Squier Really Upped Their Game

fretknot

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Posts
63
Age
66
Location
Murphy, NC
After perusing FB Marketplace, I picked up an Affinity Telecaster yesterday. I've bought and modded numerous Affinity Teles in the past - several BSB, a black, and a couple red ones. This one's a Sunburst. I put an offer of $100.00 on it and it was accepted. I was expecting the usual appointments - thinner than standard body, top-loader bridge, plastic jack plate, mediocre pickups, and budget hardware and electronics. What I ended up with surprised me. I looked up the S/N on a database and discovered it was a "Special run", although it doesn't bear the FSR moniker.
It was an orphan, for sure. Never had a set-up, strings were rusty and not even worth keeping on for a quick test drive, so I got to work right away.
This thing amazed me once I got into dressing and polishing the frets and getting a good look at it.

The good:
Full 1-3/4" thickness, string-through body - it looks like a one-piece mahogany veneer, unless it's a one-piece body.
Comfortable neck with some really nice birds-eye in the grain.
Decent tuners.
Neck pickup is pretty sweet, the bridge tone is a little thin, but passable., so I was going to swap out the bridge pup for a Standard that I have on hand, but when I took off the bridge plate and saw the build quality of the pickup I was surprised to see it had a copper backing plate and the strings are grounded via that plate.
Metal output jack plate and beefier strap locks than earlier models.

The (expected) not so good:
Cheap jack (replaced with a Switchcraft jack).
Dime-sized pots that don't have a useful taper.
Switch is okay, but will be replaced with pots.

It received a proper set-up and new strings and now it is a joy to play... Squier really upped their game.
 

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JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
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Somewhere
Squier has been making some really quality instruments in recent years. I have a Classic Vibe Tele that I almost passed on because of the Squier label.

I decided to try it and I really liked it! I have been hearing a lot of people express similar love for them as well.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
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Location
Canaduh
I have the same model, same colour, etc. I haven't looked up the serial number so I'm not sure if it's a special run or not. String through, full thickness body. I was honestly shocked at how good it is. I don't mean that to discount Squier - I had never owned one but I'm guilty of passing them by in past. It's incredible and punches well above its weight.

I've got some mod ideas to do it up a bit with some of the features Andy Summers had on his old Telecaster, but I haven't changed anything yet. My only complaint is the neighbours get annoyed more often since I bought it. ;)
 

jays0n

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Posts
1,857
Location
San Francisco, CA
Hey that is interesting, it says made in China but then says Taiwan. Personally, I don’t consider made in Taiwan as made in China. Taiwan seems to be much higher quality for other things like Bicycle parts, and electronics etc. Does Fender really make guitars in Taiwan?

Your guitar looks great and it’s awesome that it was able to be easily setup to play well. Nice price too!!!! Score.
 

fretknot

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Posts
63
Age
66
Location
Murphy, NC
Hey that is interesting, it says made in China but then says Taiwan. Personally, I don’t consider made in Taiwan as made in China. Taiwan seems to be much higher quality for other things like Bicycle parts, and electronics etc. Does Fender really make guitars in Taiwan?

Your guitar looks great and it’s awesome that it was able to be easily setup to play well. Nice price too!!!! Score.
Yes, Taiwan is officially "Republic of China", versus Mainland China, which is "People's Republic of China". On that technicality, it is "Made in China". I've experienced that same distinction with woodworking machinery. There are some respectable industries in Taiwan, for sure. And yes, it was definitely a score!
 

Zepfan

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Posts
11,461
Location
Horn Lake, MS
I picked up a Bullet Strat in the pawnshop for under $80. Didn't expect much, it was going to be a mod platform anyway, but after all the gunk and dusk was cleared away I found most of it to be really good. Just changed out the plastic nut, cheap tuners, cheap pots and tremolo for a Wilkinson.
The ceramic pickups get a lot of grief, but they can be quite good if they are set up right. I replaced all my pickups because I was trying out some I had already purchased, I keep those ceramic mag pickups for CBG's and other projects.
 

teleman1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 16, 2003
Posts
3,321
Age
67
Location
Arizona
My friend bought a Squier about 4 years ago in Amsterdam. It was made in China and it was shockingly good stock.
 

Space Pickle

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Posts
486
Location
OUTER SPACE
Yes, I bought a Squier Affinity J Bass earlier this year, I was surprised at the quality. It's much better than my other Affinity J that I got in 2009.
 

jman72

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Posts
2,038
Location
Central Florida
My current favorite guitar (for the past three years now and counting) is a Squier Jagmaster (basically a dual humbucker Jaguar) and it is an AMAZING player. It hits WAY above it's cost level (I got it used for about $80) and has supplanted my $1000+ guitars for my affection and attention (I have literally not taken my other guitars out of their cases in over two years). I also have an Affinity Strat that my son plays (also got basically new for $80), and I would have killed to have a guitar like that when I was 14 and learning to play.
 

notmyusualuserid

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 3, 2016
Posts
4,932
Location
In the South
My current favorite guitar (for the past three years now and counting) is a Squier Jagmaster (basically a dual humbucker Jaguar) and it is an AMAZING player. It hits WAY above it's cost level (I got it used for about $80) and has supplanted my $1000+ guitars for my affection and attention (I have literally not taken my other guitars out of their cases in over two years). I also have an Affinity Strat that my son plays (also got basically new for $80), and I would have killed to have a guitar like that when I was 14 and learning to play.

I love my Jagmaster, it has a great neck. When I was gigging it got more use than any of my other humbucker guitars.
 

jman72

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Posts
2,038
Location
Central Florida
I love my Jagmaster, it has a great neck. When I was gigging it got more use than any of my other humbucker guitars.
Yes, the neck is REALLY good, probably my favorite neck ever. I'm building a short scale Tele-Jag type of hybrid now, and I'm going to shape the Allparts Jaguar neck I bought to closely match my Jagmaster neck.
 

johnny k

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Posts
9,335
Location
France
Well you can always get a lemon but from my experience, squier guitar are great. I have 2 or 3 of them, and except a set up they were all great. The main difference with the fender thingie is the output of the pickups. They are pretty low. Otherwise, i would be another one with any second thoughts about it. And i play the cheapest telecaster on thomann, which was like 120 euros when i got it.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Posts
875
Age
51
Location
Canaduh
After perusing FB Marketplace, I picked up an Affinity Telecaster yesterday. I've bought and modded numerous Affinity Teles in the past - several BSB, a black, and a couple red ones. This one's a Sunburst. I put an offer of $100.00 on it and it was accepted. I was expecting the usual appointments - thinner than standard body, top-loader bridge, plastic jack plate, mediocre pickups, and budget hardware and electronics. What I ended up with surprised me. I looked up the S/N on a database and discovered it was a "Special run", although it doesn't bear the FSR moniker.
It was an orphan, for sure. Never had a set-up, strings were rusty and not even worth keeping on for a quick test drive, so I got to work right away.
This thing amazed me once I got into dressing and polishing the frets and getting a good look at it.

The good:
Full 1-3/4" thickness, string-through body - it looks like a one-piece mahogany veneer, unless it's a one-piece body.
Comfortable neck with some really nice birds-eye in the grain.
Decent tuners.
Neck pickup is pretty sweet, the bridge tone is a little thin, but passable., so I was going to swap out the bridge pup for a Standard that I have on hand, but when I took off the bridge plate and saw the build quality of the pickup I was surprised to see it had a copper backing plate and the strings are grounded via that plate.
Metal output jack plate and beefier strap locks than earlier models.

The (expected) not so good:
Cheap jack (replaced with a Switchcraft jack).
Dime-sized pots that don't have a useful taper.
Switch is okay, but will be replaced with pots.

It received a proper set-up and new strings and now it is a joy to play... Squier really upped their game.
Just checked my serial number tonight. Same deal - just 2779.
 

Ronzo

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Posts
1,924
Age
70
Location
South Florida, USA
@eddiewagner : I have no idea what “all the screws were like pudding” means. But I do know that you can get gen-u-wine Fender pickguard screws for a very low price.

If the guitar sounded good, and the screws’ heads were stripping, I’d suggest the wrong size screwdriver was being used. An easy fix.
 




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