Squier Vintage Modified Strat

Tuesday, September 30, 2008| by Alan "Frets99" Sirvent

I first ran into a Squier guitar back in the mid 80’s. It was fire engine red with a black headstock and probably started my love affair with painted headstocks. But I was younger and succumbed to the hype that it was just a cheapo guitar. I subsequently sold it to finance another purchase. Ah youth!

This all brings me to the Squier Vintage Modified series, with a current street price of approximately $300 USD. Fender has found a way to make a guitar at this price point that can easily be used as a number one guitar, rather than just a student model or second guitar.

The review model has a sunburst finish with a 3-ply black pickguard reminiscent of Fender’s custom shop SRV Stratocasters. I love its classic looks and found no finish flaws anywhere. Additional unique cosmetic features include a gold and black Squier logo and an engraved neckplate.

The gloss finished, C-Shaped maple neck has 21 medium, jumbo frets which were very nicely dressed with no sharp edges. I had no problems setting her up and playing as soon as I got her home. The tuners are solid, the knobs are very responsive. It’s all very smooth and playable all the way up the board; she’s just a really easy player.

The Duncan designed Alnico 5 pickups are a far cry from stock ceramic pickups found on most entry level guitars even in the Fender camp. They are strong pickups that overdrive very nicely. With a little more overdrive, this guitar really sings. The hotter pickups also make her a very funky guitar. I find she’s terrific for syncopated rhythm guitar playing. The combination of these pickups and the Indian Red Cedar body make a really great tone! They have the classic Fender Strat tones right down to middle position quacks.

In my opinion, this guitar is set to give many midrange guitar brands competition. At this price range, there are still things more seasoned players might like to mod like the pot metal trem or the nut. With those changes, I think you have a guitar that’s as gig-worthy as anything you’re going to find out there at a much lower price.

Street Price: ~ $300 USD
Pros: solid construction, good pickups
Cons: None

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Filed Under: Squier, Reviews