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Affinity HH Telecaster (FSR) vs Bullet HH Mustang

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by optofonik, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Lots of apples and oranges with this one, I know.


    I already have an Epiphone LP Standard with pups I'm happy with but want another dual humbucker frame to try out different pups, including P90s. I have a VM Jag (w/ Fender Vintage pups) which is my only short scale and I really dig it. I also have a Tele Bigsby Cabronita (HS pup config) and like the Tele body shape as much as the Jag.

    On less important and shallow notes: I'm not a huge fan of the blacked out hardware on the FSR although I do like the orange paint job. The only Mustangs till available with rosewood fingerboards are blue. I really don't like blue guitars.

    Anyone here have both these guitars?
     
  2. blille

    blille Tele-Afflicted

    I don’t but the difference in scale should make this an obvious choice. They play different and sound very different because of that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  3. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Well, I made some calls around town and getting on the good-foot seemed prudent. I got the last Bullet Mustang with a rosewood fingerboard in Los Angeles apparently. GC had none, full stop. Sam Ash had two in all of Southern and Central California; one in Canoga Park and the other in San Diego.

    Lordy! I don't know how they do it. It seems, so far, the epitome of "bang for the buck". Another "Squier '51", perhaps? Incrementally switching out hardware won't result in weird finish mismatches, either; unlike the FSR Tele.

    The first surprise? The pickups sounded really good running through an Orange Dark Terror and custom Avalon cab loaded with a 12" Celestion G12M Greenback. So good I'll probably use this guitar on a recording I'm working on right now. I'll still try out some P90s in the future, though.

    The second surprise was the amount of sustain for a short scale guitar. It's noticeably more than my Jaguar with Fender Vintage pups but not noticeably less than my LP Standard; I think the Orange/G12M just likes these cheapo pups.

    Next week I'll take a rocker and straight edge to the neck, check the intonation, do a proper setup, and see what I wind up with. I felt no sharp fret ends which is another bonus for such a cheap guitar.

    I'll still compare it against the equally "cheap" Tele HH but I almost don't feel the need.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    blille likes this.
  4. NilsZippo

    NilsZippo TDPRI Member

    57
    Dec 1, 2015
    Austin
    Check Chicago Music Exchange, they still had the Black Mustang with RW fingerboard back in the middle of May, because I got one.
     
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  5. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Well, there certainly is a lot to like about the FSR Affinity Tele HH at first blush. It feels good in my hands, it's setup OOTB is totally playable, and the action just fine from top to bottom (for me). Plugged into my Dark Terror and running through the same Avalon cab mentioned above it sounds great. In the picture below, I think you might agree that it's considerably more attractive, appearance-wise, than the Bullet Mustang; it's just a really good looking guitar.

    I suspect the pups are the same in both guitars so it's no surprise that they sound similar. It may well be the same circuit also. The neck finish and fingerboard material are the same; a smooth satin finished C-shape with rosewood fingerboard. Tuners appear to be the same, just different finishes (my FSR sample has a sticky g-string tuner - the others were fine). The FSR is string through and the Mustang a top-loader (for some reason the Fender/Squier site has this backwards). The saddles are different; the Bullet Mustang saddle is bent and the FSR are block. The Bullet has 22 frets and the FSR has 21 and the Bullet frets aren't as well dressed; the ends would need a filing. These are both very basic guitars and more similar than I thought in that respect which makes comparing them rather interesting; the only appreciable "playability" differences seem to be the radiuses and scale lengths.

    I'm now wondering which would be a better platform for trying different pickups. The Tele would require HB sized single coils or single coil route adapters. The Bullet with it's swimming pool route would seem to be as easy having a pickguard custom made to accommodate whatever pup combo I fancy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  6. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
  7. jgordito

    jgordito TDPRI Member

    57
    Sep 4, 2014
    Utah
    I see a lot of comparisons between the hh bullet and other mustangs saying it sustains better for a short scale. I believe some of that may be because it’s 24.75 vs. 24 on a traditional mustang.
     
  8. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles

    The Bullet Mustang is actually 24" scale. The Fender site had the wrong specs for awhile. Makes the sustain all that more impressive, yeah?

    ________________________________________________________________________________


    My initial call to Sam Ash lead to my follow up post about only two being available in southern California but this morning's call yielded a different answer. As a result, I ended up exchanging the first sample because there was in fact one available about 30 miles away. The fret ends on the first sample needed some work right away and the frets on this sample can do without for awhile.

    Interesting notes about the Sam Ash I went to...

    They put the guitar on hold for me as per any retailer. The guitar was being hung behind the counter as I arrived, though; more than two hours after I called. When I set about my inspection I found the guitar was perfectly in tune and the action was lower than the one I was returning, When I got home I discovered the intonation was spot on as well. I think they actually took the time to make sure it was set up before I arrived. They also refunded me $20 on the first guitar for my trouble. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's supposed to be done.

    Nevertheless, the FSR is still in the stand for further evaluation. Did I mention what a good looking guitar it is?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  9. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Same pickups which is as I suspected. What I find interesting is, although they sound similar, they don't sound identical. I imagine the scale difference would account for this. The difference in mass as well, perhaps?



    Mustang Pups.JPG


    Tele Pups.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  10. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    I quite dislike threads where the OP never provides closure...

    This is the decision I made between the Bullet Mustang and the Affinity FSR Tele...

    Mustange.JPG

    Nevertheless, I have now started thinking in terms of my blonde Squier '51 vs the FSR Orange Tele...

    "Sigh..."
     
    gip111 likes this.
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