Squier Sonic Stratocaster and Strat-O-Sonic – the ultimate affordable Strats?

Two new affordable Squier Strats that have an ocean of difference between them – but which one is going to encourage you to dip your toe in the water at Fender’s most affordable end?

Squier Sonic Stratocaster Strat-O-Sonic

Squier Sonic Stratocaster and Strat-O-Sonic. Image: Adam Gasson

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There was a time in the last 20 years where Squier was in a weird place, existentially. As Fender’s Mexico-made guitars got more and more impressive in terms of build, the price jump between the better Squier stuff and the entry-level guitars that actually said Fender on the headstock was small enough to make you wonder why anyone would bother taking the budget option?

Of course, a lot can change in a few decades, and you can argue that in 2023 the Squier line has never been more important – both for Fender and for people who want to get that mojo at an affordable price. For starters, while Fender’s Mexican guitars have never offered quite so much in terms of quality, playability, sound and mojo than they currently do, the list prices have crept up to reflect this in many areas – with Vintera guitars pushing a grand and some signature models troubling the $1,500 point.

What’s more, the world of guitar is changing – a new generation of exciting young guitar players are helping to push the instrument forward, but often these multi-instrumentalist musicians simply don’t have the resources to commit all their gear budget to a single guitar, they need to kit out an entire home studio.

Combine these two points and it’s understandable to see why Fender is putting a huge emphasis on overhauling the Squier line to meet the needs of a new generation of players. In a market where the best affordable electric guitars are legitimate gigging and recording instruments, Squier needs to offer better bang for your buck than ever.

Enter then, two brand new but very different instruments from Squier’s 2023 overhaul – one a revival of an old Fender curio, and the other the most affordable take on Fender’s ultimate guitar. Let’s take a look at the Strat-O-Sonic and Sonic Stratocaster HSS.

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