In today’s article, we’re going to review one of the most interesting semi-hollow body guitars available on the market right now – the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster. This unique offset model becomes more popular year after year. But is it actually worth the money?
Absolutely! The Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster looks absolutely fantastic and it features a really great quality. In addition, it’s versatile, so it can be used in a wide range of genres. Undoubtedly, it will be a great choice for guitarists who are looking for a reliable and resonant tone with a bit of extra punch.
Let’s have a close look on that guitar to see what makes it so special. There will be a few sound demos too, so you’ll be able to see if this Starcaster is the right fit for you. Additionally, we’ll see if there are any cheaper alternatives for those who are on a tight budget.
Specs & Pricing
The Starcaster features an offset semi-hollow body with a center block. It’s made of laminated maple and it also features a maple neck with the same headstock that was used in these guitars back in the ’70s. This is a pretty unusual headstock shape, so lovers of vintage gear will absolutely enjoy that!
The guitar has a really nice and eye-catching maple fingerboard. The neck of this guitar is quite thin – it features the C-shape. In addition, it has a stopbar tailpiece by the bridge, which improves the tuning stability.
Fender decided to equip this unique guitar with a set of humbuckers, which both offer a really nice, balanced and powerful tone. The guitar sounds great when it’s plugged in and it’s actually quite loud when you play without an amp. This is a big advantage, because you can easily practice without any additional gear.
When it comes to pricing, the guitar is actually quite affordable. Some people may say that it’s overpriced, but the truth is that offset semi-hollow guitars are extremely rare. So if you’re looking for this specific type of the guitar, it seems that there is no other option than choosing the Starcaster.
Here’s the sound demo. It sounds pretty good, right?
Who Is It For?
The Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster will be an excellent choice for both beginners and more advanced guitarists. The versatility of this guitar gives you access to a wide range of tones, so whether you’re like playing some smooth jazz licks or more punchy and powerful riffs – you should be satisfied.
I think that it will also be great for all musicians who perform live. The guitar cuts through the mix really well – most likely due to the semi-hollow body shape. It’s more resonant, so works perfectly for both rhythm and lead guitarists.
Considering the relatively low price of this guitar, it should ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars to get a good and reliable guitar.
Here’s another sound demo – make sure to check it out.
Disadvantages Of The Starcaster
The Starcaster is a really good guitar, but in the end – it’s not a high-end model, so it has its own flaws. These disadvantages are not huge, but they may be significant for some of the players.
Firstly, hollow body guitars often have problems with feedback, especially when you’re trying to play really loud. The Starcaster is a semi-hollow body, so this problem is not as common as in regular hollow body guitars, but still – it acts differently on high-volume than a regular solid body guitar.
Another thing is the vintage lacquered neck – some people love these necks, but there is a pretty large group of guitarists who claim that these necks are too sticky. Personally, I never had a huge problem with that, but if your palms tend to get sweaty, you may experience some stickiness.
In addition, due to the unusual body shape of this guitar, some people struggle with getting a suitable gig bag. There’s one really good option though – it’s the Fender FEJ-610, which you can check out here.
Lastly, some of the Starcasters require a proper set up to make them more playable. There is a chance that you’ll have to adjust the string action, although it’s not a massive issue.
Although it’s not an extremely expensive guitar, it’s not that cheap either. If you’re on a really tight budget and you’re looking for something a bit more affordable – don’t worry! There’s a few interesting options out there.
Firstly, I totally recommend checking out the Ibanez AS53. It’s a really cool semi-hollow body guitar which is cheaper than the Starcaster. The quality of this guitar is really similar and it also features two humbuckers which can add a lot of punch to your tone. I actually own that guitar and I’m really amazed of the versatility of that thing. Nevertheless, it features a regular body shape – it’s not an offset guitar.
If your budget is really low and you’re looking for your first guitar, it maybe a good idea to start with a solid body guitar rather than a semi-hollow body. If you’re open for that option, you should definitely check out the Squier Affinity Stratocaster. It’s an another budget-friendly guitar which is really fun to play. Especially if you’re just starting out!
Nevertheless, none of these guitars features the legendary Starcaster body shape with its iconic headstock. So if that’s what you’re looking for, you most likely need to save up a bit more until you’re ready to get it!
Where is the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster made?
Just like all the other guitars from the Classic Vibe Series, the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is manufactured in Indonesia.
What is the difference between the Starcaster and the Stratocaster?
These guitars are completely different – the Starcaster is a semi-hollow body guitar, while the Stratocaster is a solid=body guitar. In addition, most of the Strats are equipped with three single-coil pickups, while the Starcaster is equipped with two humbuckers.
The tone of these guitars is different as well – the sound of a Starcaster is louder, more resonant and more punchy. On the other hand, the Stratocaster sounds much brighter and clearer.
What are Starcasters good for?
The Starcasters are really versatile and they can be used in a wide range of music genres – from jazz and blues to rock and indie. It may not be the best guitar for metal, but it’s an excellent choice for guitarists who are looking for a lot of versatility when it comes to tone.
What’s the history of Starcaster guitars?
The first Starcaster was introduced by Fender back in the ’70s. The company was trying to enter the hollow body guitar market and compete with an extremely popular Gibson ES-335. Unfortunately, Fender wasn’t able to win that battle and in the end, the Starcaster was discontinued in 1982.
Over 30 years later, people started paying more attention to vintage guitars. Eventually, old Starcasters became really popular among the collectors and passionate guitarists. Nevertheless, since they were produced only from 1976 to 1982, there aren’t too many models in the second hand market.
That’s why Squier decided to create the Classic Vibe Starcaster. It’s a really affordable option for anyone who wants to try this legendary offset semi-hollow body guitar. And although it’s not as popular as the Stratocasters or Telecasters, it still features an amazing quality.
As you can see, the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is a really interesting guitar. Considering how difficult it is to find other semi-hollow body guitars made by Squier or Fender, this is a must-have model for all lovers of offset guitars.
What do you think about this Starcaster? Would you add it to your guitar collection? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with me, I’m really interested to hear what you think!
Thanks for checking out today’s review – I hope that it was helpful! If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: