Saturday, May 14, 2016

Squier Bullet Strat HH Electric Guitar Review


It used to be that entry level guitars were miserable and unplayable instruments that were likely to discourage a novice player from practicing. There are still plenty of axes out there like that, but there are also a surprising number of pretty good six-strings that you can buy new for under 200 bucks. The Squier Bullet Strat HH that we are looking at today is in this latter group, and you could sure do a lot worse things with your money.

This Strat was built in Indonesia in 2014, and it is finished in a breathtaking Sparkle Red poly with a nicely contrasting single-ply white pickguard. Obviously it has the traditional Fender shape, and this time the body is carved out of basswood. This is a great tone wood (in my opinion), and it is certainly lightweight and easy to shape. But this wood is also pretty soft, so you have to be careful about dinging it.

There is also the usual Fender-shaped headstock at the end of the maple neck. A nice rosewood fretboard caps this off; it has a 9.5-inch radius with 21 medium jumbo frets sunk into it. The frets are fairly well done and they are level enough. The edges are good enough, with no sharp edges or bevels that are too aggressive. By the way, this is a conventional 25 ½-inch scale guitar, and the nut has the normal 42mm width.

The hardware is fairly standard with a cheap-o tremolo and sealed tuners. Though the machine heads are cheap, they hold well. Then things get a little oddball with the electronics package, as this Strat is a more rock-oriented instrument. Instead of three single coils, it comes with two humbuckers wired through a three-way switch. Seems like a weird combination for a Stratocaster, but it is certainly workable.

Putting all of this together, and you end up with a decent instrument. It certainly looks good, but it also plays well (after a basic set-up) and sounds surprisingly good. It does not sound very much like a Strat as it has a lot more output and fatness, but it is also has a lot less noise than single-coil equipped guitars. It will get the job done, for sure.

As I said earlier, this is an entry level guitar, and it is certainly worth the money. The Squier Bullet Strat HH has a list price of $249 and a street price of $149, but if you look around you can usually find them on sale for around $100. This does not include a case or gig bag, but it is still one of the best deals you will find for a playable starter guitar. Check one out if you get the chance!



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