Guitarist mods a Squier Bullet version of the world's most expensive guitar – learns a valuable lesson about gear snobbery

Kurt Cobain Mustang auction
(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

We love modding affordable guitars to play and sound better, sometimes while creating combinations we'll never see from our favourite companies (Fender Firestang / Mustbird anyone?), so when we see other people's projects we're always interested. And David Hilowitz's is going to be of special interest to both Nirvana fans and anyone looking at their Squier and wondering what else they could do with it.

Hilowitz's editing and narration is superb and he explains how Cobain inspired him early on and lusting after the Smells Like Teen Spirit Mustang in his younger years. The same one that sold for a record-breaking $4.5 million in 2022. 

This is a video about going back to that dream, in an affordable way. Like the rest of us, he's open about the stumbles he made with a past project 'punk guitar' '80s Squier Bullet Strat, and how he eventually sold it as he moved on to a real Fender Jazzmaster.

Squier Bullit Mustang with Competition Stripe

(Image credit: Fender)

He immediately regretted parting ways with that, and it sent him down the rabbit hole adventure he details in this video; modding himself a Competition Stripe Mustang inspired by Cobain's guitar.

Starting with a $140 Squier version we watch the time lapse steps of Hilowitz's original H/S Mustang dream coming to life and see how to do it ourselves. 

"In the process I've hopefully learned not to be such a gear snob," he explains in the conclusion. "It plays well, it sounds great, it looks really nice – and it says Squier on the headstock. And this time I'm not painting over it."

Check out more of David Hilowitz's videos on his YouTube Channel

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.