NAMM 2017: Fender launch new range of Squier Offset guitars
Fender fans have been drooling since Summer NAMM 2016 when we first got a glimpse of the Offset guitars. Later, in the month of October 2016, Fender launched the Offset series with high end guitars in the line up. The new year launch of the Squier Offset series brings 5 new affordable guitars in the price range of £120 to £345. Our information suggests that five newly launched guitars will be up for an exhibit at the event venue. For those who don’t know, NAMM 2017 will be taking place between 19th and 22nd January.
Squier Baritone Jazzmaster
The Vintage modified Baritone Jazzmaster Blackout is a perfect hybrid guitar one would want to get their hands on. Coming with a 30 inch scale as compared to usual 25.5 inches, you must be already anticipating about the depths that can be achieved. The extra inches on the scale lets you go an octave below swinging straight A-to-A, an unusually low tuning for Fender.
Baritone Jazzmaster Blackout, as the name suggests is coloured completely black, symbolizing its deep tones. The maple neck wood coupled with the double cutaway basswood body resonates very well at low frequencies. Additionally, the 9.5 inch Rosewood fretboard will be responsible for the crisp, warm tones that one might be producing with this guitar.
This guitar is very similar to the 2014 Antigua Burst finish Modified Baritone Jazzmaster which happened to be discontinued later. The only difference the new Baritone Jazzmaster has is the improved JM101B pickups as compared to the JM101N on the 2014 version. The Blackout version is to replace the Antigua and guitarists have never been happier, except for this guy, a buyer of the 2014 model guitar from Musicians’ Friend who actually prefers the old colour:
“The Antigua finish is ugly to most people, but I have always wanted a guitar in this unusual Fender color.”
Each to their own! Priced at £336, the Baritone Jazzmaster Blackout falls in the higher spectrum of the price range.
Squier Bullet Mustang HH
The Squier Mustang is a really affordable guitar aimed at the beginners. Its simple design should also appeal the enthusiasts who are on a hunt for an easy to play guitar.
Mustang’s glossy Imperial Blue with a white scratch plate looks beautiful (The Mustang is also available in black colour in case you were wondering). The neck wood on this guitar is made of the the good old Maple tree while the fretboard is Rosewood. Speaking of the fretboard, it has a 12 inch radius which many would find comfortable playing. The light basswood will put very little strain on your shoulders and let you play for hours to come. A short scale also adds to the easy play-ability of this guitar.
The Squier Bullet Mustang HH is a guitar that can help you create music that has depth and vivid tones. Thanks to the dual humbuckers that are able to capture a wide range of string dynamics and finally result in a sound that has depth to it. Priced at mere £120, it is a great value for money, especially for the beginner folks.
Looking back, Fender launched the Offset Mustang last year which also comes with a similar spec sheet. The dual single coil pickups at the neck and bridge allow the guitarist to choose 3 wiring configurations. Maple Fretboard contributes to a more brighter sound whereas the Strat bridge offers a longer sustain. Compared to the Squier Bullet Mustang, the Offset Mustang costs £485.
Squier Affinity Series Jazzmaster HH
We have another Jazzmaster in the line up having a HH style pick up wiring. The HH pickup format makes it apparent that there will be dual humbuckers waiting to resonate at the tones you play. Correspondingly, you get a 3 way switch to change the pick up configuration depending on your taste. You also get volume and tone selector knobs along with the selector.
The bright Arctic white is an immediate eye catcher coupled with the black coloured scratch plate. A few shiny screws across the scratch plate along with white markings on the knobs make the overall look very appealing. At the end of the scratch plate sits the 6 saddle hard tail bridge. Like the Squier Bullet Mustang, the Squier Affinity Jazzmaster also has a 12 inch radius fretboard to provide easy playability. All this looks quite similar to the Jim Root Jazzmaster which happens to be a much better sounding and a more expensive guitar.
The Alder body, Maple neck wood and Rosewood fretboard with satin finish all contribute to the light weight design of this guitar. Not to forget that it only costs £187. Hook the straps and rock on!
Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster with Tremolo
The shiny Candy Apple Red colour on the body with a golden finish scratch plate is enough to catch anyone’s attention. The Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster sports the classic dual jazzmaster single coil pickups and a floating tremolo bridge that produces stunning tones. The floating tremolo bridge further extends into a classic Jazzmaster tremolo.
Fender has also brought a Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster ST (Stop Tail) that comes without a tremolo. Both the guitars feature identical features that are capable of producing class Fender tones. You will find light weight basswood body with shiny finish, Rosewood fretboard and Maple neck wood. Furthermore, you can get your hands on classic Vintage style tuners and dual circuit switching sliders. The dual switches make this guitar very versatile in terms of generating a wide variety of sounds.
Buying this guitar will make a hole of £336 in your pocket which I feel is justified for the switching versatility it offers.
The Squier Offset series comes at a fraction of the cost of the original Offset series. Yet, it packs a punch and offers a satisfying string experience. Fender had launched the Offset series in summer of 2016 which included the Mustang, Mustang 90, Mustang PJ Bass, Duo-Sonic and Duo-Sonic HS. Coming with a more bassy signature tone and fresh looking aesthetics reminds us of how far we have come from the 60s.