Time to pick up another "cheap" Tele. Classic Vibe or Affinity?

AcresWild

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I'm in the minority here, I love my Affinity Tele. I have big hands, but my fingers are not fat, maybe that's why I gravitate to it so much. Nut width is 1 5/8 (1.625) inch. I put a graph-tech nut that spreads the strings out just enough were they don't fall off the side of the neck. Tried different pickups on it, even Fender ceramics but the originals to me sounded the best. Had a few different Teles over the years, from Fenders to even the Monoprice (heavy) the Affinity keep staying.
There seem to be a few others here who are for the Affinity, and I've seen plenty of love for it elsewhere in other threads/forums

I bought one new in 2018 for around $180, I put a little 59 humbucker pickup in the bridge, kept the stock neck pickup (both stock neck and bridge pickups were pretty good actually, though not that different in character), replaced the switch and pots, and the plastic bit that holds the cable input jack broke--I've heard that's a regular thing with some affinities

I have long thin fingers, so maybe that's why I've notice no issues with the neck width like others have, it's become a bit of a partscaster but I really, really like this guitar and it has done the job countless times, I initially thought I'd save for a mexican tele but four years later I really don't have any great urge to
 

cometazzi

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I am always open to used options, provided the guitar has been reasonably well cared for. I took a look over at Reverb and the local Craigslist. Didn't find any great deals with either one. Haven't checked eBay yet. Not so sure I wanna go that route.

I haven't really investigated non-Squier options. Can't say I'm familiar at all with non-Fender Teles.

Used MIM teles are around the same range as new CV teles. People may argue which is a better value though.
 

Greenmachine

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I'd get a Squier standard tele.

I've moved away from cheap guitars though. I used to really go for them and modify and such but now I'd rather save and have two guitars of higher quality.

I actually built a tele from scratch to my favorite specs. That's my number one now.

I'd like to have a 335 with a bigsby but that'll take awhile for me.
 

Ronzo

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I cranked my amp with my Tele the other day and I discovered the pickups are very microphonic. So even though they sound good I'm gonna replace them with pickups of a higher quality. I've never heard of Bootstrap -- perhaps I'll take a look. I've had good luck with pickups from Guitar Fetish in the past, so I've been thinking about a set from them.
I have purchased and used pickups from both Guitar Fetish (Hot PAF humbuckers) and Bootstrap (two Palo Duro sets, and a HSS Strat set using neck and middle Vintage Sparkle Singles and a Vintage Clean bridge humbucker). Based upon my experience, Bootstrap >>> Guitar Fetish.

I’ve used Donlis A5 sets from China, too. As good as Guitar Fetish, not as good as Bootstrap, IMO.
 
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Willie Johnson

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I'd get a Squier standard tele.

I've moved away from cheap guitars though. I used to really go for them and modify and such but now I'd rather save and have two guitars of higher quality.

I actually built a tele from scratch to my favorite specs. That's my number one now.

I'd like to have a 335 with a bigsby but that'll take awhile for me.
That's what I've got; this was $144 used, and I think it's a great guitar:
20220430_213410.jpg

I know that the Bullet Teles are lower down the value scale than the Affinities, but I really like them, too--the skinnier body is very pleasing.
 

cooltouch

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Huh, that's the one thing about my Affinity that I was wondering if it might have been a mistake -- winding up with a Tele with a skinny body that is. I mean, I don't mind it, and the guitar sounds good, but still, I've been wondering. So it's nice to read that somebody here prefers -- or at least likes -- the skinny bodies.

I have a Squier Bullet Strat with a skinny body and that guitar sounds and plays great. Way better than it has any right to, I've always thought. I picked it up at a Guitar Center Columbus Day Sale for $100. That was probably 10 years ago. Maybe more.

I would like to eventually find a Squier Standard Tele at a decent price. They're fairly uncommon and often go for more than I'm willing to pay. $144 for a Std is an excellent price, I think.
 

casey2910

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I'm quite impressed with the new affinities. Nice necks, full width nut, string through body and belly cut. Pickups even sound better than the 2000 model Mexicans. I got one, just to mess with and use for electronics tinkering.
 

Willie Johnson

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Huh, that's the one thing about my Affinity that I was wondering if it might have been a mistake -- winding up with a Tele with a skinny body that is. I mean, I don't mind it, and the guitar sounds good, but still, I've been wondering. So it's nice to read that somebody here prefers -- or at least likes -- the skinny bodies.

I have a Squier Bullet Strat with a skinny body and that guitar sounds and plays great. Way better than it has any right to, I've always thought. I picked it up at a Guitar Center Columbus Day Sale for $100. That was probably 10 years ago. Maybe more.

I would like to eventually find a Squier Standard Tele at a decent price. They're fairly uncommon and often go for more than I'm willing to pay. $144 for a Std is an excellent price, I think.
Nobody wants to sell the lower end stuff because their resale value is next to nothin', so it's barely worth the effort--may as well keep it. I totally wasn't looking to buy when I found mine, but couldn't pass it up. I put on a different Allparts 5 hole single ply pickguard that I already had and put in nicer and different value (500k) pots, but otherwise it's stock--fine as-is.
 

cooltouch

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Welp, as I've mentioned here more than once, it's been my plan to replace my Tele Affinity's neck with one from Warmoth. This is mostly because, while I can't find anything really wrong with the neck, I've just never found myself to be comfortable with it. It's always been like I have to play on it for quite a while before I finally become adapted to its peculiarities -- whatever I imagined them to be.

The other day, I ordered a set of radius gauges -- the sort that are shaped like a T with the top crosspiece curved to the given fingerboard radius. Well, they arrived and I tried the 9.5" gauge out on this Tele. The fingerboard agreed precisely with the gauge. But when I checked the string height at the bridge, I noticed things were way off. There was basically no curvature -- the string heights were flat. So I adjusted the heights of the outer four strings -- low E, A, B, and high E. Then I gave the guitar another try.

I was amazed at the difference this adjustment made. All of a sudden, the neck was very comfortable to play, and it didn't require my getting used to it at all. Wow, I still find it hard to believe that such a small adjustment can make such a large improvement in playability. But I'm not gonna argue. So anyway, the way things are now, I don't really have a need for a neck replacement anymore.

So, scratch that off the list. Next items to consider: pickups. They will need changing, no getting around that one.
 

mystichands

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Classic Vibe has a 7.25" radius fingerboard, which I hate! It has the three-piece bridge saddle arrangement, which I also hate. The only thing the Classic Vibe has going for it that I can think of is the pickups have alnico magnets. I can get a good set of alnico pickups for my Tele for about $60. So I'm $40 ahead of the game -- actually, more than that since I would have to replace the bridge and saddle assembly, and the neck, which absolutely erases any advantage a CV may have.
CVs have 9.5 radius necks.
 

Island Boy

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I love Squiers. I've had 4 or 5 of them. Had a blonde affinity and sold it when the market when crazy during Covid, and now I miss it.

squire_tele_and_strat.jpg


$34 for the affinity strat, $150 for the blonde affinity tele new from GC.

squier_se_strat.jpg


$78 for SE strat used, got it at a place I love in the ATL.

I keep saying I'm gonna mod them but I never do. The parts arrive and I just keep playing them.

Now I've got this Squire VM strat to play with. And, mod... possibly. :)

squire_vm.png
 

FaithNicole

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oh look, a topic that caught my eye. I have a few squier based partscasters. I only have one that isn't a partscaster and it will never find a new home, keeping it. Heavy beastie but sounds good and easiest to play. It's almost tempting enough to learn to play it. I picked it up a few years back for $100.

crap photo but it's the only one I have on my phone
20150810_201823.jpg
 

cooltouch

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Faith, I like that chrome pickguard. What is the neck made out of? Almost looks like ebony from this angle.

Island Boy, I like your collection.

I have a Squier SE exactly like yours. I dunno why, but I just find the sunburst with that sorta-tortoise-shell pickguard to be very attractive. I turned mine into something of a FrankenStrat. I replaced the pickups with a medium-hot set from Guitar Fetish, and replaced the pots and the capacitor. Then I bought a Super-Wide neck from Warmoth and installed it on that thing. Totally transformed it. Now it sounds great and plays the way I like it with that wide neck.

My Squier Tele Affinity also looks just like the one you sold. I was thinking about replacing the neck, mostly because I don't generally like maple fingerboards. But I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. Well, it took me a while to finally dial in that guitar's action, and now that I have, I gotta admit it plays great. So the prospects of replacing the neck are growing dimmer. I do plan to replace the pickups, though. They sound good but they're microphonic, so I'll be replacing them with a decent set that has alnico magnets.

About eight years ago, I bought a loaded Squier Tele body off eBay for a good price. I'm not sure which model it is, but it has the standard Tele thickness. I had a baritone project in mind when I bought it. I ordered a 24-fret baritone neck from Warmoth for it. Wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. It's a pleasure to play and that 28-5/8" scale lets me tune it to ADGCEA. It's kinda fun getting well down into a bass's range with that guitar.

I have one other Squier -- a Strat Bullet, HSS, I bought new probably 10 years ago or so. GC was blowing them out during a sale for $100, so I glommed onto one. I wanted it so I could permanently mount my Roland GR-33 guitar synth's pickup to it. It's worked very well as a host for the pickup. Not only that, but it is a pleasure to play, so I've been able to lay down some great tracks with it.

I still probably have one other Squier in my future -- I'd like to find a plain Tele Squier -- one with the standard body thickness. I don't mind the Affinity's thinner body, I just want a full-size one.
 

FaithNicole

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Faith, I like that chrome pickguard. What is the neck made out of? Almost looks like ebony from this angle.

<<snip>>

rosewood. It is kind of dark in this bad photo. I guess I could get a better image tonight It's always out in a stand collecting dust as opposed to collecting dust hanging on my wall. Oh, and it came stock with the mirror PG. It has a crack in it and I have a replacement but then it wouldn't be stock ;)
 

FaithNicole

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Faith, I like that chrome pickguard. What is the neck made out of? Almost looks like ebony from this angle.

rosewood. It is kind of dark in this bad photo. I guess I could get a better image tonight It's always out in a stand collecting dust as opposed to collecting dust hanging on my wall. Oh, and it came stock with the mirror PG. It has a crack in it and I have a replacement but then it wouldn't be stock ;)
I didn't know whether to put the new pics here or elsewhere or start a new topic. What I do know is that it made me realize that it needs a serious clean and polish

20220621_200800.jpg


20220621_200934.jpg


It also appeaes that I changed pickups at some point and forgot 😬
 




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