Can a modded Squier be as good as a USA o CS Fender?

Flugel

Member
Messages
380
I have some expensive guitars and bought a Squier Tele a couple of months ago.Truth is that it plays quite well, the sound is ok but nothing to write home about.I'll probably change pickups and pots and see what happens.

Thoughts?
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,929
My main guitar is a Squier VM Tele with TV Jones and Fralin pickups and Callahan bridge. I have owned US Fenders and PRS and Gibson. My main axe is a
That's all I got.

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Coldacre

Senior Member
Messages
9,839
yes, it can be as good or even better.

my modded Squier "J Mascis" Jazzmaster plays head and shoulders above my friends vintage '66 Fender Jazzmaster. that guitar has poor fretwork, won't stay in tune. it's a great source of amusement to both of us that he could flip his Jazzmaster for 7 grand and I'd be lucky to get $400 for mine.
 

TheGuildedAge

Senior Member
Messages
13,059
Yes. My friend sold me one a few years back for $120. I don't remember the full details, but it was a year or period where they were made in a "good" factory in Asia.

Neckwise, the guitar was incredible. Swap out the pickups and you could never it wasn't my USA made one. I did tons of shows with it and never missed the USA strat if I left it home.
 
Messages
7,462
Define "as good."

The question is this: will a partscaster eventually equal a quality assembly line guitar?

Eventually, yes. A squire isn't a squire anymore once it has boutique pickups, a new bridge, neck, etc.
 

Ilduce

And now for something completely different!
Messages
4,593
Can, yes! Will is another story! If you start with a great body and neck you're half way there. Finding the right hardware and electronics to go with it is the second half.
 

MikeFM

Member
Messages
3,198
I have some expensive guitars and bought a Squier Tele a couple of months ago.Truth is that it plays quite well, the sound is ok but nothing to write home about.I'll probably change pickups and pots and see what happens.

Thoughts?

I'm in a similar boat with the Classic Vibe I own (pictured to the left). Keep us updated.
 

Chippertheripper

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,849
I have a squier cab that is nearly perfect. I say nearly because I'm convinced every guitar has its quirks...I've yet to find a single one with this piece. Maybe the fact that it's poly, but I don't care 'bout that.
 

Gonkboy

Member
Messages
1,165
Providing the wood is the same species, the hardware is the same quality, and someone works on the frets to bring them to a high standard, then yes a Squire can be as good as a US made Fender.
But the point many miss is that after spending all the money and time needed to make the necessary changes is it worth it?
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,075
I bought a 2005 Squier Standard Strat a few months ago. Since it was badly damaged by cat whizzing on it I call it my catpeecaster. The pickups, electronics, pickguard and bridge/trem had to be replaced. The reason I bought it aside from the ultra low price of $27.50 was that it had a good feel and vibe to it. If it had been dead sounding or felt rough I probably would have passed on it because it needed work. I have kind of used it as a pickup test platform. I originally put some cheap Chinese single coils in it, followed by a pair of Ibanez humbuckers, then GFS gold foils (HB sized single coils) and today I put in a pair of Artec P94 style pickups.

I also have a SX Hawk hardtail that I bought with the intention of modding it but I liked it so much "as is" that I've left it alone.

But the point many miss is that after spending all the money and time needed to make the necessary changes is it worth it?

I enjoy do this work so it's part of the fun for me. How many changes are actually necessary can vary as well. So guitars do require a lot of work but others are good to go. I don't think I'd buy cheap guitars if I wasn't willing and able to do any needed work myself though.
 

vortexxxx

Member
Messages
11,421
Disclosure - I have never owned a Squier. I think if you can find a Squier with an excellent fret job and primarily an excellent neck, you're 3/4 of the way there to a comparable US model. If I was to mod a Squier, most importantly, I would change the pickups.
Pots - there are better pots that might give you a bit more as the better ones are closer to whatever value they are supposed to be. The cheap ones will work but may fail sooner than the better ones. Keep in mind the much coveted CTS pots are now made in Asian countries.
Switches and jacks - replacing them will not make the guitar sound better although they may fail quicker than the better ones.
Tuners - people often think if a guitar constantly goes out of tune, it's the tuner's fault - it isn't. As long as the tuners are not rattling and turn smoothly, they should be fine.

I don't know if I've forgotten anything as I'm just thinking about this in my head.

One unpredictable factor is the wood. You can have a lively cheap guitar or you can have a dead sounding expensive guitar. I had a Fender USA B-Bender Nashville Tele. No matter what pickups I put in it, it just sounded dead. I sold it.

I enjoy modding guitars but I generally do it to the USA ones as there is still room for improvement.

Regarding getting a Squier to be as good as a custom shop guitar, I would say no. Part of what makes a custom shop guitar desirable is the feel of it - especially the feel of the neck.ctually you could make one almost as good as a Custom Shop guitar by putting a custom shop neck on your Squier ;)


By the way, Japanese guitars were mentioned above and the last guitar I bought was a purple sparkle Fender J Mascis Jazzmaster from the 2nd run that was made exclusively for the Japanese market. The fret job on it was as good as I have ever seen on any guitar (including custom shop guitars). The fret ends are carefully rounded and polished and none protrude through the wood.
 

RolandKorg

Member
Messages
6,253
Am I crazy? When I tried a few squiers for the first time, a few months ago—both a CV tele and a few strats—I thought they felt 'cheaper' somehow than the MIM and US fenders. Something felt 'not as luxe' but I don't know what was specifically. The wood or the paint? With the strats, maybe something about weight/density of the bodies?
 

TCMx3

Member
Messages
2,504
if the serial number starts with "SQ" and you replace all the electronics sure.
 

datguytim

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,208
I bought my CVC Tele for peanuts, my tech put in great PUs (Tom Shorts) and replaced the electronics, jack plate, and bridge - it's a great sounding Tele! Is it as good as my Custom Shop '51? Not quite as good, but it's a more 60's vibed guitar than a 50's style Tele. I still love the Squire - it's a great sounding guitar that I've gigged & recorded with and had no regrets.
 

Jakejj2000

Member
Messages
250
I have some expensive guitars and bought a Squier Tele a couple of months ago.Truth is that it plays quite well, the sound is ok but nothing to write home about.I'll probably change pickups and pots and see what happens.

Thoughts?
Absolutely. It just depends on the player and what you like.. if you replace all of the hardware then quality wise it will nearly be there!
 




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