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Squier Affinity Stratocaster Featured

 
Dressed in new eye-popping finishes, these Fender®-designed Stratocaster® guitars have a great look and feel. With a contoured alder body, bolt-on maple neck with late '60s headstock, three single coil pickups and standard tremolo system, the Affinity Series Strat® guitar has all the vintage vibe at a fraction of the price.


Price: $25 to $199 at 18 stores
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A good choice for beginner guitarists featured

Sound The Squier Affinity series Stratocaster is a surprisingly good sounding guitar. Squier have had a bit of a bad reputation for building some really poor guitars, but in the last couple of years they have obviously upped their game.

Knowing this when I went to help my young cousin find his first electric guitar I went and played a number of the Affinity series Stratocasters and stumbled upon a gem.

Playing this particular example (a black model, 3 single coil pickups) acoustically I was impressed with the relatively full tone the guitar had. It did need a few adjustments, but for the most part guitar sounded nice and bright, and had reasonable sustain. I'm sure the alder body would have been comprised of quite a few pieces of wood glued together, but this particular example seemed to just sing quite nicely.

Plugged in the single coil pickups were a little noisy with some gain, although that is to be expected. The tone they produced though was not unpleasant, and sounded just like a Stratocaster should. Notes resonate nicely, and the combination of alder body and maple fretboard provide a nice bright sparkly sound through the pickups.

Switching to positions two and four on the pickup selector did as one would hope, and combine the middle pickup with the bridge or neck and eliminate hum, and fatten up the tone. Combining the bridge and middle pickup actually provided a reasonable bridge humbucker substitute, although if you are really looking for a proper humbucker sound you would definitely would want to switch out the bridge and replace with a real humbucker pickup.


Action, Fit, & Finish The guitar was actually quite well finished for such a low end guitar. Action was reasonable straight off the rack, and the frets were quite reasonable. The fret edges didn't stick out from the fret board, and the neck is quite nice and smooth to play on. The only problem with the fretwork was a slightly raised fret that would choke notes played on the 15th fret. The shop where the guitar was bought sorted that out though, so all is good now.

The polyurethane cleared 1 piece neck has a really nice feel to it, and was easy to play great rhythm guitar parts, and fast solo runs. I was really impressed with the quality of it, especially considering the low price tag.

There were no real obvious signs of carelessness with the building of the guitar, everything fit as it should. Obviously the hardware isn't of the highest quality, but it does the job.

With a tightening of the machine heads they showed be be fairly good at holding tune, although I would still replace them with a reasonable Gotoh set.

The vintage 6 point tremolo is an obvious week point when it comes to tuning stability, but again for the price it does the job.

As far as I'm concerned, if a cheaper guitar has a nice neck, and a good body, then that's the most important thing. This particular Affinity series Stratocaster is a perfect candidate for hot-rodding. Replacing the electronics, bridge and machine heads would leave you with a fantastic guitar that would provide years of great service.


Reliability & Durability The guitar for the most part feels quite solid. Everything works nicely, and does it's job with no fuss. The paint work seems quite reasonable, and looks as though it would last, as long as the guitar is not thrown around too much.

It would stand up to gigging as well as any other guitar could.


Customer Support As mentioned earlier the only issue with the guitar was a raised fret, and the shop fixed that up straight away. Not really a Squier specific customer support thing though. I haven't dealt directly with Squier.


Liked about it Well built for the money beginner guitar.
* Great sounding guitar that sounded like a proper Stratocaster.
* Lovely neck.


Didn't like Raised fret, was sorted out though.
* Hardware is cheap, but that is to be expected on a budget model.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By LonePhantom
Apr 21, 2010
 
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Price: $25 to $199
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