Squier 60th Anniversary Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster
The new model in the barn from the Squier camp for early 2014 is the Squier 60th Anniversary Classic Vibe Stratocaster.
Now to note, Squier in my experience does not have any sort of regular release dates when it comes to new guitar models. The 60th anniversary Strat is the only new model in 2014 for now, as we could see several new models sprout up later this year.
Anyway, on to the nitty gritty of the guitar.
Yes, that is the same Aztec Gold finish seen on the ritzy Fender American Vintage '65 Jazzmaster offered in the same color. I recognized the color the moment I saw it, because if I ever were to buy a '65 Jazz reissue, it would be in the gold color.
If you're wondering why this particular Strat has a maple and not a rosewood fingerboard, it's because it's a 50s model. Anything labeled as a "50s" always uses maple board since rosewood board wasn't a standard feature until the 1960s.
Unlike a 50s model however, even for Squier, it has a 3-ply white/black/white pick guard. This is actually a good thing because a solid white pick guard would look ugly on the Aztec Gold finish.
Body is alder, the neck has 21 medium jumbo frets, a modern C shape with a gloss polyester finish on the back, and a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard on the front.
Pickups are described as "Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coil Strat" with no mention of what magnet type. Indeterminate whether ceramic or AlNiCo (aluminum/nickel/cobalt). However, it is assumed the set has AlNiCo III magnets in them, which basically means a "spanky" and bright tone.
Bridge is 6-screw style with what appear to be bent steel saddles, arguably the most custom part of the guitar - more on that in a moment.
It does have the laser-engraved "1954-2014, 60 Years" wording on the neck plate.
White plastic parts are aged white, which works well with the gold.
And speaking of gold, all exposed metal parts are gold-colored. Tuners, bridge, output jack and even the pick guard screws are all colored gold.
Out of everything that makes this Strat worth something, the gold bridge with gold tremolo arm, and gold saddles with black saddle height adjustment screws are worth the most.
To get all that gold stuff is not cheap if you were to do it yourself, and in fact would be next to impossible to find Squier replacement parts for once this guitar goes out of production. It's not the quality of the parts that makes them valuable, it's their rarity.
At some point a few years later (maybe even less than 5 years), someone is going to buy one of these where some of the gold stuff has been removed as an "upgrade", and that's when the gold-colored 60th anniversary parts will skyrocket in price. Remember, Fender bridge parts usually never fit Squier bodies, so it's "Squier or nothing" when it comes to replacements. And it's not like you can call Fender for the replacements, because they won't have them since it's a foreign-built guitar.
Ever see a Squier bridge sell for $200? You will in just a few years for this specific guitar because gold-colored-anything for Squier guitars is next to impossible to find.
If you buy this guitar and decide to switch out anything, keep all the original hardware, because that's what makes this guitar valuable more than anything else.
See the price of this 60th Strat here. Yeah, it is a bit on the high side for a Squier axe, but then again, it is a 60th anniversary model.
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