Do you dream of playing a Telecaster without forking over the big bucks? It’s possible, and this Squier Affinity Telecaster will show you what to expect from this affordable Telecaster.
In case you didn’t know, Squier is Fender’s low-price brand. They offer affordable versions of all Fender classics. The components differ a bit, but the guitars aren’t bad at all.
Squier Affinity Telecaster Physical Features
The Squier Affinity Telecaster has the proper Telecaster shape and dimensions, although it consists of Alder. The bolted C-profile neck and its fretboard consist of maple. It has 21 medium jumbo frets, all within easy access. While it’s no Fender-level neck and may have some rough frets, it does offer solid playability.
The components that may remind you of its low price are the tuners and controls, but there’s no issue with functionality. Meanwhile, the nut is synthetic bone instead of the cheap plastic that’s standard at this price.
The Squier Affinity Telecaster is simplistic in the electronics department, like any real Tele. It has two Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele pickups with shared volume and tone dials. The pickup selector switch lets you use the neck pickup, bridge pickup, or both together.
These are budget pickups, but they don’t sound bad. You get the warm, twangy tone you need for country, jazz, and blues. While the output isn’t that high, there’s not too much noise or hum. They sound more than good enough for a beginner guitar like the Fender Affinity Telecaster.
A polyurethane gloss finish coats the Fender Affinity Telecaster. You can get it in many different colors. The basic black, butterscotch blonde, and 2-tone sunburst are available. You can also get it in arctic white, competition orange, race green, race red, and slick silver. All options facilitate that classic retro look. It takes a lot to scratch this finish, but there’s a big pickguard just in case.
How the Squier Affinity Telecaster Plays
Compared to a classic Tele, the Squier Affinity Telecaster has better playability. For one, the 9.5-inch fretboard radius makes bending easier than the traditional 7.25-inch radius. You can bend notes further and get more vibrato. The modern C-profile neck also gives you better comfort for both chords and fast licks. In this price range, the setup isn’t always great, so you may have to fix the string action. However, this is an easy fix, this video will show you how.
The Squier Affinity Telecaster has a clear, balanced tone with an appropriate twang. It responds better to soft and balanced playing than hard riffing. That’s an inherent quality of the Telecaster in general. With that said, some heavy blues will sound great if you use the right amp, and possibly a nice overdrive.
Being a cheap electric guitar, it will hum and buzz a bit, and it may have some string buzz. The latter is easy to fix with the truss rod, though.
What People Say
Users call the Squier Affinity Telecaster an excellent beginner guitar and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They like the low price, stable tuning, and smooth playability. Some find the action and frets could use some adjustment.
Squier Affinity Telecaster VS Squier Standard Telecaster
The Standard line is one step up from Affinity. Let’s see what you get for those extra $50. It has a thicker agathis body, so it’s a bit heavier. This gives it a fuller sound. It also has a strings-through-body bridge, instead of the Affinity’s top-loaded bridge. Therefore, the tones ring out over a longer time. Which one’s the best cheap Telecaster is a matter of preference. You can get the Standard Telecaster here.
Pros & Cons
A full Squier Affinity Telecaster review can be a lot to take in. So let’s repeat the most important insights in simpler terms.
- Outstanding value
- Convincing Telecaster tone
- Smooth-playing neck
- Solid intonation
It looks and works like a Telecaster at a very low price. The balance of quality and price makes the Squier Affinity Telecaster an ideal beginner guitar.
- Cheap build
- So-so pickups
- Some users report rough frets
You may notice some controls that feel loose or flimsy or a mediocre factory setup. That’s normal in this price range, and it’s possible to fix.
Is Squier Affinity Telecaster the Right Tele for You?
Other than a few signs of the budget-friendly price, the Squier Affinity Telecaster is a dependable guitar with a timeless look and sound. If you’re a beginner or intermediate guitarist looking for a Tele, the Squier Affinity Telecaster is an excellent choice.
I hope you’ve learned all you wanted from this Squier Affinity Telecaster review. If you want to look at more options, I’ve listed the best blues guitars and the best jazz guitars.