Before I do any modding to my Affinity Strat I'd like to get some info on the difference in quality between the hardware on the Squiers and the Fenders.

The electronics I think can understand but the bridge, tuners and nut I dont fully get.

I mean if these are all relatively cheap, basic, parts what makes the ones on my MIA better than my Squier? Does it just come down the material they're made with?

In a nutshell what is it about the parts on my MIA that make it sound so clear when unplugged compared to the muddy, dead sound of my Squier?

And how much does wood quality come into it?

This is just a factor I've always overlooked in my 4 years of playing!

Cheers guys!

Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
@major bob, shut up.

however, pickups, and wood is the tone in a guitar.

stuff like playability, and tuneing stability, is in the hardware (bridge, tuners, nut. ect.)

welll, thats just in a nutshell, im sure there will be someone who knows all the in's and out's of this stuff...
Quote by Scowmoo

You deserved this, Matt.
-Major Bob, Defunkt has a Squier Affinity Strat!

-Defunkt, as far as parts like tuners, bridge and nut. Yes, the squier has lower standards more likely to get a tuner (Machine Head) not to function correctly I have had several on my Olp bass (Musicman Stingray Copy). The biggest difference has more to do with the body and pickups. I played a MIM Fender P Bass yesterday and comparing it to a MIA Fender P bass and while the MIM was nice the P/U had quite less definition and clarity. If you intend to Mod your Squier I highly recommend upgrading the tuners and pickups. Jay Bentley of Bad Religion can be found playing Squiers on tour up until this year where I saw him playing an epiphone with a Seymour Duncan pick up instead of the stock pickups. Hope this helps =]
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I really wouldnt call the nut, tuners and bridge 'cheap basic parts'...

you can buy a plastic nut, cheap bridge, and cheap tuners for well under $50 when added together..
if you buy high quality parts, you're looking at spending at least $200..

the savings for the average consumer, like you or I, is $150 on a single guitar.
manufacturers get severely discounted prices because they buy in bulk, and they make thousands of guitars.

..but.. back to your question.. yeah, it's got alot to do with the material they're made of.
it's also the construction quality. on a cheap bridge, when you're adjusting the intonation, I find I can feel the screw is cheap-feeling..
on a nice bridge, everything's connecting where it should, and it's much smoother.

and yup, wood quality has something to do with it.
different wood resonates differently. and just like the hardware, cheaper guitar = cheaper wood

How much would one have to spend on hardware and electronics to see/hear a noticeable difference in the Squier?

Since this is my 'disposable' guitar, I guess, I obviously wouldn't want to spend too much!

Would like it to have MIM like reliability!

EDIT: Just got there after you^

By cheap, basic, parts I meant to replace them it doesn't cost very much, and the mechanics of them aren't very complex, you know?

How much potential do you think is in a Squier? Is it like trying to 'polish a turd' or can you get it to a higher standard thats worthwhile?

Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Last edited by Defunkt at Dec 18, 2009,
check out www.guitarfetish.com
they're probably the best place to go when you're not looking to spend much.

for pickups and electronics, they've got great value for the price you pay.

I haven't had great experience with the hardware from there, though. the bridges and tuners from there are a little bit of a step up from squier quality, but..I really think you're better off spending a little more money at www.allparts.com, and getting some half-decent stuff

edit: I think squiers definately have potential..

the build quality of them (like, how the neck feels, if the frets are all properly seated, and if the neck pocket's decent) is really inconsistant from one guitar to another.. but if you find a nice one, it's perfect for modding.

I've got a squier with a really nice feeling neck, that I've pretty much replaced everything on, and I honestly play it more than I play my more expensive guitars.

..so if you like the feel and general playability now, you can totally make it a nice guitar
Last edited by james4 at Dec 18, 2009,
Here's the order of upgrades that I'd go for:
  • Replace nut - I'd do this for the lower-end Fenders, too.
  • Shield all the cavities
  • Replace electronics
  • Replace the bridge - get one from a 2006 or later MIM Standard (remove the backplate of a Squier and compare the trem block to the heftier blocks of MIAs, MIJs, and the newer MIMs.
  • Replace tuners if you're really good at re-stringing and stretching and it still doesn't hold tune.

I'd go eBay to get better parts than GF, an opinion.