I’m creating today’s guide for everyone who’s thinking about getting an electric guitar made by Squier. I had A LOT of their guitars in my hands throughout the years and I decided to choose 6 models that I consider as the coolest.
Squiers are generally extremely popular – and it doesn’t surprise me at all. These axes are usually cheap and quite often they can compete with much more expensive Fenders. Not all of them are ideal though.
So here’s six best Squier guitars that I can totally recommend for both amateur and intermediate players. Of course, all photos below are mine, so you can be sure that I actually tested these guitars. I genuinely hope that someone will find this guide useful. Let’s go!
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster
Let’s start with the CV Stratocaster! This is probably one of my all-time favorites when it comes to this brand.
There are three different versions of this Strat (’50s, ’60s and ’70s) and the one I had was the fifties one. I’m pretty sure that it’s the only model with the maple fretboard! So if you like that kind of stuff, you should definitely check it out too.
The Classic Vibe series is often considered as the best Squier series overall. These guitars are ridiculously well-made and they are often on the same level as Mexican-made Fenders.
I mean look at it. Isn’t it beautiful? And trust me, it sounds even better than it looks. It has that classic and bright Stratocaster tone that everyone loves. Hence, it’s extremely versatile, so whether you’re into overdrive or clean tones – you’ll love it.
When it comes to prices, you can easily find these on the second-hand market for less than $400. The brand new ones are a bit more expensive, but in comparison with Fenders, they are still way more affordable.
All of these ’50s, ’60s and ’70s Strats are available in various color versions, so I’m sure that everyone will be able to find the one that suits them. That’s pretty cool, because there are A LOT of models to choose from!
You may wonder where’s the catch – and that’s understandable. Sometimes these guitars come with a poor factory setup, but it can be easily fixed. If the string action is too high, you can easily adjust it.
Summing up – Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is a fantastic electric guitar designed for both guitar noobs and even pro players. It’s pretty much a cheaper version of MIM Fender. How can you not love it?
Squier Affinity Telecaster
The Affinity Telecaster by Squier is an another awesome electric guitar that I had the pleasure to test out! It’s a bit more affordable than the Classic Vibe Tele, so it may be a better option for those with a lower budget.
For those who aren’t aware, the Affinity Series is somewhere in the mid-range when it comes to Squiers. It’s a bit better than Sonic/Bullet Series, but it doesn’t have the vintage vibe from the CV.
Generally, it’s a very cool guitar. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll definitely love it. If you’re a bit more experienced, you’ll like it too, but I have a feeling that the CV may potentially be a better fit for you.
Apart from the electronics, there’s also one very important difference between the Affinity and CV guitars – it’s the finish on the neck. The Affinity ones have satin finishes, while the CV ones have gloss finishes. This is actually very important.
The gloss finish on the Classic Vibe tends to be quite sticky so you have to get used to it. On the other hand, the finish on this Tele was just awesome and smooth as butter. I like that feel, so for me it was actually a big advantage.
But I’m sure that there are people who prefer gloss finishes too. It all comes down to you and your preferences.
Overall, Squier Affinity Telecaster is a fantastic budget Tele that offers a great value for the money. If you want to find out more about it, check out my video review below.
Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster
This is an another one of my all-time favorites! I bought my 40th Anniversary JM soon after these guitars were announced (I’m pretty sure it was around February 2022).
It’s a very special guitar – it looks almost the same as Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster (which is awesome too by the way), but it’s slightly different and more.. posh? I don’t know if it’s the right word. Basically, it has a very elegant and almost luxury-like aesthetic.
I’m not sure if these axes are still available to buy in guitar stores, but if you manage to find it somewhere – go for it! You won’t regret it.
The sound of this thing is AWESOME! Bright, clear and so versatile. It’s a Jazzmaster, so it has two circuits – the rhythm and lead sections that you can activate with the switch on the upper body.
The overall quality of the 40th Anniversary Series guitars is similar to the Classic Vibe models. Just like the CV, these ones are also made in Indonesia. They just look a bit different.
I have to admit that the factory setup wasn’t the best when I got it, so I had to do some work to make it playable. But after fixing these issues (the string action was extremely high and the guitar kept going out of tune after using the tremolo), this JM quickly became one of my favorite guitars.
Who is it for? I’d recommend this one for more advanced players who know what they’re looking for. This is one of the most expensive Squiers out there, so it’s probably not the best option for amateurs.
Nevertheless, I’d still be happy to call this one as one of the best Squier guitars that you can currently find on the market.
Squier Classic Vibe Jaguar
Time for something very special! This is actually the most affordable Jag that you can find on the market. Squier doesn’t have a lot of them in their offer, so the next one you can choose is Fender Player Jaguar which is two times more expensive.
I was lucky enough to get the FSR Classic Vibe Jaguar which is from the limited edition. That charcoal finish with the matching headstock looks absolutely incredible. It looks even better in real life! But apart from the finish, it’s pretty much the same as other CV Jags.
I tested the Surf Green version too and to be honest, both of these guitars surprised me very positively. I had to adjust the string action in both of these models, but shimming the neck wasn’t necessary. I know that some people will decide to do it though.
Generally, Jaguars are extremely versatile. I’m sure that you recognize Kurt Cobain’s Jag and you know that a lot of surf and indie rock players use these guitars (as well as Jazzmasters). But to be honest, due to the variety of settings and switches, these guitars are good for pretty much everything.
So whether you’re into grunge, classic rock, indie, alternative rock, punk or emo – the CV Jag will definitely be a good choice for you. Remember that you won’t find any similar Jaguar at this price level – and that’s one of the things that may convince you to add it to your collection!
I recently recorded a video about that Squier, so if you want to check it out, here it is.
Squier Sonic Stratocaster
The Sonic Strat is a brand new model – it was announced by Squier only a few months ago. This is basically the new Bullet Series which was often recommended for beginners.
There are quite a few guitars in these series, but personally I had the pleasure to check out the one with the 2-tone sunburst finish. It made a stunning impression on me and I was surprised that such a cheap guitar can be that good. Like seriously! We’re talking about 10/10 quality.
So if you’re looking for the most affordable option, this is probably the way to go. I’d say that this is an ideal axe for anyone who’s starting out and looking for their first electric guitar.
What I also like about the Sonic Stratocaster is that it’s available in the HSS version as well. I’m planning to get it in the next couple of weeks, so the video review of that model will definitely be available on my YouTube channel as well.
Is is betterh than the CV Strat? Nope. And that’s completely fine. But the overall value for the money in this case is ridiculously good.
Summing up, I can definitely recommend this axe for all guitar noobs out there. If you’re a pro, you should probably look for something better. I mean come on. You can’t expect it to be pro for less than $200, right? Surely, it’s one of the best Squier guitars available under $200.
Squier Bullet Mustang
Of course, I also had to mention the Bullet Series! I’m not sure how long these guitars will be available on the market, but if you manage to find it, I highly recommend checking it out.
It’s basically a budget Mustang – a short-scale (24″) guitar recommended for beginners. That scale is perfect for players with smaller palms and shorter fingers. If you’re a woman, choosing the Mustang rather than a Strat or Tele will probably be a good choice.
Don’t expect it to be flawless though – it’s a pretty cheap Chinese-made model. But let’s say that you’re an amateur and you don’t even know if playing guitar is your thing. If that’s the case, you don’t want to spend too much money on gear, right?
Overall, it’s a nice and good sounding axe. If you already have some experience with guitars, this model isn’t for you. Choosing a CV Mustang would be a much better option for you.
Which One Would I Get?
Honestly, I think that all of these axes are worth it. I’d probably choose a Jaguar or a Jazzmaster because I’m a complete sucker for offset guitars.
But let’s be honest – your choice may be different. I think that you should base your decision on your own personal needs, budget and level of experience.
I created a table with my recommendations below. It’s all pretty subjective, but it should clarify whether your needs match with these models.
|Squier CV Stratocaster||Best Value For The Money|
|Squier Affinity Telecaster||Best Telecaster Under $300|
|Squier CV Jaguar||Best Offset Squier|
|Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster||Best For Intermediate Players|
|Squier Sonic Stratocaster||Best For Beginners|
|Squier Bullet Mustang||The Cheapest Option|
So summing up:
- if you’re a complete amateur, choosing a Squier from the Bullet or Sonic Series will be the most reasonable option
- if you really care about the quality, getting a Squier Classic Vibe axe will be a fantastic option
- and if you’re looking for something special, getting a guitar from the 40th Anniversary Series may be a good idea too.
Hopefully that helps!
Budget vs Expensive Squiers
When you compare the cheapest Squier with the most expensive one, the difference is pretty easy to notice.
I actually directly compared the Sonic Strat with the CV Strat and it seemed clear which one’s better. Obviously, the more you pay, the better instrument you get.
It doesn’t mean that budget Squiers are bad. Quite opposite, actually! These cheap axes are still really good. But if you’re looking for the best possible quality, choosing a more expensive model (like CV or 40th Anniversary) will be the best option.
If you want to see the full comparison of these guitars, check it out below.
Expensive Squier vs Cheap Fender
Okay, so let’s imagine that you decided to get one of the more expensive Squiers and you’re not sure if you should stick to it or maybe you should collect more money to get a Fender instead.
Don’t worry – I know that struggle.
In my opinion, CV and 40th Anniversary Squiers are pretty much on the same level as Fenders from the Player Series.
But here’s the catch – not all Mexican-made Fenders are like that. There’s also Vintera Series which is also made in that region.
If I had too choose between a high-end Squier of Fender Vintera guitar, I’d definitely choose Fender.
So in the end, it all depends on your budget and how advanced you are. I played gigs and I recorded songs with Squiers, so even if you want to become a pro, there’s nothing wrong with using a Squier.
If I were an aspiring musician, I’d be very happy to use a Squier for a while and then I’d eventually move on to something better (like Fender Vintera or Fender American Professional II Series).
It’s totally up to you though!
Hopefully this guide was helpful! I know that there are a lot of other Squiers out there that I haven’t mentioned (for example the Paranormal Series), but I can guarantee that these six guitars are worth the money.
No matter whether you’re a Strat, Tele or Jazzmaster lover, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be happy with these Squiers.
I mean, just think about it. These guitars offer a stunning value for the money, they’re crazy cheap in comparison with Fenders and they sound and look awesome. How can you not like that?
Some people may say that playing on a Squier is lame because it doesn’t have the Fender logo on the headstock, but to be honest is it really that important? I think it’s more about the fun, it’s not about the logo. We live in awesome times – cheap guitars are awesome these days!