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A "Squier Series" Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by selowitch, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    In this auction, the seller is offering a bass with a Fender logo that he or she describes as "Squier Series." I don't think there is such a thing. I also think the seller may be inadvertently depressing bids with that language.

    It also looks like a pretty nice bass.

    EDIT: Oh, wait. It says "Squier Series" on the headstock, doesn't it? Well, I'm an idiot. Never mind.

    Dominic DeCosa likes this.
  2. HosMan

    HosMan Los! Zum dritten Mal denn!

    Aug 24, 2009
    Northern CA,USA
    Do you think it could be some shifty decal work? At first I thought it was just somebody describing a Squier bass incorrectly.Check out those vintage-style knobs and the strip down the back of the neck.Maybe this was something sold abroad?Interesting.

    The bass looks really sweet though.Might be fun to get the stats and research her.
  3. I had replied to a local ad on Craigslist for a "Fender" bass, and got to the second round of negotiations before I looked real hard at the picture and saw that Squier Series on the top.

    I'd like to know what's the deal on these models.

  4. Framus-bass


    Jan 23, 2009
    Intersting... Clearly has a Mexican serial number... Schaller tuners? I have no clue.
  5. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Tis the Squier by Fender series, predecessors to some of the modern Squiers.

    Tis a Squier, with the Fender name.
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    These were made in Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Indonesia. I'd rely on the country of origin to be on the headstock. Recently, I demo'd a red Strat without the country listed, and assume it to be Korea (it's still there and weighs over 9 lbs.). The Japan or Mexico examples would get my attention unless priced at $100 or less, then I might...
  7. Barbo


    Oct 4, 2009
    OC CA
    Stacatto I think it does say MIM on the headstock. I have a '96 MIM that looks exactly like that one in every way except with no Squire Series sticker.

    Seller says it is early 90's, did Fender call the MIM series Squire back then and at some point move the Squire name to the current line?

    I would call it a MIM Fender with a (tiny) Squire name. :)
  8. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    The MIM Precision in the photo looks nice!
  9. Wikipedia has a decent intro to Squier evolution here:


    In a nutshell, Squiers have been made now for 27 years (since 1982) all over the world - Mexico, Japan, Korea and most lately Indonesia and China - and Fender's goals and marketing ideas have evolved over that time. The upshot is that Squier quality is all over the map and includes everything from budget dreck to some truly great instruments.

    FWIW, I have a "VN4" Squire P-Bass ('94, Korean) bought for $115 that has a beautiful neck and terrific tone.

    Don't know anything specific 'bout the Mexican "Squier Series" guitars, but the "MN4" s/n indicates it is a '94.
  10. These are MIM Squier's. I believe it was '89 and '90. They came from the same plant as the regular MIM fenders of the time. These are actually some of the better squier's out there. A very good base to upgrade from. If I ever find a deal on one, I won't hesitate to scoop it up.
  11. therex


    Jun 24, 2007
    were they made of alder or poplar?
  12. Want.
  13. The Squier series basses were not Squiers. Fender loaded Fender quality bodies and necks with lower grade electronics from Japan and Mexico that they would have also used in squiers, thus the term "Squier series". They also put better electronics in these same "black logo" basses and put them out at a lower price point then the standard J bass. They were basically a step between Standards and Squiers, but both guitars came with Fender hang tags and Fender serial numbers and were considered in the MIM Fender line and not Squiers. here is the data from TDPRI

    90’s Fender Mexico w/ Black Decal: A Mystery Uncovered
    You might have heard of mexican made Fender guitars with a black headstock decal, sometimes associated with some mystery Squier Series made in Mexico. It’s true that there actually was a “Squier Series” that was made by Fender in Mexico and featured a black decal on the headstock, but not all mexican made Fender guitars with such a black label were part of that very “Squier Series”. Since there appears to be a lot of confusion and half-knowledge about these guitars out there, I decided to do some research on my own.

    The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Usually, Squier is to Fender what Epiphone is to Gibson. In this very case, the use of the name “Squier” had nothing to do with the actual Squier brand, as the series was named “Squier Series”, but it was by all means a Fender series, not a Squier series. The keyword is “series”, not “Squier”. The regular mexican “Standard” series was available too at the time, but it already featured the same silver-ish logo that is still used for it today. However, between 1993 and 1998, both labels (the black AND the silver-ish one) were used for mexican made Fender guitars, but for (slightly) different guitars.

    The guitars with the black label consisted mostly of overstock american made Fender necks and bodies. The parts were shipped to Mexico for assembly with mexican made pickups and far eastern hardware and electronics. The overall quality of these guitars turned out to be below the Squiers made in Japan and Korea, whose production came to an end around the time the mexican made guitars with the black label surfaced, yet above Squiers made in China and Indonesia, whose production had not yet begun at the time. The guitars ended up on the american and european market for just about as much as a guitar from the regular “Standard” series would cost at the time.

    Some (not all!) of the guitars were sold for a few bucks less as they came with 1-ply pickguards and hardware of slightly lesser quality. Those guitars (and those only!) had an additional smaller “Squier Series” label on front of the headstock, right were the artist models have the artist’s signature. Though some owners probably sanded off their “Squier Series” label, it is not true that all guitars with a black label had a “Squier Series” label in the first place. Most guitars with the black label featured tuners and bridges of decent quality as well as 3-ply pickguards. These guitars did not have the additional “Squier Series” label and were called the “Traditional Series”, which was stated nowhere on the headstock but the guitars were listed, advertised and sold as such.

    The “Traditional Series” can be considered the slightly better but the “Squier Series” sure is the more obscure. At the end of the day, there really is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference can be found on the Telecaster. The Telecaster from the “Traditional Series” had the traditional through-body stringing, while the Telecasters from the “Squier Series” were Top Loaders with different bridges, saddles and no string holes in the back.

    The guitars from that very “Squier Series” are official and genuine Fender guitars like any mexican made Fender guitar regardless, and if you have a mexican made Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster or Precision Bass with a black label and a serial number beginning with MN3, MN4, MN5, MN6, MN7 or MN8, you have a genuine Fender guitar – with or without a small “Squier Series” label.
    JGbassman likes this.
  14. pedge22


    Jan 13, 2010
    Thanks for the info TC2112.
    I have also a Fender P-Bass with a "squier series" its made in Korea.
    Here's the pic of the headstock:

    bassbully likes this.
  15. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Looks to be very nice... I'd swap out the strat knobs and put a 3 ply guard... super.
  16. Can't speak for the basses, but the early - mid 90s Squier series Strats were made in Mexico using left over American bodies and necks but inferior MIM hardware and electronics. I have one and it feels and plays great but I am getting a loaded pickguard with hotter pups and better tuners for it now that I finally finished the FrankJazz.
  17. MasterBass!

    MasterBass! Reaching new Highs in Lows!! In Memoriam

    I've owned many of those over the years. The only diff from the Fender P that I noticed was a single-ply pickguard and el-cheeepo knobs. They sounded AS GOOD as a Fender Precision.
    bassbully likes this.
  18. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    These did NOT use leftover US parts. There is no way Fender would put US parts into what was practically the lowest price instruments at the time. Plus there were no US instruments at the time that had truss rod access at the headstock so the parts don't even match US parts.

    The Squier factory was in limbo for awhile and they were unsure where to move production. They used all of the imported Squier parts on some MIM bodies and necks and sold them as a entry level instrument. There was one step up from this that was the Traditional Series.

    I am sure these are nice instruments but should be viewed for what they were which was an entry level instrument 2 steps below a MIM Standard.
  19. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Fenders Squires used to be just that and were printed on the headstock "Fender Squire" with the Squire being in smaller print.
  20. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010

    The guy who stated that the black labels had overstock American necks and bodies seemed to have done a lot of research on the subject. I was wondering if you are basing your statement on something other than opinion?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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