affinity string spacing hoax?

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by horax, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. horax

    horax Dr. Squier

    Aug 9, 2010
    colorado springs
    Found this over on TDPRI, and thought of sharing it as it is quite interesting.

    For those not wanting to click, the first post is as follows:

    From time to time I hear/read about people that seem to have trouble with the narrower nut on the Squier Affinity. And I never seem to have such trouble, changing between 3 or 4 guitars out of collection of about a dozen all the time (only 1 Affinity at my desk, the others change regularly).

    It is true that the outer size of the nut is less than any other Squier I own, but I measured the string spacing on both my Squier Affinity (pack, string through, Indonesian) and my Squier VM '72 Custom with a pair of callipers.
    I bought both of them new, and the nut has not been changed.
    The nut size was indeed different (40.6 vs 42mm).

    I put the callipers as close to the nut at the playing side as I could and measured between (inside measurement) the high and low E strings and over them (outside measurement).

    The spacing between the strings was 34.9 mm (about 1.374 inch) on both of them. And the outside spacing between them was 36.4 mm on the Custom and 36.2 mm on the Affinity. That's a difference of 0.2mm! (a lot less than the 1.4 mm between 42 and 40.6 mm)

    So I checked the string thickness. Since both guitars had a different gauge. (I use the Affinity only for practice, and the Custom just screams for thicker strings :D)
    By adding up the thickness of the high and low E string, I came to this conclusion:
    Affinity: 9-42 = 51/1000 of an inch x 25.4 mm/inch = 1.2954mm
    '72 Custom: 11-49 = 60/1000 of an inch x 25.4 mm/inch = 1.5240mm
    difference: 0.2286mm, pretty close to the 0.2mm I measured.

    So safe to say: the difference was ONLY caused by the thickness of the strings used (and probably some measurement error combined with string production variance), and the strings have the same spacing between them on both guitars.

    Of course the Affinity had the high and low E closer to the edge of the fretboard. As a regular Squier has a 42mm nut and the Affinity has a 40.6mm nut, that would be about 0.7mm or about 1/40 of an inch.

    Now my questions for those that haven't given up reading the post:
    * Does anyone have a stock top load (Chinese) Affinity to compare the measurements?
    * I always felt like the Affinity must be an "evil" guitar with the narrow nut and thinner body, but now I know the string spacing is actually exactly the same, it seems I was prejudiced. Does anyone here have similar experiences?


  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Sep 27, 2014
    This has always been known to be 100% true - spacing of the strings is not much different, sometimes maybe .5-1mm difference but the difference in FEEL of the neck is huge because of the spacing from the high and low E to the fretboard edges....there's less 'meat' there and it feels weird to a lot of guys....myself included....
    Pat V. and horax like this.
  3. horax

    horax Dr. Squier

    Aug 9, 2010
    colorado springs
    I knwo I've felt the difference as well.
    Didn't bother to think about string spacing, but the width of the neck does feel different.

    Funny how such small measurements can change the way an instrument feels and acts.
    Guitarmageddon likes this.
  4. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    I've owned a couple of Affinity Strats and an older Bullet Strat that had the narrow 40.6mm nut. The feel was so different to me that the guitars was sold and I will not buy another with a nut like it.
    Guitarmageddon likes this.
  5. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    Yes. I said this years ago as well because I know how to do math. (that's not a dig on your sharing the information/link -or the person that created the thread at TDPRI, @horax )

    I have no issues switching between the 1.4mm difference. it's 0.055" total so less than 0.03 a side. I don't have calibrated hands to notice it. I got other things to think about and I believe most of the feeling people have on these matters is the power of suggestion.

    Side notes, not necessarily germane... I notice radius and thickness of a neck more so than the width. My old wide flat Gretsch rarely is played as well as my Kramer Baretta with the flat board. I do notice a difference going from a Jazz bass to a P bass neck for sure, and i seem to play different on the Thunderbird over the EB-3.

    Scale does not affect my playing at all, though it gets weird on 22.7 sometimes. It's just like having a capo a fret up or so. I never hit directly in the middle between 2 frets every time. It's not like "ok brain. you want to hit G# so move your ring finger 5.8235" from the nut because this is 25.5 scale.. DANG wait. it's 24". so I have to move 5.481"... DANG IT!!! Missed the note, everyone is at the bridge".
    Cavediver, DrBeGood and horax like this.
  6. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Interesting. I have a Chinese string through Affinity Tele and all my other guitars have wider fatter short scale necks. The Tele plays great no problem.

    Sorry I don't have a caliper.
  7. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2011
    I can't play chords well on an Affinity the slight difference in width is a deal breaker for me. I have tried many times and just can't do it.
  8. A-Zed

    A-Zed Squier Talker

    Oct 24, 2017
    At the ripe old age of 57, I find that my fingers are just starting to get arthritic. I am noticing that it’s getting difficult in placing a D chord on my Affinity but it is easier to do it on my Gretsch Broadkaster 6609. It’s a difference of 2mm total nut width but I notice it big time.

    Only gonna get worse from this time on...... SIGH.
    KG7IL and archetype like this.
  9. Lonn

    Lonn Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Carmel IN
    Admin Post
    The string spacing never bothered me, it's the size of the neck. I like bigger necks.
    duggerh and so1om like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice