Fender Korea

Bill Alston

Squier HM strats

UNDER CONSTRUCTION Work in progress

This is as difficult a page as I have done outside of some obscure Yamahas. There is conflicting information about these guitars and actual official documentation is rare, as are some of the guitars. It is commonly held that there are are 5 models but this isn't exactly true. At the end of 1989 and beginning of 1990 there were significant changes to some models so much so that in some cases they could be regarded as different guitars. Most of the guitars I have seen have E9 serial numbers indicating Young Chang* 1989 1990 I haven't been able to see the serial numbers of any of the later models yet to see if they are a different factory such as Cort or Samick. Fender changed Korean factories about whenever convenient. *Tony Bacon states that the first models were made by Cort who had already got some models in production that they could tweak to produce the first Squier models but the serial numbers suggest not but there could easily be some guitars about with Cort serial numbers.



This is a version 1 HM1 it's the only model without a locking nut and with a Vintage style bridge.

The beginning


It started in the late 80s after complaints from the sales staff that they had nothing to compete with the offerings of Ibanez, Charvel, Jackson and Yamaha so in 1989 the HMI HMII and HMIII were launched with the HMIV and HMV following early the following year. Brad Townsend head of International sales said that guitars could come from one of three factories with slightly different specs. Sometimes different factories for different markets. I think it's also fair to say that some of these models were built to a price point.


This is a version 1 HMII

The Guitars in detail

The table below shows what we are reasonably certain of

Model I II III IV V
Body Plywood* Plywood* Basswood or Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany with Maple Top
Neck Bolt on Maple Bolt on Maple Bolt on Maple Fixed Maple Fixed Maple
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Jumbo Frets 15" radius dot markers Rosewood 22 Jumbo Frets 15" radius dot markers Rosewood 22 Jumbo Frets 15" radius dot markers Rosewood 22 Jumbo Frets 15" radius dot markers Rosewood 22 Jumbo Frets 15" radius dot markers
Tuners Black sealed diecast Black sealed diecast Black sealed diecast Black sealed diecast Black sealed diecast
Pickups Unspecified Black HSS Unspecified Black HSS Unspecified Black HSH Unspecified Black HSH Unspecified Black HSH
Controls Black Knurled Knobs 1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch Black Knurled Knobs 1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch Black Knurled Knobs 1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch Black Knurled Knobs 1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch Black Knurled Knobs 1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch
Nut Bone Locking Locking Locking Locking
Hardware Black Black Black Black Black
Bridge Vintage Style 2 pivot trem Floyd Rose Licensed Locking Floyd Rose Licensed Locking Floyd Rose Licensed Locking Floyd Rose Licensed Locking
Colours Black, Midnight Wine, Arctic White or Electric Blue Black, Midnight Wine, Arctic White or Electric Blue Frost White, Montego Black, Midnight Wine, Electric Blue or Crackle Frost White, Montego Black, Midnight Wine, Electric Blue or Crackle Crimson Burst, Ebony Burst, Blue Burts or Antique Burst

All had the same headstock with the same angular shape, same logos no model identification and all except the HM I had a string bar.
*The body wood issue is difficult most agree that the HMI and HMII were plywood and there are several sources that say the HMIII was Mahogany or Basswood but it would not be a surprise if some HMIIIs were plywood as well see changes later.


This is the HMII headstock but they are all the same except the HMI doesn't have the string bar or the locking nut.

Changes late 1989 early 1990

I have a description of the changed models from the 1991 catalogue, I don't have the 1990 catalogue.
HMI This guitar now has a Floyd Rose III bridge and presumably locking nut and string bar This probably makes it difficult to distinguish from the early HMII unless you can tell the bridge type.
HMII Now sports a Floyd Rose II bridge
HMIII Now with a Floyd Rose Original Bridge
HMIV Now a Floyd Rose II
HMV Now Floyd Rose original
There could easily have been other changes such as colours etc the catalogue doesn't specify colours and I have a suspicion that the HMIII may now be plywood as the catalogue details the woods for the HMIV and V but says nothing about the wood on the other 3 models. It does specify that all models have Jumbo Frets whereas I have seen reference to medium jumbo for the earlier models but that may be wrong.





Top HMIII below it HMV

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