Affinity For Affinity

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Grandy, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Holic

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    Last year I bought an Affinity on a whim. I popped in a store, played it a bit and and it felt good in my hands. The neck pickup was dark sounding but the price was right and I could later replace the pickup, if I didn't get along with it.

    A few days ago I finally got a chance to play it in a band context. The neck pickup was signicantly better when I was able to play louder. When I used my Catalinbread Blood Donor as a clean boost I got back the sparkle I was missing.

    What I really enjoy is that there is more space between the high E string and the edge of the fretboard. I guess the downside to this is the narrow string spacing. It can a little awkward when you are playing closer to the nut or if you have big hands.

    The first thing I always do when I buy a new guitar is taking it to guitar tech for a set up. When I went back to pick it up he said he's going to get one for himself too.

    What do you think of Affinities? They seem to be a pretty popular platform for mods and upgrades but I'm not much of modder. The tuners may need upgrading though. I'll see about later.
     
  2. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Holic

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    Here's a pic.

    20210620_125246.jpg
     
  3. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Friend of Leo's

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    Love mine. Put a set of 52 pure vintage pickups in it. E3D6A1B5-A7B1-4660-B6DD-A369A0457A59.jpeg
     
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  4. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Love them. My son has an Affinity PJ bass that is just phenomenal - all stock except for the pickguard. It was great after just a basic setup and plays and sounds as good as his Player and him Steve Harris signature basses - different, but every bit as good.

    I have a couple of Affinity Strats that I like. With the slimmer neck and thinner body, you can definitely tell them from my MIA and MIK Fenders, but they still play and sound fantastic - they have both been heavily modded, though.

    To put it in perspective, three of my guitars are getting 90% of the play/gig time these days. #1 is a Squier Contemporary Strat (MIC) and tied for #2 is and Affinity Strat and an MIA Tele.
     
  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Cool!

    I have an Affinity P-Bass. I’ve never changed the strings on it and it could use a setup, but for simply laying down tracks on recordings, it does the job. I should probably give it some love at some point.

    Also, at one point my main guitar was an older Affinity Strat. I had a boutique amp and pedals, but I was rocking a $100 guitar. That one was that good!

    They can be reaaaallly hit and miss, I don’t praise them as much as some folks do on here. I’ve played plenty of uninspiring duds. But really good ones are out there.
     
  6. gip111

    gip111 Tele-Meister

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    I love both my Affinities, got them both used. The neck is slim and the tighter string spacing makes it even tighter (for me) What I did with them was to make my own nut and spaced the strings just enough where both E strings are close but not falling off the edge. Stock pickups are ok, though they both sounded slightly different. I took the one I thought sounded the worst and installed a pair of Alnico pickups I had laying around, made a nice difference, tuners never bothered me. Nice color BTW! tele 2.jpg
    2000 on the left has "aged" nicely, the one on the right 2016 has the Alnico pickups.
     
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  7. Roscoe295

    Roscoe295 Tele-Meister

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    My Affinity was my cheap entry into TeleWord & guitar mods.

    A bubba mod, 2 Cavalier pickups, new pots & switch, & 1 new neck later & I know a heck of a lot more about guitars (and I have a nice feeling, fun player)
     

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  8. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Funny! One of the mods to the Affinity I play the most was to install a new TUSQ nut with wider string spacing at the neck. The two E strings are quite close to the fretboard edges, but I never roll them off the edges while playing - depending on the playing style, it could be problematic for someone else. The wider spacing at the nut - although subtle - made a positive difference in feel to me, compared to the way my Fenders feel.
     
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  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Cool amp, love the Gibson Crestline series.
     
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  10. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    They are good value for the price

    Im always a little at odds with the extreme low end buyers club. Lol

    Why ?

    Low end guitar new/used = $100 - $200
    Custom made nut = $50
    PUP upgrade = $100 +
    Pots 4Way and Jack upgrade = $50 +
    Bridge upgrade = $100 +
    Tuners upgrade = $100

    Total spent = @$600
    Total value = @$200
    Long term satisfaction level = minimal
    Used USA Telecaster = @$600 +
    A1 Custom DIY Partscaster = @$2000

    And a lot of guys have several low enders. Lol.

    I get the need/want to tinker and/or experiment with low end mules but the large collections of low end entry level stuff baffles me somewhat
     
  11. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    They're built to a price, but they're perfectly adequate guitars.

    I bought an new Affinity Strat years ago, Still have it, still play it.

    Fret ends were a bit rough when I got it, an easy fix. Apart from that it's exactly as it came out of the box.

    They're light years ahead of the cheap crap that was around when I started playing.
     
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  12. gip111

    gip111 Tele-Meister

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    I get your point but for me...

    Affinity Tele = $100
    Custom made (by yours truly) graphite nut = $7.99
    My own fret leveling = $0.00
    Alnico PUP upgrade $40.

    Total spent = $147.99 on a great player.

    If we're talking Affinity or Bullet budget, I never had a tuner untune itself, change a bridge...why? Pots and jacks, if they work, I leave them alone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  13. gip111

    gip111 Tele-Meister

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    What neck did you use and how was the fit?
     
  14. Roscoe295

    Roscoe295 Tele-Meister

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    I don’t disagree with any of this reasoning.

    But I would add that for a lot of tinkerers they’re using parts for other things or selling old parts (so they’re getting value for the old parts too).

    For me a $135 Affinity scratched the itch to see if a Tele was for me.

    Then I quickly decided that if I were to swap out pickups then I should learn to do that myself (bought a solder iron & learned)

    That was when I reached the point of no return

    I actually acquired another affinity (cheap) that had a bubba mod done to it with lipstick pickups (didn’t like it).

    So
    1. I got ‘my’ guitar to where I wanted it
    2. Obtained a whole new skill set
    3. Sold the other pickups, neck and additional parts (recouped over 50% of added expense).
    4. Gave the other guitar to my nephew - probably ruined him

    Made a lot of sense for me
     
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  15. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It can certainly go the way you are saying, but here’s the breakdown of mine - this is Canadian dollars:

    - pawnshop Affinity Strat $100
    - new Alpha pots and Oak Grigsby switch $20
    - Bootstrap pickups $65
    - Graphtec nut $10
    - Saddles from a higher-end Squier (let’s say $10)

    - Bridge and tuners were fine stock - lots of sustain and good tuning stability with the Graphtech nut installed. I changed the saddles to a block style because I didn’t like the feel of the original saddles when palm muting.

    Bought the guitar because I really liked the feel and playability of it - I did not walk into the pawn shop in search of a cheap guitar.

    Labour all done by me - including a refinish.

    Total - let’s throw in misc shop supplies and refinishing supplies and call it $250 even.

    A new Affinity in Canada is $329

    If I spend a lot more on a custom partscaster, it would not end up much different than this.

    Long term satisfaction? It’s tied for my number #2 with an MIA Tele and I’ve had it finished for about a year now.

    Bonus - I LOVE doing this stuff. You do need to know where to spend money and where not to and you need to know exactly what you want, or yes - it can become a bottomless money pit ;)
     
  16. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    FWIW I have an Affinity with zero upgrades I bought used for $80 delivered to my house from Craigslist that I have given 1000s of lessons on. Lol

    I’m not totally knocking them.

    I do see a lot of people repeatedly putting $$$ into low end guitars and I can’t really figure out the attraction after maybe the first 1 or 2 ??

    But to each their own
     
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  17. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    My two main instruments are Squier Affinities: a white 1999-ish P-bass and a black mid-2000s Bullet Special. I am very satisfied with both; they are both simple and stable tools that stay in tune, feel like home, work reliably and get me into the tonal ballpark I like, consistently. I kind of stumbled into ownership of each of them, used, so I guess I got lucky.



    DBF35629-E8EB-47B9-B84B-99D4A41DFA9F.jpeg

    *Edit* Maybe the Bullet Special isn’t part of the Affinity series...can’t remember. But with it’s thinner-than-a-real Strat laminated body, it is nonetheless a budget Fender-inspired guitar that happens to work really well.
     
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  18. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Holic

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    I always wonder how many guitars tinkerers have ruined and what the cost of learning to do all the tweaks has been. I'd like think I've saved a little money by paying a skilled pro to take care of my guitars.
     
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  19. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    The Affinity is a good guitar. If it's set up properly, it is a great guitar.

    It's not the best guitar possible, but it's definitely better than some cheap copies.
     
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  20. fleezinator

    fleezinator Tele-Meister

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    :lol:
    dang this is almost an identical backstory to mine. Pawnshop beater, Yosemite pickups, tone shapers wiring kit, tort pickguard, Tusq nut & refin. Does yours look like this :lol:;)

    [​IMG]

    Prior to this my number one was an MIA PRS standard which is a great guitar but not the one I reach for first as of late
     
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