Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A new instrument

Squier Classic Vibe Duo-Sonic. I was looking for a short-scale electric guitar (this is a 24" scale) with that classic Fender single-coil sound (kind of jangly, as vs. the richer sound of humbuckers). I found this guy on sale yesterday when going to pick up some patch cords and a microphone cable. Expensive patch cords :). Still, it was $30 less than the on-line Internet price for this guitar, and the on-line Internet price was quite reasonable to begin with. So it's not like I dumped a *lot* of money at the guitar store!

In the box (yes, I got it in the original box) was two wrenches. That's it. No little sheet of paper telling which pickup was which on the switch (not that I need that sheet of paper, it's pretty obvious when playing the guitar which way gets you the bridge pickup, which gets you the nut pickup, and which gets you both) or which knob is the volume (again, twiddle knobs, the one that makes it louder is the volume knob :). No setup instructions. No nothing. Just a cute little piece of brown paper with Chinese writing on it wrapping the strings so they wouldn't rattle and wear during shipping. But the guitar itself looks pretty good for a cheap Chinese-made instrument. It's a nice creamy Formica color, the exact same color as my 1950's retro Formica dining room table, and the only way I can tell it's a cheap Chinese instrument is if I run my hands down the sides of the neck and feel a slight bumpiness at the frets that I wouldn't feel with a top quality instrument. Still, that doesn't interfere at all with the playability of the instrument, or with its sound -- both of which are excellent.

Only thing I don't like about it is that it has the classic 3-saddle Telecaster bridge on it. The intonation is a compromise on each string. That's authentic, but I bought this for the sound as much as for the "classic vibe", I wanted something that would replicate the sound of some of my favorite indie artists from the 90's. Which I guess this will do, because being slightly out-of-tune was one of the things that defined that sound, but my ears are too good to be entirely comfortable with that :). I spent most of yesterday evening setting this thing up getting the intonation dialed in (as well as you can with a 3-saddle bridge anyhow) and the action preliminarily sketched in, I'll play more with the action tonight to get it dialed to exactly where I want it. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to record something using it, I did test the basic functionality at my mixer and listened to a mix of guitar and voice thru the studio headphones and it seemed to be working.

So anyhow, I have a new "toy", if a musical instrument can be called a toy. I expect this little guy to be around for quite some time, it's built pretty darn good for a $300 axe, even if it was made in China.

-- Badtux the Noise-making Penguin


  1. I don't remember much about guitars beyond that my buddys 'Birdland'(?) was a great sounding Gibson.
    All I can really say is that; when you have the walls, floor and ceiling vibrating, you got the volume just right.

  2. Looks like an old Fender Mustang I picked up in '73 in a pawnshop for $100. If you've got an old Fender Champ or a Twin Reverb you should be good to go. I'm envious.


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