Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Not as good as the ones from 2012!!!
on October 20, 2014
I just received my Squier Strat HSS today from Amazon & I have to say that I am a bit disappointed. While still decent guitars for the money (and for guitar students), the new ones are simply not as good as the ones from 2012. Back in 2012, I ordered a Squier Bullet Strat HSS (Brown Sunburst), also from Amazon, & was quite impressed with the quality of it. So much so, in fact, that a couple of weeks later, I ordered another one as a backup. I'm definitely glad I did that at the time, because the new ones are built to a lesser standard. Aside from the sound, there was virtually no difference in quality between that HSS & my Squier Standard Stratocaster (Cherry Sunburst) that I bought that same year.
Today, when I took my new Black Squier Strat HSS out of the box, I immediately noticed that it felt lighter. So, I put it on the scale & it weighed 6.0 pounds. I then put my older Brown Sunburst HSS on the scale & it read 7.8 pounds. I plugged the new guitar into the amp, set the volume to the same level as the older one, & noticed that the humbucking pickup did not sound as "fat" or loud as the old one. I think they are now using cheaper potentiometers. On a positive note, the new HSS pickups are quieter than the old ones with virtually no humming. Looking at the pickup covers, the new ones have some small holes on the covers (probably to allow a tool to grip it during installation). Not to nit-pick, but there was also a drop of solder that had fallen onto the pickguard & a bit on the side of one of the tone knobs. At least the pickguard had clear plastic over it, so the solder came off when I removed the plastic. However, it remains on the tone knob. The volume knob & both tone knobs do not turn as smoothly as the older ones. The older HSS knobs had a nice smooth feel to them when turned. The knobs, on the new one, do not glide as smoothly & generally have a cheap feel to them when turned.
It's interesting to note that the newer Squier HSS (at least this one) is made in Indonesia & the ones from 2012 were made in China. Several years ago, much of the guitars being made in Asia were coming from Indonesia & South Korea. These days, it's usually China. And in general, I have found that the older Indonesian made guitars (Fender, Epiphone, & Yamaha) were of a higher quality. But such is not the case here, and I can only conclude that Fender (Squier) has made a cost-cutting move & are now using cheaper materials. Even my Fender Starcaster guitar (from 2010) has a higher quality feel to it than this new HSS. Being a fairly small person (154 pounds), I liked the Starcaster & Bullet Strats because of their slightly smaller size & weight (compared to the standard models). But I'm afraid the new ones are just a little too light & feel a bit too cheap. Although still a good student guitar, I have to say that they are just not the fantastic bargains that they used to be. You are no longer getting more than what you paid for. 3 Stars for the new ones, 4.5 for the old ones.