Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '50s review

Classic design, Classic Vibe

  • £279
  • €339
  • $579.99
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Our Verdict

A faultless build and one that captures that signature Strat sizzle.

Pros

  • Great build. Excellent value for money.

Cons

  • Not the most characterful pickups.

Back in 1954, the Stratocaster turned the guitar world on its head - and with eye-catching finishes such as the Sherwood Green Metallic we have here, it's still swivelling noggins today.

"Fortunately, Squier has captured the model's tonal mojo to a tee"

Stealing from the rich archives of Fender and giving to the poor (ie, us), the Classic Vibe Strat offers 50s specs - maple fingerboard, single-ply pickguard - with contemporary playability, courtesy of the gloss-finished C shape neck, complete with skunk stripe down the rear.

The sound of the Strat is so ingrained, you know when it's not right; fortunately, Squier has captured the model's tonal mojo to a tee.

Each of the five pickup positions is snappy with a woody midrange that's quintessentially Strat, albeit a somewhat generic one - these aren't the most characterful or articulate single coils we've played, but comparing them to higher-priced Fender models is missing the point.

The cool neck, mellow middle and sharp bridge are all fine examples, but the stars of this Strat are the in-between positions; if you want to get your Nile Rodgers on, just plug in a compressor and let fly.

The pickups are good overdriven performers, too; the maple 'board lends a little extra sizzle, which helps them to cut through, although, as with a lot of Strats, we'd rather the second tone control let you tone down the sharpness of the bridge pickup rather than the middle. Still, there's not much to dislike here.

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Tech Specs

InlaysDot
Fingerboard Radius241mm
No. of Frets21
Available FinishTwo-colour sunburst only
Body StyleDouble-cutaway, solidbody electric
HardwareVintage-style 'Synchronised' vibrato, vintage-style slot-head tuners
Bridge53mm
Country of OriginChina
Neck MaterialMaple
Nut MaterialSynthetic
FeaturesThree vintage-style Alnico III single-coils, five-way lever pickup selector, volume, two tones
Nut42mm