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In today’s review, we’re going to review and compare three versions of Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster – ’50s vs ’60s vs ’70s. Undoubtedly, all of these models are really popular among the guitarist community, but what are the actual differences between them?
All of these Strats are really similar, but there are a few small things that differentiate them. While ’50s and ’60s models feature a Nato body, the ’70s Strat has a poplar body. In addition, the guitars have different fretboards and the ’70s model offers a large headstock and the HSS pickup setting.
Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what makes these guitars so special and which model will be the right fit for you and your style. We’ll review all three models and what’s more, there will be a sound comparison as well.
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster
In my opinion, this is the best looking Squier Stratocaster. There’s something really cool about that vintage look – the maple neck with black fret marks really improves the overall appearance of that axe. The maple fretboard is the main thing that differentiates the ’50s model from the ’60s and ’70s models.
The guitar features a comfortable C-shaped neck and a classic Strat pickup setting – three Fender-Alnico single-coil pickups. They all sound really good and they offer a lot of versatility when it comes to tone. Whether you’re into rock, blues, indie or jazz – you’ll definitely enjoy that tone.
What’s more, the ’50s Stratocaster is available in four different color versions: Fiesta Red, White Blonde, Black and 2-Color Sunburst.
Here’s a really cool sound demo – you should definitely check it out.
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster
As you can see on the picture above, in comparison with the previous model, the Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster has a different fretboard. In this case, the manufacturer decided to use Indian Laurel. The fretboard is the main thing that differentiates the ’60s model from the ’50s model.
The ’60s Strat is equipped with the same comfortable C-shaped neck and three single-coil pickups. Similarly as before, there are also vintage-style tuners and a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge.
What’s important, this Stratocaster is available in a few unique color versions: Candy Apple Red, Lake Placid Blue and 3-Color Sunburst.
Here’s a quick sound demo – make sure to check it out.
Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Stratocaster
The ’70s Stratocaster is also a really interesting option for a lot of guitarists. In comparison with two previous models, the ’70s Strat is available in the HSS pickup setting and it has a bit larger headstock. What’s interesting, the guitar is also available in the regular setting with three single-coil pickups, so it’s a really good option for guitarists who don’t need a bridge humbucker.
Similarly as before, this Stratocaster offers a really comfortable C-shaped neck, vintage-style tuners and a vintage-style tremolo. What’s more, the guitar looks and sounds absolutely fantastic in all configurations. In addition, it has a poplar body, which is pretty lightweight. If you’d like to read more about poplar, I wrote a detailed article about it.
The guitar is available in a few different color versions: Black (HSS), Walnut (HSS), Natural (SSS) and Olympic White (SSS).
Here’s a quick sound demo – feel free to check it out.
Although all of these guitars are fairly similar when it comes to look and used materials, they tend to sound slightly different. The tone differences are not that clear, so they’re difficult to describe with words.
Overall, because of the bridge humbucker, the ’70s Stratocaster seems to have a way warmer tone than the other Strats. Still, all of these guitars are really versatile and they can be used in a lot of different ways.
If you’re still not sure which model is right for you, you should definitely check out the tone comparison below by Andertons Music. This video should give you a great understanding of how these Strats sound like when you compare them to each other.
In my opinion, this video proves that all of these guitars deserve a lot of attention. They all sound and look great – who needs anything else!
However, just like any other guitars at this price level, these Squiers aren’t ideal either. So where’s the catch?
Disadvantages Of Squier Classic Vibe Strats
Unfortunately, no guitar is perfect – there are always some minor disadvantages that we should be aware of. Although Squier Classic Vibe Stratocasters don’t have too many flaws, they’re not ideal either.
Firstly, some guitars from this Series require a setup. It’s really annoying when you buy a guitar and you have to fix it right away. Of course, it depends on where you buy it too – some retailers offer a guitar inspection before shipping. In addition, it’s totally possible to do these minor fixes (like adjusting the string action) on your own.
Another thing is the neck – it has a gloss finish, so it tends to become a bit sticky. It may be a problem for guitarists who have problems with sweaty hands. Still, it all comes down to your own preferences – some people absolutely love these necks!
Lastly, if you’re a more advanced player, you may notice that the stock pickups used in these models aren’t the best. They’re awesome for beginners, who probably won’t have any issues with them. But in the end, they’re quite noisy, so they may not be the best for clean studio recordings. Nevertheless, you can always upgrade them – it’s not a huge issue!
Are Squier Classic Vibe Stratocasters Worth It?
Absolutely! These guitars offer an extremely good quality at a really reasonable price. Considering how good these Strats are when you compare them to Fenders, they actually seem like a bargain.
If you decide to get one of these guitars, you’ll get access to a really wide range of tones. The versatility of these guitars is absolutely amazing and they can be used in a lot of different genres.
I have no hesitation in recommending Squier Classic Vibe Stratocasters to both beginner and more advanced guitarists. You won’t be disappointed!
Are There Any Alternatives?
If you don’t like any of these guitars or your budget is too tight, don’t worry! There’s a few good alternatives out there. Although they are not as good the Classic Vibe Series, they still work pretty well, especially for beginners.
Firstly, I definitely recommend checking out the Squier Affinity Stratocaster. I personally own that guitar and it’s a really good choice. I think that it’s a great proof that good guitars don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. Still, in comparison with the CV Strats, the Affinity Strat doesn’t offer that cool vintage vibe and feel.
If you’re looking for something even better, you should definitely check out the Fender Vintera Stratocaster. Just like the Classic Vibe Stratocaster, it’s available in three different versions and they’re all amazing. This Strat will be an excellent choice for guitarists who are looking for a reliable piece of gear suitable for live gigs and studio recordings.
Still, in my opinion all three CV Strats mentioned in this article are the best value for the money and if you want to find a good Strat, you don’t have to look anywhere else. Their quality is comparable with more expensive Fenders and they’re just so versatile!
Where are Squier Classic Vibe Stratocasters made?
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocasters are currently manufactured in Indonesia.
Are these guitars good for beginners?
Absolutely! Squier Classic Vibe Strat is a perfect choice for both beginners and more advanced players. If you’re just starting out, you’ll definitely enjoy the quality and tone of that Stratocaster.
What pickups are used in these Squiers?
Squier equipped these Strats with Fender-Alnico pickups. They’re available in two configurations: SSS (three single-coils pickup) or HSS (humbucker and two single-coil pickups).
What gauge strings do Squiers come with?
Squier usually uses 9-42 strings, so they’re fairly light.
It’s time for quick summary of today’s article. Firstly, let’s start with the main pros and cons of these Strats!
Undoubtedly, Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is a really interesting guitar. Although the differences between them are small, I’m sure that you already have your favorite model. Which one would you choose? Leave a comment below, I’m really interested to hear what you think!
Personally, I’d stick with the ’50s version – I love maple necks with black fret marks, especially on Strats!
Thanks for checking out today’s review, I hope that it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: