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Do you shop by headstock?

What's the difference between the two headstocks (also known as pegboards) shown below?

Fender Stratocaster Headstock Squier Stratocaster Headstock

The obvious differences is that the colors, tuning keys and truss rod entry points are different. The non-obvious difference is that the countries of origin are different.

However what all guitar players see first is the logo, and that's shopping by headstock.

I admit that for a time I did shop by headstock, but after a while I started shopping by dimensions, feel and sound instead. The overall look of a guitar does matter to me, don't get me wrong, but when I took the other factors into consideration, that's when I decided on the Squier brand.

Squier is to the best of my knowledge the only guitar company other than Fender itself who is 100% legally licensed to recreate Fender designs to exacting detail. In other words, a Squier Stratocaster is a "true Stratocaster" in every sense of the term.

The Squier Bullet Strat for example is for all intents and purposes "modern vintage Fender spec". 21-fret neck, 25.5-inch scale, 9.5-inch fingerboard radius, 6-post vintage-style bridge, etc. It's all there and is absolutely a Stratocaster.

Fender has put a ton of effort into improving the Squier line of guitars, and for the most part has been very successful at it. When you buy a Squier Stratocaster or Telecaster these days, you're getting something good (assuming you like Fender-style guitars). And besides which, a Squier is the absolute closest thing - if not exact same thing in some instances - to a Fender without the Fender price tag.

Think about that the next time you're shopping by headstock.

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