If you’re looking for an exceptionally cool axe at an unbeatable price, check out the Squier Stratocaster line, featuring everything from models based the classic Fender designs that first helped revolutionize rock music, including lefty and mini versions, to lean, mean black beauties loaded with twin humbuckers, and starter packs that include all the essential gear you need to get rocking, from strap to amp. The Squier brand is Fender’s line of affordable import versions of the iconic instruments that Leo Fender first began to introduce over half a century ago, and includes Squier takes on classic guitars like the Telecaster, Jaguar and Mustang, as well as affordable versions of the Jazz, Precision and Tele basses. However, as the Strat is one of the most iconic and best-selling guitars in history, the Squier Stratocaster line has a lot to live up to, which it does nicely, with several series of models to suit the budget and playing style of any guitarist, from beginner to pro. First-timers and students might want to look at the Squier Bullet and Affinity Series. The Bullet Strats are well-built, no-frills guitars that still rock all the typical Strat features, including a vibrato, or whammy bar system (sometimes also called tremolo), and are available loaded with the traditional three single-coil pickup configuration, or with one or two double-coil humbucking pickups, for a thicker, beefier tone that is less susceptible to feedback. There’s even an Obey Bullet Strat available, with graphics from Shepard Fairey, so your guitar can make a statement before you even play a note! The Affinity Series is likewise geared to the beginner, based on the classic Strat design, loaded with either single-coil or humbucking pickups, but with a wider variety of colors. These guitars are also featured as part of the Affinity Strat Pack, which includes everything you need to get started, including a 15-watt Fender amp, cable, strap, gig bag, picks and electronic tuner, as well as an instructional DVD, so you can start learning at home. The Squire Standard Series, based on the Fender American Series Strat, kicks things up a notch, with upgraded hardware and finish options, while the Squire Deluxe Series hot-rods the classic designs with tasty touches like Duncan Designed pickups and aged plastic parts. The Classic Vibe Series features guitars based on the iconic axes from the ‘50s and ‘60s, but with modern upgrades like a 9-1/2” neck radius and medium-jumbo frets. The Vintage Modified Series expands on the hot-rodding theme, by including a ‘70s-era axe into the mix, as well as offering humbuckers on some models; and the new, retro-cool line of Surf Strats, with specially designed vintage-style Seymour Duncan lipstick tube pickups and groovy colors like Surf Green and Sonic Blue. The Squier Artist Series features customized signature models from notable players from around the world, with some models available only in select regions or for limited runs. No matter which axe you choose, you can’t go wrong - the Strat has been a favorite among players since it was first introduced in 1954, and is not only one of the most iconic-looking guitars ever produced, its distinctive tone and smooth playability have powered countless hits for everyone from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton. If you want to add your name to that list, grab a Squier Stratocaster and get rocking!