I currently own Squires, American Standards and a custom shop Strat. The custom shop strat has a one piece maple neck which is heavier, has a better shape and fits my hand and style of playing thus letting me be better. The American standard and the Squire seem to be the same as far as shape and play-ability. While both play fine, the Squire seems to out edge the American standard both in play-ability and cost. Spec wise, the Squire seems to be a better guitar. Both have a two-piece neck and while the American standard has an ash body and the Squire has a poplar one, there does not seem to be a significant difference in tone and sustain. That's my opinion for what it is worth.