Squier Stratocaster Review

Listen to a discussion of affordable guitars and you'll likely hear the Squier brand brought up. The Squier Affinity Stratocaster may not be the most glamorous guitar around, but it can get the job done if you're looking for a quality instrument with a rock bottom price.

First things first: when you buy a Squier Stratocaster, you're essentially purchasing a Fender product. Squier is the name Fender stamps on its line of budget guitars made in Asia. The specifications between a Squier and its Fender sibling are often the same, with the simple difference of inexpensive labor outside of North America influencing the final cost of the product.

As such, Squier Strats look like Fenders, they usually play like Fenders, and the good ones sound like Fenders. You might be embarrassed to get up on stage with a Squier, but unless someone squints, they probably won't even notice you're not playing the classic Fender Stratocaster.

squier affinity stratocasters

The Squier Affinity Stratocasters are the budget guitars that come with the Squier guitar starter packages. Usually, there are a guitar, a practice amp and some various other guitar accessories included in the package. Separately, you could probably find one of these Affinity models for under $100. Squier also makes a line of upscale and retro models that will be mentioned in a later posting.

Squier guitars tend to actually have more consistent quality than even Fenders, particularly in the wood, because the bodies are made of laminate rather than a solid piece of wood. This can be a blessing and a curse, since the guitars may be more consistent but more consistently mediocre as a result. Purists prefer the resonant qualities of solid wood bodies. But, I digress.

The single coil pickups put in the Affinity Strat are likely the main difference between the Squier and a standard Stratocaster. The pickups in the Affinity Strats that I have tried have been weak/low output with some significant single coil hum. They'll work, but you could build yourself a really solid axe with a simple replacement of the stock pickups.

All in all, I wouldn't necessarily recommend an Affinity Strat to everyone who plays guitar. However, it's a perfect starter guitar, since it looks and feels just like the guitar you'll likely end up playing later if you stick with it. And if you're a veteran, the Squier is a durable workhorse of a guitar that you could bring on the road without worrying about damage or theft - you could buy ten of these for the price of an American Strat.

http://www.cheapguitarists.com is the premier source of articles, reviews, and deals for the budget minded guitarist. Whether you're a beginner guitarist or a pro, you'll learn how to save on this otherwise expensive hobby.

by Joshua G; Sunday, August 7, 2011 @ 09:45 AM [16748]

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