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Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '50s review

Classic design, Classic Vibe

  • £279
  • €339
  • $579.99
Each of the five pickup positions is snappy with a woody midrange that's quintessentially Strat

MusicRadar Verdict

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.

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.

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com (opens in new tab), in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).