Affinity Telecaster review by Squier

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (232 votes)
Squier: Affinity Telecaster

Price paid: $ 179.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
The stock pickups on this are a bit bright but can be adjusted with the tone knob, which does work really well. I am using this with my 1989 Peavey Bandit 112 solo series 80 watt combo along with my DigiTech RP-50 effects processor. Playing it straight through the amp without the processor on the amp's clean channel, this guitar sounds absolutely awesome and definitely has that classic Telecaster twang to it. Putting the switch in the lead position gives this guitar some really biting tones. Even when I hit the amp's gain control, I was amazed at how much punch these stock pickups have. This baby can definitely handle any genre of music from Blues to Metal as far as I'm concerned.

Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 40 years and I have to say that if you are on a budget or are a beginner, then this is quite the deal if you are in the market for a Vintage looking Telecaster which is actually made and backed by Fender. If you can get by the stock bridge as far as restringing is concerned, then this is a winner. If it were stolen would I get another one? Probably, because for the price, these are actually great sounding and fun guitars to have. Squier has upped their game within the last few years since moving production to China and guitars like these are the proof of the pudding.

Reliability & Durability — 8
With lower priced guitars like these, I do like to perform mods on them and this one is no exception. I said earlier that the stock bridge saddles make restringing difficult, so I have some Vintage style 3 barrel saddles on order, which I will install on this. That will make restringing this much easier. Plus I also have a Greasebucket circuit tone kit on order along with a Seymour Duncan designed TE-101B pickup for the bridge position on order. Once I have those installed on this guitar, those will make a major difference and will make it definitely a gig worthy instrument IMO.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As with any new guitar, I did have to do a slight setup in order to accommodate my personal tastes. The pickups were set just fine but the intonation along with the string height, was off just a slight bit and needed to be adjusted. The neck was adjusted just fine, with no bow at all and the stock frets don't have any edges sticking out at all. I had heard some folks complain about the stock 3 way pup switch as being rather flimsy but I don't have that problem with mine at all. Maybe they were a bit rough with theirs.

Features — 9
Mine was made in January of 2013, which puts this as relatively brand new to say the least. It has a Alder body with a Maple neck and fretboard with Black dot inlays. The tuners are stock Squier and the electronics are 2 Squier Standard Telecaster Ceramic Pickups. It also has 1 Volume and 1 Tone control with a stock 3 way pickup switch. The bridge is a topload that has 6 standard Bridge saddles which IMO, make restringing a bit difficult. The finish is Butterscotch with a black pickguard for a nice retro 1950's look.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    well-written. I stumbled on a pristine butterscotch one with sharp padded shiny cordura bag for $110.... not a mark on it. A killer guitar and with a good bridge pickup, 4-way switch.... hard to beat for sheer value in a Tele. And I once had a Bill Crook, so I know tone and feel.
    These new production guitars coming out of Asia are such a huge Bang for the $$$, specially in the used market. I played this model with stock PUs in a birthday party recently.  It slayed through the Diezel Herbert and Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet, from Pop to Motown to Metal, from almost Clean to high gain.  
    I have ten guitars and was looking at all the Tele's out there. I tried tons of them between 500 and $1,600. Every one had something different...or at least I was told. When I saw this at Guitar Center I thought "how can this be any good" so I sat down, plugged it in and was quite impressed. Let's face it gang, pay for the Ferrari you get the Ferrari, pay for the Kia, that is what you get. There HAS to be certain aspects that are not equal, but since all I wanted to have is a playable axe with the Tele sound because I am learning chicken pickin stuff. It does the job. The neck is straight, got the twang and it sounds fine through my Fender Mustang or my Mesa Boogie Mark IV. For $180 I am tickled pink and will wait a couple of years to find the 'ultimate Tele'. Meanwhile I am a twangin' happily.