The Stratocaster is the most popular electric guitar model ever built. Originally released by Fender, this type of guitar has been copied extensively through the years. It remains one of the most common models for many manufacturers, from budget and mass-produced all the way to boutique and expensive ones.
The Bullet Strat HT is Squier’s take on this iconic design. This company has developed a solid reputation for making affordable copies of Fender models, and the Bullet Strat HT is no different. Additionally, it has the sign of approval from the original Stratocaster manufacturer, as Squier is a brand owned by Fender.
As we’d expect from Squier, the Bullet Strat HT is a truly affordable guitar. It features the iconic Stratocaster design and shape, but with inexpensive materials that help keep the cost down. Let’s take a look.
Who Is This For?
The Squier Bullet Strat HT is for beginners that want the classic Strat sound and design on a budget. As a matter of fact, this guitar is also a good option for those who are just starting out and have no idea what to get.
Because this Strat copy is quite affordable, it is also a good choice for anyone that is not sure whether they are going to like playing guitar or not but want to give it a real shot.
This guitar has the unequivocal look of a Stratocaster. Everything from the three single-coil pickups to the headstock is pure Strat, and Squier nailed it on the looks department, even at this low price.
The Squier Bullet Strat HT reviewed here is a Tropical Turquoise with Rosewood fingerboard. However, you get four other color choices: Brown Sunburst, Sonic Gray, Fiesta Red, and Black. All four models feature a rosewood fingerboard, as well as the same features and construction.
Additionally, you can get a variation of this guitar for the same price. The Squier Bullet Strat HSS HT comes with a humbucker on the bridge position, as opposed to a single coil. This is another common configuration for the Strat, particularly popular among rock players that want that extra humbucker push on the bridge position.
The Squier Bullet Strat HT features a poplar body with a Gloss Polyurethane finish.
The neck on this affordable Strat copy is made of maple and features 21 medium jumbo frets and a C-shaped profile for comfort. Additionally, there is a 9.5 radius that is especially helpful for beginners, as well the standard Strat scale length of 25.5 inches.
For hardware, the Squier Bullet Strat HT features a hardtail bridge and standard die-cast tuners.
As it is common on budget instruments, this Squier features a synthetic bone nut with a width of 1.650 inches and white Pearloid dots fingerboard inlays.
On the electronics, you get a typical Strat configuration with a 5-way pickup selector, a single volume control, one tone knob, and three Strat Standard single-coil pickups.
We plugged the Squier Bullet Start HT into our trusty Fender Deluxe Reverb amp for all the tests and added an Ibanez Tube Screamer.
We set out to try clean tones first. Of all the five positions on the pickup selector, our favorite was the fourth, with the neck and middle pickup activated. Here we got some of that funk sound that Strats are so good at.
Naturally, it was not as sparky and with as much pep as with a pricey Strat, but the characteristic chime and tone were present.
Our second favorite position for cleans was on the bridge pickup. Here we got that traditional Strat twang while playing some bluesy and country licks. Although the hi-end was a bit too much, it was still a sound that can be used and blend well in a band context.
Moving on to distortion via our Tube Screamer, we played a few riffs on the bridge pickup. This Squier Strat did a good job and reacted relatively well to our dynamics. This is definitely a useful sound that can cut through a dense studio or live mix.
We then moved on to the middle position with the Tube Screamer still activated. Here we were able to dial a nice bluesy overdrive tone that could work well for solos in several contexts. With a nice sustain and projection, the sound of this Squier Strat was balanced and with that typical Strat bite.
Throughout our tests, the Squier Bullet Strat HT did a good job of staying in tune through our tests, especially for a budget guitar. However, once we started using the tremolo arm, the tuning became a bit spotty, but that is to be expected at this price point.
The neck felt comfortable and familiar, and the 9.5-inch radius will be especially helpful to beginners, as it is smaller than a typical Strat radius. The fret edges were relatively smooth, which is a great improvement from other budget guitars.
Other Guitars To Consider
Yamaha has been at the forefront of affordable Strat copies with its Pacifica line of the guitar. With an Agathis body, maple neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and two single-coil and one humbucker pickup, the PAC012DLX Pacifica is a great buy. One of the best strat budget options in the market, and great for beginners.
The Ibanez Gio GRX70QA is a stylized version of a Strat, what many refer to as a superstrat. Featuring a poplar body, quilted maple top, maple neck, purpleheart fingerboard, 2 humbucking pickups, and 1 single-coil pickup on the middle position, this guitar offers a good cost-benefit ratio. This Ibanez is a good instrument for beginners, especially those that gravitate toward heavier styles of music that rely on distortion.
The Squier Bullet Strat HT is a fantastic buy for beginners. For a very affordable price, you can start your guitar journey on the right foot, using the most enduring guitar design in history. This guitar offers a good cost-benefit relationship, and gives you Strat-type sound, feel, and playability, all on a budget.