rich menga books search contact

***Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Amazon links are affiliated. Learn more.

Why are American-made Fender guitars so boring?

Squier Affinity Telecaster

The image at top is of a Squier Affinity Telecaster in Metallic Red. Make no mistake, that is one seriously good guitar. It may have a price that's cheap, but it doesn't feel cheap at all. The playability and sound you get out of it is truly top-notch stuff. More on that in a moment.

It has been told to me by those I've turned on to Squier guitars on more than one occasion that after taking a second look at the brand and buying a Squier axe, they don't bother with Fender guitars anymore. Not only because Squiers are cheaper, but because they have character.

The character of a guitar is a tough thing to describe, but I'll give it a shot.

Squier guitars have a different character compared to Fender guitars. While Squier Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jaguars, Jazzmasters and so on have all the traditional design cues from the Fender models they're inspired by, they're not Fenders. They're Squiers. As such, there is such a thing as Squier guitar character.

This character I speak of isn't something that can be defined easily. Basically put, you know when you're playing a Squier. And as time goes on, there are more players out there who prefer Squier character over Fender character.

Fender guys almost universally hate Squiers. However, there's a growing number of Squier guys who hate Fenders. The reaction by a Squier guy who plays a Fender is usually this:

"This guitar is boring."

Why does this happen?

Guys and gals who play Squiers get used to them. And then when they pick up a Fender, it may look very familiar, but it doesn't feel nor sound familiar at all.

Why does the Fender guitar feel so wrong to someone who's used to Squier?

Several reasons.

Fender pickups for the most part are designed to be vintage-voiced while Squier pickups aren't.

Fender model guitars are full-bodied, but most Squier guitars aren't. The bodies on Squier axes are typically smaller, and sometimes thinner and lighter. The Squier Bullet Strat for example has a slim-profile body.

The biggie however is the neck.

Fender American Standard Fender nut width is 1.685in/42.8mm.

Fender American Vintage Series nut width is 1.650-inch/42mm.

Guess which nut width Squier uses?

Vintage-spec, except for Affinity models which are skinniest at 1.60-inch/40.6mm.

Does this mean someone who's used to Squier will have an easier time transitioning over to an Fender American Vintage Series, such as Fender American Vintage '56 Stratocaster?

Answer: Sort of. While the nut width will be familiar, the fretboard radius and neck shape won't be as the '56 has a 7.25-inch radius, "Thick Soft V" shape and tall, skinny frets on it. A Squier guitar in comparison will have a 9.5-inch radius and a "C" shape neck. And yes, it's true that Fender modern-spec also a 9.5-inch with a "C", but remember, the nut is wider on the Fender.

Anyone who is used to Squier guitar character will find Fender guitar character boring

The sound, shape and feel of Squier guitars is in fact unique to the brand, and that's where Squier guitar character comes from.

Squier made their best effort to emulate Fender design, but what happened is that their attempt to do so resulted in guitar character all their own.

If you've been playing Squier axes for a while, you're used to Squier guitar character. And when you pick up a Fender, chances are pretty good it won't agree with you. And for any guitar that doesn't agree with you, you will find it boring. Why? Because any guitar you find annoying to play will cause you to get bored with it quickly.

"But I want to upgrade from my existing Squier guitar. What do I do now?"

You basically have two options.

Option 1: Upgrade to a better Squier, such as the Squier Deluxe Stratocaster.

Option 2: Upgrade to a Fender, but not the American version. Using the Stratocaster as the example, the Fender Standard Stratocaster (as in Made-in-Mexico version) does in fact have the neck with the 1.650-inch nut width and the 9.5-inch radius, just like most Squier Strats do, but...

...it will still not feel the same as a Squier axe. The Fender will be full-bodied and probably heavier than you're used to. And the sound of it will be more Fender-like than Squier-like. But that may be something you could get used to.

"I can never find the upper-end Squier guitars in my local guitar store..."

You're not alone.

Squier has a whole bunch of great guitars, but they're never in the guitar store.

Solution? Buy online from Amazon. They have a very agreeable return policy if you don't like the guitar for whatever reason. But chances are you probably will like the guitar and keep it. 🙂

130915
📰Get Rich's newsletter to be notified of new articles

image
Best ZOOM R8 tutorial book
highly rated, get recording quick!

⭐ Recent Posts

Boss RC-5 Loop Station Guitar Looper PedalWill looper drums ever not suck?
It is amazing that this problem still exists.

The best looking Dean Z I've ever seen
This is an example of when Dean does the Z right.

Black Sabbath - Black SabbathMy favorite Black Sabbath track from their first album
It's not what you think it is.

Epiphone Prophecy Les PaulA secret of the Epiphone Prophecy Les Paul hiding in plain sight
It's right in front of your face and you probably didn't even notice it

Fender Player MustangShorter scale guitars with the most bang for the buck
You can go short without spending too much nor getting something too cheap.

🔥 Popular Posts 🔥

Casio F-91WCasio F-91W cheat sheet
A quick guide on how to set the time, date and a few other tips and tricks.

How to use the DigiTech JamMan Solo XT looper pedal
Yes, I bought one of these. And it's complicated.

Top 5 classic electric guitar looks
There are certain guitars out there that when made with certain woods (just for appearance) and colors define the classic look for that particular instrument.

Squier Thinline TelecasterGetting a lightweight electric guitar the easy way
Many guitars bust over 8lbs (3.6kg) in weight. Can we go lighter and still get something good? Yes, we can.

Fender Modern Player JaguarQuick Review: Fender Modern Player Jaguar
I tried a "2 Color Chocolate Sunburst" Fender Modern Player Jaguar with MP90 pickups.

Fender American Professional Stratocaster Olympic White Maple FingerboardDid you know Fender has 8 white guitar body color options?
When it comes to guitars, white is not white. In fact, it's usually anything but white.

Alesis Quadraverb GTObsolete guitar gear: Alesis Quadraverb GT
The Alesis Quadraverb GT effects processor is something I owned myself for a long time.