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mid-life crisis...

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by maxfinn, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. maxfinn

    maxfinn TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    11
    Jul 2, 2018
    USA
    Hello,

    I'm brand new here, though I came across threads here when I was doing a little research. Anyway, after not having played any guitar for about 30 years, I decided a couple weeks ago I needed at Tele. And within days I became the proud owner of a Squier Affinity Tele. Not sure how old, but I'm guessing only a couple years at most. Over all, it seems pretty nice, though I'm sure I'll out grow it (or at least hope I do) or at least it's current components.

    I'm working my way through trying to get it set up and so far am really not impressed with the bridge the thing came with. It's a top load with 6 saddles. For a variety of reasons, mostly aesthetic, I'd like to swap it out for a through the body loading more vintage bridge. My questions are:

    1) If I'm relatively competent with tools and reasonably good with my hands, is there any reason to avoid installing a through the body bridge myself? I've got a drill press, so drilling the holes shouldn't be an issue, and I don't see seating the ferrules being an issue either. But I really don't want to screw up the body.

    2) Is there any practical reason not to switch bridge styles? Or, conversely, is there a practical reason that a through the body bridge is better?

    Some of my motivation to swap bridges is to get a better bridge as I seem to be having trouble getting rid of buzz at the saddles, but a large part is to get a more vintage look and feel.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2003
    Santa Clara
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new bridge that is already set up for string-through. There are quite a few that should be the same dimensions as the existing bridge, and would only require you to drill through the wood and install ferrules. I don't know if the screw-holes will line up perfectly, but since it would be covered by the bridge, I don't think that would be a big issue. I personally don't think it makes that much difference - I know a lot of folks swear by G&Ls, and most of them employ top-loading bridges, but YMMV. Given that the Affinity series aren't that expensive, it makes sense to me to use it as a platform for modding.
     
  3. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I’d say even though you have the tools and experience it’s really better to get a different guitar, maybe a Classic Vibe or MIM Fender. You already mention outgrowing the guitar so I think efforts and money better spent on a better platform. That said you may not outgrow it as soon as you think, especially if you plan to upgrade and mod it.
     
    Picton, 70Falcon, Steve Holt and 2 others like this.
  4. maxfinn

    maxfinn TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    11
    Jul 2, 2018
    USA
    Thanks for the comments.
     
    boredguy6060 likes this.
  5. maxfinn

    maxfinn TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    11
    Jul 2, 2018
    USA
    Yeah, I probably wasn't as clear as I should have been. I figure the guitar will last me quite a while if I make periodic up grades. As long as the neck seems fine, I don't really see any reason to do anything other than replace components for now. I'm already thinking the bridge, pick ups, and tuners. I can do those for whole lot less than I can get a MIM, and have some fun doing the mods myself.

    Thanks
     
    Toadtele, bsman and rich815 like this.
  6. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    It's not easy drilling string-through, even with a drill press.

    You can get it to work just fine, but the ferrules in the back are usually misaligned, usually VERY misaligned. The bit likes to wander.

    For now, get a dual-loading 3-saddle modern bridge, and if you want, LATER you can try to drill those holes.

    I would only drill if I was converting to the shorter vintage 3 plate, which will result in two minor issues. One is butt-crack, and the other is drilling new mounting holes and exposed old holes.
     
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  7. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    And your saddle buzzing could be any number of things.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Personally, I find NO difference in sound with string through vs top-load. Ask Jim Capilongo (and many other players) how they like top-loaders. And like Ira7 mentioned, saddle area buzz could be any of several reasons. But if you really want to change bridges, I'd suggest going to a better quality top-loader. GOOD LUCK.
     
    Ira7 likes this.
  9. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    Scotland
    Welcome Mike! :)

    If you don't like the aesthetics of your guitar, I look forward to seeing the results of your upgrade/customising project. TDPRI might be your spiritual home, on the web.:cool:

    I have an '83 Toploader Tele (they were all toploaders, in '83). The only thing I dislike about it is the weight. Don't forget to shave yours down, if you have that problem!

    Eric
     
  10. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
    I'm in the get a different guitar camp. Squires arent all that expensive. Then you can either sell what you have or keep it for a modding platform
     
    nojazzhere and rich815 like this.
  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic

    840
    Jun 17, 2008
    omaha
    the best thing, imo, about affinity tele's are the top-loading bridge, other than that you have cheap electronics, skinny bodies and tiny necks.

    Actually I think they are cool little guitars all the way around, and congratulations on your new tele!

    If you are getting buzzes at the saddles, they might need to be raised a little more so you can get more pressure on them from the strings. I would start with shimming the neck so you can raise the saddles and see if it helps, instead of starting with drilling the body and replacing the bridge.

    I'm not sure if the layout on the affinity is vintage or American Standard offhand, but make sure and look before you buy a replacement. And it is true that drilling the ferule holes on the back of a body can be tricky. Most drill presses have a throat that is just a bit to narrow to get in there, but if you have a big drill press and take your time, or at least if you take your time and think it through, you can certainly do it. Everybody loves Wilkinson 3 saddle bridges, but the one time I bought one, and tried to use it as a top loader, it was buzzy as all get out...I should have shimmed the neck up more!! live and learn
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Make a jig first for drilling the ferrule holes and drill from the back of the body.
     
    fenderchamp likes this.
  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    Your bridge is fine,you simply need a better set up.
     
  14. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 23, 2014
    Dallas
    Amen!!! I even bought a special drill bit that was designed to not wander... and yet it did.
     
    fenderchamp, Steve Holt and Ira7 like this.
  15. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Aug 25, 2016
    89108
    I prefer through-body stringing, and by "prefer" I mean that I wouldn't touch a top loader with a ten foot pole.

    I don't have any scientifically proven reasons for this. But I feel better knowing that the strings aren't actively trying to tear out the bridge screws. The neck bolts make me nervous enough. What kind of wood are they making Affinity bodies out of?
     
  16. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I've got one of those Affinities, great guitar. My favorite Tele. And yes, a great starting place for mods.
    On mine the bridge is the ONLY thing that has NOT been changed.
    About a year ago I did try replacing the saddles with three vintage ones. This only required drilling three new holes in the back odd the bridge plate.
    I didn't care for it much for a couple of reasons, put the original saddles back on.
     
    fenderchamp likes this.
  17. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    This is the one I was talking about.
    Welcome to the forum by the way.
    20180702_165004.jpg
     
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  18. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    926
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    Enjoy the Affinity as is... change pickups if you want, give it a good setup, it will become a better guitar. change electronics and do the bridge conversion to three barrels if you prefer that... all easy mods.

    If you want to change it to string through why not change to another guitar? there are many options that are far more preferable than modding an Affinity.
     
    RodeoTex, nojazzhere and stratoman1 like this.
  19. Stereo Jeff

    Stereo Jeff NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    64
    1
    Jun 30, 2018
    Jersey
    I agree with nicod98 - there are so many models out there to try. Maybe upgrade the saddles to TUSQ-type. I too am doing the mid-life thing. Started with a couple of Strats and just a week ago got a major bug for a Tele. I can tell you that the fit & finish on my 2018 Standard are excellent. I have a Classic Vibe 50's Strat that is equally nice - I'm sure the CV Tele is a good choice as well. My Affinity Strat at $140 is surprisingly nice, too. Good luck and don't forget to update the forum with your outcome.
     
  20. maxfinn

    maxfinn TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    11
    Jul 2, 2018
    USA
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I have to say I’m feeling less inclined to go with a new bridge, at least a string through. I’ll work harder on getting a good set up and go from there.

    Thanks again for all the thoughts.

    Mike
     
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