Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster: First Impressions

Last Friday I picked up my first Telecaster. Favoring the clean guitar sound, I’ve been interested in Teles for a while, but have really wanted one after seeing Redd Volkaert‘s band perform in Austin. After hearing about Squier’s Classic Vibe 50’s Telecaster from several friends and reading some seriously good reviews, I was convinced this was a great guitar that wouldn’t break my wallet. (Seeing Redd demonstrate it for this years TDPRI giveaway didn’t help the addiction.)

In the reviews, a few readers commented on the guitar having a thin neck, but this is a personal preference. Of the two colors, the neck on the Vintage Blonde felt thin to me (then again, this could have been me subconsciously wanting a guitar that looked like a Tele from the 50’s). Other reviews suggested that there were better pick-ups suited for the guitar, while the other end of the pick-up spectrum had folks who swore by the factory pick-ups.

A week into it and I’ve kept the original 9s on, with plans to change update them to 10s later tonight. With that said, 9s are a bit strange when you’ve been playing 10s as far back as you can remember – any excess string pressure or slight bend stands out. But, so far, the instrument feels solid and plays well.

If you are considering adding this to your collection, I will share with you a fault you might not encounter during a test run. After 40 minutes of test driving the Butterscotch and Vintage Blonde models, I brought it home and cranked up my Ampeg J-12T. Only then did I rake an open “E” chord down at the bridge… The vibration on the open high “E” string caused by a heavy dig with the pick will repeatedly pop the string out of the nut. This guitar has no string retainer on the headstock! Pretty strange if you ask me, but not a big deal, as one can easily be installed.

Aside from the missing string retainer, I haven’t uncovered any true mysterious quirks on it during my first week. This is a solid blues, jazz, or country guitar, and in no way lives up to Squier’s low-end reputation (except for the “do not throw away” sticker on the back – what is up with that??).

Hint for parents or beginners: If you’re looking for good quality gear that you can use for years down the road, $800 will buy you a Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Telecaster, Ampeg J-12T tube amp (with reverb & trem), overdrive pedal, two chords, and a gig bag. Just sayin’!

This post is part of the thread: Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Telecaster – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.