Squier Vintage Modified Tele SSH
Squier Vintage Modified Tele SSH

Vintage Modified Tele SSH, TLC-Shaped Guitar from Squier in the Telecaster series.

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King Loudness 09/03/2011

Squier Vintage Modified Tele SSH : King Loudness's user review

« Cool and versatile »

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The Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster SSH version is one of the company's more recent offerings to branch out to players who are looking for an affordable yet still extremely well made and versatile instrument that has a wonderful palate of tones available. This particular guitar features many specs that confirm to a standard Tele style, but some other ones that deviate from it (IE: electronics). It has an Indian Red Cedar body (not a common tonewood per se, but it is becoming a lot more common on cheaper guitars.) a maple neck with 21 frets, sealed tuners, a standard Tele style bridge with six saddles and a pickup configuration of three Duncan Designed pickups. There is a mini humbucker at the neck, a typical Strat style single coil in the middle, and your hallmark Tele bridge pickup in the bridge position. This is coupled with standard volume and tone controls as well as a 5 way switch for some added verzatility in selecting different pickup combinations.


The Squier Vintage Modified Tele SSH isn't the most ergonomic guitar that I've come across by any means. My particular example was on the heavy side (extremely heavy for a Tele I thought) and the general shape of the guitar isn't the most contoured or whatnot like a Strat. However I don't mind these things if the guitar sounds good and feel right. The upper fret access is decent enough on this as with any Tele, but it's certainly not as good as some other guitars out there with things like contoured neck heels.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is very easy to do because of the myriad of different pickup combinations that are available. Each pickup in the guitar offers a different sort of sound or tonal characteristic and the fact that you can use the 5 way switch to combine certain pickups is a bonus as well. It takes well to many different styles and is quite versatile for a typical Squier guitar.


This particular guitar, like most Teles, has very good dynamics and responds well to both clean and overdriven tones with great dynamics, articulation and a certain clarity that I wouldn't have expected from a cedar bodied guitar. Cedar isn't a wood that's commonly used for the building of electric guitars because of its softness and generally mellow tone, so the unplugged sound really isn't much to write home about. However the stock Seymour Duncan Designed pickups really shocked me with how pure and real they sounded. They all have an open and airy quality that brings to mind a nicely preserved vintage pickup. The mini humbucker is great for jazzier or bluesy tones, the middle Strat type single coil has a wonderful "quack" sound that gives a great tone ala cleaner Hendrix or Dire Straits, and the bridge pickup has that wonderfully thick and biting Telecaster tone that has been the hallmark of many country and rock records over the years. When the pickups are distorted they still retain a good clarity to them that allows the tone to stay clear and distinct without getting muddy, and still provide great even harmonics too.


All in all I think the Squier Vintage Modified SSH Tele is a wonderful guitar for anyone looking for a fairly priced, well made and versatile guitar. At about $350 new, this guitar is an excellent deal overall, and they can be had even cheaper used. The quality is a little more hit or miss on these guitars compared to the Classic Vibe models for some reason, but the one I owned played and felt really nice despite its heavier weight and somewhat dead acoustic tone.