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Bah. I still suck.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent last week visiting my family down in San Diego and, prior to leaving, spent some time browsing the local sale option in Reverb to see what was out there. I don't NEED anything; but a guy can always look, right? I came across this- a 2017 Fender Squire Contemporary Active Stratocaster with 2 humbuckers, reverse headstock, and real Floyd Rose. I didn't even know these existed but this sure was pretty with the flat black finish & matching headstock. These guitars are $400 new and this guy was selling it for $210 with local pickup. That was at least $50 below market value so it was a really, really tempting deal.




I already have seven electrics and common sense was starting to get the better of me. I happened to meet up with an old musician friend of mine & during our talk I brought up this guitar up and he flat out said buy it. Life it short and if you could afford it (and I could), then do it. Hell, if I didn't, he said show me the listing and I'll buy it. It took a day to hear back from the guy but we met up, it was everything advertised and I snatched it up. One of the negatives against buying it was how was I going to get it home. I was thinking of trying to buy a new or used case and then boxing it & shipping it home but that wasn't giving me warm feelings. As fate would have it, another guy locally was selling a mint condition Fender molded case that had TSA locks for $80. Those sell for $200 new so it was another deal too good to pass up. I contacted that guy and told him I wanted to buy it but had to do it that day (my last full day in San Diego). He said sure, no problem, and an hour later everything was squared away.




I've had no amp to play it through since I only got home last night but I've played it enough to form some impressions. It's loud acoustically, although it has a slight "harmonic" or echo when played that way. I dunno if it's because of the large Strat route underneath the pickguard (my Aria Pro II is the only other solid body guitar of mine which is this style). Anyways, not really a big deal. The body is poplar and is heavy. For some reason I though these were basswood. The neck profile is described as a "slim C" but it feels like one of the thickest necks in my collection. The neck does feel nice and the fret ends are perfect.




I will be modding this, slightly. Active pickups are new to me so I've been kinda struggling with trying to decide on a PUP upgrade but I think I'm going with some Fishman Fluence pickups. I haven't quite decided between the Classics or the Moderns, though. I thought I've read that the Classics get compared to Seymour Duncan JBs which would be a problem for me since I didn't get along with the only JB I've had so far.
 

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Congrats! Looks nice! Have you checked if the harmonic noise is not coming from the springs? I usually put a little bit of foam underneath them if I'm not looking to have a lot of flutter on the teen as they tend to resonate...
 

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glass enthusiast
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1,665 Posts
What a fuckin' score! I love the look of that thing.
Had no idea these were a thing until I saw this thread. Absolutely gobsmacked that Squier are doing reversed headstocks with HH and FR. AWESOME.
 

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Very nice, especially at that price. I've seen those at GC but haven't ever picked one up.

The higher end Squiers are a killer value if you find a good one.
 

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Nice looking guitar. I had no idea Squier made their own active pickups, though I imagine they probably don't sound that great (only way to find out is to plug them in and give them a listen, though). I actually just got Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers in my guitar a few weeks ago and I have to say I'm extremely pleased, though they might be a bit too pricey since a pair of Fishmans will cost more than that guitar.
 

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Bah. I still suck.
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1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Congrats! Looks nice! Have you checked if the harmonic noise is not coming from the springs? I usually put a little bit of foam underneath them if I'm not looking to have a lot of flutter on the teen as they tend to resonate...
Great tip, thanks! I'll be changing the springs to stiffer ones so maybe I'll try this out as well.

Nice looking guitar. I had no idea Squier made their own active pickups, though I imagine they probably don't sound that great (only way to find out is to plug them in and give them a listen, though). I actually just got Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers in my guitar a few weeks ago and I have to say I'm extremely pleased, though they might be a bit too pricey since a pair of Fishmans will cost more than that guitar.
I mean, yeah, you can obsess about the money you through into a guitar but I'm not going to. I look at it as I got a great deal on the guitar which leaves me room to make it even better. I am starting to back off from the Fishmans, though. I've been listening to some EMG 81 vs Fluence comparisons tonight and the 81s are more appealing to me. I guess that's why they are classics.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Nice - surprisingly tasteful!
 

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Bah. I still suck.
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1,323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After originally buying this, I ordered some upgrades & last night tried to put it all together. Only I could fuck up a solderless pickup installation. :facepalm:

Basic upgrades are this: EMG 81/60 pickup set in black chrome; 37mm FU-Tone brass block & Stiff spring upgrade; low battery indicator; custom pickguard from Warmoth.



Adding the low battery indicator added more complexity for me since the rest of the system is plug & play without soldering. I also added EMG's solderless 3-way pickup selector switch and it has its own wiring schematics that don't quite match what comes with the pickups themselves. I'm hoping I just messed up by confusing the poles on the input jack and can just reverse those and all will be well. :shrug:
 
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