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

Hot rodding a Squier affinity

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Pauly Bracciolli, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Pauly Bracciolli

    Pauly Bracciolli TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    14
    Jul 11, 2017
    California
    Searching for some opinions out there. I have a Squier affinity hardtail and I want to hot rod it. My question is should I start with upgrading the pickups or the electronics? Or just bite the bullet and do both at the same time.
     
    TheBadHombre likes this.

  2. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    I'd say play it for a bit through a nice amp, and decide if the pickups work for you as they are. The pots in the Affinity aren't that bad, they are full size and even have a treble bleed capacitor. Essential upgrade on the Affinity in my opinion is to replace the plastic jack plate, the switch and also the bridge can cause problems with saddles coming loose.

    I've hot-rodded a few of these Affinity Teles in the past, all of them started with having the jack socket and the bridge changed for a vintage style topload one.

    I then play it for a while. I had one Affinity that I never changed out the pickups as they were pretty okay. I added a four way switch and it sounded pretty reasonable.

    The Affinity I have at the present has been more modded. Replaced the bridge, the nut, the pickguard and it currently has a set of Lawrence Keystones wired to a four way switch.

    [​IMG]

    Wish I could get a better pic of the colour of this one, it's actually much darker in real life;-)
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  3. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    I'd say do both, since you'll have the soldering iron out anyway!
     
    Piggy Stu, Anode100 and rich815 like this.

  4. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    21
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    Just thought we should get some clarification, you say it's a hardtail. Is it a strat then?
     

  5. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Do both since you'll have it open and the electronics are not that expensive. That said do the tuners first. No sense for new PU's and such if the guitar won't stay in tune. There's actually some really decent Chinese locking ones on eBay for about $25 (I've got them on a upgraded Bullet strat) but if you can afford it I recommend the Planet Waves auto-trim locking ones, about $60, or Hipshots for about $50 or so. I use both and they're very good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017

  6. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    ^^^ This.

    If you're unhappy with the sound of the instrument as it is, and know what you want to do, just do it.... :cool:
     

  7. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    530
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    My "upgrade plan" for a top-load Affinity: pickups, electronics, steel saddles and bone nut (with a slightly larger string spacing than the original)

    Relatively cheap upgrades, if you can keep the price of the pickups reasonable.

    I wouldn't go wild on the pickups if you plan to sell the guitar in the future. There are some nice pickups at reasonable prices for just about any type of music. I suggest the subforum of TDPRI for tips.
     

  8. Pauly Bracciolli

    Pauly Bracciolli TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    14
    Jul 11, 2017
    California
    No its a six saddle top loader
     

  9. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    21
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    Just thought I'd clarify as you specialised that it's a hardtail and for my answer I would do both, electronics are cheap and pickups would be a massive upgrade in that guitar but if it was one or the other I would change pickups.
     
    Ira7 likes this.

  10. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    844
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    Nice looking guitar. But mod only if you must!.... Pickups and tuners - that's all I would do -and only if acquired in used market for cheap. If one starts getting crazy with mods the total investment may approach a sum that could have bought a USA guitar (and yet will have little resale value).
     
    nicod98 likes this.

  11. Sean_D

    Sean_D Tele-Meister

    110
    Jul 12, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    When considering performing multiple modification to any guitar, do one at a time unless it is something like replacing the jack plate, pickguard, or something else outside of the signal flow. This way you can evaluate what each modification is doing to/for your tone. Start with the least expensive or intrusive and go from there.
     

  12. b2187101

    b2187101 Tele-Meister

    407
    Mar 24, 2008
    Liberty Center, Ohio
    I have a squier affinity telecaster that I put a Seymour Duncan Lil 59 in the bridge and a hot neck pickup in and I turned my starter guitar into a rock machine. Was really pleased with it.
     
    MDent77 likes this.

  13. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 24, 2015
    west of I-10
    Hotrodding? You guys crack me up.
     
    Ira7 likes this.

  14. Pauly Bracciolli

    Pauly Bracciolli TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    14
    Jul 11, 2017
    California
    What be
    How does replacing the jack plate help
     

  15. Sean_D

    Sean_D Tele-Meister

    110
    Jul 12, 2017
    Sacramento, CA
    Some guitars have plastic appointments and can be replaced with sturdier, stronger, or more aesthetically pleasing materials like chrome, stainless steel, nickel, or aged hardware.
     

  16. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    21
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    I think you need to decide what you dislike about the guitar the most first, while changing out parts like the plastics and jackplate can be good for aesthetic reasons, they're not really upgrades. Still cool though, my favourite change to my affinity strat was the pickguard, I went from white (look at my signature) to tort.

    [​IMG]

    Since you're asking about the electronics and pickups, I'm guessing that you want to get a better sound out of your tele and that you're happy with how the guitar looks. If I were in your position I would probably change out both anyway but if I was happy with the feel of turning the pots and flicking the switch then I would check that the pot values are 250k and then just change out the pickups. If the pots aren't 250k I would change them to 250k pots as that's what most single coil pickups are designed to be used with.
     

  17. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 24, 2015
    west of I-10
    Fender jackplates seem almost designed to fail often sooner than later. From Affinitys thru Custom Shops thats a definite upgrade.

    ELECTROSOCKET
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  18. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    21
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    Before I knew about electro sockets I changed the jack plate on my telecaster to a football shaped jack plate although last time I checked they look nothing like a football ;) I'm not massively bothered but I wish it was an electro socket but you can't undrill holes
     

  19. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    607
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    The jack plate is the only thing IMHO the "needs" replacing on these, it's very thin and either broken or replaced in almost all used examples.

    Pickups, try adjusting heights if you are still unhappy after playing it for a bit (don't be afraid to use the tone & volume control while playing!) this can make noticeable improvement.

    Pots, make sure the knobs & nuts are tight, many guitars I see with "bad pots" simply have loose nuts at the mounting plate, or knobs installed crooked. Sometimes the plastic w/ cover two piece knobs used on budget T-types become separated and sloppy, a up grade to one pice knobs is inexpensive and easy.

    The switch is not the best but if it's not noisy or malfunctioning it can wait until you decide what you are going to do about PU's or it fails.

    Tuners, unless they are the cheep "tin" covered versons seen on early examples of the Affinity, or actually damaged they should be fine with correct stringing, (ands even the tin covers can work fine for years) you can adjust tuning tension w/ the small screw on top of the button , this is only to adjust feel for various string gauges. If they are slipping, they are either broken, loose or strung wrong..probably the later. Be sure they are tight to the headstock, 90% of "bad tuners" I encounter have the mounting nut loose allowing the tuner to rock a bit..do it right; take the string off and use the correct size 1/4 drive socket to tighten up, Pliers can slip.

    These guitars are what they are, as others have mentioned you can quickly spend enough to buy a much better "set of bones" off the wall. Of course IF you enjoy such things, or want to budget over a long period OK, but start w/ a good set up and adjustment, so you have a solid base line, & can schedule & budget accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    xafinity likes this.

  20. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I don't understand how someone can use the words "mod" and "pickups" in the same sentence as "Squier," and not include "pots, switch, jack" as well.

    The electronics cost you peanuts, so why in the world would you waste your time changing the pups without upgrading the electronics at the same time?
     
    TheBadHombre, jjudas, Huddy and 2 others like this.

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