Jump to content
Why become a member? Read more... ×
Basschat podcast: Episode 3 Read more... ×
Soledad

Good Squier, bad Squier?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Just trying to get an idea of what's what in the Squire output. According to Wiki: "Squier guitars have been manufactured in Japan, Korea, Mexico, India, Indonesia, China, and the United States."
I've seen serious players using a Squire bass as their worker, the day-in day-out bass. There must be some really good ones, and maybe some not so. 
If 10 was perfect, is Japan an 8, Indonesia a 6, China a 4... ?? (I have no idea, this was a random guess).

Only asking cos I've seen an Indonesian 5 around, prob 15 yrs old. But a guide to the genral order of goodness would be very useful to many I think (there may be one out there that I haven't found yet, if so a link please).

Edited by Soledad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should take it on a bass by bass basis and not worry about ranking the country of manufacture.

I have a J and a P chinese clasic vibes. The jazz is a marvellous bass to play with a lovely neck. The precision leaves me cold... and that mightn't be its fault.

Perhaps I just haven't gelled with it. it is a perfectly good bass but it just doesn't feel outstanding, and I have other precisions that I prefer.

I've felt similar about american fenders.

I should sell it really and give somebody else a chance to like it more than I do,

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Shambo on this.  I've got a MII and MIJ Mustangs.  I can't deny that the build quality on the MIJ edges the MII in terms of fit, feel and finish but the MII feels the better player to me.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Korean Squiers I thought were particularly good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

There were some early Squiers that were marketed as a premium guitar. I believe they were badged as Squire 'Silver Series' and were made in Japan.

I had a S S Precision circa 1989/90 and it was terrible. The neck pocket was way too big and the neck creaked when I tried to tighten it.

These were the precursers to the Classic Vibe models.

Edited by Hobbayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there was ever a US squier, and the Mexico were Fender, made with squier parts (squire series).

I've owned mij, mik, mii and mic squires. It's all down to quality control, some years were better than others, this is what you need to look out for. Early and mid 80s jap squires are rated by many as good as US fenders. I owned an 89 p mik and it was great, couldn't get on with its glossy neck though. I recently had a 2010s affinity p bass mic and it was amazing, fairly light and sounded really good fully stock. So much so, I had to take it apart to try and work out why it sounded as good as it did. I now play SS basses, otherwise it was a keeper.

Some CV and VM squires are excellent basses in terms of build and sound, some are not as good. Because quality control varies, even from the same batch, you need to try a bass (or any instrument for that matter) and some will feel right to you, others won't. There isn't one size fits all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My experience (and I've got two a VM SS Jaguar and a Tele as well as a Fender MIJ bass) and some comparing side by side of 'identical' models is that Squiers generally don't scrimp on build quality but the retro ones are often less accurate  in detail (e.g. six part bridge on the tele, different switch knob) and cut corners on pickups (e.g. the tele's bridge pickup was weedier than my garden  - now a stacked Dimarzio Humbucker 😈 and I fitted better tuners) and things like not routing the strings through the body, possibly affecting sustain.

I'm pretty happy with the jaguar as is, although I plan to try a ceramic to neodyminium magnet upgrade on the bridge pickup - it's reversible and only costs time and a about £2.50.

You're also more likely to get things like a bit of extra wood spliced on to make up the width of the head or less well-figured grain on a Squier.

'Try before you buy' and be prepared to consider upgrading pickups and other hardware down the line.

 

Edited by Stub Mandrel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shambo said:

I think you should take it on a bass by bass basis and not worry about ranking the country of manufacture.....

I think Shambo is spot on here,
Even among the best Squiers, there are variations. 

Re your original point - don't forget that a Squier made in China can also be made in 3 different factories (I think it's 3... might even be 4)
The Squier Classic Vibes and Matt Freeman sigs are made in a different factory to the Affinity range, and those CV's are absolutely superb
Also, The newer China made Affinity range are also a tad better (more consistent?) than the older Affinity range

I've got two Japan Squiers (A JV and an A series), and there aren't many US Fenders that are better... but of course, that's my opinion

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed there seems to me to be little consistency - a few trends perhaps.  From the basses I have owned I believe there were certain 'purple patches' that various production lines went through.  Japanese JV and SQ were generally held to be very good - the ones passed through my hands certainly were.  I had a JV Fender logo Precisin that was superb.  A slightly later JV with a Squier logo that I actually preferred.  I have had a couple of A serial no. MIJ ones and they were also very good - one (a 32" scale Precision) was probably the best Precision I have ever held/owned/played and I should never have parted with it.  I had a later E serial number MIJ Jazz that wasn't very nice - really heavy and apparently made of MDF, but a couple of E series 32" scale Ps that were fab. Then a few years along the history line and I had a Silver Series P bass and, unlike Hobbayne, mine was brilliant.  I had a Chinese 'Vista Series' Musicman and that was fantastic.  Indonesian VM Mustang and that was also great - both superior, IMO, to the '78 fender Musicmaster I had.  

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a 96' MIK: really good bass. Perfect neck, one of the best i ever played, and a nice jazz sound with stock pickups.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had both a Vintage Modified Precision & Jazz, which were both made in Indonesia.

They were both great basses to play and both were lovely sounding.  The necks were particularly nice.

I still have the Jazz neck, which I put onto a Precision body!

I have since got an American Standard Precision which blows both of them out of the water.

The sustain goes on forever and the bass feels so much sturdier than the Squiers.

That is not to say that the Squiers are bad basses, they are after all still budget range and for the price I think they are fantastic.

If they fulfill your needs, then that's all you need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Paul S said:

Indeed there seems to me to be little consistency - a few trends perhaps.  From the basses I have owned I believe there were certain 'purple patches' that various production lines went through.  Japanese JV and SQ were generally held to be very good - the ones passed through my hands certainly were.  I had a JV Fender logo Precisin that was superb.  A slightly later JV with a Squier logo that I actually preferred.  I have had a couple of A serial no. MIJ ones and they were also very good - one (a 32" scale Precision) was probably the best Precision I have ever held/owned/played and I should never have parted with it.  I had a later E serial number MIJ Jazz that wasn't very nice - really heavy and apparently made of MDF, but a couple of E series 32" scale Ps that were fab. Then a few years along the history line and I had a Silver Series P bass and, unlike Hobbayne, mine was brilliant.  I had a Chinese 'Vista Series' Musicman and that was fantastic.  Indonesian VM Mustang and that was also great - both superior, IMO, to the '78 fender Musicmaster I had.  

 

"I had a Chinese 'Vista Series' Musicman and that was fantastic"

my musicmaster?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, gareth said:

"I had a Chinese 'Vista Series' Musicman and that was fantastic"

my musicmaster?

Yes.  I stupidly sold it, wish I hadn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Paul S said:

Yes.  I stupidly sold it, wish I hadn't.

I still have this one that I may be putting up for sale on here

image.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to remember how many I've had - can't remember a single bad one, tbh.

I've had 3x 80s MIJs - SQ and A-serial Precisions and an E-serial Strat, which I still have.

2x MIK - a Strat, I couldn't trace the s/n from, a bit lower-end as it had a ply body, but still a fine player. Then an E-serial Young-Chang built Bullet, which was proper lovely & regret selling. In relation to that it's worth mentioning I have a Fenix (Young-Chang) Strat, which apart from electronics & hardware, is the same thing as the Squiers from the same era. IMO it's a nicer player than the E-serial MIJ.

And finally I did have an Indonesian VM fretless Jazz - another pretty much flawless stunner which I only sold because I got a different fretless & couldn't justify both.

So - has anyone actually had a crap Squier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've known people who've owned some of the earlier China made Affinity's (including my son) where the guitars / basses themselves weren't bad,
but where tuners were a bit "rough", pickups not great, and just general stuff like wiring being single stranded / core wire, which breaks as soon as you take the scratchplate off, and under the least movement
A couple of lads who regularly experienced interference from Taxi radios etc. But of course, if you get one of these 2nd hand, and you like the body and neck and playability etc - you can replace electrics & tuners

I have seen some of the earlier China Affnity's going quite cheap on Facebook groups / Gumtree etc - so you pays your money, you takes your choice

Just wanted to reiterate my earlier point about the Classic Vibe range though - there are times when I wish I'd kept my Fiesta Red CV Precision :(
And every now & then, I still lust after the CV 70's P bass, with maple board & black clocks.....mmmm


The CV Precisions are absolutely superb (I did play a CV Jazz and it was nice, but not quite as nice IMO). In fact I had a nice US Precision at the same time as my CV
And there really wasn't much in it, quality-wise. The US tuners were a bit nicer (the CV ones were fine though) the US P was a bit lighter (but the CV wasn't too heavy)
In terms of the sound, they were pretty close - but the CV might have slightly had the edge, in terms of definition of low end....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a Korean Strat from the late 80s that I use for songwriting. It's been well loved/abused. Lovely neck and a nice player. Our guitarist had a '51' that he gigged for a bit. It was miles better than a £130 guitar had a right to be. I tried a nearly new CV Precision recently  and it was OK. Nothing really good or bad about it. Perfectly gig worthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Squier-by-another name that occurs to me is the original Indian made Sunn Mustang range. As I understand it these were Sunn in the UK/Europe & Squier II in the rest of the world. I've had 3 of these & they're a perfect example of great necks & quality bodies let down by slightly sub-standard hardware & electronics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had an awful japanese squier and have a good chinese one. Classic vibes are great.

There weren't any US squiers since fender have owned them, the whole point of that label is to make a cheap version to head off copies of the american ones by producing.. err.. copies of american ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

Another Squier-by-another name that occurs to me is the original Indian made Sunn Mustang range. As I understand it these were Sunn in the UK/Europe & Squier II in the rest of the world. I've had 3 of these & they're a perfect example of great necks & quality bodies let down by slightly sub-standard hardware & electronics.

The same Indian factory (s) also made the early Encore basses (90s), these can be picked up dirt cheap, I currently have one, great neck and ash body, mine is still stock, but could upgrade electrics and add a tonerider pup, Wilkinson hardware and it would easily rival the CV range for a third of the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Perhaps change the thread name to 'Good Squier - OK Squier'

No, I have actually played some awful ones!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Perhaps change the thread name to 'Good Squier - OK Squier'

Reminds me of the truly awful budget basses around when I started playing (I mean frightful bad), and I'd have given a leg for absolutely any Squier - took me a long time to raise the cash for my first Precision. So we should judge in context - I think they are all shockingly good for the price, esp second-hand. I just wondered if some factory sources were consistently better. Seems not really, try before you buy is the message I'm getting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×