Squier has really stepped up their game in recent years, especially when it comes to the Classic Vibe series.
The Squier Classic Vibe line aims to bring the past into the present to provide all generations of guitar players quality, affordable instruments that have period-correct specs and looks.
These include virtually every part of the guitar, from the 60’s C-shape neck, narrow tall frets that provide a true 60’s feel. It sports Fender-designed single-coil pickups with dual-circuit switching that instantly give you that recognizable Jazzmaster sound of the era no matter how you have them dialed in.
It’s tonally flexible enough to cover a wide variety of sonic ground, and affordable enough to be accessible to everyone.
Pros and Cons
|Neck shape and narrow tall frets provide authentic feel of the original||C-shape neck won’t appeal to all players|
|Fender-designed single coil alnico pickups and vintage dual-circuit (rhythm and lead) electronics||Isn’t designed to do heavy, high-gain styles|
|Period-correct look and playability||Floating vibrato could present some tuning and intonation issues for players that use it aggressively|
As one of the best guitar builds to cover a wide range of genres like surf, jazz, and low-mid gain rock and country, depending on the player’s purchase budget they often had to go for a lesser-quality guitar build if they couldn’t afford a vintage or re-issue. But with the Classic Vibe 60’s Jazzmaster any player can add this versatile model to their guitar arsenal.
Why We Like It
Make no mistake about it, this offset guitar is as versatile as it is classy. Due to the period-correct appointments like the wide tall frets, alnico single-coil pickups, dual-tone circuit, and floating vibrato any player can afford to purchase the Classic Vibe 60’s Jazzmaster.
The 9.5” radius indian laurel fretboard adds warmth and balances out the single coil pickups. It’s a great, green alternative to the now endangered rosewood. It is a good match with the C-shape, vintage tinted gloss neck and Squier’s choice of outfitting it with narrow tall frets.
An authentic bone nut provides great string travel, tuning stability for the floating vibrato, and overall pleasant tone transfer.
While it’s really great at a lot of things, it does have some distinct limitations to be aware of. Its biggest drawback involves the pickups and electronics. The dual rhythm and lead tone circuits offer volume and tone controls for both modes, but the guitar only has one of each so that could introduce tonal balance issues for players that switch between the modes frequently.
The Fender-designed single-coil pickups are made with alnico, and they’re as clean, clear, and crisp as you would expect from Fender single-coils. But being that they’re single-coils it’s not very well suited for playing styles that use a lot of gain like heavy metal or more aggressive styles of rock. Overall it handles varied genres like jazz, country, light punk, and even garage rock – it just can’t do it all.
Its pickup selector is located on the lower horn, which could prove to be awkward to use in the heat of the moment.
It sports a floating vibrato, and that shouldn’t present any problems for players that go easy on it. But it’s not a locking system, so it could introduce some tuning and intonation/pitch problems for guitarists that try to use it that way.
Variations and Accessories
It comes in some appealing colors like Three-tone Sunburst, Olympic White, and Sonic Blue. This is a tribute to the popular colors of the 60’s original models. Other than the finishes there are no alternative models or options with different pickups, but this is because it’s built to be as correct to the original model specs as possible.
It’s hard to find something not to like about this guitar. It’s well crafted and affordable for players at any experience level. There’s an element of peace of mind if you’re considering purchasing it in regards to quality control. Squier manufactures it but it was designed 100% by Fender.
Designed to meet the specs of original 60’s production models, the pickups instantly give you the clean clarity that made players fall in love with 60’s Jazzmasters in the first place. Dual-circuit wiring allows for multiple tone options, and the vintage-style vibrato bridge and real bone nut give you options for adding subtle pitch bending and expression to your playing.
And the nickel-plated hardware and three different finish options are a perfect retro aesthetic that works visually with the time period it’s based on. It can’t do everything, but what guitar can? At just over $400 it’s a great value for the price point.
If you don’t pay attention to the headstock logo you more than likely wouldn’t even be able to tell it’s not a Fender.
- Body Material: Poplar
- Body Shape: Jazzmaster®
- Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
- Neck Material: Maple
- Neck Finish: Tinted Gloss Urethane
- Neck Shape: “C” Shape
- Scale Length: 25.5″ (64.77 cm)
- Fingerboard Material: Indian Laurel
- Fingerboard Radius: 9.5″ (241 mm)
- Number of Frets: 21
- Fret Size: Narrow Tall
- Nut Material: Bone
- Nut Width: 1.650″ (42 mm)
- Hardware Finish: Nickel
- Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style
- Strings: Nickel Plated Steel (.009-.042 Gauges)
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