Why are Squiers much cheaper than Fenders?

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by drmilktruck, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Phillip McKnight compares the prices of a Squier Strat and a Fender Strat.

  2. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Lot of information in ten minutes for free! If I paid twice as much would I get twenty minutes? No! Why? Because time is money! :p Except my time. Nobody pays me for that!

    Thanks Jim. I actually like Phil’s videos.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Informative , thanks
  4. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Squier's are great, i always end up modding them but i kinda do that to everything:rolleyes:
    They really are pro level though, ask Jack Pearson.
    Matter of fact i haven't posted my Black friday NTD here yet;)
    Merc and nickurso like this.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Squires are to Fenders what Electromatics are to Gretsch, or Epis are to Gibson. IMHO.
    The major difference is the cost of labor where the guitar is made.
    benjwri, new6659, Merc and 1 other person like this.
  6. emitex

    emitex Synchromatic

    Aug 21, 2014
  7. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    Good information, but keep in mind that he was talking about a Squier Bullet, and not a Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe. Yes, there are going to be trade offs to keep things in the price range of a Squier, but with the higher end Squiers the mods needed to have a playable guitar become fewer.
  8. GlenP

    GlenP Synchromatic

    Jul 23, 2019
    He makes a good point about paying attention to what are the ingredients they use in the recipe. I really like my Gretsch Electromatic, but it is in the shop right now getting the three position switch replaced and the nut slots filed down to a proper height so the strings don’t stretch sharp when you fret. Maybe mine is an anomaly, but when you spend that much on a guitar, can you accept little problems like that? Do we just have to accept the fact that you are going to have to replace a pickup selector switch on a brand new guitar? The low end parts are creeping into the higher end guitars, I guess is a point he is trying to make.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    drmilktruck likes this.
  9. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I think it's a little more complicated as the video points out. More factors in play.

    GOOBALL JEFF Gretschie

    Oct 1, 2019
    he did forget to mention label, you are paying for the name
    drmilktruck likes this.
  11. emitex

    emitex Synchromatic

    Aug 21, 2014
    I thought the same thing LMDream. Thanks for bringing up that point. There's a noticeable build quality difference between a Bullet and a VM or Classic Vibe series.
    LivingMyDream likes this.
  12. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Of course, but the basic labor costs are much higher here, and there obviously is a difference in quality of materials as well. You're also paying for the NAME also.
  13. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    Dec 29, 2009
    Ya @ min wage 15$ an hour ya can’t make a T-shirt here without charging 50$ for it or going broke... I call BS
  14. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Gretschie

    Nov 18, 2019
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    When I see a title like this, I get a little confused.. Isn't Squier owned/made by Fender?
  15. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz

    I think Squires are to Fenders as Streamliners are to Gretsch

    I think MIM fenders are more the Electromatic equivalent
  16. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    So Squires would be similar to '90s Synchromatics then; more entry level.
    radd likes this.
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Why are Squiers much cheaper than Fenders?
    Because they are much better !

    drmilktruck likes this.
  18. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    NSD 20191130_075131.jpg 75 buk black Friday deal. Its got a 159.00 Duncan pickup set!
    hcsterg, Ricochet and drmilktruck like this.
  19. Rock Lajoint

    Rock Lajoint Synchromatic

    Nov 16, 2014
    Sussex, England
    My longest serving friend has a Squier '57 Strat that he bought in late 1982. It's as good as any Stratocaster with any name on the headstock that I've ever played and I've played a lot. I was with him when he bought it and I think it was somewhere just over £200.
    new6659 and drmilktruck like this.
  20. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Interesting video, about what I expected. Not sure all in all the entire argument holds up though in trying to say why a US made is $1000 more .
    Pot metal: A Strat bridge for a MIM retails at about $25, it's steel, no pot metal and has the bent steel saddles with Fender stamped on them.
    Wood: American Alder is firewood here in the PNW. Maple is super plentiful too. Both grow at a super fast rate. I probably have at least 50 big alders on my property and 25 maples. Unless Fender is too dumb to find a good deal on wood, or to vertically integrate it into their business, wood should be cheap.
    Pots retail for about $2-5 bucks on line. Fender probably pays less than $1 for Alpha or CTS pots when they contract for a million of them. Similar for switches etc I imagine.
    Pickups: The copper explanation makes a lot of sense. But Tex Mex pickups retail at ~ $25 each. So, with a couple middle men in between.. cost Fender maybe .. $5?
    Time explanation makes sense. For a more finely finished guitar, details matter and these are not done by machine. However, much of the labor on the body and neck is done by a computer controlled machine. There cant be many actual hours in building a Fender guitar. However by spending more you are more likely to get a more consistent quality level, vs a roll of the dice.

    So bottom line how does a guitar go from $100 to $1000? Not sure it all adds up. You can add $100 extra for hardware etc, but still not get there. My guess is it has more to do with sales philosophy and "what the traffic will bear" than costs.


    For comparison:
    The Jeep Toledo South plant needs just 13.57 employee-hours to assemble a vehicle,
    Chevy Impala/Monte Carlo plant (15.18 hours)
    Buick LaCrosse plant (16.17 hours).
    17.09 hours to assemble Dodge Caliber/Jeep Compass/Patriot,
    17.59 hours to assemble a Chevy Equinox
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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