Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1984 Squier Stratocaster SQ CST-50 Guitar Review


Back in June I had a good trip overseas and picked up a few awesome Stratocasters, and one of them is the lovely 1984 Squier CST-50 that we see here today. I found this one at a Hard-Off (secondhand store) in Nagoya,Japan and was amazed to see the SQ prefix serial number when I looked it over. This thing is in amazing condition for a 33-year-old instrument!

I should probably explain the whole SQ thing. SQ instruments were very early production Fender Squier instruments that were built in 1983 and 1984, and were made by a different division of Fender. SQ models have the serial numbering and markings in the same location as the JV guitars, which are even more desirable. But still, SQ instruments are nothing to sniff at; they are usually excellent quality guitars they play well and look great.

Our subject guitar today is an non-export model Squier Stratocaster, model CST-50. I can usually decipher the model codes, but this one is a bit different. I am guessing that CST stands for “Custom” or something to do with Stratocaster (with a C at the front), and the 50 surely stands for 50,000 Yen (the original price). This instrument has a neck date of 6/27/84, and the body is marked “Black” in the neck pocket, which should be pretty self-explanatory.

Indeed, this guitar is finished in glossy black with a rosewood fretboard. When I first saw the guitar I thought it must be newer as it is in really good shape, and then I was pretty stoked to realize its actual age. It is obviously all-original, from the finish to the frets to the electronics. It is a 1970s style Strat, with the big block lettering and headstock, a 3-bolt neck plate, and a bullet truss rod adjuster.

The neck is very nice. The sealed-type tuners work fine, none are bent and they do not bind, but of course they just do not look quite right – Japanese reissues usually get something wrong. The frets are good, with almost no wear; the neck is true, and the truss rod works freely. It plays great and sounds just like a Strat should. It is also not very heavy, coming in at around 7 ¾ pounds.

I am not sure how this fits into my collection, as I have two JV Stratocasters (one Fender and One Squier) as well as a lovely E-series from 1986. So, I might be selling this soon -- drop me a line if you are interested!


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