Many guitar players tend to make a certain face when they hear the word “Squier”. It’s the same face you make when someone says “telemarketing job” or “infomercials”. Forever destined to be the Yugo of the music world, the good folks overseas who make Squier guitars for Fender have pushed out a new model that is already changing the minds of those who put their hands on it: The new Squier Bullet Strat HH.
The Bullet HH designation indicates that, yes, this Strat is loaded with a pair of humbucker pickups. This is not the first guitar to meld together the North and South Poles of guitars – but it is without a doubt the most affordable. The Squier Bullet give you the feel that you love from a Fender with the pure rock sound that you crave from a high-end Gibson. Those are always stretched comparisons, as imported “beginner” guitars are of course nothing like the “real thing”, but you get the idea.
With the tremolo that can be set up with with three or four springs, this Bullet really comes off as an intriguing axe. The body is made of basswood, like Mexico Strats and Teles, only it’s thinner and lighter. The black paint job, with black hardware and whammy bar, plus the white-edged black pickguard make it a sleek and attractive instrument – even the pickups are black-taped. All that black really makes the pale maple skunk-striped neck and headstock stand out, like a rail of ice floating on the surface of a dark lake.
Plenty of happy buyers went into the deal thinking they might swap out the pickups for something hotter, or modify the Bullet in some other way, but most of them leave the guitar “as-is” when they realize that it just doesn’t have a bad sound in it. The 21-fret neck (with rosewood fretboard and medium-jumbo frets), similar to that which is found on the Squier Affinity, leaves a thing or three to be desired, but let’s take the Bullet for what it really is.
For a ridiculously stupid low price of $119, this black-beauty Bullet comes out of the box ready to play, although some players always like to fiddle with the action or file on the fret edges a little before they consider the guitar to be ready. The tuners (Kluson style) can feel a little stiff at first, too, but either lubricant or patience will settle that matter. Whether you leave it stock or go through the trouble of modifying the guitar, the Squier Bullet Strat HH will go more than a few miles in helping to reform the Squier image, even among “serious” musicians.
Beginners and veterans alike will love this Squier Bullet because it produces sounds that standard Strat setups (SSS or SSH) just can’t match, and because of the seriously low price tag. As a backup axe, or a practice workhorse, the Bullet will not find many dissatisfied customers. Considering that a Fender Telecaster with the double-humbucker configuration costs about $700 more (never mind what they’re asking for the 2004 Tele Deluxe reissue), you’re getting a lot of screeching and squealing for the money.
Squier Bullet Strats Don’t Suck!
Originally published on: Published on: Apr 21, 2011
Squiers are GOOD! However the Bullet is a cheapest of the cheap! Rubbish basically. I work in music retail & even tho we don’t sell anything from Fender/Squier, I have restrung or repaired a few.
The Afinitys, or CV, ARE another story however. AS good as most MIM Fenders!
UNLESS Squier has UPPED their game here… this guitar looks ok.
I have only had one experience with Squire guitars myself. A friend of mine bought a white Squire for his young son for X-mas a few years back. They weren’t sure if he would like to play the guitar so they didn’t want to spend a lot of cash on it. After they bought it, they asked me if I would make sure it was set up and ready for him to play when he opened it X-mas morning. Man was I shocked… I couldn’t get the tuners to hold tune. After digging into the guitar a little I found several issues… Most of the hardware seemed like it was made out of a cheap pot metal material which didn’t have smooth edges on it. I had to remove some flashing from the bridge that kept catching the strings. I had to adjust the notches in the cheap plastic nut. The string tree holding the two high strings down kept vibrating loose as you strummed the guitar, I found out the cheap screw they used was a fine thread and not a course wood screw so it strip easily. I replaced it with a good wood screw to correct it. And lastly… The tuners were not smooth when you turned them. A couple of them seemed like they had a different ratio in the gearing than the others. One of the tuners had a loose knob that couldn’t be tightened. Luckily I had a set of Fender tuners sitting around that I had taken off one of my Fender American Deluxe Strats when I upgraded its tuners, so I put them on their guitar. Once I fixed all of the above issues I was able to tune the guitar and it would stay in tune. So…
All I can say is: OUCH!!!
That sure sounded like a shitty, bottom of the barrel Squier!
Are you SURE it wasn’t a STARCASTER Squier? Those were even WORSE than Bullets!
Sub $100 jobbies. Total crap. A ~$200 SX ST57 or ST62 Strat copy is 10X better a guitar than those Starcaster pieces of shit!(OR the Bullet models!)
There are many GOOD cheap guitars around these days, but there IS still rubbish out there too!
I can’t remember exactly which model it was. But you were right on when you said bottom of the barrel 🙂 It definitely made me appreciate my USA made American Deluxe Strat even more 🙂 What a difference…
IF you saw my 1988 MIK Standard Strat, you’d think the same!
AS good as MiM of today!
The rule of thumb with Squiers is, do NOT spend less than $300. Anything below that will be rubbish!
The Squiers are crap! Lol, I think I bought a Squier back in the 1980s on a whim and I don’t remember spending any worse money. I would recommend it for someone that is unsure whether or not they like guitar playing.
@ Dave, NOT true, read my prev comments. Squier has MANY tiers, just like Fender it self has.
As I prev said, ANY Squier, under $300, WILL be rubbish.
Check the Classic Vibe or Vintage Modified series and tell me they are rubbish! These models are EQUAL to Made in Mexico models!
And I KNOW my guitar flesh!
I do like the classic vibe Axeman. I was thinking more of the crappy models they made about 30 years or so ago when I tried them out for the first time. I will have to go to my buddies shop and try a couple of the nicer Squiers out and get back to you.
I do like the look of the Bullet though, very good looking guitar.
@ Dave, yeah give them a go.
SOME of the Squiers during the 80’s were crap.
1 of my friends has an 81 or 82 model Squier, Jap made, he’s had it since new. It plays and sounds AS good as any USA made Fender of the period! It’s still completely stock, inc the pick ups!
I bought one from Guitar Center.I love it. The Squire Bullet HH is the top of the line of the Fender Squires.I have did a gig with it and it kicked ass.Dudes couldn’t believe that it was a cheap Squire and a Fender frontman 65r with a digitech effects pedal.I have know problem at all of it going out of tune.It’s not that guitar playing you …it is you who play the guitar and if you got skills you make a cheap Squire sound Greattttttttt.
I bought mine a few weeks ago from Guitar Center too .I love it. The Squire Bullet is the top of the line of the Fender Squires.this one has 1 doble 2 single mics and sounds clean and clear as it can be for $99.99.
I am not a Paco de lucia and far from JSatriani so for a 47 years old drummer , dude is a good nice guitar ..I also have not problem at all with it .It’s not that super awesome guitar, i know, but seems they improve a lot from previuos cheap models. even my friends that have ibanez where surprised, specially because is very light.
These guitars are fun to mod, too!