|Neck joint||Neck-Through and Bolt-on|
|Scale||25.5 in (650 mm)|
|Bridge||Floyd Rose Locking and two-point tremolo|
|Pickup(s)||Usually one humbucking and two Single-coils or
Two Humbuckers or
One Single-coil and two Humbuckers
|Various solid shades of white, blue, red, green, black, gold, grey and purple.|
The Squier Stagemaster (discontinued) is a guitar made by Squier, which normally manufactures less expensive authorized copies of Fender's more popular guitars and bass guitars. The Stagemaster is similar in appearance to a Stratocaster with a few cosmetic and functional differences, and is typically classified as a Superstrat. Generally, these differences are:
- A reverse headstock
- A tremolo system (Mostly Floyd Rose, with the Stagemaster HSS NLT model featuring 2-point standard tremolo)
- Humbucker pickups combined with single coil pickups
- A contoured neck heel (Rounded corner where the neck meets the body)
- A slightly narrower body
- 24 fret necks (Early models had 22 fret necks)
- One volume and one tone control
There were five different versions of the Stagemasters:
V1 - Introduced in 1999 and featured a pickguard, top jack, reverse headstock, licensed Floyd Rose tremolo systems and 22 frets. Versions were HH, HSS, and HSH. V1 Stagemasters did not come from the factory in HHH or SSS versions . Colors made were Black, Polar White, Cobalt Blue Metallic, Galactic Purple and Frost Red. All V1 models were available with a natural wood color headstock or with a matching painted headstock. All came with chrome hardware. Discontinued in 2000. Very early versions had CY98xxxxxx serial numbers but were assembled in early 1999, not in 1998 per Fender Customer Service. V1 bodies & necks are interchangeable with Stratocaster guitars.
Early V1 guitars have tuners that are held in place with a set-screw (Type A). Later ones have tuners that are held in place with a recessed pin (Type B).
V2 - Introduced in 2000, discontinued 2002. Has a side jack, back-routed control cavity, reverse headstock, licensed Floyd Rose bridge, bolt-on 24 fret neck, and a locking nut. Versions were HH, HSS, HSH. These 2-octave models were made in three colors: Black Metallic (565), Cobalt Blue Metallic (587), and Purple Metallic (593). The V2 models also offered HH 7-string versions. The 7 string version came in two models: a Floyd Rose bridge with locking nut (7FR) and a hard tail fixed bridge (7HT) with a regular nut. The 7 string models came in three colors: Black Metallic (565), Cobalt Blue Metallic (587) and Purple Metallic (593). All came with black hardware.
V3 - Stagemaster HSS NLT (Non-Locking Tremolo). Features a two-point bridge, back-routed control cavity, bolt-on 22 fret neck, and a regular nut. Colors include Black and Cobalt Blue. All came with chrome hardware. V3 bodies & necks are interchangeable with Stratocaster guitars.
V4 - The Deluxe versions with neck-through construction were made alongside these models and were available in HH and HSH configurations. The Deluxe HH neck-through came in three colors: Shoreline Gold Metallic (544), Atlantic Blue Metallic (569), and Wine Red Metallic (575). The Deluxe HSH came in three different colors: Pewter Gray Metallic (543), Black Metallic (565), and Emerald Green Metallic (571). No HSS neck-through models were made. All V4 models came with black hardware.
V5 - In 2000 Squier made an exclusive run of six string Stagemasters for Mars Music. They came in HH configuration only and were available in three colors: Blueburst, Redburst, and Blackburst. Notable difference is the regular headstock that is not reversed like all the other Stagemasters. These came with a bolt on 24 fret neck, Licensed Floyd Rose tremolo bridge with a locking nut, black hardware, one vol/one tone knob, and a 3-way knife switch. These are known as the "Mars Stagemasters".
The 2nd generation 24-fret Solid Body Stagemaster featured many upgrades and was "designed to compete with guitars costing 4 to 5 times as much." One upgrade was wax potted pickups stock with the guitar. Another upgrade was rear-mounted electronics allowing for a guitar without pickguards. The Deluxe model featured neck-through three-piece maple necks, while the standard models featured a bolt-on one-piece neck with no scarf joint with the contoured heel. The reverse headstocks on the Stagemasters allow for completely straight string pull. Another nice feature is the inclusion of a brass bridge sustain block on the licensed Floyd Rose bridge, unusual quality in a budget-priced guitar. In 2002 the Stagemaster was renamed to Showmaster due to a trademark claim from Kramer, who made a guitar called the Stagemaster in the mid-late 1980's. V3 and V4 model Stagemaster guitars are known to exist labelled as "Showmaster".
All Stagemasters came with rosewood fret boards. None were ever made with maple fret boards.
The Stagemaster line of guitars were discontinued in 2002 (due to Kramer's trademark claim) and some Stagemaster models were renamed "Showmaster". Showmaster guitars were discontinued in 2004 and were sold through 2005 until stocks were depleted.
Identification of the Stagemaster guitars is quite easy. If it has a normal head stock it is a V5 Mars Stagemaster. If it has 7 strings it is a V2. If it has a pickguard it is a V1. If it has a back-routed control cavity and a bolt-on 24 fret neck it is a V2. If it has back-routed control cavity and a bolt-on 22 fret neck it is a V3. If it is a neck-through guitar it is V4.
The Stagemaster guitar shares similarities with the Heavy Metal (HM) Strat which was produced by Fender and discontinued in 1992. It also shares similarities with the Squier Heavy Metal (HM) guitars made from 1989 to 1993.
- The Squier history PDF published by Woodbright Video: http://www.woolbrightvideo.com/files/forums/SquierSpecs.pdf