Showmaster NLT HSS Review

manufacturer: Squier date: 04/09/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Many other features the same or very similar to the HH model, apart from the obvious HSS pickup configuration. Strat style body. Reverse headstock.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.2
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 04, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 274.5

Purchased from: Independant local retailer

Features: Made in 2002 and manufactured in Indonesia. Many other features the same or very similar to the HH model, apart from the obvious HSS pickup configuration. Strat style body. Reverse headstock. // 8

Sound: I prefer to play a variety of rock styles, although mostly metal. This guitar is ideal for this style. If you are looking for a good first guitar and want to play a metal style then you won't be disappointed if you purchase the Showmaster NLT (non-locking tremolo). I use a Laney HardCore Max 30watt amplifier and a Zoom GFX-5 multi-effects processor. The sound, with the right distortion, is a dirty and crunchy metal sound. On a clean setting this guitar sounds bright and warm. Again, with the right effect/equalisation, this guitar can produce an excellent range of sounds, especially considering the price. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory action was low-medium. I did not have to adjust the pickups at all. Several of my friends are shocked to discover that the humbucker has never 'caved in' or required adjustment, as their guitars (in the same price bracket) have had this problem. The factory strings are not the greatest, so I would recommend you replace these if you buy this guitar. All in all, it looks and feels like a guitar twice the price. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can't see any reason why this guitar would not withstand live playing, altough if you were serious enough about live gigging you would most likely want to upgrade to a more expensive model. The hardware is much better quality than a regular squire Strat, mainly because the showmaster uses metal tone/volume knobs rather than tacky, cheap plastic ones like a regular Strat or fat Strat. No problems encountered with the strap buttons, solid as a rock. I would not personally use it on a gig without a backup, because it is more of a beginner's guitar. Even without a scratchplate, general scratches from a pick will polish out. A high-quality finish guitar. // 6

Overall Impression: I play rock and metal, so the Squire Showmaster was an ideal first electric guitar for me, an absolute dream to play due to a low action, decent fretboard and killer tone. I have been playing guitar for just 1 and a half years and own a Hohner acoustic model also. If it were stolen or lost now, I would buy something more expensive and slightly more prestigous. However, if it were stolen a few weeks after I had bought it, I would have cried myself to sleep, and bought it again of course. If I were foolish enough to lose this lovely machine, I would slap myself very hard. This is a good guitar because it feels much more expensive than it is, sounds awesome and looks absolutely divine. Beginner metal guitarists: this is the one! awesome value for cash! Tips: restring it and buy a string/fretboard cleaner. Use an expensive lead. Look into investing in a good multi-effects pedal. This guitar will last you years. // 8

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overall: 8.4
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: Hexodrome, on november 21, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 329.4

Purchased from: Rimmers Music

Features: I have no idea when it was made but it was made in Indonesia. It's got 22 jumbo frets plus a blue paintjob and brown neck. It's similar to a Strat body but without the scratchplate but it has a really funky reverse headstock which makes it stand out from the crowd. It's got a 5-way pickup selector, a humbucker bridge pickup and 2 single coil pickups and the obvious volume and tone knobs. Keep in mind this is a beginner guitar out of a pack so it came with strap, 2 cables, allen keys, book, video and plectrums but strangely no gig bag or tremelo arm. overall its a good little package. As soon as I bought it I also bought new leads because the ones included are awful. // 8

Sound: I play funk and lots of rock and sometimes delve into metal with my DigiTech Death Metal pedal but whatever I throw at this guitar it handles. I run it through a Marshall mini-stack and so far I've had no element of feedback or buzzing. I use Ernie Ball super slinkys and the sound with these is great. It ranges from a light twangy sound to a hard metal sound and still sounds great. Superb sound for the price. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish is a shiny dark blue and I have customised it with a few stickers and it looks great. The action is low enough for hammer on's but not too low to avoid hitting the fret markers. When I bought it the only problem was that the strings were a bit dark and dirty but I just fitted new strings and it was fine. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The amount of times I've dropped this guitar off the stage and banged it into things it a suprise it has no damage. I once dropped it nearly 6 foot onto stone and the lead jack fell out and it's never been fully right since. The jack just comes loose and jams leads occasionally but has no effect on sound. Overall though the body is strong but light. The finish has a few dents and scratches but the paint hasn't been removed at all considering it's had about 1 year of home playing and about 6 months of gigging it's not in bad shape. I could and already have depended on it for a gig and I will again. excellent. // 9

Overall Impression: I play funk and some metal and other types of generic rock (Eric Clapton, The Eagles etc). The guitar is good at all the styles I play. I've been playing for about a year and been gigging for about 6 months and I also own a DigiTech Death Metal pedal and a Marshall Micro Stack. If it were stolen I would be absolutley gutted for about a day or two but I would buy another guitar. I mean this ones great but I'm a bit bored of it. I have had my eye on an Epiphone Les Paul Classic for 259 so I would buy that instead because its a les paul and not a Strat style body like the showmaster. I like the headstock but I hate the bridge. It has a problem when you change strings if your not careful it can adjust the action and for about 2 months I had dead notes on the high frets from 15-22. But I was a beginner and I didn't play that far down. I wish it had a better bridge maybe a Gibson Tune-O-Matic. Overall its a good beginner guitar. // 8

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overall: 8.2
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: Virtuoso883, on april 09, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 230

Purchased from: Knight Music

Features: I have no idea when it was made but I know that Fender/Squier stopped making these guitars. I also know it was crafted in Indonesia, it says so on the back of the headstock. It has 24 jumbo frets on the ebony fretboard. It has low action so it's easy to play. The neck is quite thin compared to other crappy guitars I've played and is quite comfortable especially for beginners, by the way it's not a crappy guitar:P. It's finish is black satin so that means it'll scratch easily (although mine doesn't really have any visible scratch)and dust is annoying cause it keeps building up. It has a 5 way selector, a volume knob and a tone knob. Two single coil pickups and a humbucker. This guitar is also a licensed Floyd Rose which makes it annoying for beginners to restring, a the good old days, not so long ago. // 8

Sound: This guitar is quite suitable for metal if you use the right amp, it can handle distortion but not the best sounds. Maybe I should change its pickups for better sound. Anyway I especially found it nice to play blues with. I currently own a Frontman 15g Fender amp and it sucks, but once I tried it on a better Fender amp(forgot its name, it belongs to my guitar teacher anyway) it played really smoothly and had a good sound despite the stock pickups, the single coils tend to buzz. But at that price it is great sounding. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: When I first bought it I found no problem with it, it didn't have a scratch on it. Nowadays about a year and a half later it still plays like a charm and still no problem. The pickups are adjusted quite low and allow you to play easily. What it does need is a fretboard polish but that's a problem from my side. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is definitely capable of going live which is great because I can't even have a backup, but I still trust this guitar to last me quite a few more years, although I've been bumping it around (not on purpose) and it still looks and feels good, no visible scratch either. The strap buttons are pretty solid and probably could lift up 3 other guitars. // 9

Overall Impression: It's a pretty good match mostly for rock, I think because it has pretty good distortion but it's also great for rock and blues. Been playing for 2 years and my guitar's been with me all that time, as I got to play other guitars I realized that this one wasn't as bad as they say. If it were stolen I would probably buy another guitar though, mostly so I can try out more, or I would find it more worth it to buy a higher quality guitar although this one as I mentioned earlier isn't so bad. // 8

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overall: 6
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 23, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: The Music Department

Features: This guitar was "crafted" in Indonesia according to the back of the headstock. I would guess it was made fairly recently, I the last couple of years or so. It has 23 (I think) jumbo frets and comes in a nice metallic black finish, and has a similar body style to a Stratocaster, except it has a reverse headstock (much to the amusement of every other guitarist I know). It has a string-thru-body bridge, a tremolo arm, and has two knobs - one for volume and one for tone. The tremolo arm doesn't de-tune the guitar, and it stays in tune very nicely otherwise too. It has a five-way pick-up selector for the two single pick-ups and the humbucker. It came with an amp, strap, lead etc. // 8

Sound: I use this guitar with a DigiTech Grunge, a Boss DS-1, a Boss AW-3 and the Squier ten-watt amp it came with, all linked with Venom cables. It suits various sounds, Free, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Oasis, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, The White Stripes, the list goes on. Very versatile, nice sounds. The different pick-up selections really make a difference on the clean channel, from a bright, twangy sound to a smooth acoustic sound. With distortion however, there is very little variety, they just become either bassy or trebly. It has a very resonant body when used without an amp, and is also quite loud, louder than a Strat, which sounds great. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was incredibly high, but is not too difficult to change thanks to the bridge, it's just a case of turning the screws and setting the action for each string individually. The pickups are fairly solid, even with extensive use of the tremolo arm, they haven't shown any signs of coming out, like my mate's Yamaha Pacifica has. The finish is very nice, but chips awfully easily. The whole guitar looks fairly bland in one colour and without a pickguard, so buy some stickers or sumthin for it if you're gonna buy one. I wrote "I Love Poptarts" on mine with TippEx when I was drunk - only go this far as a last resort, it will not come off. Anyway, the pick-ups are not noisy at all, but it's worth remembering that your lead will affect this. The lead that came with the guitar was crap so it broke and I bought Venom Noiseless leads - much better. However, when switching between pick-ups the selector does make quite a bit of noise if you're doing it quickly, mid-song. Very annoying. The input jack was and is shit and continually falls out when you're trying to plug in the lead, and regularly has to be screwed back in. The fingerboard looked okay to start with but quickly looked like a grimy piece of rubbish with use. I took the strings off and sanded down the fingerboard and now it looks all Vintage and worn, it's definately better this way, or you could just buy fret cleaner. Doesn't look as cool though. However, the worst part of all is the final fret. The metal of the fret is not fixed down properly to the fingerboard, and when playing chords the top string continually gets trapped underneath it and makes a horribly high noise, and is impossible to get it out mid-song. It can and will ruin a gig or practice - the Final Fret Strikes Again! // 2

Reliability & Durability: The "final fret" problem prevents live playing with it, I've got an Epiphone '67 Flying V and use that for gigs and practices, even for songwriting. This guitar sounds divine and has great features, but it has so many problems that it's just not worth the bother. The strap buttons look sturdy, but the strap that came with it keeps falling off them, and it's a very cheap strap, so I don't know, as I have no other strap. The hardware looks like it will last. The finish is nice but chips off and the body dings easily. It's reliable, but the problems outweigh the sound and reliability sadly. // 6

Overall Impression: I've been playing nearly two years now and this was my first guitar. I love it and would never sell it, but it just has so many problems that you really can't overlook them and just enjoy the sound. The final fret, the body easily dinging, only having one tone knob, the input jack, the blandness of how it looks, the TippEx on the body. Okay not the TippEx that was my fault, but, really this guitar is loaded with problems. It really, truly is such a shame because when this baby works, my God she sounds so amazing! Maybe mine is just a bad example, so if you're gonna get one of these, try it, and ask to take home the one you tried, because mine just isn't up to scratch. Really truly a shame. // 4

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overall: 8
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: lofty162003, on june 24, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 366

Purchased from: Peterborough Music

Features: I haven't got a clue when it was made it just says "crafted in Indonesia" I'm not sure that "crafted" is the right word. The 24 fret neck is excellent and very comfortable to use, perfect for slides! Its basically a Strat style body without a scratch plate and a reverse headstock which is quite individual. I have no idea of the make of the pickups but they're pretty good. The single coils do hum quite a bit. It's finished in satin black which means that slthough you don't rally see the scratches (it does scrach easily) finger marks spread like the plauge! // 8

Sound: I play music of all differet styles from The White Stripes to Guns N' Roses and this guitar suits all of them. The single coils provide a nice rich bluesy tone that rivals my Epiphone Les Paul (except for the humming) and the humbucker works very well with the Boss MT-2 effects pedal which means that if you want you can do anything from Zeppelin to Slipknot. Unplugged this guitar is also better than many other electrics and doesn't rattle. The is a bit of noise as you change from one pickup to another whilst playing but this is't a major problem as all the pickups are really flexable in the sounds that they can produce so you don't need to Switch often. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was perfectly set up from the factory with a perfect action that wasn't to high or to low which meant that it was perfect for lead and rhythm. Of course I had to play with the setup but that just messed it up so I put it back as it was. The only flaw in the finish is around the headstock where you can see the edges of the material covering the body but it tok a long time for me to notice these. There was also a small amount of rust on the pickup adjustment screws but I just changed them. One more thing it was very dusty inside! // 6

Reliability & Durability: Yeah I think it would withstand live playing as it seems pretty solid, I've dropped it a few times and it's still fine. I have played it live but now I would use my Epiphone, however I would have a problem with using it. A couple of weeks after I had it the wiring broke in the output but that was solved with a good dose of solder and its not gone wrong since. // 6

Overall Impression: Basically I love this guitar, it was my first so I'm biased, but I now have an Epiphone Les Paul which is great. But I still play with the showmaster a lot perhaps even more that the Les Paul. If it were stolen or lost I would buy another one or save up more money and buy a Fender one with Seymor Duncan pickups. I compared this product to the Strat and this is a far better guitar pretty much beter in every way and definately much more individual. I also tried a Les Paul Copy that was a similar price and this was apalling. This is an excellent starter guitar that is pretty well priced. Be careful though this is a good example but some others I've seen have terrible build quality and sound bad so make sure that you try before you buy. Also don't buy a yellow one. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Showmaster NLT HSS Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 27, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 380

Purchased from: Mega Music

Features: Woulnd't have a clue what year it was made. It has 24 jumbo frets. It says on the back crafted in Indonesia. It's a nice solid body guitar with a metallic finish and it's got a nice feel to it. It's sort of like a Stratocaster without the scratchplate. It's got a string-thru bridge and a 5-way selector for the two single coil pickups and the humbucker. The humbucker never dissapoints but the single coils can hum slightly but if playing in a gig no one would know. The package I got was a great deal. It came with a Fender Frontman R 15 watt amp. A rocktex gigbag strap, lead, tuner, etc. // 10

Sound: My music styleis varied from Pink Floyd to Led Zepplin to Rage Against The Machine to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. And this guitar worked for every one of them. The sound can be variued greatly and the tones are great. The humbucker on overdrive never fails to impress. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I never had any problems with the mechanical parts of the guitar. It was only a few little things like the volume and tone knobs came of and the strap holder broke off. Aside from that it was an excellently built guitar and I reccomend it greatly to anyone that wants to play any type of music. // 8

Reliability & Durability: For gigs this guitar willbe amazing if your playing little gigs but if your playing big ones I would go for something like a Gibson or Fender because the Showmaster is not as loud as a custom built guitar. When my strap button came off I wasn't playing a gig so I had enough time to fix it and after five years I haven't had any trouble. The hardware has not given mye any trouble. I've dropped it and smacked it a couple of times and it withstanded the terror of a little brother so it's a definite 5. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said my music style is so varied and this fitted well with everything and if your like me and youre budget is tight this is a definit yes. I own a '52 Fender Stat and a Gibson SG. I've got a Marshall stack and despite the price differences. I've found that the showmaster sounds the best on it. This guitar is so great and I would definitely buy another one. My favourite feature is the metal knobs for the volume and tone which not only work great they look awesome two. The only annoying thing about it is not knowing how the volume is set. When I was first choosing the guitar it was either a Ibanez Jumpstart package or a Squier Affinity Strat or the Showmaster. The Affinity Strat didn't have a case and it was 200 dollars more expensive and because I travel alot I didn't choose that and the Ibanez Jumpstarts sound was absolute crap so the Showmaster won and it was great. I think this is an excellent beginner and intermediate guitar and I couldn't reccomend it more highly. // 10

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