So, you’ve bought yourself a Squier, eh? You’ll want to know that there ain’t a better beginner guitar for folks that have a bit of a tight budget. Ask any experienced guitarist and they’ll tell ya the same. Even pros like to play ’em. Anyway, as a fresh Squier owner, there’s a good chance you’re wondering: how do I make my Squier sound like a Fender?
First of all, is there any difference in sound between Squiers and Fenders? If there isn’t, the question in the title seems a bit absurd. We’ll talk about that, too. Anyway, in the text that you’re about to read, we’ll try to tackle most of the issues related to the Squier-Fender relationship. As always, stay tuned!
There are a couple of things you can do. For instance, you can replace your Squier nut with a bone nut. Also, you can lower your action, or modify the neck relief to neutral to avoid string buzz. Additionally, you can roll your fretboard edges and the rough fret ends by gently using a super fine sanding block.
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Table of Contents
Is Squier just as good as Fender?
Before we venture deeper into the pits of our main topic for today, let’s answer some of the frequently talked about questions when it comes to the Fender-Squier relationship. That way, we’ll enjoy a better view of the scenery. Anyway, we’ll begin by asking: is Squier Just as good as Fender?
If you’ve ever seen a Squier model, a Squier Strat, or a Tele, you must’ve instantly thought: well, this one looks exactly like a Fender. Although they almost look like twins, there are some differences we’ll need to take into consideration before we reach any conclusions. Therefore, it might be good to hear something about the differences between Squiers and Fenders.
What are the differences between Squiers and Fenders?
So, as we’ve already said, Squiers and Fenders look very similar on the surface. However, it’s the depths we’re concerned with here.
Anyway, you’ll want to know that Squier offers something you’d call budget versions of Fender guitars, and is actually owned by Fender. That’s right, Fender acquired Squier back in ’65. From that moment on, Squier produced a ton (figuratively speaking, of course) of cheaper Strats, Teles, and other Fender models. That way, beginners with a tighter budget had a chance to enjoy these legendary models, without having to spend some good money on an original Fender. One might say that Squiers are the only authorized Fender rip-offs (if we can even call ’em like that).
To conclude: the price is one of their main differences. Needless to say, that opens up a new set of differences we’d like to talk about. Mostly, you’ll find that Squier guitars are made from cheaper materials than their Fender counterparts. Let’s take a closer look:
- To give an example, Squier Bullet Strat possesses a basswood body, while most Fender Strats are made from alder. Therefore, the body of the Squier Bullet Strat might absorb some higher frequencies. Also, the pickups you’ll find on Squiers are somewhat less defined. Fenders, especially those made in the US, got a wider frequency range. Lastly, you’ll “enjoy” more feedback through a distorted amplifier by playing a Squier.
Speaking of Strats, here’s why they are so twangy.
Another crucial difference we’ve almost forgotten to mention
Oh, and we almost forgot to mention another difference between the two: the place in which they’re manufactured. You’ll want to know that Squiers are produced in the Far East, where labor as if you didn’t know this, is pretty cheap. On the other hand, Fender models are mostly made in Mexico, the USA, and Japan. So, how does this influence guitar quality? Here’s the thing: quality control seems to be stricter in Fenders since they’re made where they’re made.
So, is Squier just as good as Fender?
Most guitarists would tell you they’re not. However, we shouldn’t be too quick to judge. That’s because some high-end Squiers are definitely worth every penny invested. For instance, Squier Classic Vibe models are mostly priced under $500. Therefore, they represent fantastic value for money. Also, if you’re used to doing a lot of gigs, chances are that you’ll want to have a Squier guitar as a backup for your trusty Fender.
Okay, so now that we’ve talked a little about the differences between Squiers and Fenders, let’s consider the question this text revolves around: how do you make a Squier sound like a Fender?
How do you make a Squier sound like a Fender?
First things first, let’s pose a simple question: is there a difference in sound between a Squier and a Fender? Well, it would kinda naive to assume that there ain’t no difference in sound between Squiers and Fenders. Let’s elaborate on that for a moment!
As we’ve already mentioned, Squiers are made from cheaper materials. Therefore, they’ll have cheaper pickups and hardware built into them. Not to mention the wood used in the production of Squiers and Fenders (speaking of wood, here’s how to know if your guitar’s made from plywood). All of that will have an influence on the way your instrument will sound and feel.
Anyway, to continue: Fender models typically possess more of a dynamic range. That means they’ll respond better to a player using a gentle, light touch, and a downright heavy one too. The top-quality pickups you’ll find on Fenders allow the players to utilize their instruments with more expression and emotion. Also, as we’ve noted, the pickups in Fenders generally have a wider frequency range. That should signalize that you’ll get a better/richer bass response from your low strings, and a transparent and more detailed tone from your high strings.
Lastly, keep in mind that the top-quality hardware you’ll find on Fenders allows them to stay in tune with more accuracy. Beginner guitarists mightn’t notice the aforementioned difference in sound. That’s also why most folks starting out their guitar-playing adventure opt for Squiers at first, only to move onto the Fenders once they gain some good experience.
Oh, and since we’re on the topic of beginner guitarists, here’s whether Floyd Roses are any good for them.
So, how do you make a Squier sound like a Fender then?
When buying a Squier, you might want to save some bucks, about $100-200, in order to upgrade your instrument so it sounds similar to a Fender. That’s because you’ll need to make certain upgrades to your instrument. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Upgrade your Squier guitar nut to a bone nut. Oh, and speaking of which, here’s why some guitar nuts are made out of bone.
- Adjust your trusty Squier for lower action. Also, see if you can upgrade the pickup.
- Modify your neck relief to neutral. That way, you’ll avoid the so-called string buzz.
- Opt for a fret dress. If necessary, that is.
- Roll the fretboard edges and the rough ends by using a super fine sanding block. If you opt for a heavier grit one, you’ll risk damaging your instrument. Here’s the most important tip you need for rolling the edges: take your time and be very gentle.
By following all of these tips, we’re sure you’ll make your Squier sound a bit like a Fender. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to invest much effort or money into the process. Anyway, let’s take a look and see if there’s anything else we’d like to mention here!
How to take good care of your Squier?
For the last segment in today’s article, we’ve chosen to talk a bit about proper Squier maintenance. Keep in mind that the tips you’ll find below can be applied to just about any electric guitar out there, they’re not Squier-exclusive. So, shall we kick-start the last round?
#1 Wipe your guitar strings once each session’s over
Do you want your guitar strings smelling of garlic? If your answer’s a loud NO, you’ll want to wipe your strings after each playing session. Not only will this keep your strings non-smelly, but it’ll also prolong their lifespan. Anyway, simply cut up an old shirt with a band name you’re no longer willing to be associated with and wipe your strings.
#2 Your guitar belongs in the case (when you’re not playing)
Here’s the thing: your volume and tone knobs are quite infamous as dust collectors. Keep in mind that dust is able to get on the contact points and influence the tone of your instrument in a negative manner. You’ll notice this by the crackling sounds coming out of your guitar. Keeping your guitar inside the case when you’re not playing will help you avoid such a scenario.
#3 Using a strap? Tuck the cable
We’re pretty sure that you’re familiar with the fact that it’s very common for guitarists to unintentionally step on the cable. Therefore, know that many professional guitarists use this method to prevent such a thing from happening: they tuck the cable between the instrument and the strap, from back to front. That way, it stays put.
The bottom line
Okay, guitar-loving folks! That’s about all that we’ve prepared for today. We hope you’ve liked our take on the subject of making a Squier sound like a Fender (and other associated info). For more tips on playing and maintaining your favorite string instrument, pay a visit to this page.