There are many guitars out there that go for the iconic look. Most of them are expensive because the look comes with high quality, which is expensive. Though there are some guitars which attempt the classic look with a price that is acceptable to the mere mortals such as you and me. The Squier by Fender Bullet Strat is one of those guitars. Affordable yet quality in make. Let us take a closer look at the guitar and see what makes it a contender for one of the better affordable guitars out there.
First comes the body shape. The stratocaster is an iconic guitar shape in the modern day music world. The stratocaster shape is as much a rock star as the Beatles or the Rolling Stone were. This beautiful guitar shape is notoriously comfortable to play and fun to own. The C shape neck also allows for comfortable playing no matter how deep the frets you want to reach are. Thankfully the simplistic design of cheap guitars allows for versatility in coloring. You can get the Bullet Strat in mostly any color pattern you would like.
The body of the bullet start is made of basswood. A good choice for any guitar looking to remain affordable. The wood is grown widely in the Americas, and is rather fast to grow, which is why it is so cheap. It is known to be rather lightweight, so that you will never have a problem with getting tired while playing your instrument. The problem with basswood is that it is very soft and denting it with accidental collision is very easy. To avoid this try to pay attention where you are going when playing the instrument and get a nice gig bag with some padding. This will prevent most of the damage. Basswood has a great bass response tendency. This allows the guitar to have a warmer, thicker low tone than average.
The neck guitar is made of maple. This hardwood is known to be very sturdy and is a great material for guitar necks. Breaking this wood is nigh impossible (unless you start swinging it like some kind of greatsword) and denting it is not even heard of. Not that I know of at least. The neck is bolt on, just with other affordable guitars. While I do have a preference for set necks, bolt on necks with well made guitars do not display any issues. The same goes for this instrument. The fretboard is a beautiful, smooth rosewood.
The bridge of the guitar is built so that you can use the tremolo bar. This is a very opportune thing for most beginner players. A tremolo will allow you to do some crazy tone bending. Watch out though as tremolo bridges also have a tendency to cause the strings to go out of tune easily. Nothing a little restraint with the tremolo bar can’t prevent.
The nut of the guitar is made of plastic. This material is notorious for not being the most effective for this purpose. While the harmony of the guitar remains in tact, the problem of string buzz comes out. Plus the plastic wears down rather quickly, so you might have to replace the nut eventually.
If you have been reading affordable guitar reviews, you know that most of them have tuning machines that struggle to stay in tune. The same goes for this guitar, except with the tremolo bar being available, the guitar might go out of tune much faster than on average. Overusing the tremolo bar guarantees that within 30 minutes you will be out of tune. So watch out!
The guitar comes in many different pickup combinations. The most commonly seen model is the one with three single coil pickups, yet other combinations, such as Humbucker, Single Coil, Single and Single Coil, Humbucker, Single Coil are available. The single coils bring out the very pleasant tones of the guitar, making it perfect for for popular music, and softer toned genres. Yet the guitar might also, as a result, suffer from string buzz if a humbucker is not present. Even when there is a humbucker it is unable to mitigate all of the string buzz. There is also a limited availability of sustain, so venturing into metal might not be an option.
The guitar has a fairly standard set of controls, with several knobs controlling volume, EQ and sustain. A lever for the control of pickup combinations is also available. Since there are three pickups you can get 5 combinations, all of them pretty fun to use. Get creative!
All of these qualities culminate in a very interesting sound. While string buzz does exist, it is easy to mitigate when playing the guitar right. The sound sits on warm and pleasant spectrum, with the slight possibility of extreme introduced by the single humbucker available for the pick. The guitar is biased towards lower tones because of the basswood. The sound is definitely something a beginner player can enjoy, especially if they are looking to venture into the softer sounding genres.
This guitar is not spectacular in any way other than being spectacularly adequate. It covers the basics that a beginner might use, even adding interesting pickup combinations and a tremolo bar! Getting creative with this instrument might yield some very fun times. It is also a very decent practice guitar.