Beginner/intermediate Strat choice

chicago slim

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 23, 2010
1,247
Bowling Green, KY
Welcome to the forum.

I would recommend trying the Player series, and using it as a benchmark. If you are looking for more of an overdriven sound, some Squier's and MIM models, with ceramic pickups, might work better for you. Although factory setup may not be consistent, it's always a little easier, if you have a baseline to compare different models.
 

Tim S

Strat-O-Master
Dec 31, 2015
695
NYS
I don’t think many of us bought our first electric based on advice from strangers on the Internet.

You need to do your own homework and try a few in person to determine what feels right to you. You might be surprised by the unexpected tone from some guitars.

Basically, stop shopping with your eyes and start shopping with your hands & ears.

Once you’ve narrowed your choices to a few particular models, then I’m sure the gang here can help answer any questions you have.
 

HazyPurple

You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
1,989
UK
Hello there,

Charvel MiMs don't have Squier silk screening on them, and they rock!
 

kdines

Strat-Talker
Dec 12, 2019
117
San Diego
Good comment. For example, I now realise that I really like 6105 narrow tall frets and just seem to play better/more easily with them.

IMO, the idea of buying your forever guitar in one try/purchase isn't realistic. You'll need to play lots of different instruments and find the specific features you like.
Good luck in the search, but don't pressure yourself into thinking your first purchase needs to be your last.
 

WelhavenT

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 24, 2017
1,362
Norway
Just remember to put aside some money so you can get a professional set-up.

After I’ve bought (and sold) a lot of guitars the past years, I can’t believe how bad some guitars are set-up. No wonder they’re selling them :)
 

AngelDeVille

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 25, 2017
1,655
ABQ
There are some really excellent Squier guitars, I’m particularly fond of the now discontinued Vintage a Modified line.

The problem is, used prices meet or exceed MIM prices.

I have seen offset Fenders in the sub $700 range on the local craigslist.
 

J-Mart

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 17, 2020
1,197
Tx
Let me guess, you've never had your hands on a high end modern 2008 or later Squier Classic Vibe, have you? Your comparison is based on older lower end model Squier guitars.....
I recently bought and immediately returned the contemporary active jazzmaster....neck felt like a toy (wood was too soft and had a weird finish) no way the nut was even 42mm, paint felt like enamel not like a poly clear coat... I so wanted to like it, being an offset in surf green with active humbuckers, you know, for a change of pace; that guitar was $449.

I Ended up buying a schecter sun valley shredder with actual Emg actives in seafoam for like $649. Not even a question of what actually felt like a real instrument and what didn't, especially over the usual $299 threshold of beginner vs intermediate instrument quality.

And in no way does price determine what you can do with it, Im sure (insert your favorite guitar god here) can play a silvertone guitar and make it sound great, but at those price points we mortals want some quality.
 
Last edited:

Guitarmageddon

Dr. Stratster
Apr 19, 2014
27,393
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I recently bought and immediately returned the contemporary active jazzmaster....neck felt like a toy (wood was too soft and had a weird finish) no way the nut was even 42mm, paint felt like enamel not like a poly clear coat... I so wanted to like it, being an offset in surf green with active humbuckers, you know, for a change of pace; that guitar was $449.

I Ended up buying a schecter sun valley shredder with actual Emg actives in seafoam for like $649. Not even a question of what actually felt like a real instrument and what didn't, especially over the usual $299 threshold of beginner vs intermediate instrument quality.

And in no way does price determine what you can do with it, Im sure (insert your favorite guitar god here) can play a silvertone guitar and make it sound great, but at those price points we mortals want some quality.

That is not a normal 'high end' Squier, that has a low quality finish on the neck almost bare wood......feels cheapo.....

That is a major exception.....you haven't tried Classic Vibe they're WAY better :)
 

J-Mart

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 17, 2020
1,197
Tx
That is not a normal 'high end' Squier, that has a low quality finish on the neck almost bare wood......feels cheapo.....

That is a major exception.....you haven't tried Classic Vibe they're WAY better :)
If I would it would have to be something cool and not your standard strat or tele.
 

jtoomuch

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Feb 28, 2010
2,201
South Florida
Just remember to put aside some money so you can get a professional set-up.

After I’ve bought (and sold) a lot of guitars the past years, I can’t believe how bad some guitars are set-up. No wonder they’re selling them :)
A proper setup can make all the difference.
 

JamieHenry

Strat-O-Master
Apr 29, 2020
525
Minnesota
Welcome. I admire your wish to step up and find a legacy. If you want something truly special to remember, that has an HSS setup good for metal, leap up to the aptly named Strat Ultra. Not the new one, the 90s one. Yea, that's some money, but they aren't getting any cheaper. Amortized over the rest of your life it's peanuts. I have one, and it was my favorite until I found the only thing I liked better.
 

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,483
Michigan
.

I see the recommendations but I'll either go for Squier bullet/affinity for low budget, MIM for medium budget, or MIA for higher. All the in-between "it's only $50 more for this next version" marketing splits are useless.

What you want to do is first find a great local guitar tech. Plan on spending $100 for a full fret level+setup. Then go out and buy any guitar that catches your fancy at any price point. That guitar tech with the fret level can give you the playability of a custom shop guitar. From. any. guitar.

Otherwise, skip all the hype and find a used MIM Standard or Player Series. Get a pro setup for $50 and play away. Otherwise it's all overthinking the mess.

Make sure you look at Harley Benton and Glarry guitars.

.
 

Ebidis

Providing the world with flat bends since 1985
Nov 14, 2013
29,174
Alabama
No, they're not. Unless you go up to the Vintera range at twice the price, the CVs are better.

Let me guess, you've never had your hands on a high end modern 2008 or later Squier Classic Vibe, have you? Your comparison is based on older lower end model Squier guitars.....
I agree.

This Squier VM Tele Custom is a killer guitar by any standard. I've had it for 4 years, and have played the snot out of it. Both at home and with the band. It has never failed to please. I have no problem choosing it over my more expensive guitars, because it can hang with the best. Every time I pick it up I am reminded how good it is, and I can't put it down. As a matter of fact, it's the one I've been playing for the last 2 days.

C730CAF4-E7F7-4E26-9FE5-13D2FB25B4B2_zpsrfhasuim.jpg

Yeah, it doesn't say "Fender" on the headstock, and it is made in a country I've never been to, but I would put it up against any high end Fender MIM any day.

The only thing I have done to it is a setup, and replaced the pots, switch, caps, and jack. The old parts were ok, but the pots were getting scratchy, so I figured I'd just upgrade all of the guts because it doesn't cost much to do. Other than lower quality electrical components, everything on this guitar is great.

I also have owned a CV Strat, and it too was a very high quality guitar.

I always scoff at the "Squier is not even close to MIM" comments.
 

BlurgyWurgyWibble

Strat-O-Master
Feb 10, 2018
874
Nottingham, UK
Hi I’m looking to buy my first electric, I want to start by playing acdc nirvana alternative rock type riffs.

I don’t want a Squier, I want to buy something I love the feel of and the looks of so I keep it forever and doesn’t loose interest. I like kirt cobains style of guitars, offsets, sonic blue with red pick guards, black on black strat etc...

Other than i would need an HSS, what do you recommend as far as make model fretboard etc...

I’m considering new and used

Just grab the $120 Squire Bullet HSS. Watch a bunch of YouTube videos on how to set it up. Get it #sweet.
That will serve you just fine for the first year or so of playing.

fnd0370005580_1.jpg
 

Antman

Strat-Talker
Dec 29, 2013
424
London
I have a vintage modified 70s squier and it plays as nice as any Fender I own.
 

Attachments

  • 20181231_160203.jpg
    20181231_160203.jpg
    130.9 KB · Views: 9

Lost Sailor

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 20, 2012
1,158
Wolf 359
As others have said - there ain't nothing wrong with a Squier. I have a couple of them as with MIM and MIA strats......They are so much better than the cheapies that were around back in the day. (microphonic gold foils, 2x4 necks, etc.)
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate, therefore I am...
Silver Member
Feb 8, 2014
5,888
Minnesota USA
OP says "I don't want a Squier" so don't pitch one LOL

I'd look at the Fender Player Strat HSS. What's your budget

I’m also in the “If you want a Fender, then get a Fender” camp... since loving your guitar will make you want to play it more.

A Fender Player or Vintera are the most affordable, high quality models if you’re planning on going new.

If going used, you can get an American Standard for around the same price - but buying used can also be tricky if you don’t know what to look for.

If it were me? I’d be happy with either the Player or the Vintera myself...

Good Luck!


 
Last edited:


Top