You are currently viewing 5 Best Squier Guitars for 2024 – Not Just Cheap Fender Copies…
Table of contents
Table of contents

Last Updated on March 9, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

You want a Fender-level guitar without spending Fender-level money? I get that. This, my friend, is the right place for you. Thank you for coming, we do this for you. Soon you will have just the right Squier in your hands…

Check #3 behemoth-importance-level things you must know before choosing your Squier:

Displays Tyler Connaghan - guitar player and writer

Author: Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster.

Expertise: music industry, producing, acoustic & electric guitars, songwriting

Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies, Music Industry

displays Edward Bond and Gibson Guitar

Editor: Edward Bond

Edward has been playing the guitar since 2002. So Edward has over 20 years of experience as a guitarist, has authored 15 guitar books, has written for renowned music blogs, and spent a decade teaching music. He began merging his passion for writing and music in 2020 and has written for big guitar websites such as Guitar Head Publishing and KillerGuitarRigs.com.

Originally from Seattle, Edward moved to Norway in 2021 for a master’s in music. He’s studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and currently resides in Trondheim. His education includes a European Jazz Master’s, a diploma in Film and Game Scoring from Sofia, and a Bachelor’s in Jazz from University of Oregon.

Edward has played in numerous bands and currently, Edward works on his own project Starship Infinity


best overall squier guitar

Best Overall – Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster

Reviewer: Tyler Connaghan

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Versatility

Summary

Pros:
The guitar captures the essence of old-school Fender Strats beautifully.
I love the fact that Fender took it back to its roots with the pine body, which -has a huge impact on the overall feel & weight.
-Smooth neck and great action right out of the box.
-You get the standard three single-coil pickup design, making it one of the more tonally versatile guitars on this list

Cons:
-The limited range of finishes can be a bummer for those who want something more modern looking

Who is this guitar for?
The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is for players who often find themselves drawn to iconic guitars of the past or who want something tonally versatile on a budget.

4.5

How Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster sounds:

Check Today’s Price on

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂


The Next Best:

If you learn this, you can win at everything you do.

Best for Beginners – Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Pack

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros 

  • The big selling point is that this pack includes everything you need to get started, including an electric guitar amp, cables, a strap, and picks
  • The HSS pickup design offers a relatively wide range of tones compared to your traditional single-coil setup.
  • For everything you get in this pack, it’s incredibly affordable.

Cons

  • The included guitar amp is not very suitable outside of practicing, and you’ll probably find yourself wanting to look at other guitar amps pretty soon.
  • When you get a cheap instrument bundle, you can’t expect the highest quality.

Who is this guitar for?

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS pack is the best Fender electric guitar pack for new players who want to get everything they need to start playing at once

 

Best for Metal – Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • With high-output humbuckers and a locking trem system, it’s one of the best electric guitars in the lineup for metal.
  • The SQR Atomic humbuckers are surprisingly clear, even when paired with high-gain amps.
  • With the onboard coil-splitting feature, you get more tonal possibilities than you would with a traditional Strat.

Cons

  • The inherent design leads toward heavy playing, so anyone who wants pristine cleans might not find what they’re looking for.

Who is this guitar for?

This guitar is a killer choice for metalheads and modern rock musicians who want top-notch playability and high-output tones.

Best Semi-Hollowbody – Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros 

  • Best thing you can get akin to the now-discontinued Classic Vibe strat.
  • Perfect for practice when you don’t have an amp.
  • The wide-range humbuckers provide a surprising amount of versatility, whether fingerpicking or rhythm playing.

Cons

  • Not the most colorful lineup of finish options.

Who is this guitar for?

The Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is a great semi-hollow-body guitar for guitarists that appreciate vintage design and want a good rhythm guitar to add to their arsenal.

Best for Lead Playing – Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline

Check Today’s Price on


Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros 

  • This Squier captures the essence of vintage appeal like no other Squier in the lineup.
  • The F-hole adds to the tonal character by giving the guitar that slight touch of “air.”
  • It’s one of the lightest guitars in the lineup too.
  • The thinline is super lightweight and has great action out of the box.

Cons

  • With single-coil pickups and a semi-hollow design, it’s not the best for heavier tones.

Who is this guitar for?

The Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline is the perfect Squier for blues and rock players who appreciate the vintage charm and tonal characteristic of the iconic vintage Thinline teles.

Compare the Key Specs

ModelPrice Range ($-$$$$)Body StyleNeckFretboardBodywoodsNut WidthNut MaterialBridgeScale-LengthPickupsControlsOur Rating
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster$$Solidbody ’50s StratocasterBolt-on maple21 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.Nato1.69″ (43mm)BoneVintage-style Synchronized Tremolo25.5″3 Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil1 x master volume
2 x tone
5-way blade pickup switch
4.5
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Pack$$Solidbody Affinity StratocasterBolt-on maple21 Medium Jumbo. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.Poplar1.650″Synthetic Bone2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Individual Block Saddles25.5″2 Ceramic Single-coil
1 Ceramic Humbucker
1 x master volume
2 x tone
5-way blade pickup switch
4
Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR$$Solidbody Contemporary StratocasterBolt-on roasted maple22 Jumbo. Roasted maple fingerboard. 12″ radius.Poplar1.6875″Floyd Rose LockingFloyd Rose Double Locking Tremolo25.5″2 Squier SQR Atomic Humbucker1 x master volume
1 x master tone
5-way blade pickup switch
4.2
Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster$$Starcaster Semi-HollowbodyBolt-on maple22 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.Laminated Maple with Alder center block1.650″Adjusto-matic with Anchored TailpieceVintage Style25.5″2 Fender Wide Range Humbucker2 x volume
2 x tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
4.4
Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline$$’60s Telecaster Thinline Semi-hollowbody, ChamberedBolt-on maple21 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.Nato1.650″3-saddle Strings-thru-bodyVintage Style25.5″2 Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way blade pickup switch
4.2

In the vast, seemingly never-ending world of electric guitars, Squier has steadily carved a path from an underdog brand for newbies to a budget-friendly powerhouse for players of all kinds.

Thanks to their deep ties with Fender, Squier electric guitars have evolved over the years in terms of quality, and even many seasoned musicians will be quick to tell you that they’re legitimate instruments. Of course, from the iconic Stratocaster to the classic Telecaster, Squier’s has so many models in its catalog that trying to pick the right one can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting your feet wet.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place, as we know a thing or two about Squier axes. Come with us as we explore the five top-notch Squiers that resonate with both aspiring musicians and pros.

Our Reviews of The Top 5

Keep These 3 Key Things In Mind When Choosing:

The tonal characteristics of the guitar, which can be impacted by the body shape, wood, hardware, pickups, etc. Consider the style of music you want to play when choosing.

This refers to how comfortable and natural the guitar feels when playing. Think about the neck profile, action, weight, and overall ergonomics.

Lastly, consider the build quality, which is the craftsmanship, construction method, and attention to detail. A more well-built guitar will likely sound better and stand the test of time.

How Did We Choose These Guitars?

There are so many excellent Squiers on the market these days that it was no easy task picking the best five.

However, there were a few criteria I made sure to criticize when sifting through the vast landscape of Squier models, including:

  • Versatility: I first looked at how tonally versatile each guitar was. I much prefer instruments that can adapt to a wide range of playing styles.
  • Quality: As I said before, the craftsmanship of Squiers has evolved over the past decade, and quality has now become a key factor in the buying process. I tried to look closely at the materials used and the overall construction quality of each guitar. 
  • Playability: You want a guitar that feels good in your hands and that gets you excited to play. This is where playability comes in! I looked at the fretwork, action, neck profile, and general feel of each guitar to determine which ones offered the most comfortable playing experience.
My Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline that I highly recommend for lead playing.

Most electric guitars we recommend are run through tests like these:

  • We check electronics (Basic measurements with multimeter, resistance, etc.)
  • We inspect the guitar carefully to get a good idea of the finish and built quality of the guitar.
  • We inspect the fretwork and edges of the fretboard to make sure there are no sharp edges.
  • We run the guitar usually through BOSS Katana 50 MK2 and test clean, crunch, and distorted tones with lead and rhythm playing.
  • We use different playing styles to get a good feel for the playability. We use fingerpicking, sweep picking, riffs from different genres, shredding, tapping, chord playing, etc.
  • We test all the possible pickup combinations and use different Volume and Tone settings from the guitar.
  • We measure and weight the guitar.
  • We test the guitar with drop tunings.

Learn more about GND’s testing and reviewing processes here.


Best Overall – Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster

Specs

Body Style’50s Stratocaster
Body WoodNato
NeckBolt-on maple
Neck ShapeC
Fretboard21 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.
NutBone
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Pickups3 Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil
Controls1 x master volume
2 x tone
5-way blade pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
BridgeVintage-style Synchronized Tremolo
TunersVintage Style

Within the Squier lineup, you can find a pretty remarkable array of Stratocasters in different price ranges. Yet, among them, one model stands out with a special allure — the Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat. I’ll have to admit, as a long-time Strat fan, I might be a bit biased, but this thing sounds great. To me, it’s the best Squier electric guitar in the lineup. 

This guitar pays somewhat of a contemporary homage to the iconic Fender Stratocaster that laid the foundation, making it an unrivaled choice that captures the essence of where the legend began.

Every time I pick up one of Squier’s Classic Vibe series of guitars, I’m consistently blown away by how far they’ve come from the first Squier I ever owned.

You get exceptional construction, a sleek aesthetic, and an overall tactile experience that’s nothing short of smooth and comfortable. 

One of the distinct aspects of this guitar lies in its pine body, which is very reminiscent of Fender’s origins. It gives the guitar a unique character all its own. Combine the pine body with the narrow-tall frets and the dual-color burst finish, and you can see that the design team collectively infused the CV ’50s Strat with an irresistible vintage charm and a timeless sense of style.

In terms of playability, I’ve always found Strats to be really comfortable. The C-shaped neck profile feels great in the hands and the guitar is super lightweight overall, perfect for playing live. 

The pickups contribute to the overall tone more than anything else, providing the bright, crispy top-end and wooly mids and lows that you’d expect from a Fender guitar. The level of warmth you can get out of this guitar was probably the most surprising thing. 

With its trio of single-coil pickups and five selectable tone positions, this Strat hits the mark dead on in terms of versatility. Whether you’re a budding novice or a dedicated intermediate player, the Classic Vibe Strat can fulfill every role you need it for. Plus, if you play live, it’s bound to turn some heads!

Read our full Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster Review.

How this guitar sounds:

Summary

ProsCons
Vintage Look: The guitar captures the essence of old-school Fender Strats beautifully.Limited Color Range: The limited range of finishes can be a bummer for those who want something more modern looking
Pine Body: I love the fact that Fender took it back to its roots with the pine body, which has a huge impact on the tone.
Unmatched Playability: Smooth neck and great action right out of the box.
Versatility: You get the standard three single-coil pickup design, making it one of the more tonally versatile guitars on this list
What others are saying:

“I originally bought this as a starting point, inexpensive body with the look I wanted and then strip everything out and replace. Plugged it in the day it arrived and I have not changed a thing. It goes from crystal clear to light blues to SRV to Iron Maiden with a few knob tweaks. Sounds a thousand times better than expected.” – Todd, Sweetwater

Who Is This Guitar For?

The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is for players who often find themselves drawn to iconic guitars of the past or who want something tonally versatile on a budget.
0
Do you agree? Drop a line!x

Who Is This Guitar NOT For?

I wouldn’t recommend the Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat to anyone who want a sleeker and more modern guitar design.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best for Beginners – Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Pack

Specs

Body StyleSolidybody Affinity Stratocaster
Body WoodPoplar
NeckBolt-on maple
Neck ShapeC
Fretboard21, Medium Jumbo. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.
NutSynthetic Bone
Nut Width1.650″
Pickups2 Ceramic Single-coil
1 Ceramic Humbucker
Controls1 x master volume
2 x tone
5-way blade pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
Bridge2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Individual Block Saddles
TunersSealed Die-cast

If you’re a complete beginner, I recommend getting a Squier electric guitar pack so you have everything you need to get going. This particular one comes with a Fender Frontman 15G guitar amplifier, a soft gig bag, a few picks, a guitar strap, a cable, and a three-month Fender Play subscription for personalized lessons.

I’ll be the first to say that I’m a HUGE fan of the Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster. Not only is it one of the most visually appealing “budget-friendly” guitars I’ve ever seen, whether you go for the minimalistic Lake Placid Blue model or the Charcoal Frost Metallic, but it also feels incredible in the hands.

Check these articles too:

This particular model comes with a poplar body and a bolted maple neck, which is pretty standard for Squiers. The C-shape profile offers incredible playability, which is great for those who are getting their first set of calluses.

The first time I played this model, I was pleasantly surprised by the modern vintage-style synchronized tremolo system and the fact that it was constructed with new-age American-style block saddles, which feel sturdy.

Moving away from your standard Stratocaster design, the Squier Affinity Stratocaster also implements a humbucker rather than a single coil bridge pickup, though it maintains the traditional single coil layout in the middle and neck pickups.

So how does this guitar that’s great for beginners perform?

Well, one of the main reasons I recommend it for beginners is that its light poplar body and out-of-the-box action make it super comfortable to play. As we all know, fatigue can be the biggest enemy when starting out. 

In terms of sound, you get all-ceramic pickups, so expect scorching tones, especially if you enjoy playing with lots of overdrive. While it may not be the best-sounding Squier, the Affinity HSS, especially with this pack, is the top guitar for the money. 

How this guitar sounds:

Summary

ProsCons
All-In-One Package – Of course, the big selling point is that this pack includes everything you need to get started, including an electric guitar amp, cables, a strap, and picksAmp – The included guitar amp is not very suitable outside of practicing, and you’ll probably find yourself wanting to look at other guitar amps pretty soon.
Versatility – The HSS pickup design offers a relatively wide range of tones compared to your traditional single-coil setup.Quality – When you get a cheap instrument bundle, you can’t expect the highest quality.
Affordable – For everything you get in this pack, it’s incredibly affordable.
What others are saying:

“Amazing Guitar Set especially for someone like me, who barely knew what to buy, I’m very new to Guitar and was tryina see what to buy as it is my first time, and this came up while I was searching, it has a fair price for the quality of the goods contained within the set, amazing. 5/5” Calvin, Sweetwater

Who Is This Guitar For?

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS pack is the best Fender electric guitar pack for new players who want to get everything they need to start playing at once

Who Is This Guitar NOT For?

I wouldn’t recommend this pack to someone who already has an amp or other accessories. 

Check Today’s Price on:


Best for Metal – Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR

Get shredding with the Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR - Gunmetal Metallic

Specs

Body StyleComtemporary Stratocaster
Body WoodPoplar
NeckBolt-on roasted maple
Neck ShapeC
Fretboard22, Jumbo. Roasted maple fingerboard. 12″ radius.
NutFloyd Rose Locking
Nut Width1.6875″
Pickups2 Squier SQR Atomic Humbucker
Controls1 x master volume
1 x master tone
5-way blade pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
BridgeFloyd Rose Double Locking Tremolo
TunersDie-cast Sealed

When you think of metal guitars, you probably think of guitars from Ibanez or Schecter. Most Stratocaster and Telecaster models have established themselves in pop, rock, country, and indie genres, as low-output single coils and high-gain amps/pedals aren’t typically a great fit. 

However, with the advent of Squier’s contemporary series, the developers have addressed the needs of burgeoning metalheads everywhere. 

Introducing the Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR. While it might look like a souped-up Strat, it boasts a range of unique features that make it perfect for heavy-handed playing. For starters, you get a pair of Squier SQR Atomic humbuckers, which have been specifically tailored for high-output, solo-friendly performance. Next, you get a 12” fingerboard radius and a Floyd Rose locking tremolo, which collectively propel the Contemporary Strat into the realm of quintessential metal guitars.

The coil-split capability is the cherry on top, making the guitar all the more versatile. It truly exceeds its expectations and, as someone who loves metal, I was surprised to see the limits it can be pushed to.

You’ll find a satin finish and a contoured heel on the neck, which, in tandem, provide an almost flawless level of playability. As an entry-level option for metalheads, you get all the essential elements for a heavily-distorted deep dive. 

Even with all of that said, though it’s designed with more aggressive music styles in mind, its versatility makes it a good choice for numerous genres. While a hardtail version could be a welcomed addition, its absence is far from a deal-breaker.

How this guitar sounds:

Summary

ProsCons
Perfect for Metal – With high-output humbuckers and a locking trem system, it’s one of the best electric guitars in the lineup for metal.Limited Clean Tones – The inherent design leads toward heavy playing, so anyone who wants pristine cleans might not find what they’re looking for.
Solid Pickups –  The SQR Atomic humbuckers are surprisingly clear, even when paired with high-gain amps.
Versatility – With the onboard coil-splitting feature, you get more tonal possibilities than you would with a traditional Strat.
What others are saying:

“This guitar far exceeded my expectations. The build quality is top notch- the neck and the Floyd Rose is responsive and feels expertly engineered. The 2 humbuckers produced a very nice growl, plenty of mid-range and no squeal at all. If you were handed this thing blindfolded, you would think you were playing a $1,500 shred machine. It really is that good.”Mike K, Sweetwater

Who Is This Guitar For?

This guitar is a killer choice for metalheads and modern rock musicians who want top-notch playability and high-output tones.

Who Is This Guitar NOT For?

This guitar is not for players who like the classic single-coil sound of traditional Stratocasters.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best Semi-Hollowbody – Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster

Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitar - 3-tone Sunburst

Specs

Body StyleStarcaster Semi-Hollowbody
Body WoodLaminated Maple with Alder center block
NeckBolt-on maple
Neck ShapeC
Fretboard22 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.
NutBone
Nut Width1.650″
Pickups2 Fender Wide Range Humbucker
Controls2 x volume
2 x tone
3-way toggle pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
BridgeAdjusto-matic with Anchored Tailpiece
TunersVintage Style

When the Fender Starcaster reissue was discontinued, this guitar became the prime contender for those seeking an alternative. Anyone who digs the cult classic semi-hollow design will love this thing.

The Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster draws inspiration from the 70s semi-hollow-bodied Fender guitar that rose to prominence decades ago. While its design pays homage to the vintage Fender original, you’ll find plenty of modern performance enhancements.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s the ultimate choice for rhythm guitarists in the Squier lineup, as the harmonically rich, resonant tone is meticulously suited for chord progressions. If you’re in need of a studio guitar that you can use to create a robust sonic foundation for your tracks, this one is it!

The low-frequency prominence might be the most distinct attribute, which has a lot to do with the maple body. The ability to pull a rock ‘n’ roll riff out of such a resonant guitar with absolute clarity and precision is pretty astounding.

Even with the semi-hollow-body design, the wide-range humbuckers play nicely with overdrive pedals and high-gain amps.

The design team also included vintage-style tuners for unwavering tuning precision, and the maple neck feels solid in the hands. With the combination of the Adjusto-matic bridge and the anchored tailpiece, you get great intonation right out of the box.

If that wasn’t enough, the sustain you get from this thing feels like you’re playing a Gibson guitar. This is all thanks to the integration of an alder block running through the core of the body. If you’ve been looking for a high-end semi-hollowbody to add to your arsenal, look no further.

How this guitar sounds:

Summary

ProsCons
Beautiful Vintage Design – Best thing you can get akin to the now-discontinued Fender StarcasterLimited Finish Options – Not the most colorful lineup of finish options
Loud When Unplugged – Perfect for practice when you don’t have an amp.
Versatility – The wide-range humbuckers provide a surprising amount of versatility, whether fingerpicking or rhythm playing.
What others are saying:

“I just bought the best guitar in the world. You could pay a million bucks for another guitar but I assure you it will not be “better”. This guitar is flawless. I will not change a thing. No upgrade needed. I play it through a Fender Frontman 25r and the combo is absolutely magnificent.” Charles, Sweetwater

Who Is This Guitar For?

The Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is a great semi-hollow-body guitar for guitarists that appreciate vintage design and want a good rhythm guitar to add to their arsenal.

Who Is This Guitar NOT For?

I wouldn’t recommend this guitar to heavy metal players or those who want a sleek, modern solid-body axe.

Check Today’s Price on:


Best for Lead Playing – Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline

My Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline.

Specs

Body Style’60s Telecaster Thinline Semi-hollowbody, Chambered
Body WoodNato
NeckBolt-on maple
Neck ShapeC
Fretboard21 narrow tall frets. Maple fingerboard. 9.5″ radius.
NutBone
Nut Width1.650″
Pickups2 Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil
Controls1 x master volume
1 x master tone
3-way blade pickup switch
Scale-Length25.5″
Bridge3-saddle Strings-thru-body
TunersVintage Style

With its iconic design, the Thinline Telecaster is a dream come true for rock n’ roll aficionados. 

The Classic Vibe ‘60s Thinline draws inspiration from the Fender model that played a monumental role in shaping the musical landscape of the 1960s. However, not only does this vintage-looking guitar boast good looks but it also delivers an exceptional sonic experience.

Starting with the Telecaster’s warm and twangy tonal character, which truly shines when channeled through my Fender Twin, you get a sound that’s perfect for old-school country chicken-pickin’.

If it’s a bit too clean for you, you can give it a touch of overdrive or distortion with a pedal to get that classic lead sound out of it.

A solitary F-hole graces the surface of the nato body, enhancing the already bright, resonant qualities it would have without it. Pair that with the maple fingerboard and neck, and you can really hear the difference when you play in the upper octave reaches, making it an excellent choice for when you need a lead guitar that can poke through a wall of rhythm guitars with ease.

It’s a bit different than your standard vintage Tele in that you get an extended 2” fingerboard radius. If you’re a big fan of blues and find yourself incorporating heavy bends in your soloing, this small modification makes a huge difference in terms of offers enhanced accuracy.

How this guitar sounds:

Tyler demoing this guitar.

Summary

ProsCons
Vintage Look – This Squier captures the essence of vintage appeal like no other Squier in the lineup.Limited Tonal Capabilities – With single-coil pickups and a semi-hollow design, it’s not the best for heavier tones.
Semi-Hollow Resonance – The F-hole adds to the tonal character by giving the guitar that slight touch of “air.”
Lightweight Design – It’s one of the lightest guitars in the Squier lineup too.
Playability – The thinline is super lightweight and has great action out of the box
What others are saying:

“This Squire Thinline is an incredible guitar for the money. The pickups are great stock. The Tuners are vintage style and hold tune well. The neck has rolled fingerboard edges and the fretwork is impeccable!” Arnold, Sweetwater

Who Is This Guitar For?

The Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Telecaster Thinline is the perfect Squier electric guitar for blues and rock players who appreciate the vintage charm and tonal characteristic of the iconic vintage Thinline teles.

Who Is This Guitar NOT For?

It’s not the best guitar for modern players or high-gain heavy metal and rock guitarists.

Check Today’s Price on:


Runner-Ups That Just Missed The Top 5

A Brief History of Squier Guitars

In 1982, Fender decided it was time to start producing more accessible, lower-cost models of their popular Strats and Teles. All of the earliest models in the Squier lineup were produced in Japan, though by the mid-80s, they began moving things to other countries in Asia, including Indonesia, China, and South Korea.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that Squier’s reputation would shine, when the company introduced the Affinity Series, a line of entry-level guitar that made use of more modern Fender features. They’d lock in deals with a number of contemporary artists as well, producing signature models like the Simon Neil Stratocaster and the Avril Lavigne Stratocaster, further securing their place as a dominant entry-level guitar brand. 

Today, Squier is still expanding and innovating its lineup in many facets, and continues to make some of the best and most popular beginner guitars on the planet.

Buyer’s Guide – 

The Squier Range Explained

  • Squier Bullet Series: As the ultra-budget-friendly entry-level series, Squier Bullet guitars might not give you the best components or build quality. However, they are extremely accessible, very playable, and can hold tune better than many guitars in the same price range. A Bullet guitar is the best Squier electric guitar for beginners. 
  • Squier Affinity Series: You’ll find several recognizable designs in the Affinity range, including the Strat and Tele. In terms of quality, a Squier Affinity guitar sits just a step up from Bullet, making it a great intermediate or beginner electric guitar.  An Affinity series guitars are the best Squier electric guitar for beginners. 
  • Classic Vibe Series: Classic Vibes are a bt more expensive, though they provide a beautiful vintage look and feel without costing an arm and a leg. 
  • Squier Contemporary Series: Hence the name, the Contemporary Series provides sleeker, more modern specs and unusual pickup configurations. I recommend these for contemporary rock and metal players. 
  • Paranormal Series: This is one of the newer series from Squier, which delivers some of the coolest-looking guitar we’ve seen. You’ll find plenty of classic, slightly-twisted shapes with unique specs, perfect for anyone who wants a unique axe that differs from the standard models. 

How to Choose The Right Squier Electric Guitar For You?

Body Styles

While you might think the body style is solely for aesthetics, it actually has a lot more to do with comfort and playability than you’d think. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Squier electric guitar body shapes and what you can expect from each.

Double-Cutaway

The double-cutaway design is arguably one of the most popular Squier body styles. This is the body style on the iconic Stratocaster. Expect a sleek look and contoured edges with excellent playability and comfort.

Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster, White Blonde
Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster, White Blonde
Single-Cutaway

The single-cutaway design is equally as iconic as it’s what found on the Telecaster-style bodies. You get the same basic level of comfort and playability.

Squier Sonic Telecaster Electric Guitar - Butterscotch Blonde
Squier Sonic Telecaster Electric Guitar – Butterscotch Blonde
Offset

Jazzmaster and Jaguar-style Squiers utilize the offset body shape, which features uniquely asymmetrical body contours. Not only do you get an interesting aesthetic, but these guitars are also very comfortable when sitting or standing. 

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster - 3-Tone Sunburst
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazzmaster – 3-Tone Sunburst
Semi-Hollowbody

This particular shape combines the best of hollowbody and solid-body guitars using a center block that runs through the body to increased sustain and reduce feedback. 

Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster - Natural
Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster – Natural

Woods

One of the ways that Squier is able to cut down on prices so much is by using cheaper electronics, hardware, and wood materials. Here are a few different types of wood you can expect to find on your Squier electric guitar.

Alder

Alder became a standard in Fender Stratocasters early on and can now be found in some Squier instruments, such as the Squier Stratocaster line. It’s a super versatile tonewood with a full-bodied sound and a lightweight feel.

displays alder wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Basswood

Basswood is a cheaper alternative to alder and is known for its neutral tonal characteristics and lightweight feel. It’s a bit softer and warmer than alder with less pronounced lows and highs, and you’ll often find it on cheap electric guitar models.

displays basswood wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Poplar

Poplar offers a similar tone and resonance to alder, though it is slightly more affordable, which is why you’ll often find it in budget-friendly Squier models.

displays poplar wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Maple

You’ll often find maple on Squier fretboards and necks, as it delivers a very bright, snappy tone akin to Telecasters.

displays maple wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Rosewood

If you’re looking for a warmer, smoother, more vintage-style tone, look for models that make use of rosewood on the fretboards.

Displays a rosewood tonewood

Pickups

The type of pickups you choose can have a HUGE impact on your sound, so make sure you have a good understanding of the different types.

Single-Coil Pickups

Single coils are super clear and bright, offering plenty of attack and an airy high-end. You’ll often find three single-coil pickups on Strat-style Squiers. When it comes to versatility, this design is the best choice.

Squier Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster - Fiesta Red
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster – Fiesta Red (I was always going to get the classic in here somehow)
Humbuckers

Humbuckers are two single coils wired together, offering a much thicker and warmer tone than single coils. These pickups were originally made to reduce the unwanted hum you get from their single-coil counterparts. If you’re looking for a Squier that is better for rock or metal, check for those that have humbuckers.

Squier Contemporary Jaguar Twin Humbucker ST - Shoreline Gold
Squier Contemporary Jaguar Twin Humbucker ST – Shoreline Gold
P-90s

P-90 pickups offer a solid a balance between the above two pickup styles. If you want more of a vintage or alternative sound, I recommend going for a Squier with P-90s.

Squier Tele Custom II Electric Guitar with P-90 Pickups Black Maple Neck

Neck Profile

The neck profile is the shape or contour of the back of the neck, which can have a relatively profound impact on how comfortable the guitar feels in your hands. Let’s look at some of the most common neck types you can expect to find on Squier electric guitars:

C-Shape Neck Profile

As the most common neck profile, the C-shape neck is smooth and comfortable to play, offering the perfect balance between thick and thin for a balanced feel. You’ll often find these necks on Strats.

Squier Paranormal Strat-O-Sonic Electric Guitar - Vintage Blonde
The VERY pretty C Necked Squier Paranormal Strat-O-Sonic Electric Guitar – Vintage Blonde
Modern C Neck Profile

Though it’s similar to the classic C-shape neck, the Modern C neck offers a slimmer design with rounded edges, perfect for fast players or those who want easier access to the higher registers.

Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR - Gunmetal Metallic with modern C Neck
Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR – Gunmetal Metallic with modern C neck
U-Neck Profile

For a bit of extra chunk and substantiality, check out the U-neck profiles. These are great for players that want a fuller, retro feel.

V-Neck Profile

If you’re someone that plays with your thumb on the back of the neck, you might like the added stability and grip of the V-neck profile. It’s a bit more “vintage” than the other neck profiles on this list. 

Make sure to check out our neck shape guide for more info on what to expect from different neck profiles! 

Hardware

The hardware components found on any guitar play a significant role in terms of tuning stability, playability, and sound. There are truly endless hardware options out there, so instead of taking a deep dive into every Frankenstein combination you could come up with, let’s look at a few of the most important factors. 

The most important piece of hardware on any electric guitar is the bridge. If I were to pick between two bridges, it would be the vintage-style tremolo bridge and the hardtail bridge. The vintage-style trem bridge can be found on Strat-style Squiers. While you don’t get a high level of tuning stability with these bridges, you do get the ability to play around with subtle vibrato effects, perfect for a more vintage feel. On the other hand, you have hardtail bridges, which are better for players who desire more tuning stability and sustain. These are often found on guitars geared toward hard rock and metal players.

Next, we have the tuners or tuning machines. When it comes to Squiers, you’ll often find either vintage-style tuners or modern die-cast tuners. Vintage-style tuners often require a few more turns for tuning precision than modern tuners, though they offer a cool vintage aesthetic. If you truly prioritize tuning accuracy (and you should), I would go for modern die-cast tuners or upgrade your tuners on your own once you get your Squier. 

Budget

Your budget is likely the first thing you’ll think of when buying a new guitar, though luckily, most Squiers are much more budget-friendly than their Fender cousins. As with most things, you get what you pay for. The more expensive the guitar, the better the tonal characteristics, hardware, wood, etc. 

Skill Level

You should also consider your skill level when buying a new guitar. Thankfully, Squier offers plenty of models aimed at players of all skill levels.

If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend going for a beginner Squier, such as the Bullet or Affinity Stratocaster. This guitar provides a solid foundation and excellent playability to get your journey started on the right foot. 

Once you graduate to an intermediate player, you can start looking at guitars from the Classic Vibe and Affinity series, which offer better components and materials.

If you’re an advanced player, you might consider moving on from Squier and checking out the Fender line of guitars. 

How to Test

Guitars are extremely tactile pieces of equipment, and the only true way you can know if one is right for you is by playing it yourself. I recommend heading down to your local music store and testing a few of these options out. 

Here’s a step-by-step process you can use to test out guitars:

  • Inspect It: Start by finding a guitar that you dig the look of. You want something that inspires you to pick it up and play, so aesthetics are important. 
  • Get In Tune: Before you start playing, make sure the guitar is in tune. This is a great opportunity to test its intonation and see how accurate it is. 
  • Play Without an Amp: To get a real sense for the uncolored sound of the guitar, start by playing it unplugged. Listen for how well it resonates, how well the sustain holds out, and what kind of tone it has. Play each fret to see if you hear any buzz or dead spots.
  • Consider Comfort: How’s the action or space between the strings and fretboard? Does it feel comfortable in your hands? Is it too heavy or too light? 
  • Plug It In: Plug your guitar into an amp and set the dials to be as neutral as possible. Play around with some notes and chords while flipping through the pickup, volume, and tone knob settings. Make sure everything is in working condition and that it sounds good to you.
  • Play Around with Some Pedals: Some guitars play nicer with pedals than others, so if you’re planning on using pedals, such as overdrive, distortion, or reverb, see how this particular guitar sounds with them.

At the end of the day, you have to trust your hands and your ears. If it feels and sounds good to you, then it’s a worthy contender!


FAQs

Who Should Buy A Squier Guitar?

Squiers are great for beginner players or players looking for a budget-friendly alternative to Fender guitars. 

Are Squier Guitars Any Good?

Squier has become more and more reputable electric guitar brand over the years, and many people consider their guitars to be some of the best budget-friendly options out there. While they might not have the same level of craftsmanship as more expensive guitars, they have solid build quality, tonal versatility, and playability.

Do Any Famous Guitarists Use Squier?

One of my absolute favorites is Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro, who uses a Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster. Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse has also been know to use Squiers, including a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar. Mike Rutherford of Genesis is known to swing a Squier from time to time. Finally, it has to be noticed that George Harrison used one during a Prince’s Trust Rock Gala. Check out the video here!

Is Fender Really Better Than Squier?

While it’s hard to say whether Fender is “better” than Squier, there are certainly a few key differences between Squier and Fender to note.
Craftsmanship: Generally, Fender guitars have better craftsmanship than Squiers thanks to their premium materials. 
Tone: While both sound great, Fender guitars often have a more “refined” sound, thanks to higher-quality pickups, hardware, and wood.
Playability: Both of these brands offer solid playability. It truly comes down to what kind of feel you prefer. 
Resale Value: Fender guitars have a much higher resale value if you ever decide to sell your guitar down the road.

Where Are Squier Guitars Made?

Squiers are made in factories all over the Asia, including China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.

Who Owns Squier Guitars?

Squier is owned by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, so you can expect to see all of the same design principles in the brand’s instruments. 

Why Are Squier So Cheap?

Squiers are generally more affordable than their Fender counterparts because they use lower-quality materials and simplified production processes. Plus, they are often manufactured in countries with lower labor costs, such as China and Indonesia. 

Are Squier Guitars Good Quality?

Absolutely! However, the quality will depend on the series and model you choose. Some Squiers have higher-quality components and build than others.

Are Squiers Good for Gigging?

Squiers are excellent for gigging, especially if you’re looking for a reliable guitar. Just make sure you choose a Squier with solid tuning stability and sound that satisfies you.

Can You Upgrade Hardware on Squiers?

You can definitely upgrade the hardware of a Squier guitar. Some of the main things people upgrade on their Squiers include tuners, pickups, nuts, bridges, electronics, saddles, strap buttons, and output jacks. 

How Durable Are Squiers?

Squiers are generally pretty durable, though certain higher-end models, such as those from the Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified Series, are generally more durable than lower-end models. 

Are Squier Guitars Better Than Epiphone Guitars?

While I personally love Squiers more than Epiphones, saying one brand is better than the other is completely subjective. There are plenty of great Epiphone guitars out there. 

Are Squiers Good for Metal?

Certain Squier models are better for metal than others. If you’re looking for a good metal guitar, I’d recommend looking for a Squier with humbuckers and a hardtail bridge for better tuning stability and.

Where Are The Best Squiers Made?

The greatest Squier axes were made in the USA between 1989 and 1990, though the company has since moved all of its production to the Far East. 

What Are The Best Guitar Strings for Squier?

While the type of strings you use for your Squier will come down to preference and playing style, my favorite strings for my Squier are the Super Slinky strings from Ernie Ball. 


Conclusion

There you have it — some of the greatest Squiers in the game!

Buying a guitar can be just as stressful as buying a car (if you’re a crazy person like me), so I hope this little buying guide makes the process a bit less stressful. As you go and test out the wide world of Squiers, trust your instincts. When you find the right guitar, you’ll know!

If you have any questions, just leave a comment down below. Happy shredding! 

Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster. You can connect with Tyler on LinkedIn or just email him.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ed DePreist

I bought the Squier CV 60s Thinline as a mod platform. I was impressed with the quality of the instrument out of the box. The pickups sounded great but soon were changed out for some hand wound ones. I also changed out the pots, switch and jack.. It was a natural finish and I couldn’t vibe with the pearloid pickguard. It now has a 3 ply black. The tuners were a little stiff so I have some Gotoh vintage tuners going in next.. Not much ls original but Ive made it mine.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Ed. Thank you for both visiting and commenting! You have a pretty amazing Squier in your hands. Cool mods man. Thank you for sharing. What pickups did you install to that?

Teemu Suomala

Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is a great choice if you are after a more “Fender like” sound and classic tones. I like heavy stuff… that’s why I would choose Squier Contemporary Stratocaster HH FR & Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH. 
Or I might try something completely different…like Squier J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster or Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jaguar. Both are really versatile…tone options are basically unlimited.
What do you think?

Gary

Squire has a good reputation, that’s why I bought a butterscotch Black guard telecaster this week. It will be going back to the store next week.

It had many issues. No shielding paint. A Jack plate that pushed into the cavity. Dime size pots. (Not as advertised.). And no shielding foil under the neck pickup. However the neck frets and woodwork were excellent.

Squier built their reputation on excellent quality control in their Chinese plant. Unfortunately, the Indonesian models are inferior.

This squire telecaster was a fender special run but there was nothing special about the quality control.

I’ll buy another squire soon but you can bet it will be thoroughly inspected and most certainly from China.

Teemu Suomala

Ouch…that was a piece of work…Great that you were able to return it (full refund I hope?).

I have played many Indonesian Squiers and they have been a ton of fun to play…ofc, cheap guitars, but solid instruments. But in-depth inspection usually reveals some (or a lot of) issues like you described. For example this model I reviewed: https://guitaristnextdoor.com/squier-bullet-stratocaster-review/ had glue stains all over the nut and first fret, also the nut was really worn.

Of course this copy you and the one I got could be a lemons, a bit worse than the average copy…

What Squier do you have your eyes on next Gary?