The release of the Classic Vibe series back in 2008 gave Squier a much needed boost in reputation, proving they could cut costs intelligently and maintain excellent quality control from their Chinese factory.
We're big fans of the Classic Vibe series here at GvG, and despite some negative stigma from the Fender die-hards, we found that users particularly liked the Stratocaster model.
So what about the Telecaster models in the series? Do they stack up against their Fender counterparts? We've picked the Squier Classic Vibe Custom as the standout choice amongst reviewers. Users around the web have not only rated this highest amongst the Classic Vibe series, but its score of 95 reflects one of the highest user satisfaction scores across all models.
|Model||Classic Vibe Custom||MIM Telecaster|
|Weight||3.2 kg / 7 lbs||3.7 kg/ 8lbs 3oz|
|Tuners||Vintage-Style||Fender Standard Cast/Sealed|
|Nut Material||Synthetic Bone|
|Frets||21 Medium Jumbo|
|Inlays||Pearloid Dot||Black Dot|
|Pickups||Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele x2||Standard Single-Coil Tele x2|
|Bridge||3-Saddle American Vintage Strings-Through-Body Tele with Threaded Steel Barrel Saddles||6-Saddle Standard Strings-Through-Body Tele with Block Saddles|
|Classic Vibe Custom||MIM Telecaster|
These two models are almost identical in looks, but there are some subtle differences we start to notice when we break it down.
The body of the closely related 50's Classic Vibe model is made out of pine, but the Custom model is made out of alder, just like its Fender counterpart. However, the Squier weighs in lighter.
Depending on your preference, you get a maple fretboard on the Mexican Telecaster or a rosewood fretboard on the CV Custom.
You also get the more modern six "block" saddle setup on the Standard's bridge compared to the vintage three "barrel" saddles on the Classic Vibe.
Finally, just like on the Stratocaster version of these models, the Fender is installed with the more expensive Fender Standard Cast tuners. The "Vintage-Style" tuners on the Classic Vibe work fine, but if aggressive bending is your style, the Standard Telecaster will handle more before the need to re-tune.
When you spec these guitars side by side, there isn't too much between them. Both guitars use a modern C profile neck and have the same fingerboard radius, with only a very slightly narrower nut width on the Squier.
The Fender's glossier finish has given some users the impression of a nicer feel (unfortunately our tables can't quantify that!) and that, as a result, considered by some a superior instrument for live performances.
The big question here is can the Custom Vintage single coils on the Classic Vibe stack up against the Standard Tele single coils?
As the two models are so similar, this really is the key question and, just like the Stratocaster models, this is purely down to personal preference. To truly make your mind up, you'll need to play both. However, the video demos above may help.
All we can say is that if you start reading the user reviews around the Classic Vibe, users really do love the sound for the money you pay.▲ Compare Sound
The Standard Telecaster is a superb guitar, and despite the occasional grumble about fret buzzing, users love the tone, feel, and build quality of the model. We cannot stress enough that you won't go wrong buying a Standard Telecaster.
However, the Classic Vibe series has not only bridged the traditional gap between Fender and Squier, but the premium Squiers are now directly rivalling the low-end Fenders.
Even the most sceptical of user reviews have been impressed by what you get with a Classic Vibe, so if you're not convinced, we urge you to try one for yourself. You might just bank some bucks for the rainy day fund. Or a new amp...