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Review of the Squier Vintage Modified Surf Stratocaster

Squier Surf Stratocaster in Sonic Blue

I own the above guitar as of today; a Squier Vintage Modified Surf Stratocaster (possibly the longest Fender guitar name ever) in Sonic Blue.

How I got this guitar is that it was a replacement for the Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster in Vintage Blonde.

This guitar is the closest thing I've heard to real-deal vintage Stratocaster tone in my life. She has "the jangle" that the true vintage Strats do, and this is largely due to the pickup set that's in it, which are Duncan Designed LS-102 lipstick pickups. They are super-bright and sound overwound even though they're not.

Much debate exists as to what a true vintage Fender Stratocaster sounds like. Personally, I believe it's very easy to describe and can be summed up in one phrase: "Too much of everything."

I'll explain what I mean by that.

Pickups in a real vintage Strat don't necessarily have a ton of gain, but to the untrained player will almost be unplayable. They will be super-bright. You will hear every single mistake you make - loudly. Simple maneuvers like dragging your hand across the strings will result in a screeching noise on any pickup position. In other words, the pickups don't accommodate to your sound, but rather you accommodate your playing style to the way the guitar sounds.

The Surf Stratocaster is very reminiscent of this quirky vintage Strat tone. I can personally handle it and make it work for me, but others may find it too much to deal with. I can honestly say the LS-102's have a very in-your-face tone to them and are best described as "trebly". And compared to other Strats, the separation of tone between the 1/2 and 4/5 pickup positions is much more pronounced.

Verdict: Good guitar. Get one.


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