Is there any difference in design or quality in different Affinity years?

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by The Word Reich, May 16, 2018.

  1. The Word Reich

    The Word Reich Squier Talker

    Age:
    33
    15
    Feb 27, 2018
    Bristol
    Is there any difference in design or quality in different Affinity years?
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    To me yes, the newer ones made in Indonesia in the last 4 years are better than older ones from the 90s or early 2000s.....

    They also have a nicer gold logo with black outline instead of a plain stamped black logo.....
     
  3. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Squier-Nut

    942
    Apr 9, 2015
    UK
    I can't speak for the earlier years but I have two china crafted versions from 2014 and both are excellent. Good finishes and build quality (nice tight neck pockets etc) and excellent necks. Although I've dressed the fret ends a bit myself and rolled the fretboard edges a wee bit they were both great straight out of the box… With a few mods I like 'em as much as my VM70.

    Earlier Affinities (pre 2001 I believe) had full size bodies but that's just a preference thing. The only thing it effects other than weight is modifying the block but now it's easy to get the shorter blocks from a few places for the later thinner bodies.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. mikm

    mikm Dr. Squier

    Jun 4, 2012
    NY
    The NC, YN Affinities were pretty much the same guitars as the Standards and Bullets of the time I'm thinking around 96-98 give or take They had 22 fret necks with full size at the nut (around 1.650") with full size wood bodies. I'm not an expert on these to say the least. There are members here that consider these superior to modern Affinities as well as Bullets etc. I'm sure they'll chime in.
     
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  5. Eddie

    Eddie Dr. Squier

    Age:
    48
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    Nope. Best ones were made between 1994 and 1997 with NC/YN serial numbers.

    My bad ... Affinity's started in 1996/7. But the 1994/5 Bullets were the same guitars. NC/YN.

    The IC's don't come close. :)
     
  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    I disagree, I've tried and looked at NC's since I saw how much you liked them and were collecting!! Wanted to see for myself....things I didn't like - way too thick rosewood fretboard with dots on side, neck felt cheap....didnt like the sound of pickups or anything either....

    Somebody brought me a black / maple NC4 I was going to buy it for $100 Canadian but after having it in my hands for 30 seconds I knew it wasn't for me at all....smaller frets too it seemed like...

    I like the Affinity or Squier models with the proper 60s style thinner rosewood board with the dots halfway in the maple and halfway in the rosewood (side dots)
     
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  7. Eddie

    Eddie Dr. Squier

    Age:
    48
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    We'll agree to disagree.

    The NC necks are the best this side of an MIM.
     
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  8. The Word Reich

    The Word Reich Squier Talker

    Age:
    33
    15
    Feb 27, 2018
    Bristol
    How do the 2010 models compare to later models?
     
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  9. Eddie

    Eddie Dr. Squier

    Age:
    48
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    All thin bodied guitars. Pickups are so-so. Thin necks. I'm not a fan of any of the newer model guitars. VM's and CV's are a different story. But modern Affy's just don't cut it.
     
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  10. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-Meister

    Age:
    27
    477
    Sep 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    @Guitarmageddon, is there a reason you prefer the thinner board? I feel the opposite, that the guitars with the thin veneer board seem cheap (at least in that regard). Rosewood is the more expensive tone wood, so when I see it’s just a thin board I feel like they’re just trying to cut costs. I also like my fretboard to have a higher clearance over the body and the thick fretboard helps with that too. But, you are right in that the thick fretboards seem to be largely found on the cheapest models.
     
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  11. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    The reason is because it's vintage accurate.....the thick board feels cheap like on an Academy/Johnson/New York Pro/older plywood 90s Korean Squier......It's 100% visual....

    For the same reason, I can't own any Squier that has super wide 12th fret dot spacing, like on some 90s-2000s Indonesian made or 90s Korean stuff.....

    For me it has to be either pre 1963 Fender dot spacing with the dots passing right through the middle of the A and B strings....or modern spacing where the edges are just inside the A and B strings....
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  12. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    I can't stand Fender MIM products, so maybe thats why - we like different neck profiles! I like em thin!
     
  13. daan

    daan Squier-Nut

    959
    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    That’s the beauty of these guitars, there’s one for everybody! And a whole galaxy of parts for whatever aspect you want to change.
     
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  14. Dave M

    Dave M Squier-Meister

    184
    Feb 27, 2017
    Mira Loma, CA
    some people like thin and some like thick...i have them both.I play the same way on either.......Guitarmageddon...if you ever get a chance "play" a 60 series MIM Strat, but it has a 7 1/4 radius neck,,,,stock the tone is wonderful....
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    I've played many vintage style Strats - love 'em!
     
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  16. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-Meister

    Age:
    64
    475
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    I keep seeing references to recent Indonesian made ones, but all the Affinity Strats that I've seen in the last five years are of Chinese origin. Has Fender recently moved production of Affinity models from China to Indonesia? Or, do they use both, depending on the two factories production schedules? Or, are Affinity Strats and Teles made in different locations? Also, are the Strat pack Affinity guitars different than the regular ones? If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, I would appreciate some clarification.
     
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  17. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Age:
    60
    Jan 26, 2015
    Five Points, AL
    Probably the reason I prefer the NC serial line is the great necks.

    I have zero desire for any 'traditional' Fender style, which were primarily designed so Leo could make maximum profit from the cheapest build he could get away with. Cookie cutter mass produced guitars you did not need a luthier to make. Nothing wrong with that, his business was to make money. Thus the unusual tremolo, bolt necks, thin, narrow high crown necks ( 7 1/2 radius) made with inexpensive maple fretboards, etc. Leo did not play guitar and set out to make an inexpensive guitar. He did a good job.

    The NC6 & NC7 Affinity's have full size bodies, slightly chunky necks, wider necks than other Squiers and most Fender products with 43.2mm at the nut around 12" radius. All NC series are rosewood fretboard.But still maintaining the narrow Asian spacing bridge. While pots are the usual Asian dime sized, at least two of the switches used are unique and pretty good if you don't resolder them much. The switch is super stable, strong & sound but the lugs for the wires are fragile in their attachment to the switch. They are also a shorter throw switch, even though they are 5 position. To my ears the '94-'99 Yako built pickups are unlike any other, and superior sound wise to later ceramics. They have 'trap' tuners, but while similar in appearance to '2000 and newer tuners,(and some '98 & '99) they are stable and hold tune very well. I personally don't like the 14:1 ratio so I change to 18:1 tuners. On those I have not changed, no troubles what so ever other than the tall ratio. They are also ever so slightly larger than later models.

    All 'NC' serial models from '94 (maybe '92?) through the end of the series with NC7 may differ in the writing on the headstock ('Bullet Series', Standard (unmarked) & Affinity) but there is no other differences at all. 'NC's come in four colors. Olympic White, Dakota Red, 2 tone sunburst (some do have a redder tinting, some amber) and black. Just those 4.

    ETA: I personally find all Yako built guitars superior n every way to other Squiers and the few MIM I have personally encountered.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  18. platefire

    platefire Squier-Nut

    Age:
    70
    805
    Sep 14, 2016
    North Louisiana
    I recently got a CY 2005 Affinity HSS Strat that out shines all my other strats I have including my former #1 1997 CIJ Fender 50's RI. So by all indications this is now #1. Can't point to anything different from the others other than it plays, sounds and feels exceptionally well. I feel totally at home with it strapped on. The only things I've done to it is do my own personal set up, installed two DynaGuide String trees and plugged up the trem arm threaded hole through block on the bottom to allow a trem arm tension spring to be used. Platefire
    IMG_20180405_074341597.jpg IMG_20180330_192833962.jpg

    IMG_20180330_192810059.jpg
     
  19. No truer words have been written.;)
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  20. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    71
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    I've owned American Strats, Mexican Strats and one "lowly" `04 "CY" Affinity.

    The CY is the only on I've kept and plan on keeping.

    That said I installed a loaded pickguard from a Classic Vibe on it and put on a MIM trem unit with saddles.

    Oh, and I don't really like Strats so everything I said should obviously be either read upside down and backwards or completely ignored.

    -don

    Strat Project Complete.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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