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In late 1983, as it had in Europe and Japan, Fender decided to import Squier instruments into the United States in order to compete with the many copies flooding the domestic market.
To make them stand out without competing directly with Fender's existing domestic models, these U.
Next came the existing Standard Series, and at the top of the line were the new Pro Tone models, fine instruments with special touches (aged plastic parts, shell pickguards, painted headcaps, etc.) that appealed to the growing number of Squier players who preferred to upgrade their instruments with after-market parts.
Higher-end options such as transparent finishes on ash bodies and gold hardware began to drive Squier prices up and elevate the brand perhaps a bit too close to Fender and Fender Japan during this brief era.
The promise of a new, revitalized Fender dawned in the early 1980s as the dismal CBS era wound down, and concerned Fender officials noted the abundance of Japanese guitar makers who were blatantly copying—in some cases cloning—original vintage Fender designs with great accuracy and low costs, albeit with some occasionally bizarre details.
In one particularly galling instance, for example, one manufacturer used headstock logos closely resembling those of original pre-CBS Fender guitars, but using the words "Tokai" (with a large backward uncrossed "F"), "Springy Sound" instead of "Stratocaster," "Breezy Sound" instead of "Telecaster," "Oldies but Goldies" instead of "Original Contour Body" and —the last straw— "This is the exact replica of the good old Strat" instead of "Fender Musical Instruments" in small print below the main logo. Fender acted by setting up its own official Japanese manufacturing operation, Fender Japan, in March 1982. S.-Japanese venture, Fender Japan produced guitars with material and technical support from Fender's U. facilities; Japanese manufacturing facilities even included factories that had been producing the aforementioned Fender copies.
The dawn of the new millennium saw Squier dabbling once again in areas perhaps better left to others, with several products designed to appeal to and accommodate more aggressive playing styles.
The Squier Showmaster Series, much like the HM Series of the 1980s, featured non-pickguard guitars with locking tremolos, multiple humbucking pickup configurations, black hardware and reverse headstock designs.
The series included Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision bass models, and three Bullet® models—affordable entry-level instruments combining Stratocaster-style body shapes with Telecaster necks in triple-single-coil or dual-humbucking pickup versions, plus a split-pickup bass with a Telecaster-style headstock. The Squier Standard Series, introduced in the mid-1980s, was based on the original vintage models, but with more up-to-date features (likely mirroring design evolution and standardization at big brother Fender).
Non-traditional Squier Vista Series instruments were also introduced in this period.
Some Vista models, such as the Super-Sonic, Venus and Venus XII, were innovative designs with no clear Fender predecessors; others combined Fender features from different models into all-new creations such as the Jagmaster, which remains a solid Squier performer to this day.
Using the slogan "There's Magic in the Breed," Fender re-launched the Squier name in the U. By 1989, the series had evolved to include the Squier II Stratocaster (which had a more modern-looking tremolo) several non-pickguard contemporary designs, and even the heavy metal HM Series, which featured pointed headstocks and flashy finishes.
These contemporary and HM series instruments soon disappeared quietly, but the Standard Series itself continued throughout the early 1990s and evolved into a new generation of Squier models.By May, Fender Japan had six vintage instruments— '57 and '62 Stratocaster models, a '52 Telecaster, '57 and '62 Precision Bass® models and a 62 Jazz Bass®.