Tell me about the "Starter Pack" Affinity Tele

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Squawker, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    I've come across a webshop here in Norway that still has stock. I don't want or need the Frontman amp, but I guess I could sell it and recoup some of the cost. Have read that the guitar is basically a Bullet, that it has a thicker body than both the regular Affinity and Bullet (or not), that they're great.... lots of conflicting information out there.

    As far as I can tell, its a once piece maple neck, skunk strip and wide nut. I like all of that. They only have the kit in Brown Sunburst which I like less but don 't hate (would prefer BSB or a solid color). It's string-through which is another plus. Haven't read any comments on tuners or pickups, compared with regular Affinities and Bullets.

    I can get a Bullet much cheaper, but I'm less keen on the Indian Laurel fretboard - I'd buy in Black since I can't get the FSR colours here. I can get a regular Affinity for roughly the same cost (after selling the amp) but they have narrow nuts, slab fretboards (Indian Laurel or Maple depending on body colour) and are toploaders. I do like the Competition Orange finish....

    Arguments for and against the Affinity kit Tele compared with the regular models? All info gratefully received!
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15,953
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle
    In general, "starter kits" are built to be as inexpensive as possible. Most of them are little more than guitar-shaped toys.
     
    Fendereedo and Squawker like this.
  3. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    Well, normally I would agree. But when the Squier "Stop Dreaming, Start Playing" kit was launched some people seemed to think it was a way to get a "better than Affinity" Tele for not much money. Which is why I'm curious. I like its spec better than current Affinities/Bullets so I'd like to hear from anyone who might actually have bought/played one.
     
    Dr Weird and Fendereedo like this.
  4. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,108
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    If it comes with the nicer sealed tuners, you're good. Squiers are very good guitars. Their weak point is that some cheaper models have very awful tuners.
    The pickups are actually fine, some people love them.
    You will only need to learn how to setup your guitar properly. Neck relief, bridge height, possibly nut depth, but otherwise it's a fine guitar no matter what other people may say.

    The amp? Yeah, dump it. Spend some extra cash on the amp. You'll be happy.
     
    aging_rocker and Squawker like this.
  5. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    Thanks :)

    Should probably say that I pretty much know my way around guitars. I'm looking at this as a bit of cheap fun - maybe I'll Esquire it, or stick a P90 in the neck. I'm fine setting the action, relief and intonation. Have never actually filed a nut, but there's a first time for everything :p If the tuners are rubbish I'll swap 'em, but it would be nice if they weren't rock bottom.

    I have an AC10C1 and some homebrew amps (AC4 / GA-8 / Firefly), so I have zero use for the Frontman.
     
    casey2910 and Switchy like this.
  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,622
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    I had a Squier Telecaster from one of those starter kit things, but I didn't get the amp with it. What I got was a terrific Telecaster with a 3-piece alder body, and a nice butterscotch blonde finish. Great neck. It was my first telecaster, and I wish I had kept it. I replaced the bridge pickup with an overwound GFS, but only because the stock pickup, with the little Vox amp I was playing, was a bit ice picky.
     
    Fendereedo and Squawker like this.
  7. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    See, that's what I'm talking about :) If they had the BSB finish I'd probably have just ordered it already, but the brown sunburst is okay too.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  8. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    Ha! Got a 19% discount code in my inbox this morning, so boom. $200 for the kit and I'll sell the amp for 40 bucks :p
    Fingers crossed it's a keeper.
     
    drmordo and gregulator450 like this.
  9. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    I haven’t looked at the new Affinity’s but I was scouting a few used Affinity Strats a while back and they didn’t have a skunk stripe. That could be an upgraded neck at least. AFIK all the Bullet and Affinity models come with ceramic pickups. Let us know how it is.
     
  10. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    This starter pack was discontinued (a couple of years ago?) and nowhere seems to have any stock left. I stumbled across this one site and was instantly curious because some time ago I'd read about a string through Affinity that was only available in the pack. I've seen comments that it's a downgraded Affinity because basically it's a Bullet, but also that it's an upgraded Affinity with a really nice neck. Anyway, it seemed to tick all my boxes, and now the price was right. Will definitely report back.
     
  11. guitarist232345

    guitarist232345 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    23
    Posts:
    299
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    london

    This certainly used to be the case pre-2010, but lately the quality is spectacular.

    Squire and Epiphone are killing it.
     
    aging_rocker likes this.
  12. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    The update.....

    They sent me the wrong starter pack! Instead of the discontinued "Stop Dreaming Start Playing" Telecaster pack, I got the current "Squier Stratocaster Pack"!

    So, instead of a Brown Sunburst Affinity Tele I got what is essentially a Brown Sunburst Bullet Strat. Instead of a Fender Frontman 15G amp, I got the Squier Frontman 10G. I got a strap, and three nice Fender 521 shape celluloid plectrums. Instead of a clip-on tuner, I got a three month subscription to Fender Play or whatever it's called.

    I sent an email. The guy apologized profusely for his mistake, admitted that he couldn't get the right pack any more, and offered me an Affinity Tele. It dawned on me that he wasn't asking me to return the Strat pack. So I said I'd prefer black to brown sunburst. He said fine, and he'd set the guitar up and throw in some goodies.

    So, to the Strat. Brown sunburst, white single ply guard, Indian Laurel fretboard on a maple neck. Plastic nut, but decently cut at least. Tuners are sealed diecast but feel cheap. Frets are really gritty. Top of the neck where it flares out behind the nut was coarsely finished but in the playing area the neck felt really nice (except when bending :) ) A bit of scotchbrite on the rough area helped. Narrow-tall frets, which I like. Two string trees, not set inline so four strings actually change direction a bit under the trees. And squishing the D-G strings under a low tree seemed a bit extreme - would've preferred a taller tree there. The switch and controls are fine for now. Vintage style trem that I'll probably keep decked. Pickups sound a bit generic and anaemic, but there's some quack there in positions 2 and 4. Oh, and the neck plate is a bit out of line.

    So, not a great guitar out of the box, and not the one I wanted. But as a basically free mod platform it has potential. The neck feels great and with a bit of a fret polishing will play great too. I'm thinking of getting a black 3-ply guard loaded with Artec Alnicos or similar, a bone or Tusq nut and sort the string trees out then see what we have. Never really wanted a Strat, but now I have one.

    The Affinity Tele arrived today and it's one of the newest CIC ones (CSSA20xxxx serial = Jan 2020)! Full thickness body, string through, maple slab board. Medium jumbo frets that are nicely polished with no sprout. The nut is a bit slim at 41.2mm but no crisis. I love it! The nut is cut deep on the E strings, so that might also be getting a swap, but apart from that I have no complaints, Controls feel very nice, though I'm sure they're small pots and an el-cheapo switch. I won't be in a rush to change any of that. Haven't even plugged it in yet, but it plays really nicely acoustically. I feel the tuners are doing their job, but as everyone say, that's the one thing you probably *do* need to upgrade on Bullets/Affinities.

    In the box he'd throw in a pack of 12 Fender 521 medium plectrums in black and white chequered pattern to match the guitar, a nice Fender running logo strap, also white on black, and an extra set of 9s. Has to be about £50 just there. Hmm, if only I'd told him I play 10s :p

    So basically, I paid about £200 for two guitars, two straps, 15 good plectrums, a set of strings, a gig bag, and a practice amp that I should be able to sell for £30! One of those guitars is pretty great out of the box and the other will be with a bit of help. Not a bad bit of business!!

    What I didn't get was a 42mm nut and a skunk stripe on the Tele :)
     
    drmordo likes this.
  13. Mr Gunny

    Mr Gunny Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    176
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The new affinity tele is full thickness now? The affinity series is becoming a bargain if they’re all full thickness and string through, much better mod platform now IMO. Plus I saw someone mention they’ve upgraded the output jack as well, that was another Affinity weak point before.
     
  14. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Location:
    Belgium
    I do prefer string through, but I actually liked the thinner body (on a telecaster). :)
    I have several Affinity teles, but my Indonesian top-load version already had a metal jack plate instead of the brittle plastic one on earlier versions.
     
  15. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    328
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Location:
    Lommedalen, Norway
    Oval, American Football style metal plate - would've actually preferred a Leo-mistake cup so it could be swapped for an electrosocket without leaving holes, Absolutely not a biggie though - it's metal, solid and functional :D
     
    nicod98 likes this.
  16. Dr Weird

    Dr Weird TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    45
    Joined:
    May 3, 2020
    Location:
    Weirton, WV
    I’ve had the same experience - I picked up a squier strat SE on goodwill auctions, but couldn’t identify what it was. After researching on the squier strat boards I found out it was a kit guitar and most of their owners were bonkers about them.

    I think it’s an okay guitar, better than the affinity I owned in the early 00s.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.