This $350 Fender guitar might just be the best value in the entire music market
- Fender's Squier line of electric guitars has long been seen as a great entry point for new players.
- A lot of guitarist assume that these "beginner" instruments are just a stop on the road to a "real" Fender.
- But the Classic Vibe Squier series offers something special: incredible quality, incredible value, and throwback setups to previous eras.
- I tested a Squier Classic Vibe '70s Stratocaster and was blown away by the quality and playability of the guitar.
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Many guitarists know the Squier name because it was on the headstock of their first instrument. Like a lot of guitar companies, Squier's history is deep; it dates back to the late 1800s, when Victor Carroll Squier established a company to produce stringed implements for the making of music.
Fender bought Squier in the mid-1960s, but later the brand went on hiatus. It was revived in the early 1980s, and that's when its modern rep developed. Nowadays, Fender will sell you a Stratocaster or Telecaster electric guitar that's made in Asia carrying the Squier label for $200.
Consequently, while a lot of beginners start out with these rather fine guitars (I own an Affinity Strat, a remnant of one of my kids' interest in rockin' and rollin'), they often move on to a "real" instrument later. However, Fender offers within the Squier lineup "Classic Vibe" guitars that combine budget pricing with assemblies that evoke bygone eras. If you want a old-school Stratocaster, for example - one with a 1960s look and feel - Squier CV is your bag.
I've played plenty of awesome guitars, many of them with Fender script on the headstock. But when it comes to bang for your buck, the Squier Classic Vibe is hard to beat.
So I asked Fender to let me borrow a Classic Vibe 1970s Stratocaster to officially test out. Here's how it went down: