Tom has his say on one of the hidden gems in store:
When buying a Stratocaster guitar there’s always the desire to have the classic Fender logo on the headstock, which I have always been guilty of myself. But, after playing on every Stratocaster in store numerous times, the one I always go back to is the Squier Classic Vibe 60’s. This isn’t easy to admit, having spent almost triple the price for USA Stratocasters, but I believe that for value, aesthetics and playability, the Classic Vibe is a serious force to be reckoned with.
For starters, the 3-tone sunburst with tortoise shell is very reminiscent of the John Mayer signature Stratocaster (which was discontinued), and I can’t deny that this is a big factor due to me being a super-fan. I call it a ‘modern-classic’ finish.
On a more practical note, the gloss neck has just the right amount of lacquer to slide up and down. In the past I have found myself sanding down the back of gloss neck guitars to help playability as I’ve found them a bit sticky. Not necessary with the classic vibe.
Also, the rosewood fretboard itself is one of my favourite features. The rosewood on this guitar is slightly darker than almost every fretboard I’ve seen, as it looks more like an ebony and feels almost like there’s a spring on the surface that helps move around from note to note and makes it a dream to play
Finally, the pickups don’t respond like you would expect Squier pickups to either; they respond compassionately to dynamics – reminiscent of premium USA pickups; and don’t lose any accuracy when going to higher frets – something I’ve found to be an issue with a lot of Strats.
So, if you’re looking for a Stratocaster under £500, that plays well right out of the box, sounds like it’s worth loads more, and looks MEGA, then give the classic vibe a look before you jump in and buy what you think is the obvious choice.
…also, vintage tuners on a Squier? … Come on.