The Korean Squier Guitar - A Vintage Gem
Samick Squier Neck 1991 / 1992
An eBay impulse purchase is always a little worrying...
Opening up the package was greeted with a sigh of 'What have I done?' The price was high considering the headstock was beaten up, the nut was missing, one of the frets was bent and twisted, there were only five machine heads and underneath the neck plate bits of the neck pocket were stuck to the heel. This poor inanimate object had been viciously beaten up. (See images below.)
After removing the hardware I was a lot happier - the neck was straight and on closer inspection I was pleased to find out it wasn't, as I'd previously feared, only fit for firewood.
I quickly made the decision to repair the gouges in the headstock but make the repair obvious, this neck was already a natural relic but the risk of getting a splinter in a finger was pretty high...
The fitting of a new bone nut was simple, as was replacing the damaged fretwire. Surprisingly the frets were all level, I placed a metal straight edge across them and no fettling was needed. The frets did have signs of wear but nothing to worry about at this stage.
My only issue were the tuners - I didn't have a spare Gotoh type machine head so I have temporarily fitted some other heads from another later model Squier. Because of the size difference, the machine heads are fitted at an angle - I used the original locating screw holes as I'm going to hunt for the correct tuner and refit the original ones.
I’m going to use this neck as the basis for a Partscaster build. I’ve fitted it to an Ivory (faded) white, Alder Stratocaster body. This body is about ten years old and is virtually a copy in dimensions and thickness to a genuine Fender Stratocaster.
If you are looking for a vintage guitar that combines quality, playability and relative affordability, you should consider the Korean Squier guitar from around 1991. A Stratocaster model made by Samick, one of the first manufacturers of Squier guitars in Korea. It stands out from other Squier guitars of the same era.
I believe the bodies of these guitars were made of plywood, which may sound cheap, but actually gives a pretty decent warm and resonant tone. Thicker than other Korean Stratocasters, matching the dimensions of a USA Strat (44 mm or 1.75" thickness).
The neck is made of maple, with an oval C-shape and a rosewood fretboard with 9.5" radius and 21 vintage frets. These necks are very smooth and comfortable to play, high gloss and originally fitted with Gotoh type machine heads, which are very reliable and stable.
Korean Squier guitars of the early 1990s are becoming a rare and more valuable guitar that have a vintage vibe and a great sound that can still suit most styles of playing
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