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The Strat Saga


I haven't been writing about music lately because I wanted to keep what I'm about to tell you a secret until I had a video showing it, but I have to write about it now because it's just too good (or bad?) of a story to keep to myself any longer.

Fender's Squier brand released some new guitars for 2012, one of which was called the Cyclone. The Cyclone is a cool guitar and priced right but only comes in one good color - Lake Placid Blue. More on that in a moment.

I decided that trading in the Squier Stagemaster was a good idea to get this guitar because it was so cool, and that's exactly what I did. I know that some people who follow me concerning my music will be saddened to know that the Stagemaster is gone, but I had a reason for doing it which I'll mention in a moment. Anyway, with the trade-in at Guitar Center for store credit, the Cyclone would have only cost me 50 bucks new. Good deal if you asked me.

The Cyclone arrives at Guitar Center Tampa and I go there. I smartly opened the guitar brand new out of the box in the store, and found finish cracks, so I had to send it back.

A week later, the replacement Cyclone arrives. This one arrived at the store with not only finish cracks but dents in the back of the neck.

I ordered another replacement, but when I got back home I go to Squier's web site and notice there's a brand-new-for-2012 Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster in an oh-so awesome Vintage Blonde finish. I said, "Yep, I'm getting that one instead." Called Guitar Center to order it and had to do up a custom order because it wasn't even in the GC catalog yet. Everything was going fine.

That was almost 2 months ago. And no, I'm not kidding. Fender kept delaying the guitar over and over and over and over again from being shipped.

Today, I go to the Guitar Center web site and there's the guitar in the catalog, yet I hadn't received my guitar (the same model, mind you) that I pre-ordered almost 2 months ago. That ticked me off because I should have received this guitar well before it became generally available.

Rang up Guitar Center, told them to cancel the custom order and just get the one out of the catalog outright.

It should arrive in a week.

The guitar is the one pictured at top. I'm happy to be finally getting it, and the price will be the same as if I were buying the Cyclone, but WOW has it took a lot of effort even to get this far.

As of today, I finally have a GC order number, so it's real-deal. The guitar is coming. When it arrives, I'll be notified and go pick it up.

No, it's not an expensive guitar by any means, but this is the best Strat I've personally ever bought. My USA Strat that my father bought for me in 1993 is broken (serious neck problems). That will be fixed someday when I have the money, but the cost to fix that guitar is way more than buying this new Squier VM outright.

This guitar had better be perfect when it arrives considering all the crap I've been through just to get the thing.

A few things I did after receiving 2 bad LPB (Lake Placid Blue) Squier Cyclones

I wrote about my story on a popular Squier message board, Squier-Talk; the thread is here. As it turns out, a whole bunch of people received bad LPB cyclones. The other colors were just fine, but only the LPB was the bad apple of the bunch. If you get a sunburst, red or black one, those are fine. Just the LPB is the bad one, or at least was.

I personally emailed Fender Customer Relations, told them about this and to check the message board thread. Fender replied back to me in kind and said they'd look into it - which they did. All LPB Cyclones as of now no matter where you buy it have had their ship dates pushed back to June 2012 and has been this way for over a month. This probably means that when Fender went to inspect them at the warehouse, they found a whole bad run of that specific color on that specific guitar and had to do them all over again. And you know what? That's fine because Fender identified the problem and took care of it.

I don't plan on getting a Cyclone now because I'll be receiving the 2012 Squier VM Strat instead. My reason for wanting the Cyclone in the first place is because I wanted a Squier with a humbucker in it (which was my original reason for buying the Stagemaster). The Stagemaster was cool and all that, but it had a 12-inch radius neck and I wanted a 9.5 which the Cyclone has, and that's why I wanted the Cyclone in the first place.

While true I have my Schecter C-1 Classic for the humbucker stuff, I really wanted a humbucker-equipped Squier just because I like the brand. I tried doing that with the Stagemaster until I found out it had the 12-inch radius neck (which isn't bad but it's just not the way I like guitar necks), then tried going with a Cyclone but I explained above how that turned out.

For now I'll be staying in single-coil Strat land. Maybe that's where I was meant to be. 🙂

When I get the guitar and it passes my personal inspection, yes I'll be posting videos on it. Said honestly it's the perfect type of Strat guitar for me. Vintage tremolo, three upgraded pickups (all Seymour Duncan SC-101's, SC-101B in bridge, SC-101 reverse wound in middle, SC-101N for neck), 21-fret "C" shape neck with 9.5-inch radius like I prefer and has the 3-ply white-black-white pick guard for added Strat-look goodness which my existing Bullet doesn't have.

There is one other thing that for most people would be a huge turn-off, and that's the vintage style tuners with open tuning posts. But I'll save that for another blog post coming soon.

Published 2012 Mar 19

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