Stupid new guy question

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by woodrow611, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. woodrow611

    woodrow611 Squier Talker

    Jan 6, 2017
    Okay, I have my new squier affinity hss strat made in Indonesia with the Fender Front man 15G amp. My question is am I gonna want to upgrade anything on this guitar and if so, at what point do I say I'm spending too much and go with the MIM Strat? I'm new to electric guitars so if this is a stupid question, just spank me and call me a newbie.
    Black Strat and Caddy like this.
  2. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-holic

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    The Squier Affinity is a great platform to build something customized for yourself. Start with the swapping out the tremolo block with a MIM one. You can get them on Amazon for $20. The only thing is that the Affinity has a thinner body so the block will protrude through the back and you won't get the back cover on.

    One upgrade that I really enjoyed has been to replace the bridge pickup with a Chinese made Hot Rails copy pickup. Belstar's run about $15 and are easy to change. Makes a huge difference in the tone of the instruments.

    So basically, $35 in upgrades will make your $199 Squier Affinity sound like something double it's price. Or if you're a savvy shopper, brand new Affinity's are being sold on CL for $60.

    Enjoy ... the mod bug is hard to resist.
    Black Strat likes this.
  3. Robb

    Robb Squier-holic

    Jan 13, 2011
    Chertsey Canada.
    Welcome to ST Woodrow
  4. techowiz

    techowiz Squier-Meister

    Aug 21, 2014
    new york
    If you are happy with the guitars sound , and tuning is holding- why change a "good thing"? You can always buy a higher end guitar when you are ready.
    Rollmeaway, syrynx, jerome and 3 others like this.
  5. Brever

    Brever Squier-holic

    Oct 5, 2015
    Hi Woodrow, welcome to S-T. These Squiers are a great value and solidly built. The very first thing I do is change the nut out for bone. Plastics vary in degree and some are not so bad. I have three Affinities and they all had terribly soft plastic. Changing the nut will give you better sound, tuning stability and sustain right off the bat.
    syrynx and surf green like this.
  6. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-holic

    Apr 23, 2014
    Welcome to S-T!

    I checked your welcome post and saw this is your first electric. Before doing ANY mods, I would learn to do basic guitar set up, especially for a TremLeo (Strat Tremelo), for floating. This forces you to learn all about the tuners, nut, saddles, neck relief, and intonation.
    If you can get that stuff down with the stock equipment, you'll be ahead of the game. No point in replacing stuff you don't know enough about, to recognize it's abilities or limitations.

    If your Affinity is a new one (2015/16), it probably has a better nut that previous models. It may need some attention and lubrication (pencil lead), but should be fine to get you going.

    I have a new Bullet Strat, and even the trap tuners are working just fine on it, needs no upgrades at all AFAIC.
  7. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Welcome Woodrow! :)

    As to modding your Affinity... Modding guitars is fun in and of itself. So just doing it, well fine. Have fun! But if your appetite is less for the fun of doing the modding and more for having the guitar you need than I suggest you do nothing until you ears and fingers tell you what needs to be done.

    Everybody has their favorite mods. They are neither "right" or "wrong." They are just what this person or that person finds desirable.

    I, for instance, have been playing Teles for fifty years. When I purchased an Affinity some dozen years ago because the price was just too good to let pass I read all the recommended changes -- some of which were pretty cool! -- and then did none of them.

    I eventually started changing the neck pup, trying this one and that one, but none really made a marked improvement to my own ears. That guitar is still, apart from that neck PUP (it now has a HB-voiced Lace Sensor), stock. And well worn.

    I was so impressed with that Affinity Tele that I went out almost right away and got an Affinity Strat. It stayed unmodded for 12 years until a few weeks ago when I made some of the changes others have mentioned here. Good changes!

    In other words: No rush. Follow your heart and your needs. You'll not be wrong no matter what you do, or chose not to do.

    Most important is to play! That really is what these things we call "guitars" are all about. Making music! :)

  8. Fret Cheese

    Fret Cheese Squier-Meister

    Sep 10, 2016
    I agree learn to do a basic set up and enjoy playing rather than waste time and money on mods which won't add any value to an affinity anyway. Of course if there really is a problem with something like the nut then change it :)
    syrynx, Caddy and OldGuitarPlayer like this.

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Meister

    Is this your first electric, or your first guitar?
    If you have just started playing I would keep your Squier "as is" until you feel confident enough to move up to the MIM.
    If you already have a couple of years of playing experience you can use this guitar to get the feel of the beast and then start looking for your MIM.
    I just have a difficult time with putting money into the Squier, when it might be better spent on a better instrument to begin with.
    jerome, techowiz and OldGuitarPlayer like this.
  10. OldGuitarPlayer

    OldGuitarPlayer Squier-Nut

    Jul 17, 2012
    the basement
    Welcome to Squier Talk! The Squier Affinity is great just the way it is! No need to get into mods right away.

    As already been mentioned it'd be best to learn to set up the guitar to get the best feel and sound out of it. Go to your local library and look for this book or order it.

    This book will have everything you need to know about setting up electric guitars. Good luck!
  11. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    That is an interesting take.

    I until a year ago owned what some have thought to be among the best MIM Strats ever. A `50s Classic.

    It was in every way a lovely guitar. But with with MIM trem unit (a definitely upgrade) and a loaded board from a Squier CV Strat (purchased from forum member Squier67) I actually prefer the Affinity.

    That, to me, just goes to show how personal our guitar preferences are. Some say it has to be a true, American-made, Fender. Others just love their MIM Fenders. Others yet swear by the "better" Squiers. And weird ol' me finds near nirvana (or as close as a Strat will take me) with a slightly modded Affinity.

    Even with its original nut!!! (How weird is that?) :D

  12. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    Highly recommend that book. Use mine a lot!

    Welcome to Squier-Talk.

    As has been mentioned, Don't concern yourself with upgrades for a while. Everyone has their opinions on what ones are 'needed'. That is however based on their own opinions and needs. Play it long enough to know what YOU want and need. May end up being nothing.

    Squier are great guitars (and not just for the money). For instance, over on Strat-Talk there is a thread talking about the Squier SE Strats. These came in a bundle with a small amp, cord, etc. They were very low cost Squier intended for beginners. (Sadly no longer made) Nearly all of the members there own MIA Fenders Strats, but still really like the Squier SE's. One said he buys every one he finds, many have a number of them. One member said he used to have five but sold two to touring musicians to be used as backup guitars. Don't be at all put off by the Squier name. These are great guitars.

    During my 60 years of playing I have played enough guitars to know a good guitar when I see one.
  13. Acidhouse

    Acidhouse Squier-holic

    Sep 16, 2010
    Birmingham . . . Alabama
    More often than not, modding is more of an addiction than a necessity. It's probably the same form of addiction as people have to plastic surgery. Our only advantage is that it is cheaper and a lot less painful. Don's spot on though, it's your personal preferences that should decide. My go to is an MIK Strat. I have an MIA but I just prefer the MIK. I can't give you a tangible reason why as the MIA is an incredible strat but my MIK just feels more right when I pick it up. Yes, I modified the electronics and pickups but that is more my addiction than a necessity.
  14. Davey

    Davey Squier-holic

    Mar 31, 2015
    Monroe WA
    Yes if you are guy you will "want" to modify it!. I would play it as is, I am sure it is fine.
    I know nothing about your skills in modding or playing so no advise from me there. If you don't know setup this is a good guitar to learn.

    Saving money towards a better guitar is always good advise, so is buying used. Modding though extremely fun is a money losing deal almost every time.

    This group is a gold mine of information augmented by a weird bunch of really great people :) have fun with it.
    syrynx, Fret Cheese and Acidhouse like this.
  15. jerome

    jerome Squier Talker

    Feb 2, 2016
    Totally agree on this :)
    Enjoy and spend time playing your stock squier first.. familiarize the tone it creates, the feel you get when you run your hands throughout the neck...eventually you would realize if you want to upgrade and take the next step... after all, how would you appreciate the result of modifications you would do in the future if you dont familiarize yourself first on the guitar's as is condition :)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  16. gearobsessed

    gearobsessed Squier-holic

    Aug 21, 2013
    new zealand
    Imo classic vibe range is better value for money than mim fenders if you were to upgrade. I personally prefer them. Modding is great fun and I do it myself, but you won't get resale value on a modded affinity. Depends mostly if you want something a stock guitar can't offer, or if you would prefer not to loose money and have a stock guitar. Obviously you can do small mods like change pickups, and keep the stock ones incase you decide to sell it one day.
    syrynx, Fret Cheese and Caddy like this.
  17. Vintagebrit

    Vintagebrit Squier-Meister

    Apr 19, 2012
    Altering the Guitar is not going to increase it's value in general.
    If you spend on it, you won't get the money back, but if it enriches your experience, it's money well-spent.
    This was a Squier Bullet which cost me £100. I've spent about £200 on it but it's still only worth what I paid for it. It is though, one of my favourite Guitars and I'll never sell it.
    Rollmeaway, syrynx, Brettdvd and 4 others like this.
  18. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Squier-holic

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Welcome to S-T. I'm in line with the others and suggest that you only start modding after you have three guitars :).
    syrynx, Black Strat, mb doug and 3 others like this.
  19. squierbilly

    squierbilly Squier-holic

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    Yes,, as Davis said.. welcome to S~T... and dont start any mods till you have at least two back ups,, just in case!..
    If we dont recieve any pictures you will be banned,, we dont spank here
    Thats another website..:oops:
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  20. woodrow611

    woodrow611 Squier Talker

    Jan 6, 2017
    The only pic I have so far is this one.
    And darn, I was kinda lookin forward to that spanking.
    syrynx, squierbilly, Ishmann and 2 others like this.