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Upgrading a Fender Squier Affinity


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#1 Huntn

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 03:09 AM

Did a quick search did not find this, but if a thread all ready exists, please point me at it. Thanks!

Anyone here think it is worth upgrading the pups on a Fender Squier Affinity (starter guitar) or would it be money better spent just saving up for better axe? Thanks!
-Dave
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#2 slavic

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 03:57 AM

If you are asking, if I put $500 in parts into this guitar will it play and sound better? Well yes it will. If you are asking will it be worth more? Probably (as in almost certainly) not. If you love the guitar and want to keep it forever then upgrade it. Otherwise trade it for something you like more, or buy another one. In my $500 example above, I'd sell the squire for $100 and go find a used highway 1 or possibly a standard american (Yes they do pop up in the $500 range every now and then).

Guess how much a $500 used guitar is worth in a year when you want another one? It's going to be pretty close to $500.

Now I'm doing this with an analytical mind set. If you like the guitar, and have the cash do what you want to it. Ultimately you are the one who will play it and you have to decide what is going to make you happy with the instrument.
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#3 Shockwarrior

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 09:12 AM

If you pick out a good one (good frets and neck). Strings, tuners and string trees are priority.
After that pickups and electronics if you like.

If your committed to playing a $500 Mexi Strat with a setup and string replacement if it needs it will see you right for a long time.

Here is my first electric guitar cost me $100.

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#4 Huntn

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:38 PM

Thanks guys for the feedback. I think the problem is a qualitative one. I've got nothing to judge if the improvement in sound will be worth the amount of money spent. I'm surprised regarding Shockwarrior's reply as I would choose pickups first for better sound. I am happy with the neck and frets on this Affinity.
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#5 Plabius

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:25 PM

.... I'm surprised regarding Shockwarrior's reply as I would choose pickups first for better sound ....


Shock was pointing out that if the guitar is not mechanically sound and well built, then a new (or old) set of pickups won't improve the tonal quality of the instrument. Pickups just can't correct for mechanical defects.
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#6 Shockwarrior

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:26 PM

Thanks guys for the feedback. I think the problem is a qualitative one. I've got nothing to judge if the improvement in sound will be worth the amount of money spent. I'm surprised regarding Shockwarrior's reply as I would choose pickups first for better sound. I am happy with the neck and frets on this Affinity.


The reason I said strings tuners and string trees is I know those $200 guitars.
Tuning stability and a new set of strings is the number one importance.
If it was a Fender Mexi Standard I would say sure pickups then if you want.
If it was an American Standard I would say perhaps custom shop pickups or perhaps a deluxe bridge instead or something like that.
But not that you need it. You don't need to replace anything if your happy with it.

A guitar that goes out of tune or breaks strings etc is a pain. Playability to me is paramount.
The stock strings on a low end guitars are junk unless someone replaces them prior to purchase.

Replacing the pickups without doing other things like proper shielding if required and upgrading wiring and pots is also a bit pointless.
Check this out. These are the cheapo pickups in the Squier Bullet Strat (bit of Santana).
This guitar was stock $119. After he recorded this he gave it a complete over-hall. Tuners, pickups and all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIorvlauKFI

Edit:

Oh thanks Plabius I was in the middle of writing when you posted.

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#7 CenCalPlayer

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 02:32 PM

The reason I said strings tuners and string trees is I know those $200 guitars.
Tuning stability and a new set of strings is the number one importance.
If it was a Fender Mexi Standard I would say sure pickups then if you want.
If it was an American Standard I would say perhaps custom shop pickups or perhaps a deluxe bridge instead or something like that.
But not that you need it. You don't need to replace anything if your happy with it.

A guitar that goes out of tune or breaks strings etc is a pain. Playability to me is paramount.
The stock strings on a low end guitars are junk unless someone replaces them prior to purchase.

Replacing the pickups without doing other things like proper shielding if required and upgrading wiring and pots is also a bit pointless.
Check this out. These are the cheapo pickups in the Squier Bullet Strat (bit of Santana).
This guitar was stock $119. After he recorded this he gave it a complete over-hall. Tuners, pickups and all.


+++++ 1

Well said.....

#8 Huntn

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:49 AM

From an appearance standard, my Squier Affinity is well made. The neck on my Affinity looks great. I was in the store today and it looks as good as an American Strat. It just sounds like crap. :)
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#9 Terry J

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 10:24 AM

From an appearance standard, my Squier Affinity is well made. The neck on my Affinity looks great. I was in the store today and it looks as good as an American Strat. It just sounds like crap. :)


I don't have an Affinity Strat, but I have 2 Affinity Telecasters. One I got for $99 and the other was $149. They have really nice necks for the price. There were no issues with the setup or the tuners. The pickups were not to my liking though. I would recommend GFS pickups as an inexpensive upgrade.
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#10 Stargazer55

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:52 PM

I upgraded a Squier Deluxe Strat (made in Japan) modeled after Steve's and wouldn't trade it for anything. It got 2 thumbs up from Greg as well. :smile:

The pups were swapped out to EMG SA's. A battery compartment was installed in the back to eliminate the need from removing the strings & pick guard to replace it. Finally, the tuners were replaced with Grover locking tuners.

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#11 jleedo

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:37 PM

I upgraded a Squier Deluxe Strat (made in Japan) modeled after Steve's and wouldn't trade it for anything. It got 2 thumbs up from Greg as well. :smile:

The pups were swapped out to EMG SA's. A battery compartment was installed in the back to eliminate the need from removing the strings & pick guard to replace it. Finally, the tuners were replaced with Grover locking tuners.


Hi, I bought a used Squire 20th anniverary strat(3 single coils) and I think the neck is a tad bit narrower than a other strats. Can anybody comment on this? Is it my imagination or is it actually so?

#12 Stargazer55

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 05:49 PM

Hi, I bought a used Squire 20th anniverary strat(3 single coils) and I think the neck is a tad bit narrower than a other strats. Can anybody comment on this? Is it my imagination or is it actually so?


Here are the specs on the nut width that I could find:

Squier 20th - 1.61 inches
Fender Standard (MIM) - 1.65 inches
Fender American Standard - 1.68 inches

So, it looks as though you are correct, it is a tad bit narrower.

Hope that helps.

Tom
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#13 Huntn

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 10:15 PM

I don't have an Affinity Strat, but I have 2 Affinity Telecasters. One I got for $99 and the other was $149. They have really nice necks for the price. There were no issues with the setup or the tuners. The pickups were not to my liking though. I would recommend GFS pickups as an inexpensive upgrade.


I appreciate the suggestion. Any idea on what the labor would be to swap out what I have? I do have some experience with electronics, mostly home wiring, a minimum of electronic repair although I have soldered. Is this something I should even think about doing myself or no? Thanks!
-Dave
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#14 Shockwarrior

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 11:02 PM

I appreciate the suggestion. Any idea on what the labor would be to swap out what I have? I do have some experience with electronics, mostly home wiring, a minimum of electronic repair although I have soldered. Is this something I should even think about doing myself or no? Thanks!
-Dave


Labor will be about $40-$50 or so but really depends on where you go.

You need to know how to make a good solder connection.
Plenty of tutorials on the youtube on installing pickups here is one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgYj1nlNFeU

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