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Affinity vs. Bullet vs. ?

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by joeybsyc, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Sorry if these are stupid questions, I tried to do a search, as I'm sure it's probably been covered before... but I came up empty so I'll just ask.

    What is the pecking order of the Squier lineup of Strats? And what is the difference between an Affinity and a Bullet? Do they both have the thin body and narrow neck? Which one has the CBS style fat headstock?

    What is the cheapest Squier Strat that has "true" strat dimensions, as far as body thickness and necks?

  2. xen_

    xen_ Strat-Talker

    Nov 26, 2008
    Affinity is the only Squier with the narrow neck AFAIK, but bear in mind it's a fat narrow neck. Affinity as an Alder body, Bullet has a Basswood (or plywood in older models) body. The Bullet is the less expensive model.

  3. GaryM

    GaryM Strat-Talker

    Jan 6, 2009
    My son has a black "Squier Strat" from one of those packs. I think the model number is SE100. The truss rod adjusts from the headstock but there is no inlay. The body is full thickness alder and the neck is nice and fat with a rosewood fretboard. A very nice Squier that go used for ~$75.

    Next up the ladder is the Standard Squier Strat with alnico pickups. At this level, one has an excellent sounding guitar.

  4. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    South Carolina
    The affinity has a thin body also...I prefer the bullet.

    Just remember, a good player can make the cheapest guitar sound amazing!!!!

  5. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    So is the Affinity the ONLY Squier with the thin body? A bullet is regular thickness, even though it's a cheaper model? Doesn't sound right to me...

  6. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009

  7. asc67

    asc67 Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 17, 2008
    The older bullets had the thinner body, I'm not sure about the new ones.

  8. xen_

    xen_ Strat-Talker

    Nov 26, 2008
    The Affinity has a body that is ca. 1.6" (41mm) thin. Don't have a Bullet here to measure. I don't think it is much of an issue, for me the tone wood of the body is the more salient issue.

  9. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009
    I just don't really like the idea of the body not being true to original specs... I'll be honest, I have one and owned it for a month before I even realized it was thinner than my American strats... the first thing I noticed was that it weighed about half as much, but didn't realize it was partially because there wasn't even as much wood there! The headstock was modified with a vintage style decal before I got it, so I'm not even sure if its an affinity or a bullet...its a hardtail if that helps determine anything... it plays nice, and I'd buy another Squier as a result...but I just want to be sure I don't buy another with the thinner body. That's why I'm trying to determine which Squiers have it and which don't. What's a "standard" Squire? Is that above or below the Affinity price wise?

    Attached Files:

  10. Super Moose

    Super Moose Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 15, 2009
    Fairfax Virginia
    I got a Standard Affinity in Chrome Red from a pawn near my house ($70 but it was covered in puck stickers, a Joe Strummer fan had it I guess). The neck was put on a standard aftermarket body for awhile. Make no mistake the Affinity is intended for young players, I can bar a chord with only my pinky. The body is well made, with a great finish. I think it was made thinner for younger players.

    The partscaster it donated for has been dismantled so all the parts are still around and I have a mind to fix it up for my younger cousin who will turn 7 this year. I really think it is a good beginner's strat.

  11. xen_

    xen_ Strat-Talker

    Nov 26, 2008
    The guitar is far too big for my 8 year old to handle, wait another 5 years or so until you even think about giving it to your cousin. Remember this is still a 25.5" scale fretboard. A 7 year old may do better with the Squier Mini, with its 22.75" scale.

    When I orignally saw the specs (specifically the nut width) I thought it was intended for younger teenage or girl players. (I too bought the Affinity to start off a Partscaster). However the neck is a massive 0.89" thick, which more than compensates for the width. Make no mistake, this guitar is not intended for players with smaller hands.

    [corrected paragraph]
    In any case the difference between the Affinity's nut width and the width of the other Squire models is a mere 0.04" (ca. 1mm). You are not seriously telling me you can't bar a chord with your pinky on a neck with a nut a mere 1mm wider?

    That being said I still prefer my necks wider. Fairly large fingers, and using a regular gauge string (ie 11s or 12s) I run out of room, especially on a 9.5" radius neck when bending. I'm going for a much wider 1.75" nut and maybe a 9.5"-12" compound radius when I get the neck made. However the neck width issue has proven to be far less of a problem than I anticipated when I got this axe.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009

  12. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Strat-O-Master

    Dec 10, 2008
    Mount Airy & Grifton NC
    I would disagree that an 8 y/o can't handle a full-sized strat. My boy plays mine often and does okay. However, with that said, he does far better on my (our? his?) 66 Musicmaster witht he slightly shorter scale of 24" (I think that's it). It's not the shorty short neck.

    And the 8 y/o won't get any smaller, so build him a guitar and let him start wailing away. The first year is usually just getting used to playing anyway and his hands will grow.

    My opinion is that if they can, let them have the full size piece. My boy bought himself a bass for his birthday and went full-sized, even though he could have went with a shorter one. Yes he does have to stretch, but learning that early can't be all bad, eh?


  13. frako

    frako Strat-Talk Member

    May 5, 2006
    Milan, Italy
    It's easy: older Bullets were hardtails, so yours is a Bullet, all the other Squiers have the trem (including the newer Bullets).

    Plus, the Affinity has got a 70's big headstock, the bullet a standard (normal) one.

    The Standard Squier Strat has got a normal headstock and a standard shaped body (not thinner like the Bullet & the affinity strats), and it's more expensive.

    Go to Squierguitars.com and have a look:


  14. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 11, 2009

    I agree on all but one point... not all Affinity's have the large headstock. My buddy who is just learning to play recently bought one of those "Strat Paks" with the mini amp and cord, etc. and it came with an Affinity Strat with a small headstock. He bought it less than 2 weeks ago, so maybe they've changed them again.

  15. kiwi

    kiwi Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    New Zealand
    I posted these comments on another thread but they apply here too:

    The Affinity of today has the thinner 1.5" body but older Affinities (examples I have are YN ’97 'Made in China' and CY ’98 'Crafted in China') have full thickness 1.75” bodies and have 22 frets like the Squier Standard. But the Standard has a two point trem while the Affinity has the vintage type. The old Affinity tuners are not very good in that they don't last. The posts get the wobbles and go out of tune easily. You can easily spot these as the tuners are fixed with two screws on the back of the headstock with posts sleeved thru chromed plastic bushings. The newer Affinities seem better, being fixed with a nut on the front of the headstock, while the Standard ones are quite good.

    Bullet quality was highly variable from 2005 to mid 2007. It's since been re-worked and is much improved. The Bullet is a hard tail but Squier Bullet 150DSP "Stop Dreaming Start Playing" packs inlcude an Affinity guitar, go figure. By the way there was an early Bullet with a tele type headstock made in Japan during the 80’s.

    Lower down the strat food chain is the ‘California Series’. I don’t think this is available in the US but it's common in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I understand that the strings don’t go thru the body but I also hear that this model has been upgraded so who knows how they rate now?

    List price in NZ is California US$190, Bullet US$173, Affinity US$231, Standard US$347. Play plenty of examples and base your decision on what you like and your budget!

  16. StratmanNick

    StratmanNick Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2008
    Cornwall England
    +1. I was only 9 years old and small for my age when I got my first guitar Ok it may be more of a challenge but it sure helps in developing a good stretch

  17. squierkid

    squierkid Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I have a california series strat and it isnt like that, the strings go through the body and it looks better than my sisters affinity( wich is the thin one). My california series strat is black metallic and it looks of better quality than the affinity, it has the walnut stripe in te back and three ply pickguard. I also have an affinity tele and its the same quality as affinity strat in my opinion.

    I have smal hans so neither guitars are hard to play for me , i guess im one of the few that likes thin necks.

  18. HohnerFan

    HohnerFan Strat-Talker

    Aug 13, 2008
    the Bullet Bodys are 42mm, sorry, I don`t know how much this is in Inch.

    I own two Bullets, one from 2007 and one from 2008.
    I Love this cheap Guitars and I don`t need a Affinity. In the Shop where I bought my first Bullet, I have played the Affinitys too and I deceided to save my money and buy the Bullet.
    For the 50.- Euros difference, I bought me a Set of Groovers and a Fender Trem with Steelblock (ebay) and now I have a very useful and good sounding guitar.

  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Strat-Talker

    May 5, 2006
    Park Ridge, NJ, USA
    For the very most part, Affinity Strats sport narrow 1.61" nut widths and CBS chicken headstocks. Bullet Strats have 1.65" nut widths and vintage Strat headstocks. These are the big differences, to me, and why I'd choose the Bullet ... and save $50 in the process that you can put into better tuners.
    Just ordered my 8th Bullet ... gotta feel the Love .... :mrgreen:

  20. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Strat-Talker

    May 5, 2006
    Park Ridge, NJ, USA

    No way - yer bud got a fluke (and got lucky) - all Affinity Strats are slated to have chicken headstock necks and narrow nut widths. Yuk.