Affinity or Bullet-pros/cons

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by 68Telebass, May 30, 2020.

  1. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh hey all!!
    Proud owner of five Squier guitars, and one Squier bass. They play great, and I like them all-

    I need a standard Telecaster, though, as my Squier Tele is the VM 70s thinline semi-hollow with the (fake, but NICE!) WRHB pups.

    As budget constraints dictate, I am looking at either a Bullet or Affinity.

    Question is - Which one?? The Bullet is string through, but has a thinner body- Would that make a neck swap dicey in future? Does the string through body give more vintage/traditional Tele sound??

    The Affinity seems a full thickness body, but has that plastic jack plate that just seems a built in weak point. Pickups are better on Affinity I believe, but I wouldn’t be averse to some budget Korean AlNiCos in the future (For either guitar) if I find them lacking (Artec and Wilkinson come to mind- good value there...)

    Both have some classic as well as fun color choices (I would prob get Lake Placid Blue Bullet or Race Green Affinity Lol ) but I would prefer a maple fretboard (I just think Teles look best with that maple board, but I could live with Indian Laurel I guess..)- that’s where a neck swap may an option be in the future...

    I may just end up “Esquiring” the thing a’la Syd Barrett, and get the Silver Affinity and add those mirror discs!!

    Regardless, I will not be able to get to a music store anytime soon to do a side-by-side comparison. Anyways- closest GC to me is about 5 hours in either direction! (ABQ or PHX )

    Any thoughts or input from this forum from folks that have EITHER a bullet or Affinity would be most appreciated- I just need a Little push To get me going in any direction!!

    OBTW- thought about those Monoprice “Indio” retro models for $99, but I hear they are around 10-11lbs. are the Bullet and affinity lighter than that? I would hope so!
    Thanks!!
     
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  2. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    PSX_20200518_115441.jpg
    I just got a sunburst bullet and tried both out. Couldn't be happier. Body is 39mm V 41mm of the affinity, I didn't notice any difference in the feel or tone. Perfect weight for me at 7 lbs.
    The bullet has the string through body that I wanted V the top loader of the affinity, also the bullet had the neck skunk stripe that I also wanted which the affinity doesn't have.
    The Bullet is already factory routed for a neck humbucker that I wanted, unsure if the affinity is.
    The body and neck finish on my Bullet is flawless and the neck profile is perfect for me.
    The neck fit in the pocket is perfect.

    Pickups (to me) sounded the same on both models which sound good to me, I very much doubt the affinity has better pickups as I heard no difference.

    I have swapped all chrome hardware for solid brass (see my post for pictures).

    My bullet played great out of the box and was set up well but it will be deadly when I have finished with it. Additions so far:
    New bone nut
    Polished frets (with set up when parts installed)
    Solid brass bridge plate
    Solid brass bridge saddles
    Solid brass string tree
    Solid brass Switch Vol Tone control plate cts pots & switchcraft jack socket.
    Solid brass knurled vol & tone knobs
    Solid brass input jack plate
    New brass machine heads on the way
    Black neck Humbucker scratch plate.
    Love my Bullet.
    It sounds great on jazz chord melody also.

    I did a short sound sample video uoloaded on my posts.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  3. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    I have an Affinity Strat, and it's a great guitar for the $80 I paid for it. I have played it a ton since I got it several years ago.

    That said, the pickups are cheap, the fretwork is almost ok, and the neck is very slender. I think the biggest thing for most players would be the very slender neck, though it doesn't bother me at all. I'm building a Clapton Partscaster right now to replace it, but I like the Affinity enough that I plan to mod it with some new GFS pickups and Brian May style switching and give it to my cousin who gave me a guitar a few years ago.

    I can't comment on the Bullet, as I have never held one.
     
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  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I haven’t played the recent ones so can’t really comment but I thought most of the members here usually go for the bullet over an affinity (if that means anything)

    Maybe I’ll learn something too
     
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  5. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Tele-Meister

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    The Affinity neck is just 2 narrow .
     
  6. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    yes!!! I think the string-through body gives more options as well- you can always get another bridge or just top-load the strings if the bridge allows-
    Thanks for the input- nice to know about the humbucker neck option if I want to go Albert Collins “Bluesboy”- which is another idea I’ve been kicking around.
     
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  7. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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  8. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    I don't think you will regret the Bullet, and Albert Collling's option that is reversible is great. Go get one!
     
  9. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, DrMordo! Although some say the pickups are OK, I know I can get some better pups pretty cheap if I don’t care for them- part of the whole “budget” thing is to be able to tweak the thing as I go- that’s part of the fun-

    I expect the frets to be raspy and sharp on either a bullet or Affinity, but I’m not afraid of filing ends and leveling them out- initially, a 400 or so grit sanding sponge block on the Fret ends as an initial dress gets it feeling better in about five minutes.
    Probably the nut and a set of locking tuners will also do wonders as well...

    This is starting to sound like a fun project!
     
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  10. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    AHA! So the new 2020 Affinity has string through body??- Hmmm also understand has the full-size pots! But I may go for a spring 3-way switch, and could upgrade the pots to CTS then as well. Why not do the whole enchilada when the plate is off...
     
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  11. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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    It has metric mini pots. Chandeg the plate, full size CTS and Oak Grigsby. And the knobs must go, if you change pots. Originals are for split shaft and metric.
     
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  12. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Right You Are!!!
    Just read your (awesome) thread about the whole process- Great Work!

    Is that a new jack cup you installed as well?? If so, was your stock one that plastic flush plate one on the older Affinity??
    Thanks for the clarification and information!!
     
  13. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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    Thanks!

    No, the jack plate is all original, metal ”football plate”.

    4F91E302-7578-4134-827D-6C68F63D1873.jpeg
     
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  14. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    If you want some really good Alnico pickups at a budget price, you can't go wrong with Guitar Madness. I've bought several sets of his vintage spec A5 Strat pickups, and they sound as good as many more pricey pickups from the big names. I think he probably gets his pickups from Artec, and he's even selling Artec branded pickups on his Ebay store now. He has great customer service, an amazing selection of options of all types, and he's in Staten Island, so arrival times are much quicker than from Asia. He also offers free shipping. He's pretty much everyone's favorite for upgrading their Squier and other guitars over at Squier Talk. I haven't tried any of his Tele pickups, but I'm sure they're just as awesome as his Strat ones.
     
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  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too many variations on those "models". None of those features are consistent on either model.

    At least 2-3 different body thicknesses for each model, top mount or string-through possible on either
     
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  16. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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    Just make sure you get those late 2019 launched Chinese CSS-serials. Older Indo stuff, I lost count on the variations.

    Of course these new Chinese can vary, what do I know?
     
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    They are fairly comparable ..

    most often the Bullet gets trapezoid tuners and Affinity has sealed units.

    A thinner body makes more of a challenge getting an MIA style switch in there (I'd say to make sure and get a 4-way switch). Bullets and Affinities are inconsistent with body thickness. Country and factory dependent. I have a MIC Bullet Strat that is regular thickness and MIC and MII Bullets that are thin.

    String through 'tone' is as much a myth as everything else, but people don't change their religions so you'll need to decide for yourself. I hate flipping the guitar during string changes so the top loader is best for me.

    Neck carves are where you want to pay the most attention. Squier is all over the place between factories and model years and price point is not an indicator. If you want a chunkier feel then get pictures of the sides of the fretboard and make sure the carve starts behind the fretboard glue line so the fretboard edges are 'square' or 'flat'. If you want a skinny feel then look for the carve starting near the leading edge of the fretboard. Widths and depths in the specs will be within 0.5 to 1.0mm of each other and MIM/MIA but it's that carve that removes a lot of wood from the rear shoulders and changes the grip. It would be really nice if Fender put a mark next to the serial number about what carve they used so you'd have a chance of getting what you want when looking at pictures of new/used guitars while online shopping.

    The Squier stock pickups can have lower internal capacitance (less muddiness) than many other branded pickups and can sound better than 'Alnico' of which I've had good and bad too. So don't swap pickups out just because you see a ceramic bar magnet. Ceramic magnets are stronger than Alnico, which is great for rock, but if you want more old 50s clean tones just lower them toward the pickguard/bridge plate not follow a spec height chart created for Alnico pickups. 1/8th inch height difference (lower) can change the tone a lot. Newer MII Squiers have gone with lower bobbin windings with the ceramic magnets to have less noise but similar output to Alnico.

    I'll swap the switch, pots, and jack for MIM/MIA typical brands and leave the rest stock. Sometimes a fret level is needed or will improve the playability a lot.

    .
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    I bought a Tele Bullet as a platform for a Bigsby/B-Blender project. Great instrument, but the pups are a little too mellow for a B-Blender that needs to be twangy. I just bought some Tex-Mex pups to see what difference that makes.
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had an Affinity and all I had to replace was the plastic jack plate, and the stock bridge pickup replaced with an overwound GFS.
     
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  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I don't feel that the extra money for an Affinity provides value beyond what you get with a Bullet. I have both Affinity and Bullet Strats, but the priciple applies to Teles.

    If I were me I'd get another Bullet, give it a setup, and plug in.
     
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