Fender subsidiary Squier has launched a massive collection of Stratocasters over the decades — some conventional, some modern, and a few vintage-inspired. And it is in the last category that today’s featured version — the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster — matches in, since this Strat is greatly affected by the 1950s in both sound and tone. Let’s see what this reasonably priced model must provide…
Body And Neck
The Classic Vibe Series shows the best aspects of the past and this 50’s Stratocaster certainly has the right look and feel about it. The body is made from solid alder, and is comfortable and lightweight, which makes it a great game for novices . This is covered in one of two brightly colored finishes — possibly the 2-Color Sunburst or, our favorite, the Sherwood Green Metallic, that comes with a matching painted headstock.
Bolted on the body is a slick maple neck that shows off traditional Strat playability, using a cozy C silhouette, a maple fretboard and 21 medium jumbo frets. Both the fretboard and the neck include a vintage-tint gloss finish, which enhances the retro appeal of the instrument as well as the playability, providing a smooth hand-feel.
Onto hardware, along with the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster is filled with all the classic Strat configuration of 3 pickups, at the bridge, middle and neck positions. There is nothing out of the ordinary from the controls either, using a master volume, individual tone controls for the neck and middle position (all three in white plastic for added classic appeal), along with a five-way selector switch.
The six-saddle vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge is another expected addition, as is the accompanying whammy bar. You will also find a set of coated vintage-style chrome tuners on the headstock in addition to a synthetic bone nut. Again, nothing extraordinary here, but the components are very reliable, maintain your pruning really solid when keeping the groovy vintage style Squier is moving for.
If it comes to tone, the timeless Vibe 50’s Stratocaster surely competes with guitars at a higher price range — it sounds fantastic for the purchase price! While they don’t provide a true vintage tone, the trio of all single-coils are very commendable and are perfect for blues, surf rock and Hendrix-style playing with lengthy sustain. The usage of Alnico III magnets delivers a hotter output than you’d initially exexpected so it’s also ideal for classic rock rhythm and lead once the gain is cranked up.
All in all, the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster gives you greater than the cost suggests it should. The comfort, simplicity and value will surely appeal to beginners, but there’s more than enough tone, style and playability to create it rewarding for any experienced guitarist looking for a vintage-inspired axe.