Price paid: C$ 180
Purchased from: International Musicland
Sound — 9
I play mostly Beatles, and it fits some songs very well, others not so much. I bought it mor my son as a starter guitar and it suits the different genre of songs he was learning. We play it through the G-Dec Jr amp that came with it, and a Vox VT20+. It has a range of sounds. The humbucker has a very fat sound, the singles give off a great clean sound and with the 5 way switches you can get a lot of sounds inbetween. The volume does seem lower than other guitars though but I am not sure if that is only my Affinity or all Affinity Strats.
Overall Impression — 8
I have heard that Squier Affinity Strats are hit and miss. Some are great, others are poor in quality. Mine is amazing. I played some MIM Stratocasters in the store, and am hard pressed to tell the difference between mine and the more expensive ones. But I did play a few other Affinity Strats that showed the difference readily in quality. It was lucky I played this one first, otherwise I might have bought something else. I bought it as a starter guitar for my 7 year old son. He has moved on to an Epiphone Casino but I still play this guitar from time to time, mostly playing single notes rather than chords. I have a few other guitars (Gretsch Pro Jet, EJ-160E, Fender FC-10, Casino). While the Affinity Strat is not my favourite, it is by no means the ugly sister. It has a great deal of versatility, and its size makes it easier to transport. The small neck and body make it a perfect guitar for kids, but I find the narrow neck a liability for my fingers when playing chords (lack of talent or experience I think), especially after switching from say a 1.68" neck. But it does teach you to be precise. I wish it came with a standard width Strat neck though. However for my son it was ideal. If lost or stolen, I would not get another, not because it is a bad guitar, but because I would move up to an American made Stratocaster. Compared to the other starter guitars out there, I found this particular guitar to be of the best quality. It holds its intonation great. I unscrewed the tremolo arm so I do not know how it holds its tuning if you use it alot, but otherwise it stays in tune very well. My son loved it for the first 18 months and then moved on to an Epiphone Casino.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar could withstand a direct missile strike. It is as solid as any guitar I have seen. It was bought for my 7 year old son and took some abuse, yet there is barely a scratch on it (can't say the same for the hard wood floor). I suppose you could gig with it, but it is a starter guitar in my mind, and as such why would you be playing it at a gig? However it has taken a great deal of abuse over the years and stands up really well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up at the store before being put on the floor, so I do not know about the factory set up. The guitar had no flaws. Everything is snug on the guitar and nothing rattles. As mentioned above, the neck is thinner than the standard 1.65" neck of other Strats (it is only 1.61") but otherwise it is well put together.
Features — 7
- 2009 Indonesian made. - 21 frets, medium jumbo, rosewood fretboard - Neck is only 1.61" at the nut, smaller than a Standard Strat neck - Solid alder body with polyurethane finish, mable neck - Synchronous tremolo bridge - 5 way selector, 1 volume, 2 tone controls - Single, single, humbucker I bought it as part of the Squier Stop Dreaming and Start Playing Set, so it was $300 total with a G-Dec Jr Amp, gig bag, picks, and wrench for the truss rod.