Standard Telecaster Review

manufacturer: Squier date: 09/22/2016 category: Electric Guitars
Squier: Standard Telecaster
The sound is really good for the price. Overall you can get alot of variety from this guitar.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8.8
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reviews (4) pictures (4) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
Standard Telecaster Reviewed by: AuraFX, on may 24, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This was a second hand Standard Squier Tele - the latest model in a metallic black. It's the Agathis body with maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. It's pretty much a great copy of the Fender Standard Tele. It's the basic bridge in chrome plate pickup and chrome neck pickup combo and the 3 way selector switch. It didn't come with any extras as it was second hand but I don't believe you get anything with Squier standards brand new either - that's one of the reasons they keep the price down. I've never owned a Tele before, so when I was considering getting one for a project I thought it might be better to get one of the cheaper end in case it wasn't for me. I've had good experiences with other modern Squier's so it seemed like a risk worth taking. // 9

Sound: I play in an alternative/rock/electronic band as my main job and a side project as a more blues-rock outfit. To be honest I didn't ever really think about Tele's much for either sound. I didn't dislike them, just probably saw them as more of a country-style guitar or a very neutral rock tone. But I was intrigued enough eventually to give this a try. I can't really compare this to a top of the range Fender Tele but it was very well made considering the cost. The neck is great and the set up is far easier than most guitars. I guess as the original electric guitar it is just straight forward - so it's hard to screw it up. I really liked the variation between the loud, chiming bridge pickup and the thick but not nasally neck pickup. It's a bit jarring after coming from Strats and Jaguars with all their options and splits but it really works well. I found it able to handle a lot of styles and the flat body and simple shape were surprisingly comfortable. The downside, which I guess was the cheap pickups was a lot of microphonic squeal and a clicking jack input. I've since replaced a lot of hardware on this thing. It now has EMG T set for active pickups, new locking tuners and a few other minor mods. It's no longer what I bought, but it's great for my sound now. I'd rate this a 9 for what I do with it now, but probably a 7 for what I bought second hand without any changes. That's only really because the squeal and poor electronics let it down - the actual versatility of a Tele is surprisingly good. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Squier have really improved over the past few years. Originally a Squire guitar was basically junk for when you first started playing and had no money and were happy to smash it to pieces when there was a Riot at a show. Nowadays they are often pretty close to the Fender models - and I've even had one which was better finished than a USA standard (in a bass). This was second hand so I'm not sure how much abuse was from the previous owner, but once I'd cleaned it up, the action was pretty great. The Bridge seems to be from a USA Tele anyway and the pickups had a very decent impression of the famous Tele split (the warm neck, the bright bridge). The neck was beautifully set and there was no fret edges or anything that needed doing (again, this could have been the previous owner, so can't guarantee it was a factory job but hopefully it was). The actual controls were a bit misaligned and the tone was a bit loose. Internally, when I started pulling it out to fit the active electronics instead, the routing wasn't awesome. There was quite a bit of sloppy unfinished machining and some broken edges on the wiring tunnels. I'm guessing this is where the money is saved on Squiers - though having said that I've sent back an expensive Gibson Les Paul in the past for crappy routing which is a scandal - when you pay this little for a guitar, it's just one of those things. It doesn't really affect you unless you're making mods so I didn't really mind that it was a bit of a hatchet job internally. // 7

Reliability & Durability: For the money (I keep starting sentences with that I guess! ) this is a great guitar. It seemed solid and well made within it's budget niche. I've seen far, far worse cost a lot, lot more. The strap buttons are standard Squier ones which tend to be a bit oversized compared to Fender USA, but I replace these with locking straps anyway. The fit and finish was again, very impressive on the neck and frets but less so on the electronics. Still, the main advantage of a Tele is it is pretty basic. There's not much to go wrong and it is very easy to play and set up. If you hate guitar tech stuff, get a Tele and it's pretty much set up after one decent attempt. It stays in tune better than any guitar I've ever owned - seriously I've barely have to tune it and I play hard (probably too hard). I always take at least 2 guitars on shows and tour with about 7 or 8, so I'd never be without backups, but if you are just starting out, or want to play a lot of different styles with just one guitar - this is definitely reliable enough. I'd probably switch out the input jack and pots if you can, it might seem a bit absurd to spend more money on a really cheap guitar, but with a few tweaks, you'd have something as good as the more expensive USA models without spending that sort of cash. // 9

Overall Impression: This was an impulse buy of a cheap guitar, mainly to see if I liked Telecasters after growing up with Strats, Jags, LP's and other more exotic guitars. It's a very simple, no-nonsense design which hasn't changed much since it came out as the first proper electric guitar. The simplicity means it's very easy to like, easy to look after and easy to play. It won't cover every tone in the world, but it is very "neutral" in that you can mould it to your playing, rather than it forcing you in a certain direction. Now that I've got one I've finally noticed how many other people play them! It was like I was blinded to it before or something. Overall I'd say this was one of the best budget guitars you can get, it's ideal if you want to keep the cost down but without getting a piece of junk. It's also ideal as a base to mod and upgrade. If you spend a few pounds here and there improving bits and pieces over time, you'll end up with a deluxe guitar at a fraction of the cost. And if you just need something to smash when your shows get out of hand - I guess this would be a better choice than the LP you spent 4 years saving up for. // 9

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overall: 7.6
Standard Telecaster Reviewed by: wdostrander, on may 15, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 220

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 2012 Standard Tele: Antique Burst, rosewood fretboard. 3 way selector switch. tele-plus like bridge. platic nut. Passive Squier electronics including volume and tone pots. Agathis body (much like mahogany but much less dense). Maple neck. Gloss finish. Standard Fender tuners. String through body. I have hotrodded my Squier Tele. I installed Texas Special Tele pickups, a vintage noiseless Strat in the middle position, upgraded all the pots and installed a standard strat 5 position pickup switch (neck, neck/bridge, bridge, mid/bridge, middle). I also installed a white pearl pickguard. This made the looks pop nicely for my tastes, it accented the antique burst really nicely. I had to set up the neck when I received it. After set-up it plays nicely. Not great playability but it will definitely get me through a night with ease. So, with upgrades, I am into this guitar for around $550. But that is much cheaper than the $1200 Fender model that is very similar. // 8

Sound: From the factory, the sound is fairly low on my OMG scale. The pickups were OK but a much better and hotter set was soon to follow. The volume and tone pots were noisy so they were upgraded. The sustain is not great but acceptable. With some compression it does just fine. With the Texas Specials, I run mine through a Presonus tube preamp, then through a tube compressor, then through a Line 6 POD XT Live pedal and finally into a Fender Frontman 212. After all the upgrades, and through my gear, it sounds pretty amazing. Just wish it had a bit more sustain. Maybe a body upgrade to ash or mahogany is in its future. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Set-up from the factory was pretty much non-existent. It took me about 3 hours to set mine up. Fit and finish were nicely done for the most part. The pickguard needed some refitting but that was just my preference. The burst was nicely done and the final clear coat was nice and evenly applied. Overall, no flaws in electronics routing, finish and assembly. The frets were nicely done. No buzzes anywhere. Pickups were in need of height adjustment badly. It took me about 30 minutes to adjust those. After I installed the new pickguard, it is a really nice looking guitar. Nothing too fancy on it but a solid workhorse. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I play mine about 6-8 hours per week. The finish is getting fairly well scratched from picks but still mostly "glossy". Strap buttons have NEVER moved. Really the only bad spot on the guitar is the 1/4" jack. Lately, it has been coming out of the guitar when I unplug at the end of the night. A simple push puts it right back in place. I believe this is a wood choice issue. I don't believe I would have this issue if Fender/Squier had decided on a better wood for this axe.

Tuners are standing the test of time quite well. The plastic nut needs to be replaced soon with something better like graphite, etc. Never had any reliability issue with mine. Always works when I need it most. I always carry a spare axe with me regardless of what it is just because accidents happen. However, if this was my one and only, it wouldn't spook me too much. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing professionally for 20+ years (30+ overall). I play mostly country. With the Texas Specials, I can make this one really squak for chicken pickin. With the strat in the middle position, I also can get some nice strat style sounds. I have nicer playing guitars but not one that sounds nicer. Overall, from the factory, I wasn't impressed. Just a typical cheap version of a Fender. However, after upgrading the pickups, pots and selector switch, this is a fairly nice playing and sounding guitar. Of course, I spent an extra $250 on upgrades but I made a guitar that plays and sounds much nicer than the standard Squier.

I have played some of the Classic Vibe Squiers and I am more impressed with the factory sound of those. I wish the body was a better quality wood like ash or mahogany but this agathis body does give it a unique sound when paired with the Texas Specials. If something catastrophic happened to this one I might purchase another. However, I think I would go with EMG active electronics on the second to enhance the sustain and give it some sparkle. // 8

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overall: 8.8
Standard Telecaster Reviewed by: Blackdogxx, on september 22, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 142

Purchased from: eBay used

Features: Built in Indonesia, year unknown. Rosewood on maple neck. Body I do not know. Gloss finish has art on the top. Fine flake metallic green back and sides. Top only is a counterculture art painting of a Rolling Rock beer bottle. Neck finish is oil type and may be no-glare urethane. Not sure, but feels and looks dry. Standard Tele layout with solid saddles and hat type switch knob and cone shaped strap buttons with felt washers. . Tele bridge is well chromed and string through with string ferrules recessed into the body. 3-way switch is easily converted to a 4-way. Tuners look like Schallers but are not that quality. Smooth and positive, though budget caliber. The seller shipped it in an SX black cordura gig bag. Rated "9" because the guitar has maybe 5-6 tiny marks on the rear only and is otherwise pristine. At $152 to the door with pretty good pickups, solid, well painted, and with nice fret ends... it is a lot of guitar. And I have had a Classic Vibe Tele with Fralin 2% overwinds in it, so I know what a really sharp Squier can be. // 9

Sound: It is versatile and very passable since I go direct into a '73 Silverface Princeton Reverb with very upgraded speaker. A good amp makes a pretty good guitar sound just fine if you can play. Quiet and no noticeable hum. Bridge is a bit trebly and lacks that thick bass/middle of the 1960s that we dream of, but it is good. Middle position is pretty and delicate, yet strong. The neck needs adjustment to lower the bass side and raise the treble side to make is clearer. Bluesy neck pup. Rated "8" as it is entirely OK; not great or smashing, but pretty darn nice for a barely used Tele at $150. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Cannot be sure about the setup from the factory, but shimming the neck with 1 business card thickness in the inside 1/3 of the pocket is all it took to allow lowering the Allen screws just below flush to the saddles. The pocket was clean, the frets are good and needed only light fret end smoothing with a correct file. I see no defects at all in the finishing and neck/pocket fit, etc. Workmanship was very clean and solid. The paint job with art on the top was well done (colors as well as what is shown, and the idea of a beer bottle Tele is a "natural"). No rattles or electronics noise. I may get a slightly deeper cut of treble with a .050 capacitor. The rating is "9" since it is close enough to top flight to earn a "9"... remember it was barely used at $150 to my door. // 9

Reliability & Durability: A well made Squier Tele (Standard and better line) are solid and reliable and workhorse guitars for stage and parties. The finish is a bit thick, but it's a factory product built and painted to the Fender specs. We do not get to make a call on finish type and thickness. The electronics of a Tele are so simple that most any guy with a soldering pen can change pickups, etc. Rated a "9" because it is a pretty well made Telecaster from Squier in Indonesia factory. Change the pots to CTS or Bourne and wire in a 4-way switch and use good strings and consider good pickups as upgrades. GFS has some cheap ones, Kent Armstrong has some quite good ones, and there are a lot of winders selling in eBay and regionally.... you do not have to have Fralins or Holmes in your guitar. Sometimes "good enough" is good enough. // 9

Overall Impression: I play classical guitar, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. I write songs and have recorded some and got very good approval from a top Nashville songwriter of top hits. I have a good ear and hands and music in my family as well as a knack for songwriting in different types. so I can play more types of guitar music than most guys. So a Tele like this is not a top notch one, but you can get a used on cheap and make it much better with little work and maybe pickups, adjustments, and good strings (I have settled on .009-.046 D'Addarios). As an electric guitar, a Tele with 4-way switch can cover most all electric styles short of shredding and real rockabilly, country, blues, pop, rock and roll and some rock are no problem for a Tele. Leslie West played a Tele the night I saw Mountain live and Roy Buchanan opened the show ... with a Tele. See?

I rate this guitar a "9" since it is not a top flight Squier. But it looks ultra-cool and sharp colors, feels good, sounds good to 'damn good' and with more tweaking ands a settle period, it will be a keeper. I also found a barely used sunburst Squier Standard Strat to replace pickups with GFS "gold foils" and lit it up. Again... a lot of good guitar workmanship and features and good hardware for VERY inexpensive. The Standard series is hard to top for sheer value. // 9

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overall: 9.4
Standard Telecaster Reviewed by: ilikekfc, on april 20, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 125

Purchased from: pmt

Features: I got this guitar from PMT (Professional Music Technology) while they were having some sort of open event, and it was classed as second hand but their wasn't a mark on it. It was made in April 2009, in Indonesia. It has a 21 frets and has a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and rosewood skunk stripe. It is an agathis body (which I have never heard of this wood before). It is the usual Telecaster set up, the normal neck pickup and bridge pickup with one volume and one tone and three way selector switch. It has standard Squier tuners, which are not to bad but the bottom E and the A go out of tune before the others do. // 9

Sound: The sound is really good for the price, the pickups could do with a bit more power, but over all they are great for the price. I use it straight through a Vox AC15VR and it sounds great for the older rock and blues rock. When only one pickup is selected, it makes a buzzing sound but when both pickups are selected at the same time the buzz goes away. As usual the bridge pickup has that tiny/sharp sound you get from a Telecaster and the neck pickup has that fantastic jazz sound. Overall you can get alot of variety from this guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar it was set up really well and it played lovely, being able to hold the strings down comfortably with no problems. I went for the antique burst and the finish is brilliant with no flaws to the finish but the pocket where the neck fits in wasn't cut brilliantly, but it doesn't effect it too much. The selector switch dose make some noise when through the amp and the pots are starting to make noise, but the pickups are put in really well. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I will gig with this guitar, but I am defonately taking a backup couse the electronics aren't great, but I think it would last. The strap buttons are screwed in the guitar very solid with no problems with them. The hardware is good, not great though, the bridge saddles are pretty weak and one has already got a chip in it but apart from that all the other hardware seems durable. The finish is going to last, it has a nice thik coating on it and is applied very well. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly classic rock/blues rock and it suits it very well and I have not had many problems with it. If it was stolen I would be very sad but for the price they go for I would just get another one or keep the money and get a Mexican Fender Telecaster. I love the value for money, if anyone was to ask me what Squier Telecaster to get for around 200 I would recommend this straight away. My favorite feature about this guitar is definitely the finish, cause it looks great and is well applied. I compared this to a couple of other makes of Telecaster copies and this was so much better than all of them, I just can't believe someone told me to go for an affinity? This is just 100x better than them, but if you ain't got the money they aren't to bad bad for the price. // 10

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