Fender Squier Mini Strat

This is my main guitar for practice and boy, I love this thing to death. I play it all the time, I play it in the kitchen, I play it on the toilet, I play it when traveling, I just can't stop playing it!

I bought this guitar in May of 2019 and this is easily my best purchase of that year. I got the guitar used for $99. Yes! Ninety-nine dollars! However, it wasn't perfect out of the box, so...

If you want to buy this guitar because of my videos or for any other reason, and want to know what to do after you've bought it, here's my take on what to do and what parts to replace.

I had to swap the tuners because it's one of the main places where Squier cut corners to make cheaper guitars. I desperately wanted drop-in installation and didn't want to drill anything, so I tried to find the tuners that will do the trick for me. And I found such tuners! It was Graph Tech Ratio PRL-8731-C0 tuners.

The tuners turned out to be costing nearly as much as the guitar itself, or even more, but I'm such a nerd, I thought it's okay since I reached my drop-in replacement goal anyway. And drop-in installation meant the guitar would not lose value because of the drilling! But you can install basically any decent tuners on that guitar, it doesn't need to be fancy ones.

I also opted for a special Fender gig bag for mini Strats. Yes, they make those. The exact model number is FEMS-610. I also bought great strap and strap locks to make the package complete.

As for other upgrades, I also took the guitar to the luthier. He dressed the fret ends, made a new bone nut, and set the neck properly, that was the only work he did on that guitar. Because again, they would cut corners on the neck and out of the box the neck is usually set incorrectly, and fret ends are sharp. Bone nut and fixing frets are the most basic things luthiers do in their shops.

Anyway, that's it, if not for crazy expensive tuners and gig bags, that's still extremely great value for money. Given you can make all these upgrades for a fraction of the cost, I still think it's one of the best value propositions on the whole guitar market. I mean, it's a lot of guitar for $99!

And most importantly, all the electronics on this guitar are stock. Never touched it.

On this guitar, I usually use D'Addario NYXL1156 or NYXL1152 strings.