Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '60s
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '60s

Classic Vibe Stratocaster '60s, STC-Shaped Guitar from Squier in the Stratocaster series.

King Loudness 12/30/2011

Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '60s : King Loudness's user review

« Great value for money »

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The Squier Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster is yet another model from Squier's recent Classic Vibe series that has been such a hit with musicians since its inception. It basically is a reissue of a mid sixties Fender Strat with great quality, but built to a very attractive price point. Like the original Fender, it features an alder body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, and smaller vintage frets (the neck is a 21 fretter). The tuners are standard closed models, the bridge is a standard 6 screw fulcrum point model, and the pickups are made by Tonerider for Squier. It has the standard volume/tone/tone/pickup selector layout of most Strats too. Squier produces in various factories overseas so you can find guitars built in China, Indonesia, or maybe even other places too.


The design of this guitar is reasonably ergonomic for a Strat. The original Fender models of that time had more sleek contouring and were generally lighter guitars and this one follows those ethos quite well. It's reasonably light itself and sits on the body quite well for my liking. It's not quite as sleek as an original '60s model Fender from my experience, but for the price one can't be too picky. The upper fret access is decent, though there is only 21 frets, and the blocky neck heel can impede pure shredding somewhat, but most Strat players find a way to adapt.

Getting a good tone out of this guitar isn't difficult. Much like the other Classic Vibe Strats, this one is made of decent quality wood, and the Tonerider pickups are a diamond in the rough. Dialing in the tones are pretty easy overall. I find the only real issue is the quality of the controls used, which affects the roll-off and other things that control dynamics in a Strat. All in all though it's pretty easy.


This guitar seems to sound best with a more vintage voiced tone to my ears. The pickups are lower output and the tones are pretty mild when compared to some more modern sounding guitars. Using a clean amp like a Fender is great for blues, country or some more artist specific clean tones by guys like Hendrix and Knopfler. The stock pickups have a nice responsiveness and attack and I'm quite impressed with their bright nature coupled with the darker alder/rosewood combo wood wise. Switching over to a drive channel brings in some nice bright rock tones that are gritty yet have a wonderful Stratty snap to them. SRV type tones come with ease, or you can do some great classic rock as well. The pickups do get noisy when hit with a ton of gain and they can also be kinda thin in that department so it's less ideal for modern rock or shred.


All in all I think the Squier Classic Vibe '60s Strat is a great deal for someone looking for an affordable vintage style Strat that plays great, sounds great and is priced great. At about $350 new, it's hard to find this kind of value in anything else out there, and given Squier's increased quality control as of late, they're much more consistent than the guitars of older times. Definitely give this one a whirl!