Squier Affinity arrived in the mail

JeffroJones

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Seeing as I know nothing about the repair and maintenance of guitars, and the local good tech has a huge waiting list, and the local mediocre techs are, well - mediocre... I figured I would get a cheap guitar, something I could practice on, with the adjustments, renovations etc, and try to learn about what goes on under the hood. I found an Orange China Squier online at a pawn shop - $US130 - and it arrived today.

tele_body.jpg


First off, man it was dirty. I loosened off the strings and cleaned up the fretboard and body generally. Had a few big chips out of the body, but the neck looked OK. Plugged it in and applied the tuner - then came the shreiking of banshees. The intonation was wildly out. Roughed out the intonation and it sounded much better. Pickups actually sounded pretty hot. Lot of noise from the jack socket though.

tele_jack.jpg


Ouch! Not a pretty sight! Where did they keep this guitar, in a garden shed? It came without a case! I cleaned the whole thing, including the socket interior with electrical lubricant - that did wonders. The corrosion cleaned off, the solders looked OK and now its as quiet as a mouse!

tele_fingerboard.jpg


The fingerboard also has a few nicks, but not too bad. A lot of dirt, but thats gone now. Medium Jumbo frets, I guess? Pretty hefty neck, a medium C maybe? Feels pretty good for a cheap guitar!

tele_varnish.jpg


Here's something that puzzled me - the varnish - nitrocellulose? stops at the headstock. Its just on the neck, then tapers off. I thought maybe it had been sanded off, but why? And also, the serial stamp and logo and trademark are all perfectly untouched on the unvarnished headstock. Is that a thing?

Lets see: its top loaded, not string through. Its a slab, no contour. Ummm... made in China in 2017. Feels pretty substantial too, so maybe its alder? I don't know about the pickups - alnico or ceramic? Would I have to take them off to find out? They sound OK though.
Overall its showing plenty of value for money! Some TLC and elbow grease has already cheered it up, so I'm hoping it likes its new home :)
 

Boreas

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Nice find!

The headstock is not "unvarnished". It and the neck were originally finished with SATIN poly. Somewhere along the line, part of the neck was oversprayed or finished with a different material that is shinier - perhaps as part of a refret. You would need to test it to determine what the overspray is. If you want less gloss and to blend in with the headstock satin, you can use 3M light gray scratch pads (0 steel wool equivalent).
 

JeffroJones

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Nice find!

The headstock is not "unvarnished". It and the neck were originally finished with SATIN poly. Somewhere along the line, part of the neck was oversprayed or finished with a different material that is shinier - perhaps as part of a refret. You would need to test it to determine what the overspray is. If you want less gloss and to blend in with the headstock satin, you can use 3M light gray scratch pads (0 steel wool equivalent).
SATIN! Yes, it looks satin. Damn, I wish the whole neck was satin, it looks so nice. thanks Boreas :)
 

Boreas

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SATIN! Yes, it looks satin. Damn, I wish the whole neck was satin, it looks so nice. thanks Boreas :)
You can spray it with satin, or you may be simply able to remove the overspray. If it is nitro or shellac, a solvent will likely strip it, leaving the satin poly behind. But if they oversprayed with poly, it will likely need to be lightly sanded off. But likely, the easiest solution is to knock the shine off of the overspray.

But keep in mind, when satin wears, it becomes shiny! This often requires light sanding to maintain the satin appearance.

Also, those pickups often can be microphonic. If so, you may want to consider wax-potting them. Some people like them microphonic.
 

1guy

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Sep 13, 2021
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Seeing as I know nothing about the repair and maintenance of guitars, and the local good tech has a huge waiting list, and the local mediocre techs are, well - mediocre... I figured I would get a cheap guitar, something I could practice on, with the adjustments, renovations etc, and try to learn about what goes on under the hood. I found an Orange China Squier online at a pawn shop - $US130 - and it arrived today.

View attachment 994912

First off, man it was dirty. I loosened off the strings and cleaned up the fretboard and body generally. Had a few big chips out of the body, but the neck looked OK. Plugged it in and applied the tuner - then came the shreiking of banshees. The intonation was wildly out. Roughed out the intonation and it sounded much better. Pickups actually sounded pretty hot. Lot of noise from the jack socket though.

View attachment 994915

Ouch! Not a pretty sight! Where did they keep this guitar, in a garden shed? It came without a case! I cleaned the whole thing, including the socket interior with electrical lubricant - that did wonders. The corrosion cleaned off, the solders looked OK and now its as quiet as a mouse!

View attachment 994916

The fingerboard also has a few nicks, but not too bad. A lot of dirt, but thats gone now. Medium Jumbo frets, I guess? Pretty hefty neck, a medium C maybe? Feels pretty good for a cheap guitar!

View attachment 994917

Here's something that puzzled me - the varnish - nitrocellulose? stops at the headstock. Its just on the neck, then tapers off. I thought maybe it had been sanded off, but why? And also, the serial stamp and logo and trademark are all perfectly untouched on the unvarnished headstock. Is that a thing?

Lets see: its top loaded, not string through. Its a slab, no contour. Ummm... made in China in 2017. Feels pretty substantial too, so maybe its alder? I don't know about the pickups - alnico or ceramic? Would I have to take them off to find out? They sound OK though.
Overall its showing plenty of value for money! Some TLC and elbow grease has already cheered it up, so I'm hoping it likes its new home :)
This thread is scarily coincidental...

Last Sunday, I took apart my Affinity Squier..same color, top load, to fix a bad hum sound, when I plug it in....its the one I learned on, a few years ago, so it's got alotta sentimental value.

I noticed the bridge pup isn't working also, but I'd be satisfied, for now, if I could just get rid of that annoying hum sound.

I think the problem of mine is also in the jack input.

I had to resolder the ground...I redid a previous BAD soldering job, and I think it's pretty good now, but there's still that hum.

I'd prefer to fix it myself, but I'm almost ready to throw in the towel...I've taken it apart a few times...

Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
 

1 21 gigawatts

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The whole neck was likely satin but had been polished by play where it is touched most. I have a couple of satin finish guitars that get shiny in the high contact areas.

Either that or the previous owner waxed or polished the neck and was too lazy to remove the tuners.
 

1 21 gigawatts

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1guy- I think that a hum is usually caused by a bad ground. The bridge pup not working along with the hum is likely connected (too coincidental). Sounds like a wiring issue- maybe a cold solder joint?

I'd start simple and work your way out. If you have a multimeter, measure the resistance on the bridge pup at the leads to confirm continuity. As long as it isn't 0, the wiring inside the pup is OK. You could also hook it directly to the output jack to test if it is functional. If it is, start working your way through the rest of the wiring.
 

1guy

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Location
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1guy- I think that a hum is usually caused by a bad ground. The bridge pup not working along with the hum is likely connected (too coincidental). Sounds like a wiring issue- maybe a cold solder joint?

I'd start simple and work your way out. If you have a multimeter, measure the resistance on the bridge pup at the leads to confirm continuity. As long as it isn't 0, the wiring inside the pup is OK. You could also hook it directly to the output jack to test if it is functional. If it is, start working your way through the rest of the wiring.
Thank you thank you...

Im pretty good at fixing mechanical things, but I just learned how to solder stuff and usually don't mess with anything electric/electronic...I need a multimeter, but I'ma have to figure out how to use it.

I hear sound, when it's plugged in and I hit the strings, but the hum drowns it out..
 

JeffroJones

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Im pretty good at fixing mechanical things, but I just learned how to solder stuff and usually don't mess with anything electric/electronic...I need a multimeter, but I'ma have to figure out how to use it.
I'm hearing you, 1guy, good luck on your journey!
@1 21: That is an interesting suggestion re: the satin being polished by wear, and Boreas suggested that possibility too. I bet that is the answer, as the shine on the headstock *ends* just about where the thumb is no longer in play. Brilliant! To support this, now I've had time to strap it on, the feel is the same all over, between smooth and satin, there is no tactile change, as I would expect if it was a different material. Not that I'm an expert, here...
@John Stephens: Thank you John :)
 

Boreas

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I'm hearing you, 1guy, good luck on your journey!
@1 21: That is an interesting suggestion re: the satin being polished by wear, and Boreas suggested that possibility too. I bet that is the answer, as the shine on the headstock *ends* just about where the thumb is no longer in play. Brilliant! To support this, now I've had time to strap it on, the feel is the same all over, between smooth and satin, there is no tactile change, as I would expect if it was a different material. Not that I'm an expert, here...
@John Stephens: Thank you John :)

Actually, there is usually a different feel between gloss and satin finishes of the same material. Many prefer one over the other.

But what I see on your headstock heel looks like overspray and not wear. Also your fretboard seems to be consistently glossy, but wear would only show glossy spots between the frets.
 

1guy

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Are you sure that you didn't reverse the wires when you fixed the jack?
I didn't think so, but I'ma give it a try this weekend...it's certainly possible.

I wanna be able to play it again. It's down the list of guitars I'd play, but I want that classic Tele sound, vs my Special Edition, which has two double humbuckers.
 

1guy

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I'm hearing you, 1guy, good luck on your journey!
@1 21: That is an interesting suggestion re: the satin being polished by wear, and Boreas suggested that possibility too. I bet that is the answer, as the shine on the headstock *ends* just about where the thumb is no longer in play. Brilliant! To support this, now I've had time to strap it on, the feel is the same all over, between smooth and satin, there is no tactile change, as I would expect if it was a different material. Not that I'm an expert, here...
@John Stephens: Thank you John :)
Thanks man...

As you can see, I had to do some work to keep it from splitting apart...seems good to go, now, but I never knew jack about fixing electronics.

Your post just and @1 21 gigawatts reinspired me to take it apart again...for about the 5th or 6th time.
 

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