Fender has expanded its line of Squier Contemporary Series electric guitars and basses with three refreshed models, as well as an all-new bass guitar.
The Active Jazzmaster, Starcaster and Jazz Bass – originally launched over the course of 2018 and 2019 – have been brought in line with the rest of last year’s high-spec Contemporary Series, with the addition of roasted maple necks, sculpted neck heels and modern-voiced Squier SQR active pickups.
All-new for this year, however, is the Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH, available in four-string and five-string configurations.
Besides the playability and tonal tweaks, all models also now boast a neat aesthetic update in the form of chrome headstock logos. Mmm.
Let’s take a look at what’s new with each model…
Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ($489)
Tearing up the Jazzmaster rulebook almost entirely, the Active HH takes its cues from Jim Root’s signature guitar, albeit with a few tweaks.
There are several significant changes from the 2018 ST model here, namely the replacement of the adjusto-matic bridge with a two-point Synchronized tremolo, as well as the roasted maple neck and sculpted heel, as opposed to the original’s plain maple and block neck joint. The laurel fingerboard returns.
The original’s Surf Pearl and Graphite Metallic finishes, meanwhile, have been switched out for Shell Pink Pearl and Sunset Metallic colorways, both with black hardware and black headstocks.
Otherwise, the poplar-bodied model features Squier SQR active ceramic humbuckers for fearsome output and contemporary sounds, although there’s no word on whether these differ from those found in the originals.
Squier Contemporary Active Starcaster ($479)
First launched as part of a trio of revived Starcaster designs in summer 2019, the Active Starcaster has now been brought in under the renewed Contemporary umbrella.
So, that means the roasted maple neck and sculpted heel now grace the spec sheet, but otherwise the guitar remains largely similar, with two Squier SQR active ceramic humbuckers, an adjusto-matic-style bridge and tailpiece, and a laminated maple body.
Finishes have, however, received a switch-up: Surf Pearl and Flat Black are out in favor of the rather more luxurious Shoreline Gold and Gunmetal Metallic. Just get a load of the matching ‘swoop’ on the Gunmetal model’s headstock. Phwoar.
Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH ($499-$529)
There haven’t been too many changes to this tricked-out Jazz: the Squier SQR ceramic humbuckers are present and correct, as are controls for volume, pickup blend, tone and bass/treble boost.
What has changed, however, is the body material – which is now poplar, rather than the original’s increasingly scarce ash – as well as the addition of that roasted maple neck and sculpted heel.
Finish-wise, it’s see ya later, Flat Black and Flat White; hello, Sky Burst Metallic and Shoreline Gold – oh, and Gunmetal Metallic is the sole option for the five-string model, which costs an additional $30 over the four-string’s asking price. You get a painted black headstock whatever finish you opt for.
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH ($499-$529)
The latest addition to the Contemporary range features an active P-Bass split neck single-coil, and adds a humbucking bridge pickup to the usual Precision arrangement.
Like the Jazz Bass, there are controls for volume, pickup blend and tone, plus stacked boost controls for bass and treble.
Other features include a hi-mass bridge, plus that ubiquitous roasted maple C-shape neck and black hardware.
Two finishes are available – Pearl White and Sunset Metallic – as is a five-string version, which is only available in Black, but comes with an anodized aluminum pickguard. A black painted headstock completes the look.
For more information on all the new models, head to Fender.com (opens in new tab).