My 25 year old Affinity Tele (with lots of pictures!)

CustFan

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Posts
110
Location
Hants, UK
Lock-down over the last two years has restricted my movements somewhat, meaning I have not been able to travel to my beach retreat in La Manga (in Spain) until this year. During a visit in Easter I discovered my old Squier Affinity Tele was in need of some TLC!
It's an enigma in that it has no serial number, but I believe it to have come from the Yako factory in Taiwan – known for their good quality at this time. I took the neck off to see what numbers might be revealed.

Here's the neck pocket:

Neck_Pocket.png


It shows a red ink stamped number that clearly starts with 97, the likely year of manufacture, followed by 07 likely being July?
Here's the neck heel, a red ink stamp one again, but nothing discernable really:

Neck_heel.png


Do these look right for a Yako built Tele from this era? Any help here much appreciated!
And here's the neck plate, which I would have expected to have a 'YN7xxxxx' serial number and 'Made in China' stamped on it, but nothing!

Neck_plate.png


Anyway, the visit at Easter revealed that the bridge pickup had gone faulty so needed replacing – this was job #1.
The picture below shows the old pickup. This was an American Fender Telecaster pickup I bought second hand in early 2008. It arrived o/c and I got a refund but decided to rewind it myself anyway – it's lasted 14 years so not too bad really.

Bridge_Pickup.png


The pickup magnets were already corroded when I bought it, but being by the sea for the last 14 years hasn't helped.
The picture also shows modifications to accommodate a Fender Mexican Telecaster Standard bridge plate in place of the original Squier Affinity bridge.

There have been other mods over the lifetime of the guitar:

Multiple tuner replacements – currently has a set off of a Squier Telecaster Custom II neck that I bought;
New three ply (WBW) scratch plate replacing the horribly yellowed single ply original;
Vintage jack cup;
Control plate, pots, switch and knobs – the original plate had the volume control in the 'wrong' position – nearer the tone control;
Fender Mexican bridge plate with 'Axes R Us' stainless steel saddles;
Replacement neck pickup (supposedly from a Fender Telecaster – I bought this mail order from one of the guitar shops in Denmark Street in the late 70's – I think this was when it was all the rage to replace the 'weak single coil' with a humbucker – hence they seemed to have quite a few second hand ones for sale).

Perhaps the most significant modifications have been to the neck. I removed the original frets and changed the fretboard radius to the vintage 7.25 inch before re-fretting with more vintage like skinny fretwire. A bone nut was fitted at this point too. I have also inserted a mahogany truss rod access surround (much preferable to the plain hole that comes as standard with these) and I refinished the neck with gloss which I prefer to the original matt finish. The neck itself is quite chunky, very comfortable and has a lovely rosewood fingerboard.

Here's a view of the re-profiled fingerboard radius:

Neck_and_body.png


New tuners:

Tuners.png


Here's a view of the head. I have a 1996 Yako Squier Strat (Fender 50th Anniversary model, with neck plate serial number YN6xxxxx) which uses the same font for Squier and STRAT, but has 'by Fender' where the TELE has 'Affinity'. I think 1997 was when the Affinity model name was first used. The truss rod plug detail is also visible here:

Head.png


Here's a view of the body with the new bridge pickup installed. It's a Wilkinson WBOV Alnico V pickup (Telecaster/Broadcaster). Not bad for £24, although the screw holes in the base plate were a little on the large side (at least one screw was slipping). I added some solder to all three screw holes to ensure that the screws work properly. The new control plate with correct volume and tone control placement is also visible.

Body.png


And finally, here's the finished guitar, re-strung and set-up (after a truss rod tweak). A fine guitar indeed!

Squier_Affinity_Tele.png


I hope you enjoyed this little bit of Squier history!
 

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CustFan

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Posts
110
Location
Hants, UK
Really good work, and a really fine post! Congratulations!
I appreciate your comments James, thankyou. I'm really loving the neck - it has a nice chunky feel, and the conversion to 7.25" radius on the board just makes it so much more familiar - all my other Teles have that radius with the exception of my Baja. I suppose I'm a bit of a traditionalist really, and have to say that I've never found the tighter radius a problem with bends, set-up etc.
 




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