Purchased from: My Music Megastore
Sound — 8
I am currently playing my guitar through a Fender Frontman 15G amp, and while clean, the sound is average, but with the built-in amp distortion, this baby puts out a nice crunchy sound, great for punk and hardcore music. In the nature of the lower quality single-coil pickups, while using distortion and not playing, there is a fair bit of background noise on some pickup settings. On others it's fine. I noticed that in the first few weeks of playing, the guitar had a bright sound. Since then it's dulled down a bit. The wide variety of sounds you can squeeze from this guitar is very good.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of punk, emo, and hardcore and this guitar fits the sound perfectly. It has a nice crunchy distortion and a cool smooth clean. I have been playing for about one and a half years. This is my second guitar, first electric. Other gear that I own are Fender Frontman 15G amp, Fender California Cables, and the basic cables that came in the pack. I don't regret buying it, and there isn't a lot that I could've asked about it that I didn't already know from playing it. If I lost my guitar I would definately purchase a more expensive, better guitar, to get better at playing. I love the distorted sound it puts out with the stock amp distortion. That is definately my favourite feature. I don't HATE anything about it but I am disappointed in the overall construction and the quality of the pickups. When looking around at guitars I narrowed it down to the Squier Affinity Strat and the Squier Standard Strat. I ended up buying the Affinity, mainly because it had better quality machine-heads. I do wish it had better pickups and higher quality manufacture.
Reliability & Durability — 4
The Squier Affinity Strat is a great option for gigs and live performances, although it's a beginners' guitar and is quite honestly clearly not built to last, it's a budget option and puts out a good sound. The strap buttons seem well-secured, and the finish is above average for this price range, but don't expect to keep this guitar for more than maybe two and a half years without taking it in for repairs. If you're going to do a gig with this guitar, keep a backup at hand, just in case.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The way the guitar was set up by default was less than perfect and required one service before the end of the year due to background noise both on clean and distortion. After the repairs it was fine, and hasn't played up since. The only other problem I have to pick on is general poor construction (eg. pick plate coming up, few loose screws, warped wood) which, in the long run is time and money. Even though the guitar produces a good sound most of the time, it is high maintenance.
Features — 8
When I entered the electric guitar market, I didn't know quite what to expect. All I expected is that it would be expensive. Within a few hours of looking around, I spotted this budget package: a Squier Affinity Strat, a little Fender Frontman 15G amp and a cables all for $600 AUD. I picked it up and started to play it. The first thing I noticed was the ease of use, the fretboard was a nice shape, and the frets were in the right spots. It felt good to play. While the Alder body wasn't the highest of quality of woods, it brought down the price a bit. The well-shaped Maple neck was great, making it easy to play and comfortable for the hand to sit. On-board controls were one volume control, two tone controls (neck and middle pickups), a 5-way selector, and of course a whammy bar. The 3 single-coil pickups were of poor quality and, compared to other guitars, were very poor. The guitar has a synchronous tremolo bridge, chrome hardware and die-cast machine heads. Overall, this China-crafted guitar is packed with goods given the price.