Squier is an electric guitar manufacturing company owned by Fender. They produced their first ever Stratocaster in 1982 to provide the iconic Fender electric guitar designs at an affordable price. Simply put, Squier is the budget-friendly version of Fender guitars, and the best part is that the same company still owns them.
Fender produces world-renowned electric guitars that many famous musicians have loved and adored, dramatically affecting their pricing. Fender guitars are expensive, but you can never go wrong with their quality.
If you are still a novice guitarist, Squier may be a good option for you to start if you don’t want to spend big bucks on an electric guitar yet. Once you already get a hang of it and advance your playing expertise, that might be the best time to consider upgrading to Fender models.
In this article, I will go into detail about where Squier Stratocasters are made in hopes that it will give you an idea of which brand to purchase in line with your level of experience.
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History Of Squier Electric Guitars
Victor Carol Squier, as you may have already guessed, originally founded V.C Squier Company before it was changed to ¨Squier.¨ They did not manufacture electric guitars then. Instead, they produced strings for various instruments and even manufactured strings for Fender.
Years later, in 1965, Fender acquired Squier because the general public pressured them to make a brand that could manufacture affordable electric guitars. Back then, Fender could not successfully compete in sales against Japan-manufactured electric guitar replicas.
Since labor was cheaper in Japan back then, Fender shifted their production of Squier electric guitars to Japan. It was the perfect place to birth their new company.
Why Are Squier Stratocasters Affordable?
Fender has managed to keep their Squier Stratocasters at a cost-friendly rate due to the following reasons:
- Utilizes facilities in countries like China and Indonesia to lower operating and labor expenses. Thus, making their guitars affordable.
- Mass-produces their electric guitars.
- There is less careful consideration of the materials used. The primary components of Squier Stratocasters are low quality compared to Fender models.
- The wood, hardware, and pickups are not as solid and sturdy as high-end Fender guitars because they are made with less expensive materials.
- They do not go under strict quality control before they leave the manufacturing facility, but they are still of Fender standard.
Countries That Manufacture Squier Stratocasters Today
Originally, Squier Stratocasters were manufactured in Japan when Fender first acquired the company in 1965 and produced their electric guitars in the 1980s. As of the moment, there are only two countries that produce Squier Stratocasters: China and Indonesia.
When most people hear that guitars — or any other product for that matter- are made in China, they assume that it’s the lowest quality. Although that may be true, it is not always the case with Squier guitars.
Does It Matter Where Squier Stratocasters Are Manufactured?
Compared to the Fender brand, Squier Stratocasters are low quality because they use cheaper materials to make them affordable for their consumers.
Regardless of where Squier Stratocasters are manufactured, they are still made by the same company. Hence, they are the same quality. But one thing is for sure, and it doesn’t change the fact that they are affordable and are an excellent choice for novice guitarists who are on a tight budget and are looking for beginner-friendly guitars.
Also, Squier Stratocasters carry the Fender name, regardless of whether they’re manufactured in China or Indonesia. This means that even though their quality control is not the same as Fender, they still have a standard to uphold so as not to tarnish the Fender name.
A Fender guitar will have better sound and clarity when compared to a quality Squier, but the average music fan or beginner guitarist won’t notice the difference as much.
A Squier guitar might not be as distinguished as one made in the USA, but they are good at replicating classic Fender models at a very affordable price. Besides, Squier is also owned by Fender, which already says a lot.
Squier guitars can be liberating for new players and those on a tight budget. They make Fender guitars accessible to everyone. For this reason alone, guitars made in China and Indonesia deserve high acclaim.
Many companies produce copies of Fender’s iconic Stratocaster, but none of them are actually in partnership with Fender — only Squier is. Even though they are not manufactured in the USA, like most high-quality Fender models, Squier still upholds the Fender standard.