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Swamp ash, or southern ash, is considered as the most musical wood and it’s often preferred by the more demanding players.
Its high density makes it a bright sounding wood with a strong punch and rich sustain.
The string and pickup height and the tremolo action is often set to a so-called factory standardized setup.
This can easily be adjusted later on, so don’t dismiss a perfectly good guitar just because the setup isn’t how you normally prefer it.
Keep in mind though that there’s a difference between a setup that you don’t like and a bad setup caused by poor assembly and parts. Over the last decade, Squire has regained much of its old reputation of producing high quality instruments for even the tightest budgets.
Squier Classic Vibe The Classic Vibe series captures the essence of the 50s and 60s models with all the characteristics and looks.
Alder is used in most Fender Strats mainly because of its light weight and it’s easy to finish due to minimal grain lines.
That’s kind of the point too, considering that MIM models are Fender’s budget brand (above Squier).
Rosewood necks (or rosewood fretboard) has a slightly warmer tone with more mid range and perhaps an overall more balanced character.
Like the neck, the wood used for the body, and its quality, plays a role in how the guitar sound.
Pickups can easily be replaced for a more desired tone but you can’t fix a dead resonance.
Consider it a bonus if the stock pickups are to your liking.