Completely unexpected NGD - Squier CV Starcaster

Hi everyone,

After just posting a week ago excitedly about the painfully long awaited NGD of my Olive Green FRS Classic Vibe telecaster, a NG was absolutely not on the cards at all, but then this happened …

I was looking online the other day at the ads for used music equipment. I was absolutely not looking for a guitar (I was looking for a used amp) but I saw an offer I couldn’t pass by. A used but very recently purchased Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster in walnut finish for 200 bucks. Here in Switzerland that guitar is currently 500 bucks new from online retailers. I had been thinking that quite a long way down the line from now, when I’ve really got used to the telecaster, I might venture into buying a semi-hollow - especially when I get more into rock guitar (which is what I’m aiming for). I had seen reviews of that guitar on You Tube and always thought it could be an interesting guitar to try and I have had a fantastic/lucky(?) Squire experience with my classic vibe tele. The Starcaster has very quirky looks - a non-symmetrical body and a weird sort of wave-shaped big ugly (?) 70’s headstock. But all the reviews said how nice the necks are on these guitars and praise the quality of the finish, the sound from the pickups and the body, and the value for money. It has a very thin neck and I have very small hands. Also I’m a sucker for the double bound guitars!!

I thought that if this offer was genuine, and the guitar is really in perfect condition, I should get it now as it seemed such a good buy to pass up on. Actually, it seemed too good an offer, so I was very suspicious, but went to have a look.

TBH, it was not easy to tell whether I was getting ripped off with a complete lemon or not. I’m a beginner so I don’t know much about guitars. My only experience is with Squire telecasters. The guy had no amp to try it with (not good!) and the guitar was set up so badly that it was not easy to play (not good) - very high action especially at the thicker strings. Pickups very high. However, cosmetically the body and neck looked perfect, but I had to take the word of the seller that the electronics worked fine and that my adjustments could improve its playability. The seller seemed like a nice and genuinely honest person. So I decided to take the risk.

I was super lucky. It’s definitely not a lemon!!

I got it home, plugged it in and it sounded very nice indeed and everything worked as it should. I did the adjustments to the truss rod (easy) and then got to work on the bridge and tailpiece. It’s one of those tune-o-matic things, so not at all like a telecaster. I had to watch a few videos first!! I got the action lower than I have it on my telecaster and also fixed an issue where the strings sloping to the tailpiece touch the bridge (which can lead to strings breaking). Adjusted the intonation.

The set up is now VERY nice. Action and intonation are great. The neck is very nice. It plays very well and sounds beautiful. So I think I got a really good buy. I’m happy, but I definitely took quite a risk.

I have only identified 2 small but easily fixable problems. The end of the first fret is a little bit sharp - but that’s very easy to file down and polish. The 3rd fret is very slightly too high and there’s a very small amount of buzz from that fret on the A and D when pressing the 2nd fret. However, I’m not sure I will bother to do anything about that because it only buzzes when plucking the string with the fingers but doesn’t buzz with the pick. I don’t want to damage the fret. There is one crappy thing about this guitar and that is that the volume of the pickups cannot be easily controlled. They are almost on and off as the volume only really changes between 7 and 10 on the dial. But many reviews cite this as common feature with this guitar. As a beginner that’s not really an issue for me yet but could get annoying later on when i improve. Again it’s something that can be fixed relatively simply by changing the pots and shouldn’t cost too much. So none of these things are enough to classify it as a lemon by any means.

So I’m happy that I took the risk. I don’t know why the guy was selling it. It may be that it was set up so badly that he didn’t like it. I had to adjust the truss rod quite a lot and I suspect that because of the neck relief issue, he had strong fret buzz unless he set the action really high.

I can already tell that the Starcaster is never going to replace my Olive Green CV 60’s tele, which I love, but it’s very nice :))

It seems I was very lucky. Enjoy the pics of my risky and unexpected NGD !!



Happy surprise NGD :grinning: Good that it wasn’t a lemon…

I wonder what will happen when you next time set out to buy a used amp…

Gorgeous Ian, Happy NGD!!

Well that’s worrying because I know even less about amps than I know about guitars, and I don’t know much about guitars. :grinning: Thus, the “lemon probability factor” goes up considerably.

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GAS strikes most often when it’s a deal that can’t be missed. :rofl: It’s a beautiful guitar!! Looks like you turned a lemon into some sweet lemonade. :wink:

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What an awesome looking guitar! And a good deal!

Not uncommon issue with guitars, the fret kisser or the new music nomad file would do the trick easy but nether are cheap

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Looking good Ian, enjoy

So nice! But I see a dangerous trend starting…

Absolutely. I stopped looking at those ads. I think the cure is less time losing at ads and more time practicing! That can only be a good thing,

I didn’t want to suggest that getting more fun new guitar wasn’t a good thing, too.

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That is a nice looking guitar. Happy NGD!

Happy NGD ! The guitar looks great and you’ll be happy with it :slight_smile:

Ian, I love that guitar! Looks fantastic. I’m a beginner as well and got a bad case of GAS. Of the 8 guitars I have my cheap Squier Tele may be my favorite. Maybe I don’t feel worthy to play my high end guitars.

BTW-Are those Dalquist speakers I see in the background? I have a pair of DQ 10s I bought in 1979 and they’re still going strong!

To me, teles are the coolest and still my favourite !!

This is off the guitar topic but you did ask … They are not Dalquist. Those speakers are Quad ESL 57’s (pics below). The first ever electrostatic speaker designed in 1957 and built in the Uk by Quad. Mine date from 1976 and I got them from my father when he updated his speakers to the “modern” ESL 63’s (yes, you guessed it, designed in 1963). The panels are very sensitive to position and tilt as they pre-date stereo and, thus, were not designed as stereo speakers . They can sound absolutely brilliant or rubbish depending on the position. So the only modifications to mine are that I replaced the silly little feet with better supports on the side that allow better positioning of the speakers. The problem with owning Quad electrostatics, other than the size and shape, is that once they are positioned correctly and you sit in that sweet spot, you won’t want to listen to music on conventional speakers with a cone and magnet any more. They were designed in 1957 and yet in terms of sound quality, they blow most speakers away. Amazing something designed and built so long ago can sound so good - like a Telecaster I guess!! I grew up listening to music on these speakers as a teenager with a 15W valve amp (and of course vinyl records) and I am always very disappointed by the sound of conventional speakers. It’s been difficult in my life to find a partner who would accept having them in the living room because of the size and shape. Fortunately, I found one who also even tolerates my love of motorcycles and guitar playing. :grinning:



Happy NGD again Ian. :smiley: It was nice to read that you didn’t buy a lemon when you took a punt.

I love the unique looks, congratulations on your aquisition Ian!
Note to myself: do not look for a used amp unless you have a free guitar stand :smiley:

Sweet. A Starcaster is such a different and cool guitar. And that sounds like a great price.

Our speakers definitely have similar DNAs. These were designed and built on Long Island in the mid seventies. The speakers are placed at different distances, so the sound hits you at the same time. Great for classical and jazz. I was going to run my acoustic through it, but my tech guy told me no.

Btw, I have a motorcycle too :slight_smile:

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After seeing the photos, I assume you have frequently had the question from visitors “Are those radiators?”

You must have a tolerant partner too then ! :smiley: