USA, Mexico and Squire - just different prices?

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by JamesE, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. JamesE

    JamesE Senior Stratmaster

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    Apologies for being a Noob, but so far I've come to this conclusion:
    Fender USA - top price
    Fender Mexico - lower price
    Squire - very low price

    What about the quality? I've just been reading the PMT webpage (pmtonline.co.uk) where they describe the squire bullet as if it was aimed at children, using phrases such as "complete beginner", "smaller hands" and "when you get your first band together".

    As an adult, I find this all a bit off-putting. Surely Fender would want to keep a certain level of quality, just getting the price down by using offshore cheaper labour?

    I've got an Epiphone acoustic which I think is fantastic. I've never gone head-to-head with a Gibson original, but the workmanship is extremely good.
     
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  2. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    If the Squires were built using the same electronics, the same pickups, the same hardware and the same attention to detail as the others the price difference would be much smaller than you'd think.
     
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  3. 4stratshere

    4stratshere Strat-Talk Member

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  4. 4stratshere

    4stratshere Strat-Talk Member

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    I have 3 Mexican Strats and one '69 USA . I love the quality / sound /feel etc of the Mexican Strats - American guitars are too expensive and not really much better.
     
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  5. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster

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    There are Squiers & there are Squiers. The cheapest ones are pretty basic, but have you tried a Classic Vibe? Easily a better guitar than a Mexican Standard in my opinion, & many on here would agree with me (although many wouldn't!) The difference is labour costs. Labour costs are higher in the US than they are in Mexico, & they are higher there than they are in China. That's the primary reason for the difference in price.
     
  6. El_Pistolero

    El_Pistolero Strat-O-Master

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    Spot on. In the end, guitars are still a product fabricated in a manufacturing facility. Material used will impact your cost to build, but the majority will come from how much you are paying your employees. If some models have higher levels of quality control, that requires more process time (labor hours) and increases your build cost. That's where you get your difference between say a box set Squier and the CV, which is a well crafted guitar. Both made in Asia, but are worlds apart in quality.
     
  7. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't have a USA Strat, but I have played many and somehow the finished product does feel a cut above, my Mex is definitely better build and component wise to my Squire, but that's not to say my Squire is not a good player, , an entry level Squire, without any set up , can be a very challenging instrument to play and in fact can switch a beginner off very quickly without some help.
    However it is all really about how much you want to pay for what you feel you need. When you consider an entry Squire can cost as little as $50+ and a Mex can cost ten times that and a US can cost into the many thousands, there are reasons for this and it's about finish and quality, components play a big part in the costs, and they are mostly justifiable if one looks at the cost of replacement parts compared to the price of the total product.
     
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  8. aviamsi

    aviamsi Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    It also depends on what you can afford.

    And in my opinion, there's a different in quality.
    This difference is probably blurs over the years, but still it's there.
     
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  9. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    I think this is spot on. The higher prices of the USA made models are to me totally in line with the workmanship and quality of parts. I hear a lot of folks buying Squiers or MIM and then adding new, pickups, tuners, trem block, etc to get it where they want or think it needs to be. Or I read about folks having to fix fret ends or other minor issues with these models. I myself did this for many years until a few years back my wife said why do you keep trading and moding then having to constantly be tweaking the setup of all these guitars, just get what you want and be done with it. I sat down and said what do I want. Answer was a nitro finished Strat, top notch workmanship and quality, and I preferred USA made (mainly because I live in the US). So after looking I ended up with the EJ Rosewood Signature model. I went with this model as I also like 12 inch radius fretboards. Since last April when I got it I have not been on CL or in GC's used section looking at guitars, I have not been constantly tinkering with the setup or dreaming of upgrading anything, I have just been playing it like crazy! I love it so much I got a Thinline EJ delivered Tuesday and same thing, perfect setup, fit and finish straight out of the case.

    Now I know that speeding $2K on a guitar is not in everyone's budget and yes the MIM and CV Squiers are great instruments (CV's are insanely great for a sub $500 guitar) but when I look at all the time and funds I spent for 10 years chasing my perfect Strat I could have easily bought 2-3 $2K guitars.
     
  10. l88vette

    l88vette Strat-O-Master

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    The Squier Standard and above models are really pretty nice guitars with full size bodies and nice necks. The entry level Bullet and Affinity aren't really bad but are a long way from the Classic Vibes.
     
  11. newplayeroldguy

    newplayeroldguy in the wind

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    There is a lot of confirmation bias in every conversation on this topic. I think the old saw that "you get what you pay for" is generally true- whatever it is that you are buying.
     
  12. KingsXFan

    KingsXFan Strat-Talk Member

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    I can only speak from owning a late 90s squire (1st guitar) from a starter pack and an American Standard from 2016. The quality difference in both feel and sound is quite significant, however is it worth that much of a price increase? That is a questions each person has to answer for themselves.
     
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  13. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just gonna leave this here.

     
  14. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Nice clip ^ thanks
     
  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    Thanks guitarface... I was just about to look up that video to post it. :)

    JamesE, check out more Jack Pearson videos when you have a chance. He's an inspiration to me, being as good as he is, and seemingly never having any concern about what labels are on the heads of his guitars.
     
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  16. jimbojo

    jimbojo Senior Stratmaster

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    This is a topic that goes round and round on these forums and you will get a number if different opinions.

    First to the OP, the lower end Squier guitars are entry level, that is what they are built for and for that reason they are marketed to kids and new players. That does not mean they cannot be used by adults and even gigged with. Now, there is a vast difference in these guitars and a MIM standard, even more so against a US made Fender.

    Now when you get to the Vintage Modified and the Classic Vibe the lines are blurred a bit. Personally I think these guitars hold there own with the MIM standards.

    Then we get to the higher end MIM guitars as compared to US models and again blurred lines. Some of the MIM signature series guitars are great, the Classic series a very good and I say right up there with the US Special.

    The US made guitars do not need any defense. They are generally top notch and play well right out of the box, but in reality so do many of the other, so called, lesser models.

    As far as quality components, hands down you are getting better parts on the MIM's and the US mad guitars. They use better tuners and the hardware is made from better metal. The body finishes are generally given more time to set and more attention to QC. Better wire, pots, and pick ups through out.

    Now we get to the subjective part. Some guys like the Squiers because they enjoy modding them, they like having a large collection, or it just meets their budget better, that is all good and really a personal decision. Heck some guys spend more time nodding, collecting and tweaking these things than they do playing. We also have pride in ownership, call me shallow but I like to see Fender on the head stock, that doesn't mean I don't like Squier guitars, I have and do own them, but something about that name does matter to many guys.

    In all their is no right or wrong here. Buy what you like, what you can afford and rock on. Mod if you like or run completely stock, your choice. Collect away at either price point, or both.

    Peace,

    Jimbo
     
  17. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

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    First things first.....thanks for the clip, some great playing there.....

    Second thing....there will be many left handed guitars for sale real soon on ebay....WOW, what a great player that JP dude is....you know the saying...."I'm not worthy":mad::mad:....well it does apply here...:D:D

    Thank you once again.
     
  18. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have had all levels, MIA, MIM, Squier and can tell you that with Strats and Teles, you can only make them so good or dumb them down so much. While there are differences in wood, the density and quality, and one can be particular about how the tonal nodes match up between neck and body- wood is wood. Heck, they've made Strats out of cement and cardboard. THE COST OF BUILDING A GUITAR IS LARGELY IN THE FINISHING. Finishing and refinements are a human, by-hand process. This is where you'll see the difference between the different "levels" of guitars. You want to see the difference in finishing? Go to a local shop that sells Fender and other smaller name Strats. Play a higher end Fender, then compare it to a Suhr or a Tom Anderson. You'll see see subtle, but substantial differences for sure. Then there are the pickups. You can slap a set of quality pickups in a Squier and it will sound as good as any high end Fender. Trust me. I had a suped-up Squier SE when I was looking for a MIA Strat and I ended up going to three different stores before I found a MIA (a Deluxe) that I liked better and than my SE and could make a reasonable deal on. I just sold a MIM (brownburst) Strat that was better quality than a former band mates MIA twin brownburst. Even the body pieces matched better on my MIM than his MIA.

    Since you brought up Gibson... Back years ago before I knew better, I ordered a Chibson Les Paul (mostly as a joke...and the joke was on me). It was SO good out of the box, but needed some additional finishing. All it really needed was a fret level. But I tricked it out with pickups, wires, nut, bridge. But still all in the price range of your common Epiphone Les Paul. A few years later my ego got the best of me and I bought a numbered, limited edition Gibson Les Paul Standard. Guess which one got played and gigged? The Chibson was the Gibson's equal in all respects, except for the poly finish vs nitro. It was also 2 pounds lighter. I've got the Gibson up for sale because I simply don't play it. It's illegal for me to sell the Chibson, but I wouldn't anyway. I've also had two Epi Les Pauls, but my Chibson was still better, even thought the Epis were quite good. I'm sure it was the time and money I spent on the Chibson's REFINEMENTS. I've now got two Epi Dot's (trying to sell one- see F/S section of the forum). They are outstanding instruments. Not as good as a Gibson 335, but exceptionally well made. They both sound so good I can't even dream of replacing the pickups on them! *Slight* difference in sound between the Epis and a Gibson, but even though I might be able to afford the difference in price, I can't jusitfy it.

    Ok... I'm done.
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Most Honored Senior Member

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    .

    Fretwork is the key performance characteristic that separates the guitar lines.

    There is around an hour+ of time to do a good job at leveling frets and a deep setup.
    Cheap guitars just have the frets pressed in and shipped out. Expensive guitars have great fretwork that may include the 'plek' machine that simulates string tension while leveling the frets.

    Beginner players struggle with a difficult to play guitar while the pros play the easiest to play guitars. Short sighted because if you've ever played a video game the game designers know to make the first level easy and the tenth level challenging. The guitar industry 'wants to make sure you're dedicated' to push through the hard part at the beginning 'to be worthy'. Why is that? Then they complain fewer kids are learning to play guitars blaming it on everything else but the 'industry customs'.

    The way to short circuit all of this is to buy the inexpensive guitar and go find a guy that can do a $100 fret level and setup. As long as the tech knows what he's doing (some don't) you will have a guitar that plays as easy as one ten times the price.

    $20 of electronics (pots, caps, switch, jack) can get you the same high quality items that are in the $2,000 guitars.

    Tweak the edge radius here and there and the finishes along with some artist endorsement marketing costs and you've got a spread of guitars to sell to every wallet.

    .
     
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  20. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member

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    FWIW, between my Am Stand, MIM Stand, CV 60's, and Bullet.................... the best fretwork was found on the CV 60's and Bullet. :eek:

    I make equally awful sounds from all of them. :sneaky:
     
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