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First Telecaster - FSR Bullet or Affinity?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by RockinTele50, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. RockinTele50

    RockinTele50 TDPRI Member

    4
    Aug 5, 2018
    USA
    I am looking to buy my very first guitar with a max of $200 to spend. I've looked at hundreds of guitars and the ButterScotch Blonde Squier Telecaster is the one I've fallen in love with.

    There are two that I'm considering:

    1- the $200 Affinity Special Edition Telecaster https://www.musiciansfriend.com/gui...ctric-guitar?rNtt=affinity telecaster&index=2

    2- the $180 FSR Bullet Telecaster https://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/squier-fsr-bullet-telecaster-maple-fingerboard

    I have tried to figure out what the differences between the two and can't find a lot...
    Affinity has an Alder body and Bullet has a Basewood body
    Affinity made in China and Bullet made in Indonesia
    Both have maple neck and maple fretboard

    I can't find info telling if their pickups and electronics are the same...actually I'm having trouble finding specific info on the Affinity SE Tele

    In your opinion, which of these two butterscotch blonde beauties is the better telecaster? Why?

    Unfortunately no store within 200 miles has both of these in stock so that I can compare them side by side

    Thanks for the help!

    RockinTele50
     

  2. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    791
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    I don't think that it really matters for a beginner. Qualitywise, both are pretty similar, IMHO. As is the price, as you said yourself.

    Some might choose the Bullet because the strings run through the body, because they think that is better than a top load guitar. I'm not convinced that it is really better, but I still prefer it that way, probably since most "classical" telecasters had it that way (except for a short while in the late 50s).

    You could also buy the Bullet now (no one knows how long it will be around), beause it is an FSR version (call it a "limited edition"). The BSB Affinity will probably be around for quite some time. That too could influence you.

    The SE is really nothing more special than any other Affinity, except for the colour. Fender uses colour code 550 for all "special" colours. Google for an "Squier Obey Telecaster" and you'll see why that is colour code 550, and thus "special" too...
    They also (almost?) always used a different base part number for the Affinity in BSB, setting it apart from the rest of the catalog. But believe me, a Special Edition Affinity telecaster in BSB is exactly the same as any other Affinity telecaster in every other aspect than the colour. Why Fender calls BSB a special colour? I don't know. :oops:

    But the Affinity is actually a very good guitar (again, in MY opinion). :)

    You could go for the body colour of fretboard colour that you like the most :cool:

    If I had a limited budget, and I would have to make the same choice... Wait, I did have a limited budget, and ended up being the string through pack Affinity telecaster. It's a pity it is no longer around. Today, I'd probably buy the bullet, just to have 20 $ more to spend on an amp.

    If you could look for a store that does have both, where you could try them side by side, but otherwise just go to the nearest store that has either, try it, and ask to play any other telecaster, and compare how it feels. Does it feel good? buy it. If it doesn't go to the next shop.
     

  3. hippychip

    hippychip Tele-Meister

    111
    Dec 7, 2015
    Florida
    I have the Affinity---the Alder body is much better than the Basswood on the Bullet. The only thing the string-through body does is make you have to keep flipping the guitar over to put strings on---it does not improve tone or sustain.

    [​IMG]
     

  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Can you get a picture of the side of the necks? Some Teles have chunkier necks than others due to the way they are carved on the back side where your palm is. The carve changes the circumference. Some players want 'thin and fast' while others want 'chunky'. I listened to the forum speak urging for 'thin and fast' when I got my first guitar that I later found cramped my hand playing basic chords where a chunky neck is what I pursue now.

    The FSR shows "C" in the description but the Affinity does not show. You may want to talk to service reps to find out what the carve shape is, the easiest difference is does the carve start near the front face of the fretboard or behind the 'glue line' of the fretboard (or a quarter inch back) so there are flats on both sides.

    Ignore the whole wood variation, meaningless other than marketing teams trying to differentiate models, and extract more cash. Think of wood as a finish option like red or blue or sunburst and you'll do ok. The string top loader vs through question also gets mixed in here. Top loader is easier to change strings on.

    Always 'tune up' your guitar and what tuners are on the guitar won't matter. Sealed type will feel better than the trapezoid type but for tuning stability it is all about 'tuning up' (never tune down to pitch if you overshoot then drop a ways lower and tune up to target). Pictures on both of these show sealed tuners so you'll be fine.

    .
     

  5. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I'm pretty sure they're both thin Modern C.
     
    nicod98 likes this.

  6. RockinTele50

    RockinTele50 TDPRI Member

    4
    Aug 5, 2018
    USA
    I had heard that the strings through the body was better in the reading I've done but wasn't sure if that was really the case....since I've never changed strings either way. Didn't even know that most classic teles had that set up!

    According to the websites they look identical as far as color of body and fretboard.

    I was gifted an amp so I'm in good shape there.

    Thanks for your input!


    I had also read thin and fast necks are the way to go...from what I've read the Bullet is thinner (neck) from front to back but taller (wider). I have long skinny fingers so I'm thinking the wider nut width might be better for my fingers.

    Thanks for the tip on tuning!

    Does anyone know if either or both have dots on the top (I guess it's really the side, but top when looking down when playing) of the neck?

    I appreciate all the help and input!

    RockinTele50
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018

  7. Solszewski1963

    Solszewski1963 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    6
    Apr 21, 2018
    Missoula MT
    The Affinity does have dots on the top.
     

  8. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    791
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    If you have skinny fingers, you probably wouldn't mind the slightly more narrow Affinity. Having 8 Affinity guitars right here, right now, I can only say, that I only have one guitar with a nut size of 40.6mm, all the rest vary between 41 and 42.2mm.

    With long skinny fingers there shouldn't be a problem with either one... for short fat finger on the other hand even a 0.2mm difference in string spacing can feel really different.

    I never saw any Squier that didn't have dots on the side of the fretboard. I've seen Squiers like the Avril Lavigne without dots on the front of the fretboard, but that is only limited to perhaps a few models at most.
     

  9. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    315
    Jun 21, 2018
    Canada
    Get the Affinity!
     
    Solszewski1963 likes this.

  10. RockinTele50

    RockinTele50 TDPRI Member

    4
    Aug 5, 2018
    USA
    There she is....ain't she a beaut?

    However I did not get her today. The GC I went to today (75 minutes away) didn't have any in stock except this one that I got to try. I started to have them order it and just have it shipped to my home.

    But, within 2 months we are supposed to have a GC 5 miles from my home. So I'm going to wait until they get that store open (so I can try all the Teles without feeling rushed, plus easier if I find any problems with the guitar), or until she goes on sale.

    I will say, they had a light green Bullet tele on sale for $150 that looked pretty sweet too.

    I appreciate all the help!

    RockinTele50

    20180810_113617.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    nicod98 likes this.

  11. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    With Fender, you never know what's going to happen in two months.

    Same with GC.

    I would grab this one while available.
     
    RockinTele50 likes this.

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