The Telecaster. It is the name that will forever be known as the instrument that changed the world of music. The Telecaster was the very first commercially available solid-body electric guitar, introduced in 1952 by Leo Fender. From that point on, how we play the guitar, how a guitar sounds, and what kinds of music were even possible rapidly expanded and diversified all across the world.
The 1950s brought a revolution to the music scene as other guitar makers quickly recognized the limitless tone and sound potential that solid-body electric guitars, like the Telecaster, made abundantly clear.
It was the Telecasters of the 1950s that established the distinctive twang they are best-known for. The sound and tone were unlike anything that had come before, and some would argue unlike anything since.
Telecasters gave us the words “vibe,” “twang,” “boom chicka,” and “crunch” as ways to describe amplified guitar sounds. Not only did the Telecaster change how music was made and played, but it also changed how we talk about music and guitars.
Decades have passed since Fender unleashed the Telecaster on the world, and today Squier are stepping up their game and are proud to offer their respect and homage to the Telecasters of the 1950s; Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster.
Squier’s Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster is made in the image of its predecessor. It is a versatile guitar that provides easy playability, dynamic sound, and tone, and comes with a very reasonable price tag.
So, join us as we dive into what makes the Squier Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster tick, tock, rip, rock, and roll…
The wood used to make the body of an electric guitar is easily one of the most important aspects. Different kinds of wood have different sonic and acoustic properties. The wood used to construct a solid-body body guitar affects the tone, sustain, resonance, and dynamics.
Another influence on the choice of wood is the availability and the price. There are some woods that are plentiful and some that are rare, which means some are going to cost less, while others are going to cost more.
When Squier decided to recreate the 1950s Telecaster, they stayed true to the original design of the solid-body. The Squier Classic Vibe features a solid pine body, which was one of the main woods used to make Telecasters in the 1950s.
A big reason why pine was commonly used was because of its availability. Pine grows all over North America and was an inexpensive choice in the 1950s. Today pine is still one for the cheaper varieties of wood due to its abundance all over the world.
This is a solid single piece of wood just like the original. It means that it is heavier than a body made with three or more pieces of wood. It also translates into greater sustain and overall fullness in the tone.
The sound and tone of a solid pine body guitar are similar to ash and alder. With a pine body guitar, you will get a punchy, rounded, and full tone. It is slightly less snappy than the alder or ash solid-bodies, but it is such a subtle difference most people cannot tell the woods apart based on their tones.
Pine is often called a “soft” wood, but that can be misleading. Pine is soft because it is easier to work with. Solid pine body guitars are still heavy and strong. The soft nature of pine just means it may be more prone to dents and dings if you drop it or knock it into something.
It is important to stress that the “softness” of pine does not affect the overall Telecaster tone and sound. The Squier Classic Vibe offers you all the twang you could hope for, plus lots of sustain and punch.
This guitar looks beautiful in a Butterscotch Blonde finish, and the classic black pickguard completes the idyllic appearance.
Squier’s Classic Vibe Telecaster comes with a solid maple neck. The maple neck brings out the brightness and bite that is synonymous with the “Tele Twang.”
The neck is bolted to the body using the same design as Telecasters from the 1950s. A real benefit of this design is that should anything happen to the neck it can be replaced quickly and easily.
The Classic Vibe neck features the same 9.5-inch radius or “C” shaped neck as the original Telecasters. This design offers more in the way of natural contours that fit the palm of your hand. This, in turn, allows for greater ease-of-play and smooth, fast movements.
There are twenty-one jumbo frets on the maple fretboard. And, just as the original Telecasters didn’t use an additional piece of wood for the fretboard, the Squier Classic Vibe uses the same design. The neck and fretboard are crafted from the same single, solid piece of maple.
The result is a strong and stable neck that ensures long-lasting precision in the intonation and tonal balance as well as fast action up-and-down the neck.
With a simple gloss finish, the neck has an appealing aesthetic that captures the vintage Telecaster appearance.
Staying true to the original Telecaster, the Squier Classic Vibe 50s is built with a vintage-style String Through-The-Body Tele Bridge with three brass barrel saddles. This is the iconic “ashtray” bridge, which is part of the unique look found on Telecasters.
Using a string through-the-body bridge means greater amounts of tension where the strings bend over the saddles.
Simply put, the angle of the string break and higher tension is what gives you the Tele Twang and boom-chicka snap when playing close to the bridge.
The one drawback to this kind of bridge and string mounting design is the barrel saddle. Each saddle is shaped like a barrel, or cylinder, and works on two strings at the same time. Adjusting the action on a single string is more difficult because of the barrel saddles.
However, it also adds punch and crunch to the strings because the tension of one string is partly based on the tension of the other string on the same saddle.
Think see-saw, and you’ll get an idea of how this increases dynamic response and sustain of the strings.
This guitar comes with a set of Squier custom Alnico 5 single-coil pickups. These pickups are specifically made to capture the spank, bite, and growl of vintage Telecasters. There is no shortage of twang with these pickups. They are powerful, responsive, and made for Telecasters.
The neck pickup retains the classic soap bar appearance with a mellow, warm and full tone. The bridge pickup is full of honk and punch.
Alnico 5 magnets provide you with versatility and power. The pickups used in Telecasters have long been a reason why they are such work-horse guitars. They can dress up for a Sunday morning service, or roar and stomp across the floorboards of a Juke Joint on Friday night.
Both pickups are lively and rich with color. The clean setting is crisp, clear, and yet heartbreaking in single-note shines. Run some overdrive through these pickups and let them howl, growl, and thunder.
There is a three-way blade switch selector, a master volume control knob, and a master tone control knob. These allow you to easily shape your tone while being able to quickly switch between two sounds that can be complete opposites.
The neck position is warm and mellow but still shimmers and shines. The bridge position is bite, snap, pop, and punch. The middle position is full-on twang, that is round and expressive.
These pickups make the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster great for every kind of musical style.