To this day, their violins are noted for their exceptional varnishes, and they command high prices as fine examples of early U. In the 1930s, Squier began making strings for the era's new electric instruments; the company also sold pianos, radios and phonograph records until divesting itself of all string-related products in 1961. Squier Company became an official original equipment manufacturer for Fender in 1963. By the mid-1970s, the Squier name was retired as the strings had taken the Fender name.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation entered the picture in the 1950s, when the V. Squier Company began supplying Southern California inventor and businessman Leo Fender with strings for his unusual new electric guitars. Before the Fender Squier line of guitars was introduced in 1982, Fender was making lower priced guitars such as the Fender Lead series at its Fullerton, California plant.
Over time, the Squier series slowly evolved to include original model designs and production has moved from Japan to various other Asian countries such as Korea, China and Indonesia.
Fender soon added a less expensive export Squier series based on the Fender Japan 19 series in July/August 1982, which had a large Fender logo with a smaller Squier logo and had a zinc rather than a steel tremolo block and again the stratocasters had Fender USA pickups installed.
The Squier series were also made available for the Japanese market in October 1982, which incorporated small changes compared to the export Squier series.
Entry-level Affinity Series instruments were straightforward, basic Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass guitars in black, red and white. MZ: M = Mexico, Z = 2000's, the first number following the serial number prefix is the year.
The Affinity Series paved the way for the subsequent great success of Squier instrument/amp/accessory packages, such as the Strat Pak and Bass Pak, that provided aspiring musicians with everything they need to enter the world of amplified music in a single all-in-one purchase. For example, CN/VN: C = Cor-Tek (Cort), V = Saehan(Sunghan), S was already taken by Samick so Saehan(Sunghan) used V instead (Saehan(Sunghan) made the Vester guitars), N = Nineties (1990s), the first number following the serial number prefix is the year.
These bundled Affinity guitars are manufactured in Indonesia (identified by badger stripe on neck) whereas stand-alone Affinity are manufactured in China (identified by no badger stripe on neck). Colors: (706) Black, (758) Torino Red, (780) Arctic White, (700) Sunburst. For example, KC and KV serial number prefixes are usually used on Crafted in Korea Squiers.
The year 2004 saw the introduction of Squier's Vintage Modified line, a series of high-end instruments based around the concept of taking vintage designs and adding "hot rod" features such as hardware variations, gloss maple necks, new finishes and pickguards, and Duncan Designed pickups. S/E: The S and E serial number prefix Korean Squiers are from the late 1980s/early 1990s.Fender was also losing sales in Japan to Japanese guitar brands such as Tōkai, Greco and Fernandes and the establishment of Fender Japan would benefit Fender sales in Japan, as well as overseas.Fender began negotiations with several Japanese musical instrument distributors and reached an agreement with Yamano Gakki and Kanda Shokai to establish Fender Japan.The series included the Supersonic guitar, the Venus guitar (co-designed by Courtney Love), the Jagmaster (a hybrid of the Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster models), and a re-issue of the Musicmaster Bass.Later, in 97, a guitar version of the Musicmaster Bass was added, though it should be noted this was based on the bass design, and not the Fender Musicmaster guitar design of the 1960s. The Squier lineup was augmented in 1996 with Affinity series guitars and basses. MN: M = Mexico, N = Nineties (1990s), the first number following the serial number prefix is the year.The higher priced Fender guitars were made in the United States and could not compete with the lower prices of Japanese made Fender copies.