot of different things, escept for heavier rock, like metal. This is not comparable to a real Strat, it's on a whole other level, and it's not a particularly good one. I'm getting a real Strat soon, so I wouldn't care much if this guitar got lost or whatever. All in all, it's great for beginners, but as soon as you start demanding something, you're gonna need a bigger gun. // 6

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overall: 8.8
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: T1TAN, on september 03, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 135

Purchased from: Gears4Music

Features: I bought this guitar in a set for 135. It was on offer during Christmas so I saved 40. I thought that was pretty good because it is my first guitar. The set came with a SP-10 amp, 3 Fender guitar picks (medium), Fender gig bag, tuner, a Fender guitar stand and obviously the guitar. It is perfect for a starting guitar. // 10

Sound: This suits my music style since it can do the whole range from blues to heavy metal. I still use the SP-10 amp and I don't have any effects yet but it sounds really good on its own. It can become extremely loud if you put the all the controls up and put distortion. I haven't tried this as I don't want to blow my amp. Overall pretty good. Will sound alot better when I get so effect pedals. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I received the Guitar on the 31st of December. I took it all out of the box and I was playing in 2 minutes. It was that easy. The pickups were adjusted perfectly. There was no problems with the guitar except 1. When I play the 1st fret on either the low e string or B string, it will make a horrible vibrating sound. This is quite annoying. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I've taken this in my car to my mates house and it worked perfectly. My mate had a very loud drum set and a equally loud guitar. My guitar and amp was able to over throw the sound of the others. I was playing really hard and it was able to last. The strap always seems to fall off which is very bad. I would easily use this guitar to play in front of a live audience. I've been playing the guitar since I bought this guitar and its been great. I once played my mates Gibson and I found my guitar had a better sound and feel. // 9

Overall Impression: I play most types of music and all you need is to buy is a guitar effect pedal and then you will be able to play most songs of your choice. I've been playing this guitar since new year. I wished I had bought this sooner since it is the greatest guitar I've played so far. If I broke or lost this guitar, I would love to buy it again if I had the money to. // 10

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overall: 6.4
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: Acoustirock, on october 22, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 206.99

Purchased from: AXE Music

Features: Year: 2010 Country of Manufacture: Canada Frets: 22 (Twenty Two) Neck: Think Top: Laminated Neck/Body: Maple Wood Finish: Transparent Body Style: Strat Bridge Style: Floyd Rose Electronics: Active Controls: Tone, Volume, 5-Way Selector, Tremolo Stick, Distortion Pickup Configuration: 5 Fender Pickups Tuners: Locking, Peavey Brand. Accessories: Gig Bag, Strap, Cable, Amplifier, Pick Sampler, Stand, Tuner // 7

Sound: This guitar suits my music style through simple controls, and easy and clear sound. I'm using a SP-10 Electric Amplifier, with distortion and tremolo effects. The guitar is noisy when the volume knobs are turned above 8 on the amp. The sound is full, and great for rocking out. The guitar can make many different sounds. It has a large variety (8+ sounds). // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up fair, but there was a stubborn plastic wrap on the pick guard which took half an hour to remove. The pickups were adjusted to my standards. The top and bridge had no flaws. One flaw on this guitar was that the strings buzzed, but it was easily fixed by tightening them. // 4

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand live playing. The hardware seems like it will last. The strap buttons aren't as solid as could be. I would use this guitar without a backup. The finish seems good enough to last a fair while. This guitar would most likely last anywhere from 5 - 10 years. // 6

Overall Impression: I play heavy metal and rock, and this guitar isn't my favorite match. I've played for 2 years, and I own an Acoustic guitar too. I wish I would've asked how long the warranty is, as it is not stated on the box. If it was stolen, I would most likely purchase a Gibson. I love the colors and sound, but hate how it slides off your lap. My favorite feature is the pickup positions. I did not compare this guitar to others. I purchased it due to a clearance sale, and it was a durable guitar. I do wish it had more options and controls, though. // 7

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overall: 4.6
SE Special Stratocaster Reviewed by: GimmeRock, on may 24, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: 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. // 6

Sound: 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. // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 4

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 5

Overall Impression: 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. // 4

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