When a manufacturer knows they have a classic design on their hands, they like to milk it as much as possible. They take whatever the design is and re-release it again and again. This results in good, classic guitars losing all of the qualities that make them classic and turning into modern guitars. Sometimes a manufacturer will come out with a re-release model that has classic written all over it, and feels classic. Let’s take a look at the Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Stratocaster and see what makes a re-release of a classic guitar a good one.
The classic Stratocaster shape is the design of choice for this guitar. It is a choice that I don’t mind at all, since the vintage feeling comes mostly from this design choice. The stratocaster is a beautiful guitar shape. It is incredibly comfortable to play, with the neck allowing easy access to even the hardest to reach frets. Yet the most important factor is this: the guitar is a lot of fun to play because it looks so cool and is so comfortable.
The manufacturer takes the concept of classic to the extreme and uses the now rarely encountered, yet extremely popular in the 60s, alder as a tonewood for the guitar. This lightweight yet relatively sturdy hardwood was known for having a very interesting quality – it was almost transparent in tonality. While the brightness of tone was present, the tonewood had a minimal effect on the sound of the guitar. It had a beautiful grain and is in general an interesting hardwood that fell into disuse over the past few decades.
The neck of the guitar is made, with at this point traditional, maple. This hardwood is known for how sturdy it is. A great thing for necks since they are often under danger of impact or otherwise being damaged. The weight of maple does not make the guitar anymore uncomfortable to play since it is balanced by the lightness of the alder. The neck is bolt on, as is characteristic of affordable guitars. It is not a bad quality though as the guitar is well aligned and the bolting does not cause any issues while playing.
The bridge of the guitar is done in the vintage style, synchronized vibrato. This keeps the vintage style of the guitar in order, without the interruptions from modern bridges. It also allows the player to bend their tones in an authentically vintage manner. Fun times.
The nut of the guitar is synthetic bone, which I have talked about extensively in past posts. Synthetic bone is a nice material which is well balanced between being affordable and decent quality. Something every one of us can enjoy.
The tuning machine of the guitar is decent. The vintage style keeps up the entire vintage feel of the guitar, while the tuning stability is definitely appreciated.
The guitar is equipped with three pickups. Each pickups is a single coil aimed at keeping the vintage feel of the guitar in tact. Because of this, the three are Custom Vintage Style Single Coil Strat pickups. These produce a great, vintage style that is extremely easy to identify. Definitely enjoyable and quality, the vintage nature of the pickups creates the problem of them going flat sooner rather than later. This too can be utilized in the music though, just get creative.
The guitar has a standard set of controls, with two knobs for volume and tone and a three way lever for pickup configuration.
Squier Classic Vibe Sound
The triple single coil set up of the guitar allows it to sound very twangy, warm and characteristically vintage. The guitar is perfect for pop music, country and the softer, smoother genres. Yet the guitar also has a great potential for the hard rock style sound. The guitar has limited string buzz, as a result of the full single coil setup, but nothing to ruin your sound. Definitely a vintage, enjoyable sound.
This one is definitely one of the more enjoyable vintage guitars that is affordable and made for the general population. You get a great, authentic sound out of it for a fraction of the price it should cost. Highly recommended for those of us with a vintage oriented brain.
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