Purchased from: Chuck Levin's
Features — 8
This was a 2016 Made in China Squier Affinity. It has 21 frets on a 25.5 scale rosewood fingerboard. It is an alder instrument with a burgundy mist finish that has a bit of a sparkle to it. It is an HSS Strat, meaning it has two single coils and one humbucker. It also has one volume control, two tone controls and a 5-way pick-up selector. The electronics are active as far as I know. There are no particular brands and the instrument came without anything other than a whammy bar and some screws. When you look at the instrument, it is absolutely gorgeous. It looks more expensive than it actually is and people at the store looked in amazement when I took it to be checked out. I love the look of it and its light way is much appreciated.
Sound — 8
I play lots of rock and blues. For the rock, I use the bridge humbucker, which is pretty powerful when you look at the price tag. For blues I use the neck single coil pick-up. I prefer not to use the middle pick-up without the neck or bridge one, though it is okay. It just sounds a bit muddy. None of the pick-ups are particularly bright but the humbucker has a thick sound. It is a very versatile instrument. I play it through a Fender I owned before buying it (not the combo pack one). The pickup selector helps me make the most of the pick-ups (which I hope to change in the near future) and through my amp, they sound really good. I just put on my blues settings and get exactly the sound I'm looking for.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was perfect out of the box and the intonation was just a bit off (easily fixed). The pick-ups were already sitting perfectly. Everything came well together. I didn't have to make any repairs. I was genuinely impressed by how great this instrument was right out of the box. I tuned it up and it sounded great. I loved the way it felt the first time it was in my hands. I was afraid that light feeling would go away after time, but it is still there. It's my first Stratocaster-type guitar and I absolutely love it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It stays in tune pretty well. I tune check the guitar constantly and the only tuning issue is that the G-string always lands kind of flat. I have had this guitar 5 months and everything is staying together. The strap buttons are solid, though getting strap locks wouldn't hurt. I play this guitar everyday and the finish is still pretty good. I would definitely gig with this instrument without fear. I gig pretty regularly with a band (not as a lead guitarist though). We always bring a Hagstrom, but our lead's Affinity serves as a great back-up instrument in case anything happens to the vintage guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is perfect for blues rock, which is what I love to play. I have been playing for about seven months straight, but I own a bit of gear from playing when I was younger. I might have bought something different if I could go back, but this instrument is solid. I am not a huge fan of the pick-ups (which I will change) but the look and feel of the guitar are great. I compared it to other entry-level models when getting back into guitar. This one is more versatile out-performed other instruments in the price range.