Squier are the sister company of Fender and produce affordable and entry-level electric guitars. There are several guitars in the range, all with varying features and price points, often making it difficult for new guitarists to choose their first guitar. In this article, I’ll compare all the models in the Squier range so you can choose the best option for you.
The Quick Answer
There are 6 main series in the Squier guitar range: Bullet, Affinity, Contemporary, 50’s Classic Vibe, 60’s Classic Vibe and 70’s Classic Vibe. The prices range from around $180-$500. There are several iconic shapes available including the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang, Jazzmaster and Jaguar.
There are loads of guitars in the Squier line-up, and the best way to split them up is by the series, which is based on the cost and specifications. There are then several different shapes of electric guitar within each series to consider.
Within each series, you will find Telecasters and Stratocasters, as well as some others such as Mustang’s, Jazzmaster’s and Jaguar’s, depending on the specific series.
Comparing Squier Guitars
Here is a table comparing the 6 main ranges in the Squier lineup in terms of price, body wood, and the models available within the range.
|Squier Series||Average Price||Body Wood||Models Available|
|Bullet||$180||Basswood||Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang,|
|Affinity||$250||Alder||Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster|
|Classic Vibe 50’s||$430||Pine/ Poplar||Stratocaster, Telecaster|
|Classic Vibe 60’s||$430||Nato/ Poplar||Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang, Jazzmaster, Jaguar|
|Classic Vibe 70’s||$430||Poplar||Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang, Jazzmaster, Jaguar|
Popular Guitar Types
There are 5 main guitar shapes available in the Squier range: Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Mustang and Jazzmaster. These are all based on the original Fender versions of the guitars.
Let’s take a look at each guitar type compared against each other.
|Squier Guitar||Pickups||Bridge||Body Shape||Controls|
|Stratocaster||3 single coils||Tremolo||Double-cutaway||2 tone, 1 volume|
|Telecaster||2 single coils||Fixed||Single-cutaway||1 tone, 1 volume|
|Jazzmaster||2 P90’s||Tremolo||Double-cutaway||1 tone, 1 volume|
|Jaguar||2 single coils||Tremolo||Double cutaway||1 tone, 1 volume|
|Mustang||2 single coils||Tremolo||Double-cutaway||1 tone, 1 volume|
All the above images link to Amazon.
The Squier Range
So as well as there being 5 different guitar shapes available in the Squier range, there are also 6 different tiers which vary based on their price and specifications. Telecasters and Stratocasters are available in all 6 tiers, but some guitar shapes can only be found in some tiers.
Tiers of Squier Guitars:
- Bullet (cheapest)
- Classic Vibe (50’s, 60’s and 70’s)
Let’s take a look at each level of Squier guitar individually.
Squier Bullet Series
The Bullet series is the cheapest in the Squier range and includes Telecaster, Stratocaster and Mustang shapes, costing around $180. The body wood is typically basswood, and the necks are made from maple in a standard C-shape. All guitars in the Bullet series have fixed bridges.
Basswood is the one of the cheapest woods available which doesn’t add much to the tone, hence why it is used on lower-end guitars.
Squier Affinity Series
The Affinity series is the second cheapest in the Squier range and includes Stratocaster, Telecaster and Jazzmaster shapes, costing around $250. The body wood is upgraded to alder, compared to the basswood in the Bullet series. Stratocasters in the Affinity series have a traditional tremolo bridge.
Squier Contemporary Series
The Squier Contemporary series features mainly Stratocaster and Telecaster shapes with contrasting features to traditional versions. They often have humbucker or active pickups, and unique colour designs as well as a slimmer neck. Squier Contemporary guitars usually cost around $400.
Squier Classic Vibe Series
The Classic Vibe series is the most expensive in the Squier line-up with guitars typically costing between $430-450. They are based on the traditional Fender versions of the guitars in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s time periods and are aimed at intermediate-level players.
The differences between 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Classic Vibe Squier guitars primarily comes down to the neck shape and tone wood used. They are all similar in price so your decision should be based on the feel and sound that best suits you when you give them a try in the store. All shapes are available in the 60’s and 70’s Classic Vibe series, however, only Stratocaster and Telecaster shapes are found in the 50’s Classic Vibe series.
What are the Similarities?
Despite the guitars in each Squier series costing varying amounts, there are some common things seen across the Squier brand:
- Pretty much all the guitars are made in either China or Indonesia.
- Most guitars have a maple C-shape neck.
- Similar finishes and colour options can be seen throughout the range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some more questions you may still have about the Squier guitar range.
What is the difference between Fender and Squier?
Fender guitars are made from better materials and are produced in more limited quantities than Squier guitars which are mass-produced. Fender guitars start at around $750, Squier guitars range between $150-500. Fender’s are made in America and Mexico and Squier’s are often made in China and Indonesia.
Which Squier guitar is best?
The best guitars in the Squier range are in the Classic Vibe series. These more closely mimic the more expensive Fender versions and are made from better quality materials than Squier guitars in the Affinity and Bullet ranges.
How do I know what kind of Squier I have?
Squier Classic Vibe guitars can be identified by the smaller vintage logo on the headstock. The Contemporary series will usually have at least one humbucker pickup. Bullet series Stratocasters can be identified by the hardtail bridge, whereas others in the range have a tremolo bridge.
Why are Squier guitars so cheap?
Squier guitars are cheap because they are usually mass produced in factories in China and Indonesia. They are produced from cheaper tone wood, hardware and pickups to help reduce the overall cost of the guitar to between $150-500.
Do any professional guitarists use Squier guitars?
Famous professional guitarists who have used Squier guitars include Kurt Cobain, Jeff Healey, Jack Pearson, Graham Coxon, Pete Wentz and John Mayall.
I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.
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