Squier by Fender has been on the scene for a long time now, but I feel like it’s finally getting some recognition. Maybe it’s because the economy is hitting everyone hard or maybe it’s due to today’s sub-genre of rock music, but more bands are starting to use budget guitars. So all of our little brothers and sisters can also learn how to play without wasting half their rent money on gear.
I’m pretty cheap when it comes to gear myself, but I always had my eyes on an American made Stratocaster HSS with a maple fretboard. The only problem was that used ones were going for around $700 which is more than what some people pay for monthly rent! It wasn’t until recently when Squier announced the release of the Affinity Series Stratocasters that I became interested in checking these out.
The first thing you notice when you pick up this guitar is the weight…it’s extremely light! It’s like playing on pillows or something. But once you plug it in, all that goes away because it sounds exactly like an American made Fender Stratocaster which makes sense because it IS one basically. The “S-1 switching” allows for single coil tones and also humbucker tones. If you’re not familiar with the term “S-1 Switching”, just think of having a strat with two extra switches (middle, neck, middle + neck). This gives you 6 tonal options compared to the usual 3 on most strats.
Now for the bad…the tuners are pretty bad so if you use different tuning often, you might want to invest in some locking tuners. Also I’ve had this guitar since January and people complain about the paint chipping off but mine has yet to do that (knock on wood) so don’t let that discourage you from buying it.
I would give this guitar a rating of 8 out of 10 because it sounds great, plays great, feels nice and can be used for many things (IE: recording, live playing). And one more thing, these guitars are extremely affordable!