Squier Standard Stratocaster
Three Single Coils of Sweetness
An official take on the classic Stratocaster design. They tend to play pretty well, and the slight price increase over the Affinity & Bullet series is made up for by the better hardware. The 3 single coil pickups are wired to a 5-way switch that gives you a diverse palette of tonal options.
You will notice a lot of Squiers in our budget recommendations - and that’s because in our experience, they have some of the best quality control among the lower priced guitars. You can also get this series of guitars with a humbucker in the bridge position.
Darrell Braun provides a great review and comparison between the Squier Standard and Deluxe models here:
Steve from Boston breaks down the differences between the different Squier models if you want to take a deeper dive:
Yamaha Pacifica 112J
A great feeling, sturdy, and reliable guitar. The fingerboard is flatter than that on the Squier, and the oiled neck feels wonderful to play. A more modern take on the classic Stratocaster guitar. Yamaha is also known for having great quality control.
Mike Bradley takes his Yamaha Pacifica 112 for a spin:
Having trouble deciding between a Squier Strat and a Yamaha Pacifica? Check out this detailed comparison between a Squier Affinity Stratocaster and a Yamaha Pacifica 112J from Darrell Braun:
Squier Affinity Jazzmaster
Double Humbucker Rock Machine
If you want two humbuckers, and you don’t have a lot of money, the Squier Jazzmaster is probably your best bet. This is a simple guitar with a 3-way switch, one knob each for volume and tone, and a stable hard-tail bridge. A great guitar for a player who wants something simple and easy to operate.
Lee Wrathe shows you what the Squier Jazzmaster is capable of here: