So, you too good for a Squier? Not any longer… Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Butterscotch Blonde Telecaster.
Never say Never!
This Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster guitar has a great action, great neck feel, and great balance when standing (based on which individual instrument you score). I sold the Analogman King of Tone straight up for the tele. Deal of the century. (although I do miss my KoT a little bit…)
Classic Vibe – Built for Mods
The BIG thing to keep in mind as you read this, is that this guitar is a great back up guitar to you who favor a custom guitar. It can be a great travel guitar to you who have a gig and want to leave your other beloved T-style at home. Honestly, this can stand up as your main guitar, through thick and thin. Most people get thrown off by the headstock. Brand matters not. It’s the feel, the resonance, the tone. Plus you can mod the ever-loving life into it!
Classic Vibe Hardware (with Mods)
- Tuner/Machine Heads: Vintage style, yet I switched these to Gotoh SD91’s – Rocksolid!
- Neck: 21 frets, poly all over it (not a big deal to me), beautiful maple grain with a nice tint to it, plus it is as playable as any American Standard (caveat: not even setup yet!) The Nut even accommodates 10-46 gauge D’Addarios nicely! Truss rod is accessible, none of that under the neck adjustment stuff. The neck/body pocket was free from stickers and the like. Fit together like it should.
- Nut: Plastic, and worked just fine. I opted to have a friend change the nut to Bone. If you have the opportunity to have the nut changed, by all means do it. The original does feel like a dream, and sustains as long as I like.
- Body: Butterscotch Blonde! like the 52 reissue! Solid Pine, no arguing here. To be sure I don’t unscrew and rescrew into the same pickguard holes too many times. A layer of shielding paint is all over the cavities of the body – a very nice extra! No nonsense.
Classic Vibe Continued
- Electronics: The existing pots are good – but I opted to change all of the electronics. New switch, pots…Added an Electrosocket Jack, vintage 50s wiring with fabric/wax coated wire,
PIO .047 K40Y-9 capacitor from el Russia – these mods will all outlive me.Update: Now using RS Guitarworks Kits! Can’t say enough about these electronics kits…
- Pickups: Didn’t even bother playing the existing pickups (made in the same factory as Tonerider Pickups), sold them outright. Threw that money towards D.Allen Cheetahs immediately. A simple soldering job done by me and my boy. After adjusting the pickups (essential), it sings.
- Pickguard: it’s a piece of plastic with a thin amount of foil on it. No need to add foil, as you will find that the openness of the tone will begin to be choked if you foil the entire pickguard. I know this from experience with this guitar. I added some Copper Foil to it.
- Bridge: No upgrade needed. It’s a hardtail Tele with brass saddles. The point of contact of string to guitar are few. It sustains for days. The guitar is strummed on Monday, and is still ringing on Friday. The Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster is no slouch.
- Shielded the cavity with said Copper Foil – Here’s a step-by-step post about this.
- Total weight: 8 pounds even. On the heavier side of normal Tele weight.
Classic Vibe Sounds
Rich. Chimy, rich tone. Bridge touches a bit nasally twang, Middle holds a steady rock tone, and the Neck pickup setting is the sound that most Stratocaster players only dreamed their guitar could achieve. Truly – Butter. Honestly, there is no way that a person could look at this guitar and start to criticize it without actually picking it up and starting their own conversion process closer to the Squier side of things.
The Chinese plant where these are produced had figured out something out regarding quality and production. Potentially they have realized what Leo Fender did so long ago, that being that modular guitars can be produced with quality craftsmanship!
Currently my favorite guitar. I am not bothered one iota by the headstock saying ‘Squier’. I had a Squier stratocaster growing up, which was, for lack of a better word, bad. Call it maturity, or me avoiding that cork-sniffing part of myself, but I am happy. This is not a Custom Shop Guitar…but it feels like one! And from China, no less! China! There are few tones this guitar doesn’t cover. I though my Strat was the be all end all…Boy, was I wrong!
I welcome your comments below, especially from the corksniffers out there who have a problem with anyone playing a Squier guitar. There is a great argument to be made over the accessibility of instruments which are of greater quality than they have been known to have. The Affinity series will always be a ‘problem’ series to be as when I touch the necks of those guitars, its like nails on a chalkboard. Not so with the Classic Vibe Series of Telecasters.
[usrlist “Hardware:5” “Sounds:5” “Vibe:5” “Value:5″ avg=”true”]