Summer NAMM 2019 has finally rolled around and with that expect announcements and new releases galore. As ever Squier bring out the big guns with additions its family of guitars and basses including period correct Strats, Teles, P-Bass, Jaguar Bass, and Mustang Bass. However, we’ve cherry picked a couple of drop-dead gorgeous office favourites that we’re sure that you’ll enjoy.
Reach for the Star(caster)…
First up we’ve got some Squier Classic Vibe news and the very exciting prospect of a return of the enigmatic Starcaster (insert x100 heart emojis here). Not only that but Squier offer the Starcaster at three different price points too so, many more eagerly awaiting fans can get their hands on one.
Along with the Starcaster there are Bullet Strats & Teles, feature-rich period correct models as well as basses of virtually every persuasion. Shall we take a glance through what’s on offer?
As noted above we’ve got three renditions of the glorious Starcaster to gaze upon: Affinity Series; Contemporary; and Classic Vibe. Along with different price points there are notable differences with regard to specs, which is to be expected. However, they all adhere to that eye-catching offset-waist body shape paired with THAT contoured headstock design.
a. Affinity Series Starcaster
The Affinity Series Starcaster is an offset semi-hollow body affair available in a choice of four finishes: Candy Apple Red; Olympic White, Black or 3-Colour Sunburst.
Built using a laminated maple body the body produces exceptional resonance for a vibrant acoustic character. Joined to the body is a sleek maple neck, shaped to the Fender “C” shape profile for an ample feel in the hand. Thanks to the satin finish your fretting hand moves seamlessly from nut to neck joint unimpeded. Paired with the maple neck is a crisp maple fingerboard, which is home to 22 narrow tall frets that are adorned with black dot position inlays to guide your way discreetly.
Residing in the neck and bridge positions are a pair of Squier humbuckers that offers everything under the sun from throaty mids to beefy low end and back up to scorching highs. From clean and clear to brash and bold the pickup combo translates the confident character of the semi-hollow body eagerly. Fitted to the body is an adjustable bridge with stop tailpiece finished in chrome, which not only adds an elegant touch to the visual aesthetic but upholds intonation and sustain dutifully.
For those looking to pick up a Starcaster with an eye on the price tag, the Affinity Series model is the perfect choice.
b. Contemporary Active Starcaster
With the Contemporary Active Starcaster, Squier switch things up a bit. Sticking with laminated maple for the body they adopt a sealed semi-hollow body rather than retaining the usual F-holes. The result is an emboldened body that showcases the available Flat Black, Ice Blue Metallic, and Surf Pearl finishes perfectly.
A coating of satin urethane is applied to the C-shape profile maple neck for a fast playing feel. Again, black dot position inlays guide you along the 22 narrow tall frets in understated fashion. Thanks to the flatter 12-inch fingerboard radius the shift between fretting complex chord shapes or making mazy scale runs is a breeze.
Residing in the neck and bridge positions are a pair of Squier SQR Ceramic humbuckers that tease a rich tapestry of tones for you to savour. Punchy country licks, ballistic blues solos or raucous rock riffs pour forth with glee. Fitted to the body is an adjustable bridge with stop tailpiece finished in black chrome, which not only adds an elegant touch to the visual aesthetic but upholds intonation and sustain dutifully. The headstock is home to die-cast sealed tuning machines, which sit alongside the matching painted headstock contour.
For those who want a Starcaster that offers something a little different, then the Contemporary Active model is what you’ve been waiting for.
c. Classic Vibe Starcaster
Kicking things old school, the Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster is a thing of absolute beauty. Available in Natural, Walnut or 3-Colour Sunburst finishes, you can take part in a heady nostalgia trip without forking out an eye watering amount of money.
The laminated maple semi-hollow body doesn’t just look good, but it feels and plays like a dream come true. Joined to the body is a supple C-shape maple neck with vintage-tint gloss finish to impart classic vibes (get it?) in keeping with the overall aesthetic. As with the other Starcaster models you’ll find a 22 narrow-tall fret maple fingerboard with black dot position inlays to guide your way. However, the radius here is 9.5-inches for a more rounded approach as you play.
Making their home in the neck and bridge positions are a Fender-Designed Wide Range Humbuckers, which offer full-bodied tones that are suited to any and every style of music that you could imagine. Fitted to the body is an adjustable bridge with stop tailpiece finished, which is maintains intonation and sustain with steadfast dedication.
For those who want a Starcaster that offers has a foot in the past, then the Classic Vibe model is should be your first port of call.
2. Classic Vibe ’60s Custom Telecaster / Thinline
a. Classic Vibe ’60s Custom Telecaster
For those who want an affordable rendition of the exemplary ’60s Tele’ that doesn’t skimp on quality, then check this out. Endowed with a solid nato body and shaped to the classic single-cutaway profile we’ve all come to know and love, the Classic Vibe ’60s Custom Tele feels great in the hands. Joined to the body is a shapely C-shape profile maple neck paired with Indian laurel fingerboard adorned with pearloid dot position inlays.
A pair of Fender-Designed Alnico powered single-coils are fitted between the neck and bridge position. Control comes in the form of a three-way pickup selector switch alongside master volume and tone pots that help to sculpt and shape your tone. Strings meet body via a vintage-style string-through-body bridge, which anchors each one securely throughout the most demanding of performances.
There may only be one colour available but we’re sure you’ll agree that the 3-Colour Sunburst paint job is a feast for the eyes!
b. Classic Vibe ’60s Telecaster Thinline
We’re not ashamed to say that the Classic Vibe ’60s Telecaster Thinline caught the eyes of a few in the office, who’ve already lined up their orders with Squier.
Boasting an all-natural finish with cool semi-hollowbody vibes, the Thinline is the perfect marriage of form and function. Light in the hands, sounds like a beaut and a pure unadulterated joy to play – what’s not to love? The neck is another vintage-tint gloss affair, giving the C-shape profiled maple a sturdy feel and traditional look. Black dot position inlays guide your way along the maple fingerboard in understated fashion.
Home to a pair of Fender-Designed Alnico single-coil pickups fitted in the neck and bridge positions, this heavenly creature can purr like a kitten and sing like an angel. Period-correct features include knurled flat-top knobs poking through the ornate offset pickguard. The Thinline Tele’ is equipped with a vintage-style string-through-body bridge, which supports each string peerlessly for an encouraging playing feel.
Get in touch
Now you’ve seen some of the highlights dive into the rest of Squier’s awesome Summer NAMM releases over at the Dawsons website.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.