Ultimate Guide to
Squier Guitars

Squier is a name synonymous with beginner guitars, and the company is renowned for producing affordable and officially-licensed versions of Fender instruments. However, you’ll soon realise that there is far more to Squier than just simply being Fender’s “budget brand”.

In this guide, we’ll take a close look at all of Squier’s current guitar series’ and explain the differences between the models in their diverse lineup.

Squier Guitars Comparison Guide
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Written by

Elliot Stent

Fender has manufactured instruments under the Squier name since 1982. With the uprising of Far Eastern guitar companies in the late ‘70s, many of which created cheap copies of Fender models, the American company used its Squier subsidiary to manufacture inexpensive alternatives of its US-made guitars - in order to fight off the competition.

Often referred to as “Squier by Fender”, this division has remained a core part of Fender’s business for nearly 40 years. It is regarded as one of the most popular and accessible guitar brands out there for beginners. In fact, you’ll find that most musicians who have picked up the guitar in the last couple of decades would have probably learned on a Squier!

While the company is still well known for its entry-level instruments, Squier’s product range is actually far more varied than some might think. You’ll even find that some of Squier’s models are designed to suit experienced players, and are not solely targeted at novices. We’re going to move through the Squier catalogue series-by-series, to help you find the perfect guitar!

The Bullet series is the definitive Squier beginner range. A starting point for many aspiring guitarists, this best-selling lineup is still going strong several years after its introduction. Encompassing a number of super-affordable guitars based on Fender’s most iconic designs, the Squier Bullet series is an excellent destination for finding your first guitar.

In fact, if you enter any guitar shop in the world - you’ll find a Squier Bullet Strat somewhere! But apart from Strats, the Squier Bullet series features models like the classic Telecaster and the popular offset Mustang too. All available for between roughly £110 - £150, these instruments combine incredible value with respected craftsmanship.

The variety within the Bullet series makes it easy for novices to find a guitar that’ll suit them. For example, the legendary Stratocaster is considered as a versatile all-rounder with its trio of single-coil pickups, making it ideal for anything from rock to funk. The Telecaster also features single-coil pickups, but is more fitting for indie and country music with its signature spanky sound. And finally, the Squier Bullet Mustang is tailored towards heavy rock fans with its thick-sounding dual humbuckers that are better at handling overdrive and distortion.

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The Affinity series is considered as Squier’s flagship guitar range. Budget-friendly and aimed at beginners, the venerable Squier Affinity series remains a best-selling instrument line for retailers all over the world. You’ll find that many musicians started their musical journey with a Squier Affinity guitar!

Models from the Affinity series are regarded as a step up from those within the basic Bullet lineup. Built from better tonewoods and featuring superior electronics, these instruments are more akin to the high-end Fender counterparts that they derive from. Because of this, Squier Affinity guitars typically cost between £180 - £250.

Squier’s Affinity series features a number of iconic Fender shapes, including Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazzmasters and even Starcaster semi-acoustic guitars. So whatever styles of music you’re into, there’s sure to be a guitar from the Affinity series that will suit them. Bass players can also rejoice, as the Squier Affinity range boasts Jazz Bass and P-Bass models too!

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Squier’s Classic Vibe series guitars are based on vintage Fender models from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s - without the eye-watering price tags! It is one of the most popular ranges within Squier’s catalogue, and the guitars from the Classic Vibe series are regarded by our managing director, Lee Anderton, as some of the best bang-for-your-buck instruments out there.

Nostalgia plays a huge part in these instruments’ appeal. Not only do they come installed with vintage-voiced pickups that offer authentic old-school sounds, but they also boast period-correct tinted necks for that true traditional look. An array of era-specific Fender colours are available too, including Fiesta Red, Shell Pink, Daphne Blue and Surf Green.

The Classic Vibe series is one of Squier’s most diverse when it comes to instrument selection. Strats and Teles form the bulk of the lineup, but there are also plenty of rarities. For example, you can find semi-hollow Starcasters, exotic Esquires, modded Mustangs and tasteful Thinlines too. It’s generous on the bass front as well, with plenty of variety. Apart from the usual P-Bass and Jazz Bass models, you’ll find ‘50s “Telecaster” basses and even the legendary Bass VI!

Squier Classic Vibe Series on Andertons T.V.

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The Squier Paranormal series features some of the coolest guitars we've ever seen from Fender's affordable instrument line. Encompassing a brady bunch of offset oddities and forgotten favourites from Fender's past, there's also some unique hybrid instruments that combine the features of two famous designs to form something completely fresh.

Highlights include the humbucker-equipped Toronado, reversed Super-Sonic, classy Cabronita Telecaster and the Cyclone - a true alt-rock all-star. At around the £350 mark too, these stylish guitars are simply great bang-for-the-buck. And with a diverse mix of modern and retro colours available across the range - you're sure to find something to fit your style!

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The Contemporary series is a relatively new entry in the Squier catalogue, but definitely a noteworthy one. Encompassing a fantastic selection of ultra-modern guitars and basses, this stellar series takes classic Fender designs and refines them with a host of state-of-the-art appointments.

Instruments from the Squier Contemporary series are definitely aimed at intermediates or even seasoned pros, thanks to their impressive feature-sets. For instance, many models come equipped with high-output active humbuckers designed for use with high-gain amplifiers; making them excellent for metal. “C”-shaped necks also give these guitars a very comfortable feel, with their satin finishes offering a smooth and speedy surface for exceptional playability.

The best thing about the Squier Contemporary series, though, is that it’s incredibly diverse. You’ll spot the usual suspects of course, such as Strats, Teles and Jazz Basses, but you’ll also come across stylish Jazzmasters and even semi-hollow Starcasters. So if you’re a fan of niche-looking Fender instruments built specifically for modern genres, the Contemporary series is a great place to find them!

Squier Contemporary Series on Andertons T.V.

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Most major guitar brands now produce signature models for loyal, high-profile users of their instruments. This includes Squier, and while most of the artists on their endorsee roster will use Fenders, Squier signature guitars allow fans to purchase affordable versions that are still close to those used by their heroes.

Squier Artist series guitars are designed collaboratively with their signature musicians. You will find that the majority of these are simply modified versions of existing models. They might feature unconventional pickups or hardware, as well as custom neck shapes and even unique finishes.

Squier’s current signature lineup is fairly streamlined. One of the most popular models from the series is the Jim Root (Slipknot) Telecaster, which closely adheres to the full-fledged Fender-made version with its high-output, blackout-cover pickups and fast “Modern C”-shaped neck. The John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Solo) Telecaster is equally “metal”, with a powerful dual-humbucker configuration. But if you want something more alternative, the J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) Jazzmaster is a very cool option!

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The FSR series sports a range of limited edition Squier guitars. Just like the Fender’s FSR series, these models are almost always based on current models in their respective catalogues. However, these guitars and basses can often feature unusual, one-off finishes or uncommon pickup configurations. Think of these as Squier instruments with a twist!

Squier FSR guitars are constructed in short production runs, meaning that most you’ll see will be limited to just a few hundred/thousand examples. Andertons Music Co. works closely with Squier to ensure that we always have a great selection of these rare FSR guitars. But sometimes, we even collaboratively design FSR models with them - which they’ll make exclusively for us!

Squier FSR Series on Andertons T.V.

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