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Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster Review
It's a cheap guitar!
Yup, this guitar only costs £91 pounds (Andertons, gear4music, ect in the UK), or roughly $129 in the USA. That is insanely cheap for an electric guitar. However quite often in music, equipment this cheap can be rubbish, and not worth buying, is this one of those?
Body Material: Alder
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Scale Length: 25.5"
Number of Frets: 21
Colour options: Brown Sunburst, Black, Arctic White, Fiesta Red, Daphne Blue, Pink
Squier are a guitar company owned by fender, they produce copies of Fender guitars for cheaper prices (which normally only start at around £400 for Mexico made Fenders). The guitars Squier make are officially licensed by Fender and are covered by Fenders warranty. This means that Squier guitars whilst cheap generally are well made.
The Stratocaster style is one of the oldest electric guitar styles around after being designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, It has been produced ever since. Stratocasters are characterized by its curvy shape and 3 single coil pickups. Many famous guitarists have played and still play stratocasters such as Jimi Hendrix and Billie Joe Armstrong.
This is where you would expect corners to be cut, and in my experience of owning it for a year then the overall quality seems reasonably good.
The materials are cheaper then those you see on more expensive fender guitars however the materials are still generally durable and of qood quality. There were however 2 things on my guitar that whilst not "problems" as such definitely could be improved; firstly the pickguard was not perfectly straight and secondly and slightly more importantly the tuners are very stiff at certain points in their rotation, the tuners do their job however they don't feel quality.
In all I would rate it 7/10 in quality, good however with rough edges as expected on such a cheap guitar.
Playability and Sound
This is the important section, and I'm happy to report its the section the Squier Bullet Stratocaster does not fall down.
The neck on these guitars is often praised even when compared to more expensive models, it is lightly lacquered and almost silky smooth. The body of the guitar is basswood which is a respectable wood (rather then plywood used in some other very cheap guitars) which gives good resonation. The pickups of the guitar are reasonable, they do the job however do create quite a lot of buzz on high gain (to be expected to a point with single coil pickups) and a lot of users replace these pickups with better ones quite quickly. Being a stratocaster it has 3 control knobs; volume and 2 tone controls (1 for the back pickup once for the front) these knobs feel smooth and their control is uniform across their rotation. The guitar has a tremolo (Whammy bar) which sounds like a very nice feature on a cheap guitar however in reality it doesn't really work. The bar is loose to the point that it rattles as you play normally and when you try to use it and the bar is so stiff that you feel like you are going to break the guitar before the sound really changes.
Being a stratocaster means the guitar is a very good all rounder and can play all types of music ranging from clean jazz to metal, however it is less good at metal and very heavy rock. This isn't a critisim of this guitar but more of a feature of all stratocaster guitars.
Overall for sound and playbility I would rate it 7/10 also, the guitar is a pleasure to play however obvious lacks compared to significantly more expensive guitars. I can ignore the bad tremolo to extent because few guitars at this price range have a decent one.
This guitar is aimed at the beginner market and it does a good job for that target audience. The cheap price means that a beginner can easily buy everything they need to get started (including amp and other accessories) for £150 ($200). This guitar will last the player a good couple of years before you would want to upgrade to something better and even at that point the guitar will still have more life in it. If you want to start playing guitar then I would definitely recommend this guitar over other non brand guitars for the same price, it really is a product you can trust. However at the same time I would also advise if you can stretch your budget slightly more to buy the Squier Affinity strat for roughly £50/$50 more, on the affinity many of the small problems I have felt with this guitar have been ironed out. My review of that guitar is here LINK
Hope you enjoyed this review.