The Very Strange History of the Fender Squier Guitar!
Whether you are just starting, intermediate, or a pro guitarist Fender Squier guitars are made with you in mind, offering quality affordable instruments to inspire you every step of the way to reach your ultimate dream of being a musician. It took quite awhile, but now there is a great demand for the budget friendly, uniquely design, feature packed guitars for musicians around the world.
An English immigrant family is responsible for the trademark of Squier Fender Guitars. Jerome Bonaparte "JB" Squier and his son Victor Carroll "VC" Squier built and repaired violins together in Boston during the late 19th century. Eventually settling at Battle Creek, Michigan, where he opened his own string shop named V.C. Squier Company. In the 1950s the company first contacted Fender, This is when Squier began making electric guitar strings for Fender's first products.
After that, the name wasn't heard of for 17 years until Fender decided to use the Squier brand for selling cheaper alternatives to their Strats and Telecasters. Fender had sold budget guitar models under labels such as Fender Lead before Squier ever came along. At the time, neither of these brands could compete with cheaper Japanese made electric guitar alternatives, especially since the Fender factory was located in California.
The Squier models started to be manufactured in Japan, Squier quickly became very popular as a second line guitar brand. The first six models with the Squier inscription on the headstock were replicas of Fender's most famous guitars, the '57 and '62 Strats, '57 and '62 Precision Basses, '52 Telecasters and a 62 Jazz Base. To this day these high quality models are very collectible and are very valuable for collectors of guitars.
In 1983, Fender decided that they were going to relaunch Squier back into the United States to compete with copies that were out on the market. Using the slogan "There's Magic in the Breed," this series was affordable quality entry-level instruments including included Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision bass models, and three Bullet models. This combined Stratocaster-style body shapes with Telecaster necks in triple-single-coil or dual-hum bucking pickup versions, plus a split-pickup bass with a Telecaster-style headstock.
The next paramount series would be the Squier Standard Series, which was introduced in 1985. This series had kept the vintage vibe, but with a more modern twist of contemporary features. Fender took their advanced technology and applied it to build these non-pickguard models and models with an updated tremolo system to this series of guitars.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2002 by launching its new Series 24 instruments, referring to their 24 ¾” scale length, this series offered some more instrument style options including single-cutaway beginner guitars, semi-hollow-body blues guitars and arch top jazz boxes. These instruments were offered at an exceptional value, but these products did not go over well with musicians.
Fender's Mexico-built Tom DeLonge Stratocaster model was the highest selling guitar in the two years before Squier put out their rendition of the Blink 182 guitarist Delonge’s signature guitar, which featured more likeness to a Fender guitar with its ’70s Stratocaster style, including a single Duncan Designed Detonator pickup and single volume knob. This model proved to be a good selling guitar, with more success to follow.
In the early to mid 2000s Squier decided to stick with the Fender design introducing the limited edition Affinity series guitars. This series ultimately will become the new Vintage Modified family, which popped with color introducing the Butterscotch Blonde Telecaster, Two-color Sunburst Stratocaster, Metallic Red and Metallic Blue. Deluxe models and black-and-chrome Standard Series models were then added, together with two Telecaster Custom models.
The big pay-day came in 2004 with two updated affordable priced guitars, Jagmeister ll and the Squier '51. These guitars had an exclusive kind of style and design a mixture of old and new features adding '51 Precision Bass cosmetics, Stratocaster body details and a tinted Telecaster neck.
In 2005 Fender produced a five instrument Master Series, the M-80 and Esprit. These guitars were intended for players from any kind of culture, from rock and blues to alternative to jazz and metal . Fender's Custom Shop master builders came up with the design for these two Master Series models for Squier. The M-80 guitar was an affordable smaller classic double-cutaway model or a more pricey style with hardware block fingerboard inlays and satin hardware. The Esprit model imitated its shape and name from a 1980s Fender that was used by players such as Tommy Tedesco and Robben Ford.
Partnering with Sanario company in 2006, Squier successfully marketed the Hello Kitty instrument series, and then also with renowned graphic artist Shepard Fairey produced an exclusive line of OBEY guitars. The following year in 2007, Squier added a classic style to the Vintage Modified series of Stratocater and Telecaster models. Reworking the design with hot rod such as gloss finished maple necks and Duncan-Designed pickups.
The affiliation with music artists is obviously an important part of Fender Squier guitars. Debuting in 2007 with the three new Squier Artist Model bass guitars by Green Day's Mike Dirnt, Anthrax's Frank Bello and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. Brand awareness is a part of product evolution in any culture, music is no different. The Fender family wants to have relationships with the musicians who give their fans inspiration and self-expression. Squier. Stop Dreaming, Start Playing!
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