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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Difference between Squier standard and affinity

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by kyle1167, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. kyle1167

    kyle1167 Tele-Holic

    Jul 9, 2006
    I've been considering one of the two for modding.

    The only difference I've found(from what little research I've done) is the body wood. I'm not familiar with Agathis, what's it like(heavy, light, good tone)?

    I also know the affinity has a top loading bridge. Does the standard have the string through body?

    Are their parts interchangeable with other Fender or Fender spec parts(PG, bridge, control plate, neck pocket)?

    Thanks, Kyle

  2. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

    From what I have observed, the Affinity has a thinner body and a rather skinny neck that most modders replace. The Standard probably has a little better quality hardware, which also has a fretboard of rosewood, and the body is string through.

    There are many variations of agathis, an oderless Asian conifer/pine type of wood claimed to have characteristics of generic grade mahoghany. Common uses are also for decorative trim, cabinets, and panelling. Since affinities come from China, the wood choice is probably simply due to price and availability.

    Since you're preplanning a mod project, I'd just look for the best price deal new or used. Start with a bargain and use the savings for upgrades.:D

    I don't know about variations from different years, but...

  3. amx1

    amx1 TDPRI Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Alberta Canada
    i looked at both when i bought my tele. the standard uses higher quality hardware than the affinity. the website says they both have standard tuners, but id swear the affinity's are lower grade just going by the feel when tuning. the standard is also noticably heavier than the affinity, i really notice the weight when i pick it up after playing my gax ibanez. the pups on my standard are, well, cheap guitar pups, lots of ice pick tone from the bridge. i changed them out for a set of gfs hot punchers. im no expert on how wood affects tone, so i cant answer that one. the only thing problem i noticed was some of the neck screws were loose from the factory (big deal), and the jack cup has a tendancy to work its way out of the body occasionally (fairly common tele ailment from what ive read). the extra money paid for the standard does show up in the finnished product in my opinion. $65.00 cdn difference in price at the same store (long and mquade).
    Oberhaz likes this.

  4. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

    Mar 12, 2006
    Central New York
    The Standard has a 1.75-inch-thick body while the Affinity is 1.5-inch (which makes the Affinity lighter). The Affinity's neck is a wee bit skinnier at the nut (no pre-slotted drop-in replacement nut for it). The Standard has a string-through bridge, the Affinity a top-loader. Affinitys have 1-ply pickguards, Standards have 3-ply. Color wise, if you want butterscotch, you've got to go Affinity. If you must have a 60s-style rosewood neck, the Standard's for you.

    I prefer the upgrades that are on the Standard (or are they downgrades on the Affinity?). If color is what's driving your GAS, the Affinity might be your only choice. Some like the lighter, thinner body. Some claim there's not difference between the string-through body and the top-loader.

    Go somewhere where you can play both. Find out for yourself what sounds and feels right to you. You're the best judge. While I might wish for a Standard, I found a great deal on an Affinity about a year ago. I don't regret it a bit. I have swapped some parts on it, but I really didn't *need* to. It sounded great as-is, I just like to tinker.

    Good luck and welcome to the cult. It's bliss...

  5. natsteel

    natsteel Tele-Meister

    Aug 7, 2005
    the netherlands
    A few months ago I got this Affinity for a Modding project.
    But when I read post above I see specs from Affinity and Standard

    The Affinity does have a Butterscotsch body , it is string thru, Rosewood fretboard, 1-ply pickguards and body thickness is 46 mm (1.75”)

    ? are there Squires with both Standard and Affinity specs ....?

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]

  6. Tedecaster

    Tedecaster Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 16, 2006
    Greensboro, Vermont
    I'm not that up on the Affinity thing (don't have one) but I did check out a few in NYC recently. The BB Affinity that is popular around here at the moment is a maple neck & I think is made in Indonesia (your's says "China") The finish was also more opaque & it comes with a black P/G.. I believe that the bridge is different from your's as well. Did you buy it "new"? New-old-stock maybe? Is there a Euro spec?

  7. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    Specs on the CIC Affinitys and the CII Standards apparently changed significantly at some point in time, flip-flopping in terms of which one had a maple fretboard and which one had rosewood.

    I believe that for normal production, the CII Standards were solid maple from '98 (first year Indonesian production of them) through '99, and then switched to rosewood in 2000. That's what I've seen in pics online and the ones I've seen in my hands.

    Sam Ash had some special run Squier Fat Teles that were solid maple, I have a 2000 and another member has a 2002, and I've seen an ebay ad for one that I think was 2003 or 2004.

    Mine and other '98 CIC Standards I've seen have vintage skinny frets, but all newer ones I've seen have medium jumbos. All I've seen have skunk stripes.

    I'm not sure what year Affinitys changed from maple to rosewood. I don't know if their fret sizes have changed specs, but my son's 2004 and other recent ones I've seen have medium jumbos, the fretboard is a separate piece of wood from the neck, and it has no skunk stripe.

    I haven't paid quite as much attention to Affinitys as I have to Standards, and I didn't remember whether the earlier, rosewood fretboard ones were string through. I think TDPRI member The String King has a rosewood fretboard Affinity.

    Logos seem to have changed slightly with the CIC and CII Squiers over the years, most notable "Fender" changing from block letters to the spaghetti style font. But all CII Squier Teles I've seen have Squier in outline font, and all CIC Affinitys have that in solid black.

    Anyone seen a Squier Affinity Tele that wasn't made in China? All the ones I've seen were made in China.

    Anyone know when the first Affinity Squier Tele was produced?

  8. soltwanger

    soltwanger Tele-Holic

    Jul 5, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    yeah, all good points. My first ever guitar was the squier affinity butterscotch, circa 2002/03. the body is thinner, the bridge is top-load, the saddles are plain chrome whereas the standard seem to be a kind of softer brushed steel, like the MIA standard fenders. also, the finish on the affinity is notably thicker and more gloopy. It also bashes up easily, which is surprising. The standard finish is similar to the old highway 1s, like a soft thin satin finish. very nice. I have to say that the neck from my affinity tele is one of the nicest I have ever played. I'm not keen on the unfinished 'cardboard' feel of the standard, kind of cheap feeling. The affinity tuners have never presented and problems with me, and i do play hard. The jack cup did fall out due to the graduall erosion of the soft agathis body. I would strongly reccomend going for the standard purely for the scope available for modding. Remember the old adage: ''you can't polish a turd''. best of luck with your project


    SOUNDMIXER Tele-Meister

    Jan 13, 2006
    Edzell Mind Farm, Scotland
    I'm in the process of re-finishing the neck on my Affinity. I was going to but a new neck but I like the one that came with it so much that I decided to keep it. (Also couldn't afford an Allparts Fat neck)

    When I took the neck off last week the date stamp on the heel said June 24th 1998. The serial number makes it Chinese, CY98074604, and that might point us all in the right direction for dating these guitars.

    It would seem that CY is for China, 98 and 07 would be year and month, and the 4604 a production model (??).

    The paint finish on the body is quite transparent with the grain showing nicely. The neck however had quite a thin layer of cheap lacquer that came off with about ten minutes work with 800 grit wet and dry. It has just recieved it's 6th coat of Reranch tinted lacquer and is hanging up in a cupboard for a couple of days to harden up.

    Now the confusing bit. The neck has a rosewood fretboard which everyone I speak to says didn't come in until around 2000. The body is 1.75" thick and the bridge is a string through body. I bought it from a guitar shop in Castleford, England in 2001. It came with a white scratch plate which is now a Bakelite 5 hole black scratch.

    Oh and the neck plate is blank and doesn't have the serial number engraved on it. The s/n was on the back of the neck until Mr Sandpaper got to it.

    I think my BSB Affinity will forever remain an anomoly. For a cheap guitar it sure turned out proper. With a resale value of next to nothing, I figured what the heck, mod it. A pair of Seymour D Alnico Pro 2 pups, Gotoh vintage tuners (which by the way don't butt together because the tuner hole spacings are too wide!!) and the saddles off a Squire Standard bridge (much nicer to look at and adjust) and a Gibson sqare jack plate to replace the plastic one that came with it all adds up to a real special guitar for me.

    I'll post some pix when it's done.

    Other than the bridge most parts are interchangable. The bridge can be done but it need holes filled afterward and in my humble opinion leave it be, but change the saddles for something better. There are loads of Squire bridges available these days because everyone else is changing them for vintage bridges.:D

  10. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    The first digit of the serial number is for the country of origin, the second is for the plant that produced it. So C is for China but I don't know what the Y is for. The serial numbers on the CII (Crafted in Indonesia) Squier Standards begin with IC, in which the I is for Indonesia and the C is for Cort.

    SOUNDMIXER, I'm guessing yours is not an anomaly. It's like natsteel's, it's based on an earlier specification. As others here contribute onformation on theirs we can confirm, but so far the Affinitys as old as yours and older, have had rosewood fretboards and those other features which are decidedly different than the ones in current production.

    I can't vouch for the interchangeability of parts of those earlier spec Affinitys and Standards. But I measured my son's 2004 compared to my 2005, and there is a slight difference in the distance between the set of 3 mounting screws at the bridge bottom, and the set of 2 at the bridge top. So I don't think the current spec Affinity and Standard bridge plates are interchangeable.

    The '98-'99 CII Squier Standards used the Mighty Mite 2112 bridge, which had toploader as well as through-body holes. The current spec CII Squier Standards are a different part, and they are STB only. So if you were to replace the one on your current spec, toploader Affinity with one from a current spec, string-through Standard, you'd have to do some string hole drilling. If I was doing that and wanted to keep a thick, modern style bridge, I'd consider using either one from a current spec MIM Std, or the one from Warmoth; both of which use the vintage spec hole spacing. At least that would give you (and the future owner when you sell) a lot of options. You could then use the thick modern plate or a vintage spec plate.

  11. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 15, 2006
    Santa Fe, NM
    Being pretty small....I appreciate a lightweight guitar with a thin neck....the Squire Affinity Tele suits me just fine.

  12. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    I kinda skimmed through the posts in this thread, so I might be repeating others.

    I'm a firm believer in the value of both Standard and Affinity Squier guitars ("Standard" is my term, as I need a way to differentiate 'tween yer basic $200 Squier and the Affinity, Bullet, Elite, Custom, etc, other flavors they peddle). At this point I've lost count past 2 dozen Standard/Affinity Squiers I've bought and modded.

    Though there will some exceptions, these are the main differences (that are most important to me) that I've found - Standard bodies mic at 1.75" and the Affinity at 1.625", Standard nut width is 1.650" and Affinity is 1.610", AlNiCo pups for the Standard and ceramics for the Affinity.

    Both have solid wood bodies that will vary between agathis (a South Pacific pine genus), alder, basswood, and some other wood(s) that I can't pinpoint their origin. Who really cares? Not me, that's for sure; it's all good stuff in my guitar book.

    For the most part, they both have about the same quality hardware and electronics. Sometimes you'll get full size pots, most times they'll sport Asian mini junker pots, stamped krap switches, and those mini junk jacks. The junk stuff will work fine at first, but they're noted for a limited working life.

    Most importantly, the body neck pockets and neck heels are to precise Fender spex, so feel free to swap around and improvise via mods.

    IMHO, Standards and Affinitys are the best buy for a Tele (or Strat) - with a tad of tweaking you'll have an axe that will truly rival a you-name-it boutique custom in terms of playability and tone ... cosmetics and headstock labels can sure cost a bundle! YMMV.


    SOUNDMIXER Tele-Meister

    Jan 13, 2006
    Edzell Mind Farm, Scotland
    "So I don't think the current spec Affinity and Standard bridge plates are interchangeable."

    You are indeed the master of all things Affinity. I actually meant swap the saddles over. The bridge plate won't swap but the saddles are a straight change and come up on Ebay fairly frequently.

    Back to the spray job....

  14. musicdorian

    musicdorian TDPRI Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    I've got both a Standard and an Affinity Telecaster. Buy the Affinity. In my opinion, the differences between them don't justify the $50 dollar difference. The affinity is a very nice guitar at an incredible price. The finish is great (I have the Butterscotch Blonde), the fretwork and action reasonable, and electronics decent. If you need to slam the Affinity series, I suspect it is because you've never owned one. At this price you can afford to mod them (I put on Seymour Duncan Verticle stacked humbuckers, had the action set low and smooth, and lined the control cavity and bridge with copper foil. Let me at those neon signs now!) The tuners on the Affinity series are very good and the electonics inexpensive buy reliable. Save your $50 and buy the Affinity.

  15. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2003
    I think on the Affinty the thinner body and neck are the main difs and all in an effort to save pennies per unit.
    Now you might not think saving pennies per unit means much but it does.

    I applaud neat things like the way the many of the new tuners have those pins, not screws, that fit into corrisponding holes on the back of the headstock so that when you tighten the nut on the tuner shaft it locks in place.... that's cost savings, smart and good engineering.

    I see some Teles with tuners that are graduated in height so a string tree isn't needed. There again, cost savings, serving the same function by pulling the string to the correct angle on the nut = good engineering + smart

    I'm not crazy about the way Affinity's have the intonation saddle pieces jammed together @ the bridge however. I mean they work but it's almost like they are using saddles from the Standard on the ever so slightly smaller bridge plate of the Affinity. This looks odd, works just ok, saves money but isn't smart nor good engineering........ I M H O


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