Magazine article Guitar Player

Squier Surfcaster

Magazine article Guitar Player

Squier Surfcaster

Article excerpt

FENDER'S SQUIER LINE MIGHT seem underrated, but a glance at some of the pros that use Squier guitars would make you wonder why. For instance, Telecaster master Chuck Prophet could certainly afford a standard model, but would never be parted from his Squier version. And Jon Cleary's guitarist, Derwin "Big D" Perkins, said in a GP interview about his Squier Strat, "I bought that guitar for $79 and it was one of my favorites until I lost it in a storm. Ain't nothin' sounds like that Squier."

The odds are good that a 1980s Los Lobos performance on Saturday Night Live made an impression on the designer of the Fender Squier Surfcaster. From its rosewood/maple neck joining a surf green body to the three lipstick-style pickups mounted on a pearloid pickguard, the Surfcaster is a dead ringer for the instrument David Hidalgo used on the song "Is This All There Is?"

It is unlikely that the body of Hidalgo's guitar was also made of basswood, but the use of this extremely lightweight wood here will be welcomed by guitarists who toil over four or five sets. And any guitarist would also dig the warm, resonant, acoustic ring the basswood helped produce in our test model, even with the light factory strings.

The Surfcaster came nicely setup, with no fretting out or buzzing despite the low action. Bends worked beautifully all the way up the neck, and while the fret ends had a slight roughness that could be remedied easily enough, that didn't affect the nice playing feel of this guitar. Whammy-bar fans will need to re-adjust the bridge, however, which comes seated fiat against the top.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Plugging into a Fender Blues Junior, Orange Tiny Terror, and Egnater Rebel 30, the "Duncan Design" moniker on the pickups proved to be no mere marketing ploy. These are some of the best sounding lipstick-style pickups I have heard. …

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