What exactly is a squire guitar?

Posted by jack on Tue, 04/20/04 - 12:59:03.
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What exactly is a squire guitar? I know its cheaper and not as good as other guitars but what exactly defines if it is a squire or not?

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Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

its a guitar made under the fender licence, a lot of guitar manufacturers were ripping fender off in the mid 70's, making guitars that looked and played like fenders but for a lot less money, most were coming in from Japan and some will argue that those rip off guitars were better than the production US fenders, im thinking of Tokai, so Fender throw around a few law suit warnings, and then decide if you cant beat them join them, so the set up a factory in Japan sent over a lot of the original manufacuring equipment, including most of the old jigs, and called them JV (Japanese Vintage) range, problem was, most of the stuff they were turning out was better than the US made guitars and half the price, the Japs made astonishingly good instruments, very acurate to the original 50's and 60's strats that everybody wanted. So a couple of years later they rename the brand 'Squier' but that didnt make any difference to the quality of those guitars, even today most of the Jap guitars are very sought after, and if you have a JV strat it would be worth a lot more than you paid for it.
im no fender expert, but i think thats basicly how it goes, but i do own a fender strat... a Jap Squier of course.
Lee.

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

your take on how things went was wrong, hate to say..
so i will try to explain how it went down:
when CBS sold Fender I was working at a Fender dealership..
the new Fender guitars and basses that came out then were made in Japan.
Contrary to what so many seem to say or think, Japan never made any of the Squires.
The fender guitars made in japan were actually THE Fender guitars.

The Squire line, which was new then, was made in Korea, originally.
In more recent years they have been made in Mexico.
(I assume its even cheaper than Korea. its probably not so far to ship them to the USA, which would cut costs too.)
They did not make them of cheap "local" parts.
The switches and plugs are usually by Switchcraft, regardless. this is true for most guitar companies, i may as well add.
in fact, for most guitar companies, most bridges and other parts are made in Japan, Germany or USA. always have been.
All the guitar companies use mostly Schaller, Gotoh, or Grover made tuners.
Additionally, for those that are into such trivia,
some Fender guitars were made in Japan in the 1960's.
Some were made in japan afterwards also.
Some of the REGULAR Fenders they make today are made in korea or japan, from time to time.
My Accoustic Fender DG22s was actually made in Korea.
It was made very well, i was kind of surprised because its quality of workmanship was better than the Korean Squire telecasters I had seen them make about 15 yrs ago.

--dan

: its a guitar made under the fender licence, a lot of guitar manufacturers were ripping fender off in the mid 70's, making guitars that looked and played like fenders but for a lot less money, most were coming in from Japan and some will argue that those rip off guitars were better than the production US fenders, im thinking of Tokai, so Fender throw around a few law suit warnings, and then decide if you cant beat them join them, so the set up a factory in Japan sent over a lot of the original manufacuring equipment, including most of the old jigs, and called them JV (Japanese Vintage) range, problem was, most of the stuff they were turning out was better than the US made guitars and half the price, the Japs made astonishingly good instruments, very acurate to the original 50's and 60's strats that everybody wanted. So a couple of years later they rename the brand 'Squier' but that didnt make any difference to the quality of those guitars, even today most of the Jap guitars are very sought after, and if you have a JV strat it would be worth a lot more than you paid for it.
: im no fender expert, but i think thats basicly how it goes, but i do own a fender strat... a Jap Squier of course.
: Lee.

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

Your take is wrong, too. Here's the deak from the Fender Eupore website:

"In 1982, the first Fender® "Vintage Series" guitars were produced in Japan. In that same year, in an effort to compete effectively in the European budget guitar markets, Fender Japan began producing some less-expensive versions of the "Vintage series" guitars for export into those European markets. These instruments were identified by a small "Squier®" logo on the end of the headstock. Later that year this logo was replaced by a larger "Squier®" decal which took the place of the Fender® logo on the headstock. These were the first Squier® brand instruments. "

: your take on how things went was wrong, hate to say..
: so i will try to explain how it went down:
: when CBS sold Fender I was working at a Fender dealership..
: the new Fender guitars and basses that came out then were made in Japan.
: Contrary to what so many seem to say or think, Japan never made any of the Squires.
: The fender guitars made in japan were actually THE Fender guitars.

: The Squire line, which was new then, was made in Korea, originally.
: In more recent years they have been made in Mexico.
: (I assume its even cheaper than Korea. its probably not so far to ship them to the USA, which would cut costs too.)
: They did not make them of cheap "local" parts.
: The switches and plugs are usually by Switchcraft, regardless. this is true for most guitar companies, i may as well add.
: in fact, for most guitar companies, most bridges and other parts are made in Japan, Germany or USA. always have been.
: All the guitar companies use mostly Schaller, Gotoh, or Grover made tuners.
: Additionally, for those that are into such trivia,
: some Fender guitars were made in Japan in the 1960's.
: Some were made in japan afterwards also.
: Some of the REGULAR Fenders they make today are made in korea or japan, from time to time.
: My Accoustic Fender DG22s was actually made in Korea.
: It was made very well, i was kind of surprised because its quality of workmanship was better than the Korean Squire telecasters I had seen them make about 15 yrs ago.

:
: --dan

: : its a guitar made under the fender licence, a lot of guitar manufacturers were ripping fender off in the mid 70's, making guitars that looked and played like fenders but for a lot less money, most were coming in from Japan and some will argue that those rip off guitars were better than the production US fenders, im thinking of Tokai, so Fender throw around a few law suit warnings, and then decide if you cant beat them join them, so the set up a factory in Japan sent over a lot of the original manufacuring equipment, including most of the old jigs, and called them JV (Japanese Vintage) range, problem was, most of the stuff they were turning out was better than the US made guitars and half the price, the Japs made astonishingly good instruments, very acurate to the original 50's and 60's strats that everybody wanted. So a couple of years later they rename the brand 'Squier' but that didnt make any difference to the quality of those guitars, even today most of the Jap guitars are very sought after, and if you have a JV strat it would be worth a lot more than you paid for it.
: : im no fender expert, but i think thats basicly how it goes, but i do own a fender strat... a Jap Squier of course.
: : Lee.

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

err...deak=deal, Eupore=Europe...sorry.
(http://www.fendereurope.com/fenderfiles/SquierTheStoryBehindTheName.asp)

: Your take is wrong, too. Here's the deak from the Fender Eupore website:

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

Squier is a brand name that Fender uses on cheaper guitars, currently made in various Asian countries. Cheaper because labour costs are cheaper there and they use locally-made components which in addition to being cheaper are normally of inferior quality when compared with their higher-end guitars. Not bad value for a beginner, though.

Squiers have a further two-level system "standard" and "affinity". Standards are the better of the two.

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

my friend has played strats since 62' , he bought his first one in that year, he paid 2 monthe money for it, £40, it played like a dream the best guitar he ever owned, it was a 57' two tone sunburst strat, he owned it for 4 years, he went blind in 66' and had to sell it along with his Vox AC30 to support himself, he got back in to playing a couple of years later, and has been playing professionaly in bands since, he plays on average 3 times a week. He plays a great blues guitar, has a fantastic feel, and says of all the strats hes played over the years nothing compares to that 57'.
But, do you know what he plays now? and has been playing for the past 15 years? yep a Jap strat from around 82' , he owns lots of strats, but he says the feel of the Jap is very much like his old 57' and all the jap ones he has played are of far better quality than their US cousins (inc custom shop), so to say they are of 'inferior quality' is BS, you clearly do not have a clue what you are going on about.
Lee

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

but none of these seem to be answering the question what a Squire is.
Squire was started after CBS sold the Fender musical intruments company to the present group of owners. I think it was 1984 or 85 or so?
I bought me fender strat then.
anyway, the Squire line was designed to be cheaper line of guitars, similar in appearance and shape and size to the regular Fenders, but they cut some corners to make them more "affordable".(cheaper)

they cut corners to cut the price. what corners did they cut? first thing they did was made them in Korea instead of the USA. the newer Squires are made in Mexico, mostly.
they are cheaper because the labor is cheaper. I have noticed that some of these have slight differences in the way they are cut.. maybe a slight difference in the headstock holes placements, but this happens even on the CBS strats of the 70's.
in fact, the CBS strats of the 70s, towards the end, they knew they were not going to be CBS anymore, and so they got real cheasey on thei consistancy. one right next to another, they would feel diferent, have a slightly different cut to them, a slightly different wieght or neck feel. the grains of the wood for the necks became darker and one I saw, had a knothole in it's wood, that was filled! talk about cheesey.
at this time, I was looking for a strat, and i tried out alot of them. what bugged me the most was.. they never felt the same, never played the same. you could go into a music store and try out ten different strats with the same features, and they all felt totally different. the necks especially were very different.
sometimes the frets were done nicely, sometimes they weren't. not what you'd expect from a company like Fender, Huh?

then a group of people bought the Fender company. these were I think, Chic Corea, Eric Clapton, and a group of others.. some of them musicians, some of them probably businessmen or accountants. I dont recall who they all were, but i recall it was a bunch of musicians who wanted to basicly save the fender company from extinction.

the first thing they did was they made some nicer tremeloes, nicer pickups, even had some "noiseless" (EMG type) pickups on some, put Humbuckers on some models of strats. things like that.
The regular Fenders were made in Japan, which is where mine was made. these were very decent guitars, and built to very high standards, In My Opinion.
for once, you could pick out a dozen or so identical model strats off the rack in the music stores, and they all sounded the same, and felt the same.
the finishes were very consistant. the wood was very nicely grained and cut to the exact same shapes. the necks felt identical.
so if you liked one color over another, it didnt matter, because then you'd just pick up the color you liked, and it felt the same as the one you tried out and liked the feel of before.
with CBS, the only strat I liked that they had at this Fender dealer i went to, was a sort of dirty beige color, which i didnt like. it was the only one i liked the sound of or the feel of.
there were others that looked the same, in better colors, but they had awful feels to their necks. hard to explain here really.. but

the japanese strats were very nice, they must have put a very high standard on their production controls for them to be like that.
they have very nice necks, easy to play. they stay in tune really well too, no matter what ya put on them or how often you abuse the whammy bar. you'll seldom break a string with the, because the metal has no bas rough edges to cut the strings or wear them.
I never encountered such well-made japanese guitars.
at the time, the Squire line was created also, so that guitarsist who couldnt afford a regular strat could still have a decent guitar that looked the same and felt the same.
the squire line was originally made in Korea, due to cheaper labor.
they would use slightly cheaper quality pickups, or wood.. mostly they cut by using the cheaper labor. as far as that goes, even the new japanese strats were cheaper and better than the USA made ones that CBS had been making for a few years.
it was like CBS didnt give a damn about them or know what they were doing and then they skimped on their quality and overpriced them, then wondered why they were doing so bad in their profit margins, or whatever.

i can just think to myself, clapron and these others must have thought the same thing i did.. jeesh! took a great guitar company and great guitars and drivin them into the ground becuse it's like they don't know what made them so good in the first place and forgot to just keep doing it?

so then they got the company and since then they have been very assertive in the music field, making better things, at better prices. trying out good ideas.

the newer Squire line is made in mexico. here is what i've noticed about the Squires from Mexico.
they cut corners by using one-ply pickguards instead of multiple layered ones. this is just cosmetic.
the necks dont feel quite as consistant.. sometimes the frets have rough edges here and there. which is just labor laziness and thats all it amounts to. foolishness.

they've made the bodies of the guitars thinner, so that they use less wood to make each guitar. this affects the tone, and quality of the instrument alot, and i wish they didnt do that.
keep in mind, some of the Squires do not have the thinner body, so just pay attention to that if you buy one. get one with the normal strat body depth.

I noticed they have a new line out of squire strats that have nice maple laminate on their tops, with a curly maple sunburst finish on them. this is very nice looking, and adds to its appearance alot. probably increases the resell value of the instrument alot, since people alwasy appreciate nicer grains in the wood.
some of the Squires have nicer pickups and even gold parts and cosmeticly nice finishes. some have humbuckers on, and thats a nice idea, especially if it has split coil switches, or has two single coils with one humbucker.. this gives alot more variety in the sounds.
the single coils they use arent the greatest, but they work ok for a beginner.
the thing that is nice, is you could always buy better pickups later on, or add anything they put on the regular fenders, because the parts fit the same. (at least, theyre supposed to anyway.)
Fender is pretty good about dealing with repairs undr warrantee too, so thats a plus. youd have the same treatment with a Squire is my guess.
Look at some of the squires at their website, some of them have fancy inlay work, and nicer pickups, and gold parts and nicer wood and stuff too. so saying Squires arent good guitars is a mistake.
they probably dont have the same resell value as a regular Fender. but if you're looking for something thats nice to own and play and dont have alot of money, they're something worth considering.

that was long, but now you know what Squire is anyway.

--dan

: my friend has played strats since 62' , he bought his first one in that year, he paid 2 monthe money for it, £40, it played like a dream the best guitar he ever owned, it was a 57' two tone sunburst strat, he owned it for 4 years, he went blind in 66' and had to sell it along with his Vox AC30 to support himself, he got back in to playing a couple of years later, and has been playing professionaly in bands since, he plays on average 3 times a week. He plays a great blues guitar, has a fantastic feel, and says of all the strats hes played over the years nothing compares to that 57'.
: But, do you know what he plays now? and has been playing for the past 15 years? yep a Jap strat from around 82' , he owns lots of strats, but he says the feel of the Jap is very much like his old 57' and all the jap ones he has played are of far better quality than their US cousins (inc custom shop), so to say they are of 'inferior quality' is BS, you clearly do not have a clue what you are going on about.
: Lee

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

oh by the way, your friend's japanese stratocaster is not a Squire model, but the actual Fender Stratocaster or Strat model.
during those years, the squires were made in korea, and the Fenders were from Japan.
i agree, they were built very well then, too. some people whined about them because they werent made in USA, but they would whine they werent made as good, which was a total lie.
they were made probably better than the usa Fenders had been made, for at least ten years before that.

mine is one that had the three single coils, like a traditional stratocaster, but at the time, they had some that had Humbuckers on too. one had a single humbucker in the bridge position, and i think, no pickguard.. another had two humbuckers, also had one with 2 single coils for the mid and neck, and the humbucker in the bridge position.. some had TBX controls instead of just plain Tone controls. these were like a boost control.
the ones with the humbuckers were not "stratocaster", but called "strat"s.
mine is bright metal flake red.. not quite as dark as "candy apple" but close. with a white pickguard.

one way to tell if it was considered a "higher quality" stratocaster is the tone and volume knobs.. some had black rubber round the sides. those were "strats" and cost more. some have gold or silver or black writing in the grooves for the letters. the Gold inside would be a better one than one with the silver or the black. the new squires are just white plastic, some have black in the letters, but the ones ive seen for the last few years have always been just white (or black) plastic.

--dan

: my friend has played strats since 62' , he bought his first one in that year, he paid 2 monthe money for it, £40, it played like a dream the best guitar he ever owned, it was a 57' two tone sunburst strat, he owned it for 4 years, he went blind in 66' and had to sell it along with his Vox AC30 to support himself, he got back in to playing a couple of years later, and has been playing professionaly in bands since, he plays on average 3 times a week. He plays a great blues guitar, has a fantastic feel, and says of all the strats hes played over the years nothing compares to that 57'.
: But, do you know what he plays now? and has been playing for the past 15 years? yep a Jap strat from around 82' , he owns lots of strats, but he says the feel of the Jap is very much like his old 57' and all the jap ones he has played are of far better quality than their US cousins (inc custom shop), so to say they are of 'inferior quality' is BS, you clearly do not have a clue what you are going on about.
: Lee

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

I had a US Strat years ago. Still have my Gibson Les Paul and Harmony. But bought a Stagemaster Squire guitar a few years ago, for a practice axe...I thought! LOL!!! Turns out, it's my favorite guitar now!Great tones, two humbuckers, one single coil, and the best action of all my guitars! Was worth the cheaper price!

Re: What exactly is a squire guitar?

: I got my first squire early 80s, I loved it, all my other guitar mates sort of frowned upon it because it wasnt a "fender" "USA" but I never played another guitar like it, Ive owned an SG which I snapped the neck off, a les paul which I found abit cumbersum, flyling v which slides off ya knee and more or less any guitar you can think of. I got a bit concerned that as my JV strat was getting old that if I wore it out or it got battered on stage id never replace it so I bought another one, this was a squire made in japan (but not a JV one) I used this for all my recordings and live shows, I dropped a hotrail in for abit more grunt, it looks and sounds like a demon, its the second best guitar ive ever played, the best one is my original 1st JV strat, Ive yet to play a "proper" strat that comes close to it. About a year ago i went back to the shop where ide got my guitars from and saw another JV strat for sale @£500 mine cost around £200 so this was how I came to find out about the squire Jap Vintage strats. If youve got one keep it original ( or at least keep the bits safe ) and look after it
So after all I get the last laugh over my old mates Cuz JVs were proper strats but cheaper then but now getting abit hard to find.
so if ya wanna know what a squire is its a guitar which was cheaper to produce so normal people could afford them , and you dont feel guilty about battering them around (probaly)
: What exactly is a squire guitar? I know its cheaper and not as good as other guitars but what exactly defines if it is a squire or not?

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