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. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    72
    May 11, 2017
    Paradise, Ca
    Wierd thing going on with my affinity BSB from china. I actually bought 2 about a week apart. One has a metal jackplate, or rather 2 plates bent together that looks like 1 plate. The other is plastic like everybody elses. The one with the metal plate was sold to me for about 15% discount because t it has some chips in the finish. But it feels and sounds the best of my 2. But the 3 way switch is cheap and sometimes makes bad contact. That switch has got to go. Not really a hotrod mod, just a practicality.
     

  2. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    I'd say the stock pots in the Affinity Tele work better than the ones in the Squier Std. They are the full size ones, they already have a treble bleed capacitor wired in, which is a nice addition. The switch is not so good, and most of the used Affinities I have seen have had the plastic plate on the jack socket broken.

    I still say that the bridge is the main flaw on the Affinity Tele, the strings push the saddles up at the same time as down, and many folk including myself complain that the saddles work loose and sometimes creates string buzz and odd overtones.

    [​IMG]

    A topload vintage style bridge is quite easy to fit and improves the tone IMO with very little outlay. Wilkinson ones are good

    [​IMG]

    Some players have also modded the existing bridge to three saddle using the "Bubba Mod", a bit like the one I did on my Squier 51, that has a similar stock bridge

    [​IMG]

    The whole point about the Affinitys is that you can mod them as much or as little as you want, teaching you new skills, and they are so cheap and easy to work on that if you make a mistake it is not so bad.

    Fun guitars.
     
    TheBadHombre, Piggy Stu and ukepicker like this.

  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    (^^Any Affinity I've messed with, majority have been Strats not Tele Affinity, had 'not full sized pots' from the factory, people mod them to fit the larger ones as it's a common change).

    Best mod for any of these: Fret level, crown, polish that includes a full setup -- the guitar will play like a $1,000 model. Get this whether new or used.

    Pickups I'd leave. I used to swap pickups until I figured out how much the controls actually control the guitar tone. Determine if the guitar is too bright or too dark for you and then: balance pickup heights to the strings, measure the actual kohms of the volume pot and find one higher for brighter or lower for darker by actually measuring replacements (pots have a 20% normal factory tolerance range and it matters), replace tone cap with a different value (I usually upsize the voltage rating to a thicker body cap for more plate area but that's not necessary). There's a 'joe walsh gibsonuk' youtube video series #5 and #6 in particular where he shows how to correctly set pickup heights by ear for the best tone.

    I use Bourns pots because I like the feel and they are rugged, oak-grigsby 4-way switch for humbucker mode, switchcraft output jack, shielded cable to the jack output (about half the idle noise is here), Nashua aluminum flashing tape to shield all the cavities. Graphite lock lube in the nut grooves. New strings! Curt Mangan Fusion Matched. Rotate the control plate so the switch is in the back, volume up front.

    Here's the 'electrosocket mod' that I do with the typical 'cup jack' if that's what you have (this is an old MIM set), if you have one of this style they are known to rattle and get loose to the body over time. Two holes drilled in the bottom corners of the cup along with two screws that also mechanically lock the jack nut from backing off over time too. If you do have the plastic plate with four screws they work and I'd just make sure the new jack is tightened down to it.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

  4. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Holic

    589
    Oct 15, 2013
    East Texas
    You're right, Sollophonic! And I've had the same experience in the past.

    I have a new affinity that seems to be doing okay so far. Yes, there's a little discipline to making sure the height-adjustment screws stay tight. It just takes a little maintenance. I've found these to be less buzzy than alot of other bridge types.

    Mine's also loaded with 9s (they came with it). I wonder what'll happen when I step it up to 11s. . . .

    All that said, I will probably end up changing the bridge. Yes, I've installed the wilkinson before, and yes it is affordable and easy to do, and yes it is an immediate improvement in tone. Why wouldn't you? :)

    (Actually, I'm thinking about installing one of these GFS titanium bridges.)

    BUT - I've been noticing that Shnobel is playing one of these alot lately in his demos. And I'm pretty sure it's still got the squier topload bridge. And he doesn't seem to be having any problems with it. It sounds great to me!
     
    TheBadHombre likes this.

  5. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    72
    May 11, 2017
    Paradise, Ca
    I had the issue of the saddle height screws vibrating out of adjustment. I dabbed a drip of loctite on each screw and they havent been moving or rattling. Way easier than changing the bridge.
     
    TheBadHombre likes this.

  6. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    903
    Feb 26, 2017
    Manchester UK
    It is easier but something else happens when you just have 3 saddles. Out of all the things I did on mine that was the biggest difference
     
    Sollophonic likes this.

  7. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

    Yep, makes the Affinity into a Tele, IMO.

    I kinda think that if Leo Fender could see the Affinity line of Teles, he'd think they were great, but he'd question the bridge. I think the topload bridges on the earlier Korean Squiers work better than the Affinity ones.
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  8. Lead2Fan

    Lead2Fan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    162
    Jan 7, 2016
    East Coast
    As others have suggested the best and easiest mod you can make to the Affinity Tele is upgrading the input jack plate, I recommend a steel one.

    The next mod is to ditch the stock "zinc" (soft) saddles for "steel" (hard) ones, it will increase sustain a bit. If you go with GuitarFetish (GFS) steel "Import" saddles you will have to reuse the factory saddle height screws, the GFS ones are either a bit too long or too short (I can't recall which it was).

    When swapping saddle height screws work over a tray, they are easily lost in a carpet and install the screws BEFORE installing the saddles on the bridge plate it's just easier that way. Individual Hex/Allen wrenches for saddle height adjustment are available at hardware stores, you don't need a whole set, just ask for their selection they are usually in a drawer near the nuts & bolts, test to see which fits best Metric/Standard, also get one for the truss rod while you're at it. Keep the wrenches in your gigbag/case.

    You can get both the steel saddles and steel input jack plate from GFS (GuitarFetish). If you're thinking about upgrading the stock pickups, pots, 3-way switch, and wiring harness order them from GFS at the same time and save on shipping (the Labor Day sale coupon codes might still work, enter LD12 first, then LD17, finally LD25, in THAT order when checking out for the most savings).

    link: http://www.guitarfetish.com/Upgrade...its-import-or-USA-Trems-Set-of-Six_p_773.html


    link: http://www.guitarfetish.com/Rectangular-curved-output-plate-chromill work)e-FREE-jack_p_655.html

    The rectangular steel input jack plates are available in Chrome, Gold, and Black. You DON'T have to drill new holes they are "direct" replacements and far superior to the factory plastic one where if you make one inadvertent turn while stepping on the guitar cable you crack the plate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017

  9. TheBadHombre

    TheBadHombre TDPRI Member

    I’ve got one from around 2012 in butterscotch and it sounds great for 179. I’m seriously thinking about putting the electronics from the 50s classic player Baja because I’ve wanted that axe for years except maybe I’ll put some N3s or N4s in it.
    I just really want that fourth switch position that puts them in series for my occasionally fat sound preferences. Oh and the fat V neck is probably the best thing you can do to that guitar. Hope I helped. God bless.
     

  10. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    That 4th position series is freaking incredible. It's like giving you a second guitar.

    I only have it on my Thinline, but some guys here (I think Silverface) did the mod on all of his guitars.

    I'm just too lazy and I suck at soldering.
     
    TheBadHombre likes this.

  11. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    903
    Feb 26, 2017
    Manchester UK
    I am gonna do it to my squier too, and also bought a push pull vol to reverse polarity on the neck

    S1 switches are pricey but I love my Baja and want to do some gene splicing on my squier: try to get them to breed in captivity :eek::oops::rolleyes::lol:
     
    TheBadHombre likes this.

  12. TheBadHombre

    TheBadHombre TDPRI Member

    Maybe I’ll go full Clapton and put some “ Lace Sensors” in it. Lol
     

  13. ToneGrail

    ToneGrail Tele-Meister

    112
    Nov 19, 2010
    Baltimore
    I generally put only budget pickups like GFS or Artecs in budget guitars just to keep the cost to a minimum.
     

  14. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    530
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    I agree a 100% with statements like these, but what I don't see is why people seem to have such focus on reselling guitars. Are the majority of the people here in the guitar trade, or are most of us here guitar players? No matter how much you spend on a guitar, if you plan to play it, and it plays the way you want it, I'm pretty sure you won't sell it, so why worry about resale value?
     

  15. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    844
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    Good question. I guess I look at it from an overall value & quality perspective - if one is spending a little then no big deal but once you start spending a lot then it changes. I just like to ensure I'm spending my money wisely and can recoup it if change my mind later - because there is always a more desirable guitar down the road. Would you pay more than market value for your home or your car or your toaster etc.?


    .
     

  16. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    903
    Feb 26, 2017
    Manchester UK
    I was going to reply to this to mention boys who get 800£ wheels on a 400£ car, which is the comparison a lot of people might think of, but I think they have more function perishing and ownership costs than a guitar, making it a misleading analogy

    I am put in mind of something I heard the other day saying that the iPhone is undersold when described as a phone, as you have people saying 'I don't wanna pay hundreds for a phone when I can get one for under a hundred'. The truth is it is a compact computer that is a satnav, internet portal, mp3 player, great camera that you couldn't have bought for 10k a few years ago

    Depending on what you think you have going on it may or may not seem to be economic sense. Spend a week at Eurodisney and no guitar will ever seem overpriced again

    If I spent an enjoyable hour sorting my frets and spent money doing it I might compare it to a cinema visit or bouquet of flowers - not judge by resale value. Same with pickups etc: I paid £40 for a pair and had more fun installing and playing them than I ever had in a cinema, and I still have them to replace and sell on if I like
     

  17. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    320
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Regarding total spending on guitars - another perspective is available money at a given time VS saving for a while. For folks like me, who have little self-discipline for saving, little disposable income in big chunks, and like to tinker, then getting an inexpensive guitar when you can, then modding it when you can, makes the project more financially flexible than an $800 up front investment (which may still require some possible changes).

    Example - I have a Lil'59 for Tele laying around that I got through a good Craiglist transaction. I really want the Squier Seafoam Green Bullet that's going for $130 on sale, and I'd like to do wiring/jack upgrades. In other words, I'm going to end up with an esquire'd Bullet, rewired, with a really nice pickup having spent about $225. Would I be better off with a bigger initial investment (like a MiM)? Yes, probably, but the Bullet is what I can do at this point. And it should serve my needs well.

    Just my two cents...
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  18. cntry666

    cntry666 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2010
    decatur, ga
    I’ve only swapped out pickups on mine. I find tunes and everything else to work fine. I have a Tonerider Hot Tele in the one and a P90 in the other. They sound great. IMG_0771.JPG
     
    Ira7 likes this.

  19. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    That's a beautiful pair!!!
     

  20. TheBadHombre

    TheBadHombre TDPRI Member

    Am I the only one who finds it kind of weird that about 5 people are having an in-depth and deep conversation about economics in a telecaster forum? How many minutes or hours did people spend typing about that subject in total? Lol. No offense. Also I’d put some nice hot neck pups under the pick guard in those esquires.
     

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