Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster: Best Strat For Beginners

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  November 8, 2022

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If you’re just starting to play and have no idea what style you want to play, the Stratocaster is probably the best option for you.

Because of its versatility and the tone you’re likely to hear in a lot of your favorite music.

But then, which strat should you buy? The Squier Classic 50s strat is definitely a contender and I had the pleasure to try it out for a few months.

Squier Classic Vibe 50s review

It offers a little more quality than the entry level affinity range Squire produces.

A little more expensive but so worth it for the better build quality and pickups you get, and perhaps even better than the entry-level Fenders.

Best overall beginner guitar
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster
Product image
8.1
Tone score
Sound
4.1
Playability
3.9
Build
4.2
Best for
  • Great value-for-money
  • Leaps above the Squier Affinity
  • Fender designed pickups sound great
Falls short
  • Nato body is heavy and not the best tone wood
  • Body: nato wood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 25.5 “(648mm)
  • Fingerboard: maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Pickups: Fender Designed Alnico Single Coils
  • Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Left-handed: Yes
  • Finish: 2-color Sunburst, Black, Fiesta Red, White Blonde

I wouldn’t buy the affinity guitars. My preference in a lower price range strat goes to the Yamaha 112V for that, which offers a better build quality.

But if you have just a little more to spend, the Classic Vibe series is awesome.

I like the look of the vintage tuners and the tinted slim neck while the sound range of the Fender designed single coil pickups is really great.

I would go so far as to say that the classic vibe range as a whole has much more expensive guitars, including Fender’s own mexican range.

My very first electric guitar was a Squire, along with a small amp. It lasted me a long time as a beginner.

After that, I switched to a Gibson Les Paul because I was increasingly interested in blues rock at the time. But the Squire had always remained the faithful funk companion.

The Classic Vibe 50s is an affordable strat experience with excellent value for money. It’s a really nice beginner guitar that will grow with you for a long time.

I would certainly invest a little more in this one than one from the Affinity range, so you have a guitar for life.

If you’re looking for a great beginner electric guitar then I’d recommend this Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster.

Right at the entry level is Squier’s Affinity range, which are decent guitars, but just above that is the Classic Vibe range which is ahead of the game in terms of value.

Also read: these are all the best guitars for beginners I’ve reviewed

Overall best beginner guitar Squier Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster

Sound

The guitar offers a nato body with maple neck. Nato and maple are often combined to get a more balanced tone.

Nato is often used for guitars because of the similar tone properties to mahogany while being more affordable.

Nato has a distinctive sound and parlor tone, which results in a less brilliant midrange tone. Even though it’s not as loud, it offers a lot of warmth and clarity.

The only disadvantage is that this wood doesn’t offer many lows. But it has a great balance of overtones and undertones, perfect for higher registers.

Best overall beginner guitar

SquierClassic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster

I like the look of the vintage tuners and the tinted slim neck while the sound range of the Fender designed single coil pickups is really great.

Product image

Build quality

The combination of excellent build quality, excellent tones and stunning looks makes for an attractive package, and one that you are unlikely to grow out of anytime soon.

If you are just starting to play and have no idea what style you want to play, the stratocaster is probably the best option for you because of its versatility and the tone you are likely to hear in a lot of your favorite music.

But then which strat should you buy?

The Classic Vibe ’50s Strat is definitely a looker, a classic look that is, and it offers a little more quality than the entry-level Affinity range Squier produces. It is a little more expensive but so worth it for the better build quality and pickups you get.

Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50s

You get:

  • The Affordable Strat Experience
  • Excellent price / quality ratio
  • Authentic looks
  • But not many extras for this price

It’s a really nice beginner Squier that will grow with you for a long time to come and I would certainly invest a little more in this one than in the Affinity range so that you have a guitar for life.

Squier Classic Vibe alternatives

Beginner guitar for metal: Ibanez GRG170DX GIO

Best beginners guitar for metal

IbanezGRG170DX Gio

The GRG170DX may not be the cheapest beginner guitar of all, but it offers a wide variety of sounds thanks to the humbucker – single coil – humbucker + 5-way switch RG wiring.

Product image

These models are in the same price range so you might wonder which of these guitars is better for you.

You’ll immediately notice that the neck of the Ibanez is a little bit wider with jumbo frets. It also has lower action.

You can get lower action on the Squier, but you’d have to set it up yourself. Out of the factory, the action is a bit higher, more for blues music.

On the Ibanez GRG170DX (full review here), the action right out of the factory is quite low and very suitable for fast metal licks.

The looks, pickups, and playability all make it a guitar for soloing and power chords, rather than blues licks and full barre chords for the Squier.

The pickups in here are humbuckers which means they’re a little bit better at noise canceling. That’s good for stage and high gain sounds.

So if you’re into cranking your amp way up or using high gain patches on your multi-effects then humbucker pickups are best for your playing style.

Single coils have a little less output, so you need more from your effects and more from your amp to get that overdriven sound.

The disadvantage of these humbuckers is that it has less of a twangy tone.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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