1995 MIM Fender Stratocaster Squier Series

My Introduction to Guitars, Fender Stratocaster Squier Series….

Fender Stratocaster Squier Series Headstock
Squier Nope Series!

So way back in the early 90’s Fender opened a new factory in Ensenada, Baja California. The first guitars I remember seeing were the Made in Mexico Standard Fenders and the cheaper Fender Squier Series guitars. You could find yourself Squier Series Stratocasters, Telecasters, Precision Basses, and Jazz Basses, identifiable by their black Fender Squier Series label. I think these guitars only came it black, white, or red…or at least that’s all I remember at my guitar shop. Generally the Squier Series guitars all ran around $199, while the Standards were $299…pretty good deal considering these days you can find Mexican guitars that run close to a grand. It seems like most of us “poor kids” that ended up with one of these budget Fenders did our best to hide, cover up, or completely deny the Squier Series logo…I have to admit, I did so myself! But let’s be honest, when these cheap guitars came out, I was over the moon for them because before this for a couple hundred bucks you would end up with some beat to hell pawn shop special, but now you could get yourself something that said Fender on it.

My first guitar, Summer of ’95

Modified Fender Stratocaster Squier Series
Today’s condition

In summer of 1995, I purchased my first guitar, a tuxedo black Fender Stratocaster Squier Series, from Guitar & Keyboard City in Phoenix, Arizona (This was before we got our first Guitar Center in 1997). I spent my high school years learning and playing simple pop punk songs on it, never fully embracing guitar as my instrument of choice.

One of the first “upgrades” I made to this thing was to take off whammy bar and most likely, immediately lose it…or throw it away since whammy bars are only for cock rockers. This would be the start of a long line of poor decisions I made on behalf of this guitar all in the name of “upgrades.”

Short list of crappy upgrades I made over the years:

  • Removed and lost the whammy bar.
  • Covered up the Squier Series logo with a custom “No” sticker.
  • Haphazardly added a bunch of punk band stickers all over its body.
  • Pissed my stepdad off enough that he tried breaking it in half, cracking the body a bit and busted up the paint.
  • Spray painted the pickguard, pickup covers, and knobs black because I didn’t know you can buy black replacements…didn’t matter because I probably didn’t have any money for new ones.

    Fender Stratocaster Squier Series
    Front Stickers
  • Modified the pickguard to support a humbucker in the bridge position…I may have hired a beaver or other large rodent toothed animal to do the cutting on this job.
  • Replaced said single coil with a humbucker from my bandmate’s old guitar (Fender Jagstang) and screwed it directly into the body because I thought it would probably give it some of that good woody tone.
  • Lost the high E string saddle for years.
  • Recently replaced the missing saddle with some China made eBay set of saddles that cost like $4 shipped from Hong Kong…somehow they are better than the stock saddles.

Time to fix up my old friend!

Fender Stratocaster Squier Series
Back stickers

So now, over 20 years later, I decided it would be a fun project to fix my old Fender up to the specs 15 year old me would have loved and this 23 year old Fender Stratocaster Squier Series deserves.

After the updates are completed I will review them in a 2 part video, neck and body.

Here’s the plan:

For more info on these Fender Stratocaster Squier Series guitars, check out this guy’s write up:

To see my progress on this guitar, check out this post.