Review

Ever since the release of the iPad a new world of option has opened for hardware makers, particularly in the music world. We’ve seen various input devices such as the IK Multimedia iRig adaptor, the Apogee JAM, and all sorts of apps for tuning, effects, and even recording. The response has been fairly good to them all, so it’s no surprise that Fender wasnt’s to get a piece of the action with their new Squier guitar.

The Squier Strat is intended as an entry level version of the famous Stratocaster, and as such is not going to perform quite to the same levels as it’s higher end counterpart. With a price tag of only around the $200 mark though it’s got a lot that a beginning or mobile guitarist might want in a modern guitar.

Unfortunately (for Fender!) they didn’t appear to be privvy to the new lightning adaptor, and as such is designed for the normal 30 pin iOS connector. If you’re rocking an iPhone 5 or a new iPad mini, this means that you’ll need to shell out an extra $30 or so to get a lightning adaptor so if you’re not into adaptors and the like, it might be worth waiting as a new model will be surely in the pipeline which will sport a lightning adaptor. How long this could take, however, is anybodies guess.

One of the better features of the guitar is the headphone out directly on the guitar so you can practice with amplification or monitor the signal directly and make sure everything is running correctly.

While the Strat is very good for it’s price tag, you have to ask yourself just what you want out of a guitar. With that advent of recording Apps like GarageBand on the iPad, this new phenomenon has created some questions that we need to ask ourselves which many budding guitarists may not know the answer to. Am I looking to record just for fun, or do I want to get serious about my music? Deep down most of us feel drawn to the idea of the potential of doing something which will be heard by the many. Even if we never make it, that is usually the magnetic north on our musical compass.

If you’re looking to record professionally then there is alot wrong with it. Firstly, quite simply, it’s not a Stratocaster. If you want to get something right you should get it right from the source. Secondly, any professional musician is not going to be recording music on their iPad or iOS device. Sure, they might be great for recording ideas on the go, but ultimately there is so much more to music production than just hitting play and letting rip.

What this guitar is great for though, and probably what Fender intended it for, is a good quality inexpensive guitar for learning on with a minimum of fuss or technical hurdles to jump. There are so many good guitar effects apps out there like Amplitube and Guitar Rig that buying countless hardware effects just to have some fun on the guitar is no-longer necessary.

In summary, if you want to have a guitar that you can get the moon and back perhaps look a little further than this and buy a professional guitar and an adaptor such as an iRig to give you access to all the software effects apps. If you’re looking for a simple all in one guitar to have some fun on then definitely consider the Fender Squier USB, or wait for it’s anticipated lightning cousin.

Have you played a Fender Squier USB? What did you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

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