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Considering an '89 Korean Fender Squier Stratocaster


50 replies to this topic

#1
El Chalupacabra

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I was wondering if any of you experienced guitar guys out there can answer a question for me?

I am looking to buy a Fender Stratocaster in the near future. Hadn't planned on it for a while, but ran across a deal that I am wondering if it is worth it or not.


Thing is, I know enough about Fender to know that American-made Strats are better quality on everything, but I do not know the hierarchy of quality, if any, between Mexican, Korean,and Chinese-made Strats, though I am assuming that right there is the order from high to low.

This one guy has an 1989 Fender Squier Stratocaster, made in Korea, for $300. It appears in really good condition, and has a Maple neck, and isn't nicked up (looks almost new to me). He stated that:

"The old Korean Squiers rival the Standard and American Standard Stratocasters."

(not sure what he means by "standard and American," because I was under the impression that American=Standard.)

and

"They don't make them like they use to because they were just too good and were cutting into Fenders sales. "

Eh? possibly? I dunno? could be just him talking it up?

He also said Frets were recently polished, and triple crowned, though I am not quite sure what that is, but I've heard that Mexican Strats often have to have the frets filed down, so I assume this what he means?

Anyway, is this worth $300, or are Mexican Strats in fact better, or should I just save up for an American made one?Oh, and what are ball park fair prices on those used byt good to great condition, anyway?

#2
hobag

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The line about them being as good as the US strats may apply to made in Japan strats, but not MIK, if I was buying a strat, I would stay away from Squier, and get either a MIM or MIJ Fender. With Squier quality can greatly vary, and the quality of wood will not be nearly as good as Fender.

#3
El Chalupacabra

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Well, I didn't get that guitar, anyway.

I did, however, buy a Chinese Squier strat. It was a package deal off of Craigslist including chord, whammy bar, stand, soft case, tuner (which I didn't need; already have a Boss chromatic pedal tuner), & 15 watt amp (which I didn't need, but nice to have a backup practice amp), all for $100. The guy said he bought it for his teen son, who stopped playing, and had paid $220 for the package, and another $20 for the stand. It's only 1.5 years old, still looks new, and still has 6 months of a Sam Ash service contract, though guy needs to find paperwork still. I know it is a "beginner" guitar, but I think I got a decent deal. So far, I think it is a pretty tight guitar: neck is straight, strings in good condition, stays in tune pretty well. Only complaints are the pick ups, but that is expected and can be upgraded. Suits my needs for now, anyway.

#4
hobag

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Well, I didn't get that guitar, anyway.

I did, however, buy a Chinese Squier strat. It was a package deal off of Craigslist including chord, whammy bar, stand, soft case, tuner (which I didn't need; already have a Boss chromatic pedal tuner), & 15 watt amp (which I didn't need, but nice to have a backup practice amp), all for $100. The guy said he bought it for his teen son, who stopped playing, and had paid $220 for the package, and another $20 for the stand. It's only 1.5 years old, still looks new, and still has 6 months of a Sam Ash service contract, though guy needs to find paperwork still. I know it is a "beginner" guitar, but I think I got a decent deal. So far, I think it is a pretty tight guitar: neck is straight, strings in good condition, stays in tune pretty well. Only complaints are the pick ups, but that is expected and can be upgraded. Suits my needs for now, anyway.


Those squiers are definitely the go to beginner guitar and $100 is not a bad deal at all, now get to woodshedding so you can justify buying a $1500 guitar and amp :thumbsup:

#5
El Chalupacabra

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Actually, I need to start practicing more, so I don't seem like some guitar poseur!

But yeah, at $100 I couldn't pass it up! Not to mention I can always upgrade the pick ups, machine heads, bridge, and strings to American Strat standards, as I get better, too.

#6
danger

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that's a fair deal, but if you know you're serious enough to upgrade in the future, i would haved saved a little more money and bought a used Stratocaster in the 350-450 range, if that's the style guitar you want. but squire is a good "first guitar ever." always buy US, and buying a stratocaster body to build onto is a better idea than the strat. musiciansfriend.com is good for that.

my first guitar was a Squire Strat. i never pick it up anymore except to goof around with the whammy bar.
second was an Epiphone SG with Seymour Duncan humbuckers and lock in tuners. i'm looking to sell it for about 225, now.
my third baby is a Gibson Les Paul. i'll never get rid of that guitar.

#7
hobag

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I have a feeling this is gonna turn into a "post your gear" thread


THIS I CAN GET BEHIND

#8
danger

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real gangsta-ass *****s don't flex nuts.

#9
hobag

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real gangsta-ass *****s don't flex nuts.


Luckily there's no black people on the internet so we don't have to worry about that.

#10
Pong Messiah

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danger brings up an excellent point: if you get a great guitar, you'll keep it your whole life.

Cheap guitars are harder to play, harder to keep in tune, harder to maintain. You save money in the short run, but eventually you'll either stop playing out of frustration, or save your money up and buy a higher quality instrument.

Of course there is a time and place for Squier-quality guitars. A parent shouldn't go out and buy their kid a $1,200 because he says "Daddy, I want to learn how to play guitar!" (well, unless it's MY parent, in which case go for it), but when you do get the low end model, some level of disposability and frustration is to be expected.

:eek:

#11
El Chalupacabra

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Oh, I fully went into buying the Squier I did knowing it was a lower grade guitar. I have a descent quality Ibanez semi-hollow for learning purposes, and I just wanted to have an affordable solid body to learn on, too. The Squier Strat was only $100 and is not the same Squier I originally started this thread over. Also, it's not likeI spent a fortune, and I could even resell it for not too much less than I bought it down the road if I want, though I doubt I will sell it. One day, though when I can afford it and my playing skill justifies the expense, I will eventually get an American made true Fender strat, and an American made Gibson semi hollow.

#12
danger

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danger brings up an excellent point: if you get a great guitar, you'll keep it your whole life.
Cheap guitars are harder to play, harder to keep in tune, harder to maintain.
eventually you'll either stop playing out of frustration, or save your money up and buy a higher quality instrument
when you do get the low end model, some level of disposability and frustration is to be expected.

right on the money. the sound quality between squire and stratocaster is night and day. squires buzz.
but that was a great deal for all the stuff he threw in. buying tuners or extra cables these days cost $20 a piece.
also, start playing on 11-12 gauge strings. none of those dainty 9s.

#13
Pong Messiah

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start playing on 11-12 gauge strings.

I think it's good to practice on heavier strings, but there are occasions when dainty 9s are appropriate.

As a general rule, if your left-handed playing is fast, legato, and you employ a lot of tricks and effects with your right hand (dive bombs, tapping, etc.), I'd say 9s are more appropriate.

If your left-hand playing is more rhythm-oriented, and/or you employ fingerpicking, heavy alternate picking, or just shred like an uzi with your right, it's probably best to never drop below 10-52 gauge. And for ****sake, if you play jazz, NEVER drop below 11 unless you want to sound like a Kenny G fan.

Another thing to consider is that you're going to get more body, and more of the string's natural sound using heavier strings, whereas your effects processor will overtake the natural sound of lighter strings at lower settings -- this can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're going for.

Finally, there are always exceptions: Toni Iommi uses something ridiculous like 8 gauge and still gets monstrous tone -- without relying on a ton of effects. This may be attributed to Satan.

#14
danger

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obviously it was satan...or he tuned down below d. but until you are playing out with multiple guitars, each having different tunings and different gauge strings, i recommend start using man sized strings to train those fingers something proper.



#15
Pong Messiah

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i recommend start using man sized strings to train those fingers something proper.

To somebody who's stepped beyond learning their basic chords and such and can actually play, I think your advice is helpful. I'd add that if you perform regularly and have more than one guitar, it's a good idea (both physically and psychologically) to practice on a guitar with slightly heavier strings than the one you gig with. Especially if you play extra-long, or multiple sets.

I think it's a bad idea to use heavy strings when somebody is starting out, though -- and maybe through intermediate level. I have a 9 year-old student right now who plays on a 3/4-size acoustic with low action and light, nylon strings, and he has an absolute nightmare of a time fretting full chords. It's not because he doesn't practice or has no talent, it's just that it's too physically strenuous for him to do it consistently. If I were to tell him he needs to get heavier strings and train those fingers something proper, it'd do nothing but frustrate him and hurt his fingers. In a year or two, I might make the suggestion, but it's really not appropriate right now.

But I mostly just like to argue finer points and exceptions.

#16
danger

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But I mostly just like to argue finer points and exceptions.

you're right, though. i just try to get people to push themselves the extra mile by telling them what level they are going to need to get to if they really want to advance. i taught myself and didn't really have a whole lot of advice until i was proficient enough to start writing songs and playing with others. then i got some knowledge laid down and starting getting better equipment and techniques. this stuff is just advice i would have liked to have known from the beginning so i could have saved a little time and money, really.

is it a classical acoustic? because those baby's fretboards are extra wide, and you have to use nylon. that's the type i learned on, so the switch to electric was way easier. i like the way those sound better than a regular acoustic. sad story: my mom had a 25 year+ classical acoustic, (the one on which i learned to play). it had such a ****ing beautiful tone!! i repeatedly tried to buy it off her because she didn't play it, but she always said no. then my brother broke it. :( thanks, mom.

#17
El Chalupacabra

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Another thing to consider is that you're going to get more body, and more of the string's natural sound using heavier strings, whereas your effects processor will overtake the natural sound of lighter strings at lower settings -- this can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're going for.



Well, right now, the amp I have, is a very modest one: a Roland cube 15. And as for effects, right now it's just my bad playing, my whammy bar, and my crybaby wah pedal :)!

But hopefully in the not too distant future, I will get a Fender Mustang III

I understand a lot of guys like the sound of tube amps, but I personally, think solid state amps sound crisper, cleaner. My guitar teacher has a bunch of amps (he's always buying, then selling, wheeling and dealing to get a better amp), and I like the sound of his Mustang III the best. And that amp has a butt load of programmer effects... some you can even download.

Anyone have any thoughts on that amp?

#18
hobag

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Honestly man, if you're gonna be in that price range, save up and get yourself something like a Blackstar HT-5 or Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior, and pick up a nice OD pedal and maybe a chorus or delay.

Here is the Blackstar in action



and the fender



You will not regret buying a tube amp, once you have a good idea on how to dial in your tone, no solid state will compare.


Oh and you might scoff at the wattages (5 and 15 watts), but these will blow that mustang out of the water.

#19
Pong Messiah

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I understand a lot of guys like the sound of tube amps, but I personally, think solid state amps sound crisper, cleaner. My guitar teacher has a bunch of amps (he's always buying, then selling, wheeling and dealing to get a better amp), and I like the sound of his Mustang III the best. And that amp has a butt load of programmer effects... some you can even download.

Anyone have any thoughts on that amp?

If you're not going to be pushing your amp that hard, it's kind of silly NOT to get a solid state amp. It'll sound better at a lower volume, anyway.

But if you play loud enough to shake the floor, there's a certain warmth, a certain body you can only get with tubes. Solid state amps have really improved over the last decade or so, and most tubeheads can't even tell the difference at lower volume/lower gain settings, but there is still a VERY noticeable difference when you crank it.

-------

I just realized you weren't asking whether or not to choose a solid state or tube amp, but asking about a specific amp. Sorry, but I've never played through a Mustang III, and am not qualified to judge. Modern modelling effects are pretty freaking sweet, though, so I can see the appeal. Twenty years ago, I played through a stack, a rack, and a tangled mess of 4-6 foot pedals... now I use a Blues Junior (hi, hobag), and one pedal with a bunch of custom presets. Makes life a lot easier (and in most case, makes it sound a lot better, too).

#20
danger

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I understand a lot of guys like the sound of tube amps, but I personally, think solid state amps sound crisper, cleaner. My guitar teacher has a bunch of amps and I like the sound of his Mustang III the best.

when it comes to amps, play on a bunch then pick the amp that has the sound you want.

the only downside of tube amps is replacing the tubes is really expensive. about $100 for 4 tubes.
i had all my tubes blow just hours before a show. luckily it was saturday and guitar center was open late.

#21
El Chalupacabra

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Thanks for the advice. Here is my reasoning for the Mustang 3, and maybe you can say if I am right wrong, or just have a better option.

Since I am still basically a beginner, I want something versatile to learn on but also can expand on as I grow as a player, has some punch, that has a little bit of everything, can play a little bit of everything, and is not that expensive (as in less than $400) but still has a reasonably good quality that will last(I don't abuse my equipment~not just music instruments~everything i own I take care of). Right now, if I had a dozen hookups and effects pedals and whatnot, I would be overwhelmed, so I want something that is easy to use.

I liked the sound of the Mustang III and I also like the fact it can simulate so many different types of amps. I am not planning on playing at any shows, probably for years, if ever, and even then it would be a small gathering that would likely just be people I already know~learning to play is more a hobby for me. It also looks easy to operate, and has some punch to it too (celestian speakers, 100 watt). I also understand that while it can't play backing tracks like a G-dec, you can hook a laptop with a cable to the aux port, and play backing tracks through the amp, via laptop (at least I assume so).

So, is this a good rational to not only go with a solid state, but also this amp in particular, or is there a better option?

BTW I found this propaganda video from Fender on youtube. It has a lot of detail, but is loooong...


#22
danger

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the speakers in that amp are decent. if you like effects, friends tell me a Line 6 is great. i think it sounds too processed, but its really about your preference. usually effects on amps are really not that great. the best thing for effects are pedals. the one i'm going to get someday is the boss multi-effects, but its almost $500, and it will be the last pedal i buy.

best thing to do if you already played on a bunch of different amps, and you really like the sound of this one specifically, then read reviews on the product. i started with a tube vintage Crate with 2 12s because it shook the store. the next amp i got was a Marshall half stack. i thought it sounded better than the more expensive Peavey, but that's my preference. the Marshall had more crunch, and fit my style of music i play.

#23
hobag

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the speakers in that amp are decent. if you like effects, friends tell me a Line 6 is great. i think it sounds too processed, but its really about your preference. usually effects on amps are really not that great. the best thing for effects are pedals. the one i'm going to get someday is the boss multi-effects, but its almost $500, and it will be the last pedal i buy.


GT-10? I used to have a GT-3 and a GT-6, but never quite grooved with them. The new Line6 HD series is very good as well, I have the HD400 and love it.

#24
danger

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G-10, baby. like i said, the last pedal i will ever buy. its got every effect/amp you will ever need.
Line 6 are fun. my brother got one but it had problems and it died in less than 2 years. it was just a little one, but still...

#25
hobag

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Protip: if you can't swing paying the full price at once, zzounds.com has a 4 payment plan to suit your needs, I have used it several times and it has afforded me gear I wouldn't have normally bought (also if you're looking at gear above $1000 americanmusical.com has a 5 payment plan as well)



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