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A Fender Deluxe model is a decent upgrade from a Squier

Fender Deluxe Nashville Tele

Five different models of these exist, and they do serve as the best possible upgrade from a Squier if going with the Fender brand.

In Fender's lineup there is a series called Deluxe which consists of three Stratocasters and two Telecasters. One of them is shown above, the Deluxe Nashville Tele. More details on that guitar in a moment.

The other four models are Deluxe Strat, Deluxe Roadhouse Strat, Deluxe Tele Thinline and Deluxe Strat HSS.

All Deluxe models are made in Mexico so they don't cost as much as American models do. And the nice thing with Deluxe is that you get things not found on Squier models. This means when you buy one of these, you're not just getting a copy of a guitar made in a different country, but rather getting something that has decent hardware upgrades.

What I'll be listing below is what you get with a Deluxe that you don't get on any Squier model.

Deluxe Strat

Deluxe Strat HSS

Deluxe Roadhouse Strat

Note: I've played one of these personally. This guitar uses a 9V battery located on the back of the guitar. It does not require the rear plate to be taken off to get to it, and the V6 switching is a nice thing to have.

Deluxe Nashville Tele

Note: This guitar is not just a Strat with a Tele body. The tonal character of the pickups is voiced to still be "very Telecaster," so to speak.

Deluxe Tele Thinline

What are the best parts about upgrading from a Squier to a Fender Deluxe?

The first obvious thing is the fingerboard radius. The 12" really does help when bending notes and you will fret out a lot less.

Some think the noiseless pickups take away too much from what a Fender guitar is supposed to sound like, but I disagree. Yes, the character is different, but not in a bad way. The noiseless pickups are voiced in a way that works very well with modern amplification and when plugging into the computer direct via DI.

The last thing is the hardware goodies. All models have switching that you can't get on any Squier that really opens up the sounds you can get out of the guitar.

Make no mistake, Fender Deluxe is where you get true upgrades over Squier. With other models in the Fender line, most of the time you're just getting a copy of what you already have with a Squier guitar. But with Deluxe, you legitimately get more hardware. That along with the 12" fingerboard for easier note bending is what makes Deluxe a good upgrade.

What is the American equivalent of Deluxe?

Fender Elite Series. Namely, Elite Stratocaster, Elite Stratocaster HSS, Elite Telecaster and Elite Telecaster Thinline.

What you get with those over the Deluxe models are some hardware changes, a compound radius 9.5" to 14" fingerboard and an ABS molded case with TSA locks (if you fly at all, having those TSA locks is nice because it passes security check without a problem.)

As you will notice, Elite costs a lot more than Deluxe does. Personally, were I to upgrade from Squier to Fender, my pick is Deluxe first, especially considering I can get a case with TSA locks for under $150. True, the case isn't Fender-branded, but to me a case is just a case. The guitar matters more.

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