Friday, August 19, 2011
It's been a long time since I bought a guitar. I'd been thinking about buying something this year, so yesterday I pulled the trigger and bought this Squier Classic Vibe Thinline Telecastter.
Of these photos I like the back the best, as it nicely shows the figuring of the mahogany used for the body.
The Telecaster was the first successful solidbody "Spanish" (that is, made to be played by fretting) guitar to see mass production. The Leo Fender design was first released under the Esquire name in 1950. When local guitarists convinced Fender to change the neck design so it had a truss rod, allowing for adjusting the curvature of the neck to compensate for climate effects, Fender renamed the guitar the Broadcaster. Several hundred were produced before the Gretsch Company asked the name be changed since they already had a Broadkaster drum line. The result was a final name change to the one that would stick with the instrument, Telecaster. Fender would soon revive the Esquire name for a single pickup version of the design, versus the two pickup Telecaster.
Telecasters have been offered under the Fender brand name ever since, a production run second only to the hollowbody Gibson ES-175, which debuted in 1949, making the '175 the electric guitar model produced the longest.
This Squier model is based on the late '60s Telecaster Thinline, designed by the late Roger Rossmeisl(who designed many of the classic Rickenbacker instruments used by the Beatles) with help from Phil Kubicki. It features a mahogany body with a hollowed out chamber and accompanying f hole, both features originally being an attempt to create a lighter version of the Telecaster than the original solidbody design. This emulation is part of Squier's Classic Vibe line, which has been getting a lot of attention from guitarists of late. These Chinese made instruments run in the 300 buck range, and show a nice level of quality for that price.
Fender established the Squier line of instruments in 1982 when it began selling Japanese made instruments. Fender had acquired the V.C. Squier string company in 1965, and decided to use the Squier name for their initial Japanese line in case reaction proved negative. Instead Squier went on to be Fender budget oriented line, with production over the years moving to South Korea, Indonesia, India, and China as production costs increased in more developed countries and as guitar manufacturing capabilities grew in sophistication and quality in new places.
This is a nice instrument. I haven't popped off the pickguard to get a look at the electronics, but this one is surprisingly electrically quiet for a guitar with single coil pickups, which are prone to 60 cycle electric noise. It seems a good shielding job was done. Some folks have complained about the neck width and depth but they haven't bothered me yet. If you're looking for a budget electric check these out.