How close to the real deal??

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by Cassidy, May 22, 2006.

  1. Cassidy

    Cassidy Strat-Talk Member

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    Okay, the thing I absolutely love about Fender guitars is that they're modular. Bust a neck... replace it yourself. Don't like the pickups... easy to replace. And etc. etc.

    But, I have an older MIA strat, as well as a 98 Squier Affinity Strat. The affinity was $30.00 at a pawn shop with a busted nut, and was missing a tuner. So I put on a graphite nut and some Fender Kluson-style tuners, did an action job and plugged it in.

    Lo and behold, it has an amazing sound and plays like a dream. It's not quite the sweet feel of my old faithful strat... but it's darned close. And, it sounds better. I'm not kidding, the affinity sounds better than the old faithful.

    So, for some reason I got a cheap squier strat with incredible sound, a very good neck, that stays in tune and plays great!!

    Now, how stupid would it be to upgrade the pots, replace the switch, and install a vintage bridge? How close to the real deal would it be?? Realistically?

    Or should I just be happy I got a good cheapie?

    Thanks...

    Cassidy 8)
     
  2. GuitarSlinger

    GuitarSlinger Strat-Talker

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    Well if it ain't broke don't fix it!!! On the other hand if you went through with those mods its not like you couldn't go back to the original specs if you didn't feel the guitar was actually improved. Theres nothing better than a cheap guitar that can sing with the best of them, I don't care what anybody says.
     
  3. jwsamuel

    jwsamuel Strat-Talk Member

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    If the pots and swich are giving you trouble, go ahead and replace them.

    The bridge is another story. The Affinity body is not as thick as a standard Strat, so most vintage bridges will not fit. If you can find one that will fit your body, it will most likely be the same bridge that is already on the guitar.

    Jim
     
  4. Cassidy

    Cassidy Strat-Talk Member

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    JWSamuel, the one thing that I don't understand about this affinity is that it has the standard thickness body... it is ash, and it is NOT the thinner body. I thought this was very peculiar when I learned about the slimmer affinity bodies... but right now at Dave's guitar shop here in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, there's a $99.00 rack with three affinity strats... two have the thinner body, and one also has the standard thickness body.
    Can anybody verify that not all affinity's had the thin body? The guys at Dave's were mixed in their opinions...

    Cassidy 8)
     
  5. sinnerboy61

    sinnerboy61 Strat-Talk Member

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    I would replace the pots, and switch. I'd probably also wire it with cloth covered wire, but, that's what I'd do. ;)
     
  6. david kornblatt

    david kornblatt New Member!

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    squiers

    i can only say it depends onwhich american stratand whic squier :D
     
  7. Stratosaurus

    Stratosaurus Strat-Talker

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    I bought a Mighty Mite pre-wired assembled pickguard for $35 so I could slap the original pickguard and all of the electronics back on if I had to, expecting that the Mighty Mite pickups would need to be replaced.

    To my surprise the Mighty Mite pups sound pretty sweet, similar to MIM Fender Standard Strats or better. All wires are cloth insulated, great solder joints, well organized and very clean looking. I could only be happier if the pickguard was loaded with Kinmans by mistake. The tone pots feel smooth and work great, the selector switch needs some breaking in but otherwise of good quality.

    I probably will not replace the MM pickups anytime soon, if ever. And I didn't compromise the original pickguard assembly in any way.

    Might be something for you to consider.
     
  8. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Strat-Talker

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    If it sounds good and plays good = it is good. Enjoy your $30 guitar.

    My experience is that the output jacks need replaced on Squiers. Would be the first thing to go.
     
  9. Acephspades

    Acephspades New Member!

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    IMO the pots and switch replacement isn't a bad idea. The vintage bridge on the other hand I see no big hurry for. If you don't replace the pots and switch it wouldn't be a bad idea to have them on hand anyway. The pots on my Squier Standard strat had pretty shaky pots and went bad quickly after purchase.

    This thread reminds me of my 4th of July shopping with my wife. I told her I'd go as long as I got to stop by Guitar Center.

    I am a firm believer in the Squier strats and I think they are great guitars. While over at the Fender Forum a couple guys were arguing the playability of the necks of a Squier and MIA Fender so I thought while at guitar center I decided to just pick up a few different strats. I played a Squier Standard, MIM Fender Standard, Highway One, Lite Ash, and an American series. I was not concerned about tone just the feel of the neck and IMHO I liked the Squier the best with the Highway One coming a close 2nd. Now some might argue the Highway One and the MIM Standard share the same neck design but of the guitars I picked up the MIM was a bit bulkier than the H1. The American series didn't impress me enough to spend around $1000 for it and the Lite Ash I didn't like at all. But once again these are "MY" opinions. And that is what we need to consider when trying to argue subjective subjects. What feels good in your hands doesn't feel good in mine. That's why there are more than just one guitar out there.
     
  10. Strat-Talk

    Strat-Talk Administrator Staff Member

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    To hear you describe your Squier Strat it already sounds like you have the "real deal".

    The electronics are probably the weakest part of the equation. So, pots, switch, jack and p'ups "might" be just the ticket. I'm not sure about the bridge.
     
  11. Stratosaurus

    Stratosaurus Strat-Talker

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    One question in the original post asks about body thinkness among Affinity models.

    I heard this somewhere on another forum, but I don't remember which but; if it's made in China it will have a thinner body and if it's made in Indonesia it will have the standard body thickness. Or the other way around, but I'm sure that's right because I've got a Chinese Affinity with the thin body.

    I have not personally verified this but someone in the thread I was reading on the subject verified it.

    I may be in the market for an Indonesian Affinity soon for a partscaster idea I've got: humbucker sized P90's at neck and bridge with a three way switch, and an overdrive circuit on the third pot. Not much like a Strat other than the familiar comfort, but might yield a cool beater for jamming without having to drag an overdrive pedal around.
     
  12. uita

    uita Strat-Talk Member

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    I don't think there's any consistency with these Affinity guitars, I have noticed that the Chinese are full thickness and some have nicer grains. It's the necks I have a problem with, most are slim but there seems to be differences with finish and if there's a skunk stripe or not. I have three here at home and they all have different thicknesses, the thickest weighe the lightest ?????? Probably basswood, is this right?
     
  13. bek

    bek Strat-Talk Member

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    I once went into my (small) local shop and played the three MIMs and three MIAs they had in stock. The MIAs were sterile-sounding and had markedly less tone differences among the pickups settings than the MIMs. If you had given me my choice among them, I wouldn't have taken any of the Americans. I felt weird about it, but you have to remember the originals were cheaply-made instruments. It stands to reason the ones cheaply-made today are ok and may even be closer to the originals than the MIAs.
     
  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member

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    I believe the 'affinity' designation tells you the guitars were manufactured by contractors, contractors who are at liberty to vary some specifications to suit whatever CNC and finishing equipment they have, to suit their source of body and neck woods, and so forth. Almost like a 4-H bake sale, if the category is pumpkin it doesn't matter if its sweet, salty or spicy, as long as a Fender exec says it can be shipped.

    I like the Indonesia ones the best. But I like CII Squier 51s better than any of the Affinities, and for me they were cheaper.


    Bubbanov
     
  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Strat-O-Master

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    I've been thinking along the lines of this theory as well... the originals were quickly and cheaply made... what about the current cheapies?

    I love my crappy little Affinity, it's agreat guitar. THough the the neck is a bit slim. If I'm playing a lot fo barre chords, I'll get cramps and my hands get tired a lot faster than with my Nashville Tele's nice fat neck.

    Would I replace much on it? Probably not, as long as the pots and switches keep working, I'll keep using them. If they start making noise (or stop making noise as the case might be) and I gotta unsolder something I'll change everything at once.

    I've thought about the bridge, but I'm happy with mine as it is. It's got the six screws and the little humped saddles like a vintage bridge, so from ten feet away nobody notices the difference.

    One of these days I'll measure the body thickness too, just to see what it us and how it compares.

    By the way, mine's indonesian too. I like it better than the Chinese ones I tried at GC a few months back!