Squier has unveiled a batch of limited edition electric and bass guitars that offer some of that Fender Special Run exclusivity to the Big F’s entry-level brand.
FSR models typically arrive to little fanfare but always offer a fresh – and often collectible – take on Fender and Squier’s mainline instruments. This 2022 Squier release remixes some of the most-popular models from the Affinity, Classic Vibe and Paranormal series.
The latter, an FSR Paranormal Baritone Cabronita Telecaster is definitely something different, far removed from the design of the first mass-produced electric guitar.
This one offers a military Olive Green alternative to Surf Green and sunburst models from the regular Paranormal lineup. But there is nothing regular about a Paranormal guitar, and certainly not the Baritone Cabronita, which transposes the Fender Telecaster paradigm to a longer 27” scale length so you can move in and stake a claim for some of the bass player's frequencies.
It has a pair of Fender-designed soapbar single-coils, a solid poplar body and a bolt-on maple neck. The cut-off black anodised pickguard and knurled flat-top knobs give it an industrial vibe, meaner than your average Tele, but then it is designed for tuning down to B, with those pickups sure to put a unique accent on the Fender twang. The street price is £399.
An Affinity series HSS Stratocaster is more conventional, but is quite possibly the most versatile electric guitar on the market, with its humbucker and dual single-coil pickup and five-way switch covering all the main tone food groups. And in Silverburst? You don’t see that everyday.
These are player-friendly designs with accessible C neck profiles that make them exceptional guitars for beginners. This HSS Strat has a poplar body, bolt-on maple neck with an 9.5” Indian laurel fingerboad, a two-point synchronised tremolo, and sealed die-cast tuners.
Those allergic to Silverburst will be cheered to know that it is also available in Metallic Black with a Black Sparkle pickguard. Expect to pay £249.
With its offset body, triple single-coil configuration, and the fact that no one can really agree whether it is a bass guitar masquerading as a guitar or vice-versa, the Bass VI is one of the coolest Fender designs ever. It is essentially a six-string guitar downed down an octave.
In this FSR Classic Vibe release, you have two finish options, Purple Metallic or Shell Pink, both with matching painted headstock.
These have a 30” scale length, and typical of contemporary Squier the body is solid poplar, the bolt-on neck is maple. The Classic Vibe series is all about the vintage vibe so the frets are narrow tall, the pickguard is parchment the lacquer on the neck makes it look like it has done time in a smoky bar in the late ‘60s.
The alnico single-coil pickups have been designed by Fender and if you want to give that low-end twang some wobble there is a vintage-style floating tremolo. These will set you back £449 / $569.
Next up we have another doozy from the Classic Vibe series, a '70s Jazzmaster in Lake Placid Blue, with matching LPB headstock making the iconic offset even more easy on the eye.
Once more, we have the Classic Vibe aesthetic with yellowing lacquer and the parchment 'guard, and there are Fender-designed single-coils. The Jazzmaster's arcane but super-effective control setup putting a heap of tone options on the table.
It has a vintage-style floating tremolo, a bone nut, and a lot of kudos. The FSR Classic Vibe '70s Jazzmaster has a street price of $449.
The other Silverburst edition in this FSR release is an Affinity Telecaster Deluxe. An affordable and contemporary Telecaster, it has a pair of ceramic humbuckers, six-saddle hardtail bridge, a solid poplar body with an ergonomic belly cut, and bolt-on maple neck that is satin-smooth and given a C profile.
At £269 street, this is a steal, and would look like an excellent candidate for adventures in modding.
Finally, we have a Classic Vibe Late ‘60s Jazz Bass in Lake Placid Blue. For a vintage-style thumper that offers plenty change from 500 bucks (these are available to preorder from £429), this is hard to beat.
Again, there is solid poplar for the body, with a bolt-on C profile maple neck. It has a 34” scale, a 9.5” radius Indian laurel fingerboard, a pair of Fender-designed Alnico single-coils, and vintage-style tuners.