New Squier Bullet review (long)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by sarge40, Feb 10, 2008.


  1. sarge40

    sarge40 Member

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    I just picked up a Bullet for $89 out the door. Not a bad deal at all. I got it home and played it a little, but didn't get a chance to disect it just yet or even set it up and intonate it. Its a COB07 serial number. Not quite sure what plant it comes from in China. Its specd as having a solid basswood body, maple neck and rosewood board. My initial observations, neck to body are as follows:

    The tuners have to go. They don't stay in tune after bending once or twice. Granted, I haven't changed the strings and wound them on the pegs like I would, but it seems that the tuners slip easily. I just cant attribute it to string stretching, its just too drastic of a detune.

    The headstock was sanded a bit too aggressively. The round top has edges that vary from point to point. For example, on the tuner side of the headstock, the edge is sharper than on the round part where someone almost sanded one point to a roundish edge. I'd be upset if this were a custom shop model, but it set me back 89 clams and I can live with it.

    The nut might need to be replaced. I think its dampening the high e string. May be able to refile it. We will see.

    The rosewood is okay. Looks dyed and has a knot on it, but is not too noticeable (might be filled?). Seems a bit "dry" to the feel, not to the eye. Pearloid dots instead of white dots.

    The frets are nice. No sprout whatsoever. Seem even. Can't really tell if there are any high frets yet as the action is still higher than I will adjust it to ultimately.

    The maple neck seems to be completely unfinished. If there is a finish, it is maybe one coat. It'll give me a chance to sand it to remove any finish, dye it amber, and lacquer it. Nice feel to the neck. Seems like a nice c shape, definitely not a deep u. The neck would be a nice keeper in itself for another partsocaster in the future if an alder/ash/whatever body is preferred. Looks like sanding off the logo wouldn't be a problem whatsoever as there is no poly on it.

    Haven't seen the truss yet, so I don't know if it is rounded/stripped like I've seen complaints about.

    The finish on the body is flawless. Nice black with no particles or dings or anything. The pickguard is an 8 screw 50's style one ply that looks cheap for some reason. Functional though.

    Can't comment on the electronics yet, as I haven't performed any surgery. Out of the box, no problems. Probably will change out the 5 way switch to a non-box style switch of higher quality. I can't imagine the pots are the nice big ones either so they might go too.

    The bridge saddles actually look decent. They look like nice chrome coated cast saddles and not what I expected to see (stamped). The bridge block through the string holes looks paper thin. Might go the route of changing the bridge out eventually, but I'm not sure whether a 6 hole vintage USA trems will work due to the spacing. I hear the MIM bridges will work. Maybe even the Japanese? I dunno, but it isn't gonna happen right away anyway, so I've got time to research.

    The sound is actually a surprise to me. I understand the pups are ceramic, and that probably explains why they don't have the anemic sound I was expecting. The pups have a non-vintage stagger that follows the bridge contour. I can actually get some decent hard sounds out of the bridge with some high gain. The 60 cycle hum isn't too bad. The cleans from the neck neck/mid mid positions are actually pretty good, better than what I had expected out of ceramics. Seems to be pretty good for a whole spectrum of tones. Overall, I am very impressed by the pickups and will most likely keep them in for some time.

    Overall, for $89, you can't go wrong with this sucker. I picked it up in a local shop, but all they had was black. I went ahead ordered a daphne blue online for $10 more. I might even buy more and give them out as stocking stuffers they are so cheap. Not a bad guitar to mod or noodle around with. Great starter/intermediate guitar IMHO. I have heard they are a limited time run, so I say, get em if you can!
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    When you can start getting these with the best imitation parts and some different neck sizes, the gap between the trad makers and the offshore facotry axe will shrink to very little. The price could go up by 20-30 bucks.
    These would take over the $3-500 market and threaten all above.

    Fender et al, couldn't do it (suicidal) but if there is an opportunity, somebody will be watching.
     
  3. AlligatorMtn

    AlligatorMtn Member

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    So if I want to make a Hendrix Monteray stray replica that the bullet would be a safe bet?
     
  4. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    I bought a Bullet Special in 2003 to make into a "basement beater" guitar. I replaced the tuners and bridge with Carvin parts, and drilled through the body and installed ferrules. Now it sustains like crazy, and sounds damn alright. Stays in tune just fine with the new tuners. I was going to replace the stock nut, but after a little bit of filing and some Nut Sauce I've had no trouble with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. sarge40

    sarge40 Member

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    Well, they say these are an improvement from the older hardtail bullets which were made with some sort of plywood, and I say that without any firsthand knowledge, just what I heard. These are solid basswood bodies and the sound mine produces is worlds better than what I anticipated. I think these would make great platforms for projects, and they come in some pretty cool colors too; brown sunburst, daphne blue, black, pink, arctic white, and red. Between the body alone (and maybe some of the other parts), I think its money well spent.
     
  6. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    Basswood now, huh? Mine is agathis.
     
  7. sarge40

    sarge40 Member

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    Yeah, I don't think it is the best tonewood out there, but it was used for years in MIJ strats and other Asian gits (Ibanez for example). Basswood is described as being darker than alder, and best suited for rock and metal. I don't know though, the cleans on this are very nice and not dark or muddy at all. I think they might still be using agathis in other bodies. Agathis seems to be a very popular cheap wood in the Pacific, and likened to a mahogony-ish tone, but lacking the sonic complexity of mahogony. I think the basswood is a step up from agathis, but probably not a big one.
     

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