One question: Did this fall off Fender's production line and get mistaken for a Squier? I too thought these might be pretty weak and low in feel and sound...I was wrong.
I can hapily take it where my Fender cannot be without too much loss in tone and feel. I might actually change the pickup in the bridge it's that good.
The Squier Affinity series is pretty low budget I will admit, but the Standard series is almost Fender.
WHo knows what the Deluxe versions are like I might go try one. :)
Seriously, if you want a Strat, a proper one, but cannot afford a Fender, or need another to carry around, support for broken string gigs (we've all done that) then go get a Standard, they come in many different colours including Sunburst for those vintage fans and Black for those who play in many styles and wish for a guitar to accompany thier image whatever that may be (cause black strats go with anything :D).
That's all...Hope you stayed with me to the end.
Can be a bit hard to read on these pages eh?
Where Obtained: www.gak.co.uk
First off, I'm no beginner, nor a pro, but I can't safely take a Fender everywhere so this was a good compromise.
Note that I will give this a very in depth, understanding and understandable review for players of all levels. :)
All star grades are around price band. 5* means best for price but my explainations will say what, where and why.
Made in Indonesia.
Body is constructed of Agathis, a nice solid wood from Indonesia. It's a cheaper wood (not the cheapest) but it has decent body and tone to it and gives the guitar more of a feel unlike cheap copies (made of bolser wood no doubt :D).
Mine is is Walnut Satin as I like to see the wood grain.
Body is nicely shaped, not a splinter or imperfection in sight. Looks the biz too.
The neck is construced of maple which has been cut into for placement of the Truss Rod and has been filled and glued later. This results in that line on the back of the neck you may see.
The fingerboard is Rosewood, it has a nice healthy grain too. Not a bad cut I might add. You can get them in Maple top but not with the Humbucker.
Again, very well shaped and sanded, smooth as a babys behind and not an imperfection in sight.
Frets are 22 medium-jumbo. I took a Rizla paper and slid it under (I don't smoke, just this is the best way to inspect for raised frets without a feeler), it slides under a bit on some but in playing it's not felt or heard.
I can slide my finger along the sides cut free, unusual as I cannot do that with my Fender as a fret sticks out a milimetre...but I can do it with a Squier?
3 Standard Strat controls (Volume, Neck tone, middle tone) and 5 way switch. Config is 1 humbucker in the bridge possition, 1 single coil in middle and another singer coil @ the neck. Pickups are non-descript.
Electronics are, oddly enough, passive. ;)
The body is finished in Walnut Satin. I chose it because I have grown away from paint and like to see the wood grain. It gives it a brwon walnut look and with the black scratchplate and controls it looks very boutique. Doesn't look like a cheapo punk thrasher at all, which is good as I am not the above. :D
The body, being a Stratocaster is S-shaped with the usual double horn cutaway jobbie.
Bridge is a two point fulcrum. It doesn't have a body cavity but it can float if you wish. I don't use much whammy action and just use it as it should be, simple dips. Floyd Rose is for abuse.
I set it to the body fine (great if you break a string on stage, not that that's the point) as I do on my 6-screw system on my others but I find it plays better floating and I quite like it like that too.
You can dip and dive a bit too (if it floats) and it will stay in tune but just like Fender Strats, this system was not designed for abusive whammy action. Get a Floyd Rose for that one, Squier do do them in thier Showmaster series, tho I have seen a Strat before in a shop.
Tuners are standard non-locking. They are quite accurate, giving fine tuning and are nice and stiff.
No wobbles here.
My prefered action is not low. I don't like the feel, having meaty strength from years of bass is prob one reason, another is it doesn't matter how expensive the guitar, it DOES buzz!
No, I think mines medium...it's not to any measurement, it takes ages to setup because I set it until it "feels right" and I can and have acheived that on this.
I plays, very oddly, just like a Fender. Most people knock Squiers but seriously, it doesn't feel cheap at all. That's the Affinity series. I wonder how the Deluxe is if this is the Standard!
It's very comfotable, has a nice weight to it. Other cheaper guitars and copies are far too light and thier tone reflects in this. This guitar weighs what a Strat should do. Being a 6-string bassist also I have experienced weight so I consider all guitars light but I spose in terms of guitar this is a very nice weight.
Enough to bring good tone and the feeling that you are holding a guitar, but at the same time doesn't break your back.
The Walnut Satin finish makes the weight make sence. I guess if it was painted it might not...if you understand what I mean. :D
I spose it does have flaws...It's not a Fender for one I guess in terms of pro scrutiny, but you can carry it around outside gigs and along the tube if need be, safeguarded that a knife or gun encounter can see you alive, 160 possesion less but one that you can buy in a month when your wages come in. :)
All frets are easily accessable. The Fretboard is of normal Fender type. Not fat but at the same time not Ibanez flat and thin. It has a normal curve to it.
I havn't come into any places where a note doesn't sound / sounds a semi-tone higher because the frets are raised yet. Sustain is very good too considering. I've been able to hold a note and bent note without vibrato for a long enough time and the same with.
I can't really pic fault with it yet as it hasn't falled apart (albiet I havn't had it over a week yet) but I did take 3 hours setting it up so I've gave it a good look over and have pulled and fiddled with the controls / hardware.
Oee fault I guess is the strings. Nothing wrong with them themselfs (Fender strings, 350's) but they are gauge 9 and thus bend a semi-tone up when I palm mute the bottom string. This is myself, other players need not worry. Plus, strings cost 4+ anyways.
High strings are very bendable however.
Well I've played it clean and distorted in all kinds of tones from Blues to pure Metal.
The 5-possition switch allows for alot of different tones.
The Bridge possision on it's own is kinda hot sounding and muffled slightly, this is what a humbucker sounds like (My Fender and Kramer both sound like this too) but with distortion screams and of course, cancels hum. :D
The others range heavily having thier own tone controls.
For clean I use the Neck and the Neck / Middle combined.
The neck will give you a nice thick, almost accoustic (or very like one if you use an emulator like I), woody sound with the twang of the Strat single coil. Distorted you will get a "Tom Morello" sound. Just listen to RATM records for that one. It's good to have plus some times it's a good choice for those shred passages that just sound too harsh with the bridge pickup.
The neck & Middle combined is good for clean too and produces a very funk guitar sound with changling highs and a bit of body from the neck. This is great for funk chops or just some changling clean. Also good if you wish to dabble in country guitar but don't own / wish to own a Telecaster for that country "Teletwang" sound.
Have a play, it has 5 choices for a reason.
Well as said before, it's solid built and all contgrols are stiff even when tweaked to my liking.
I could adjust the bridge springs without weakening the wood around the screws, leading to one ripping out, taking some wood with it. This has happened on one of my wore expensive guitars.
It stays in tune day to day, better as the strings set in.
This remains to be seen in the long run but it feels strong already.