|Body And Neck:|
As unbelievable as it may sound, Fender struggled with quality control in the 1970s, with the decade proving an overall disaster for the company. Yet, there’s no such problem with this seventies-inspired workhorse from Fender subsidiary Squier. It’s one of the cheaper models we’ve featured in our favorite sub-$500 guitars article, but still gives the others a run for their money. Why? Read on…
While the seventies are best forgotten for Fender, the era was still a great one for guitarists, which is why this Vintage Modified 70’s Stratocaster is so popular. Forget crooked necks and badly cut nuts like you may find on an original – the fit and finish of this affordable Strat is all round great for the price. The design is actually nothing spectacular, but then again it never needs to be with a Strat. It’s already an iconic guitar, so why change what’s not broken?
This model comes in two simple but solid colors – black or vintage white, both with matching pickguards – but it’s the black version we’ve looked at closer. The double-cutaway body is made of solid basswood with a bolt-on C-shaped maple neck, along with a maple fretboard (it’s rosewood on the white version). This shows off a vintage tint and the smooth playability that’s typical from Fender, as well as 21 medium jumbo frets. The large seventies-style headstock completes the look of this cool replica.
As you’d find on an original seventies Strat (or pretty much every other Strat for that matter), it’s fitted with a trio of pickups, all Duncan-Designed SC-101 single-coils, proving a reliable upgrade from simple stock single-coils. There’s nothing fancy in the controls department, just a master tone and master volume pot, with a five-way pickup selector switch.
The hardware appointments are appropriate for the look Squier are going for, with chrome vintage-style tuners and a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with whammy bar for onboard vibrato at the flick of a wrist.
For the price, we weren’t expecting a masterpiece in the tone department, but it’s pretty great regardless. With the three single-coil pickups and easy controls, it offers a bright and clear tone with good versatility. It works well for everything a Strat is good at – blues and jazz, to classic rock lead. Very few complaints at all.
The Vintage Modified 70’s Stratocaster doesn’t make as big an impression compared to some others in this generally affordable price range, but it is a reliable and consistent workhorse of an electric guitar with a tried-and-tested design, solid playability and good tone. Whether just starting out, looking for a quality guitar platform to upgrade, or even something to perform with, you can’t ask for much more.