Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 60s Review
This is my full review of the Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster. The Squier Classic Vibe Range of guitars is one of the most popular in years and with good reason.
I am going to break this review down in a few ways. I like to always consider the price of the instrument as well as the performance at that price point. The Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster punches well above its weight class.
The Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster is built extremely well considering its price point. Externally, the Squier Classic Vibe is a beautiful guitar. Attention to details is evident in the following parts:
The fret edges on the Classic Vibe guitars feel great. This is usually the biggest flaw on the Squier Affinity Series guitars. Squier made this feel like a much more premium guitar without having sharp fret edges.
The Neck Finish
Whether or not you’re into a modern/thinner neck one thing is for sure, these necks are nice! Squier took the liberty of upgrading the neck finish with a thin coat of poly which makes it feel great without being sticky. The neck finish is a clear example of the “step-up” from the Affinity series range.
In terms of how the necks feel in the hand as well as the finish, I would compare them with the pre-Player series made in Mexico Fender Stratocasters.
The pickups in the Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster are fantastic. I remember the first time I got my Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster many years ago (video below) and being really engaged in playing both at home and at gigs.
A lot of people mention the pickups Squier use are Tonerider pickups. While I can’t confirm this, I can tell you odds are you won’t want to upgrade the pickups to anything else. The Classic Vibes are set apart from the lower Squier models by also including quality pickups.
As I mentioned, I really love these pickups but how do the rest of the electronics shape up? In terms of longevity and functionality, they work fine. One upgrade to consider might be the pots or switch.
While these work fine, I really like modding my guitars with Emerson Pro Pots. They feel great and last forever and would be a sure upgrade over the Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster onboard controls. The taper on the volume might not be to everyone’s taste so see how you go with it.
With this in mind, they work fine and most people will probably opt to not change something unless it doesn’t work. In terms of the switch, it works but it can feel a little stiff.
Most people buy a guitar for two reasons. They either love the tone and can’t live without it or they love how the guitar plays, or both!
In terms of how the guitar responds in a live situation at gig volume, I loved it! It felt like any other great Fender Stratocaster I have ever owned. One of the things that made this strat sing is how clean the tone is on the high end without being too bright.
The Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster has a really beautiful sustain to it once you get the volume cranked on the amplifier. After playing hundreds of guitars over the years, the Squire CV guitars are still one of my favorite somewhat inexpensive guitars out there.
Sadly, if you live in Australia or Brazil you will be paying a fortune for the Squier Classic Vibe guitars new. On the second-hand market, you can find them at a really good price.
An alternative to the Squier Classic Vibe guitars would be the Harley Benton instruments. I have had a chance to compare them both and feel like one or the other would be a much better choice over the entry-level Squier Affinity Series guitars.
Squier Classic Vibes are still going strong even in 2019. The range of instruments in this series continues to grow while still holding onto the previous generation guitars like the ’60s and ’50s Telecaster and Stratocaster. Seeing longevity in this range means that they are still very popular and they have stuck around for a reason.
I have played a number of Classic Vibe guitars over the years. I purchased a 50s Telecaster from Daytona, FL a few years back and did nothing to it other than change the strings. It played great. The same can be said for the 60s Stratocaster in the video above. It played great straight off the wall.
Squier Classic Vibe or Fender Player Series?
Okay, so the big question! Which would I prefer to own if money was no option? As much as I love the Classic Vibe Guitars I am going with the Player Series. The reason why is, the neck shape is more in-tune with what I enjoy over the Classic Vibe.
In terms of tone, there’s not a lot in it. Both guitars sound and look fantastic and respond really well in a gig situation but I am going to learn towards the Fender. If the Player series guitars are out of your budget the Squier CV guitars will be a great way of getting a Stratocaster or Telecaster into your lineup without breaking the bank.
Squier Classic Vibe or Affinity Series?
I would choose the Classic Vibe over the Affinity series for all of the reasons listed above. The finish, tone, and playability are all better on the Classic Vibes.
Classic Vibe or SX Guitars?
If you’re lucky enough to find SX guitars in your neck of the Woods they compare very favorably with the Classic Vibe guitars. So much so that most people will have a hard time telling them apart in a blind test.
With the blindfold off however the headstock on the Squier looks nicer in my opinion. Other than that, I would suggest checking them both out.
My Overall Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 60s Review
The Squier Classic Vibe guitars have proven to stand the test of time. They are great guitars for anyone wanting a quality instrument for live playing or learning to play. Being a gigging musician, I can tell you I have had zero issues using these guitars in a live situation over the years.
If you want to see a professional play a Squier Classic Vibe live, check out Ray Beadle on YouTube! He’s amazing and uses the Classic Vibe guitars on tour.