Say I have an Affinity series strat. The finish is good, it stays in tune, the action/intonation is good, and the pickups are shiat (obviously). How does the body woods/other intangibles of the squier compare to the fender, and would one be unable to tell a squier from a fender if I just pu swap? I'm comparing based on your standard MIM 400 dollar strats.
Don't need to be an electronics genius. Just get some new p-ups. They come with wiring diagrams that are easy to read.
5150 combo
GSP1101 + Tech 21 PE60

ESP LTD M-255 w/ SD Full Shred
Kramer Vanguard w/ JE-1000 active preamp
Douglas WF-150sn w/ GFS "Hot Lead" set

Bos SD-1 (boost)

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Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. I actually quite like my squier. So I'm gonna do a full pickup swap, new knobs, new finish and maybe a new neck with some custom inlays.

As long as you can solder, you can do a pickup swap.
Quote by Kensai

Awesome guy right here
overall more qulity control

you might not see the difference now but when they are 10 years older you will easly be able to tell the difference
The wood of a squire is usually either basswood or lower end/grade alder wood while a standard strat is made of either ash or alder. The wood can affect the model but not substantually when comparing the alder of the affinity to the mim standard. whereas the pickups on the standard are of noticeably higher quality on the mim standard.
You can pass of an affinity as a "real" Strat if you change the pickups to standard, replace the neck with a stratocaster neck (check ebay or a local store) upgrading the pickguard, knobs, backplate and springs. if you change the parts and neck you should be able to pass it off as a mim or if you splurge for a made in America neck, an American standard strat. However the changes to make it appear as a made in mexico are roughly $300-350 and posibly more depending on how much our willing to make it appear "standard".
Bare minimum to make it "pass as" is $265 if your lucky and find a cheap mim neck on ebay. You may be able to make it sound like a strat by upgrading it's pickups however it will still "only be a squire" to others. Hope I answered some of your questions.