40 years ago, Fender began gearing up to launch their new Squier range of guitars after being stung into action by comparatively high-quality (and less expensive) Japanese copyists. Subsequently, a joint venture named Fender Japan was officially announced in Spring 1982 – its aim being to license and manufacture Fender guitars in Japan.
As the saying goes: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Beginning with the ’57 and ’62 Stratocaster, and ’52 Telecaster models, Fender Japan’s sole purpose was to “sweep away” copies sold in Japan and other markets. Named after the V.C. Squier string manufacturer acquired by Fender's owners CBS in 1965, the first Squier guitars emerged from Japan's Fujigen factory in 1982.
Fast forward several decades and the brand is now in a global league of its own. When it comes to authentic Fender designs that don’t break the bank Squier guitars just can’t be beaten.
Keeping things fresh for 2021 Squier have launched several new models based on classic Fender electric guitars including the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, and Telecaster Deluxe.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Fender’s classic Telecaster design is available here with either a maple or Indian Laurel fingerboard. Maple guitars are offered in Butterscotch Blonde and 3-Color Sunburst finishes, while the rosewood-like Indian Laurel Teles feature a choice of ‘60s custom color-style Olympic White and Lake Placid Blue finishes.
In a similar vein to the Telecaster, the Stratocaster comes with a choice of four finishes: 3-Color Sunburst; Black; Lake Placid Blue; and Olympic White. All are offered with a maple fingerboard with exception of the Sunburst model which features an Indian Laurel ‘board. The flared headstock harks back to the mid-late ‘60s Hendrix era while a 2-point tremolo bridge gives a modern feel.
With both the above models retailing at an astounding $249.99 beginners have never had it so good. And at that price point we can't help but think these guitars could also serve as an ideal platform for upgrades and mods.
Visit Fender's website to discover more.
Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros, and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist magazine, MusicRadar, and Guitar World, as well as contributions for specialist books and blogs. He is also a lifelong musician.
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