if i were to design a signature squier...
Comments like this really make my day (yes, said in a happy way):
There are those who believe I wield a Squier well enough to have a signature Squier Strat model. I guess this gives me all the more reason to get my release of songs ready sooner than later. 🙂
Anyway, I did give this some thought, and if Squier ever did approach me for a signature model, my goal would be to deliver something good at the same price point as a Squier J5 Telecaster - and I think that's very do-able.
The guitar would be a limited-run model and share a look similar to a Jeff Beck Stratocaster:
I would have it in Surf Green with white pick guard and rosewood fingerboard, however that's where the similarities end.
Why Surf Green? Because it's very difficult to get a Strat in that color. Fender makes them, obviously, but Squier doesn't even offer it. Mine would be the only Surf Green Squier in the lineup, which I think would be pretty frickin' cool.
My artist model would basically be a Squier Bullet Strat with some upgrades, but nothing too crazy. The body, neck, bridge and electronics would remain all stock.
The changes would be as follows:
Pickups would be upgraded to Seymour Duncans. All of them would be vintage 'growly' sounding and have off-white pickup covers. And yes, I'd keep the 60-cycle hum in there, because as far as I'm concerned, the hum is part of the Strat's character.
Pick guard would stay white but be changed from 1-ply to 3-ply so the black stripe is there.
Tuners would be upgraded to Grover Rotomatics. Whether chrome or nickel, I'd take whatever is cheaper to keep the per-unit cost of the guitar down.
Tremolo system would have two springs added for a total of 5. They normally come with 3. Does the guitar need them? No. But it gives you a nice feeling when you take off the back plate and see a company actually cared enough to deliver 5 springs on the block. It's little things like that which make the player feel like he bought something special.
Pegboard logo decal would use silver text with black outline, similar to the Squier II:
I'd insist on the silver text because I think the gold looks tacky and awful.
The last thing on the list is something which I don't know is possible or not. It would be that that on delivery to the USA (because it would be made in China), a tech personally inspects the guitar before shipping to the store. He checks for frets with sharp edges, and if any are found, he files them smooth. He adjusts the truss rod. He adjusts the saddles for intonation. In basic terms, he gives the guitar a proper setup. Once completed, he puts a sticker on the back plate that states "Set up in USA", then sends the guitar to be shipped.
First impressions are lasting ones, and I do know a guitar - even a Squier - that's been set up properly by a trained tech locally (keyword there) before delivery makes a ton of difference; it makes for a fine quality instrument when the player can sit down with the guitar, play and it feels right the first time.
I'm pretty sure my artist Squier Strat could match the price point of the J5 Tele even with all the stuff mentioned above.
As for the production run, I'd limit it to between 1,000 to 2,500 units because Surf Green Strats should not be a common guitar.
If Squier found the guitar to be a good seller and wanted to keep making it, that's fine and I don't have a problem with that, but guitar #2501 and beyond would have to have some changes made.
First, no Surf Green. I'd follow the Jeff Beck Strat specs again and have the "post-2500" color be Olympic White:
Second, no upgraded tuners. They'd go back to the stock ones Squier uses. Third, block springs would go back from 5 to 3. Fourth, no USA-tech setup. Fifth, stock Squier pegboard logo with "RM" (my initials) for the model, but no signature logo otherwise. The only upgrades left would be the pickups and 3-ply pick guard.
I would specifically request the post-2500 guitars done this way to keep the first Surf Green model special and meaningful.
There is one last thing I would do on the first-run Surf Green units. This is a bit of a wild idea but I think it would be really cool.
Special guitars come with something called a COA, Certificate Of Authenticity. What I'd do is have the first 27 guitars delivered direct to Fender in Scottsdale. I'd hop a flight out here, then sign out 27 COAs - however they would be little mini cards and placed under the pick guard, and stuck to the guard with an adhesive so it wouldn't mess with the electronics. Then I'd have the guitars delivered to random locations across the world. Some would stay in the USA and delivered to Guitar Center locations, a few would go to the UK, a few to Australia, a few to Germany, etc. I'd try to cover as many countries as I could where Squier has a presence.
After that, an announcement would be made that there are 27 special Menga Squier Strats in existence, but nobody would be told where.
This would be an awesome promo because people would be snapping up every single Menga Strat in search of one of the special 27.
I really like the idea that it would take a good long while before all 27 were found. It might take years to locate them all. Maybe even decades. I also like the idea that some people would buy this guitar without any idea at all that they just bought a super-rare instrument until one day years later they open up the pick guard, see the card, say, "Huh? What's this?" and then realize what they have.
Now of course I'd have to work with Fender to develop a mini card that would be very difficult to counterfeit, because you know once the first one is found there would be a whole bunch of idiots that would attempt to copy it and sell fakes on eBay. There would have to be something under the pick guard aside from the card and unique to the guitar that the counterfeiters wouldn't know to copy to ensure authenticity. Fender, fortunately, is really good at the COA thing so I'm sure they'd come up with something that would work well and thwart the counterfeiters.
Why bother with all this? Because guitar collectors love the hunt, and I'd love to give them something worth hunting for. Not only do they get a cool Surf Green Strat that plays and sounds great, but it also may contain a secret inside that instantly quadruples the guitar's value.