New Revamped Squier Affinity 2021 Line

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by sixtysix, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. sixtysix

    sixtysix Squier Talker

    Mar 22, 2021
    Hi all,

    First post! Don't know if this is the right place since it's about more than just Strats but there's no Affinity board so oh well!
    Don't know if this has already been discovered (I haven't been able to find anyone talking about it online, though).
    If you go to certain retailers (such as Adorama for the US and guitarguitar for the UK) you can find preorder listings for a bunch of new Squier Affinity models.
    These seems to be some of the biggest changes ever to the Affinity line, seems to be trying to fill the void left by the end of the Standard and Vintage Modified series maybe?

    Here's a brief rundown of changes:

    Guitars now have a 1.65" (42mm) nut width as opposed to the thinner 1.6" they were known for
    Headstocks now use large 70s labels and have have glossy fronts, no longer have affinity label
    Guitars now use split-shaft tuners (still look otherwise the same i.e. not vintage-style)
    No more maple cap fingerboards (maple necks all seem to have skunk stripes)
    Telecasters now seem to have a belly carve(?) and show string through bodies (could occasionally be found on more recent models but not reliably) and cost $249.99 up from $229.99
    Stratocasters now use a 2-point vibrato as opposed to the 6-screw from before, now available in HH as well as HSS and SSS configurations, also cost $249.99, up from $229.99
    Flame Maple Top HSS Strats are available for $299.99
    Precision and Jazz Basses are up to $279.99 from $229.99
    P-Bass starter packs now cost $349.99 up from $329.99
    HSS Strat starter packs have different colors but still cost $329.99

    New models:

    Affinity Jazzmaster ($279.99): Uses regular Jazzmaster-style pickups with a two point Strat vibrato and no rhythm circuit (similar to American Performer)
    Affinity Telecaster Deluxe ($279.99): Dual chrome-covered humbuckers (not wide-range style) with Tele Deluxe pickguard and controls but regular Tele headstock
    Affinity Jaguar Bass H ($249.99): Mid-scale (32") Jag bass with a single passive humbucker, volume and tone

    Missing old models include:

    Affinity Jazzmaster HH: This one's probably on its way out considering the new Affinity Jazzmaster plus other HH options
    Affinity Starcaster: Might stick around since it's a newer model and is relatively stylistically in line with the new models (based on the headstock at least), but who knows if they were meant to be sorta limited anyway
    Affinity Bronco Bass: This has been a Squier mainstay but the Jaguar Bass H could be replacing it as the cheaper, shorter-scale single-pickup Affinity Bass

    Sadly, the only lefty model I can see at this point is a butterscotch blonde Tele, hopefully we'll see more in the future. It's also an interesting set of colors they've gone with--a lot of emphasis on metallic finishes (lake placid blue, burgundy mist, charcoal frost) plus the usual white, black, and sunburst. Not too bad of a price hike (there have been a lot of those from Fender lately) but the basses seem to have been hit the worst with no substantial changes but a 20% price increase, especially bad since there's no bullet tier lower down. Hopefully the more affordable Bronco Basses stick around!

    Some things that have stayed the same include ceramic pickups and presumably not full-sized bodies (descriptions advertise "thin and lightweight" bodies)

    What are everyone's thoughts on the updated line? All three of the brand new models have my interest, I might have to try them out sometime! Here are some pics: (Sorry for long post!)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    I just looked up the new models on Adorama (a burgundy mist and a LP Blue) and yes, they do have what is billed as JM pickups ... but they're ceramic.

    I've never heard of ceramic JM pickups? Is that a thing? I've only read/heard about alnico ones. I guess they could be made with ceramic magnets but I just don't know how "true" they would sound.

    Also the present Affinity JMs have alder bodies. These new ones have poplar. I much prefer an alder body. My Epiphone SL has a poplar body and it is so light that it almost seems like a toy. And to me it has little resonance either.

    Btw, I do not see these listed at Could they be some kind of FSR models for these two retailers?
  3. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    Wow, fascinating first post, @sixtysix

    This is all pretty interesting...if the Affinity HH Jazzmaster is being discontinued, I have a feeling they'll become collectors' favorites, especially by modders.

    I'm intrigued by the new Tele's...

    Not sure I love the colors they're emphasizing, but the Affinity's I guess are usually kinda limited.
  4. LittleGiant

    LittleGiant Squier-Meister

    Apr 4, 2019
  5. LonePhantom

    LonePhantom Squier-Meister

    Jul 17, 2019
    Canberra, Australia
    If this is what they're doing globally with the Affinity line then that's quite exciting. Would like to see the 6 screw bridge remaining, but otherwise, the thicker body and wider nut is fantastic news.
    Kenneth Mountain, Fredline and Hugh like this.
  6. DougMen

    DougMen Dr. Squier

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    They may be a P90 type in a JM pickup case, like Fender has done before several times.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  7. DougMen

    DougMen Dr. Squier

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Fender is notorious for being late to the party, and oftentimes new models don't make it to their website until after dealers already have them in stock and for sale.
    Kenneth Mountain and grizzlewulf like this.
  8. DougMen

    DougMen Dr. Squier

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    I might have to get the JM. I prefer the Strat vibrato to the Jag/JM style one, and, even if the pickups are really P90s and not JM pickups, I might like them more in a bolt on maple neck guitar than in a set neck one with mahogany neck and body.
  9. Robb

    Robb Squier-holic

    Jan 13, 2011
    Chertsey Canada.
    Welcome to ST !!!
    Kinnon09 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  10. DougMen

    DougMen Dr. Squier

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    I don't see split shaft tuners on any of them. Oh, now I see, split shafts, but with a modern casing
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
    Kinnon09 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  11. AcrylicSuperman

    AcrylicSuperman Squier Talker

    Jan 12, 2021
    I'm not sure if the Affinity Jazzmaster HH is being discontinued or not. Just bought one direct from Fender less than a month ago. It did have some different features though, the big one being a gold decal.

    Edit: My Jazzmaster is poplar, but it isn't light. As a matter of fact, this guitar weighs 10 pounds. It's heavy as hell.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  12. Ralph124C41

    Ralph124C41 Squier-holic

    Feb 10, 2016
    In that case, then they are not VM pickups. They're P90s disguised to look like JM pickups. They will sound like P90s; they will not sound like JM pickups.
    Kinnon09 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  13. Chimey

    Chimey Squier Talker

    May 5, 2015
    Still advertised specifically as having a thin body. Here's the Adorama link:

    Squier Affinity Series Telecaster Electric Guitar, Laurel Fingerboard, Olympic White

    A superb gateway into the time-honored Fender family, the Squier Affinity Series Telecaster delivers legendary design and quintessential tone for today's aspiring guitar hero. This Tele features several player-friendly refinements such as a thin and lightweight body, a slim and comfortable "C"-shaped neck profile, a string-through-body bridge for optimal body resonance and sealed die-cast tuning machines with split shafts for smooth, accurate tuning and easy restringing. Loaded with dual Squier single-coil Tele pickups with 3-way switching for genre-defying sonic variety, this model is ready to accompany any player at any stage.

    Interesting, no mention of belly cut either, but it's clearly there in the pic.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  14. Bluzy

    Bluzy Squier-holic

    Nov 20, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Welcome to ST! Nice first post. Please feel free to add some stuff like pics of your own gear and a snippet or 2. We like pics around here
  15. Twostratsfornow

    Twostratsfornow Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2020
    Ontario, Canada
  16. danzigdan

    danzigdan Squier-Nut

    Feb 10, 2014
    I see some good and bad there. I LOVE the fact that they have brought a Jaguar bass back. They seem to be hot items on the used market.

    The bad for me is the colors. They never seem to be able to sell burgundy mist---I recall that not being popular on the CV60's. White, black, meh.

  17. Leo Jazzmaster

    Leo Jazzmaster Squier-Nut

    May 14, 2020
    West Tennessee
    Very interesting! It sounds like they are putting the most popular features of the classic vibe series on affinitys (glossy headstock, split shaft tuners, 70s headstock shape). I may have to check out the Jazzmaster.
    Kinnon09 likes this.
  18. SavoirFaire

    SavoirFaire Squier Talker

    Feb 19, 2021
    I actually LOVE burgundy mist and I'm sad that I missed out on the CV's so I got all excited about this until I noticed it was only offered on the JM.. Graffiti Yellow is pretty awesome too!
    Kinnon09 and Hadronic Spin like this.
  19. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    The too large headstock is enough to drive me away. That and the contoured Tele body.
    Kinnon09 and Apache30 like this.
  20. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-holic

    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    Maybe I was being a bit too sarcastic. Deleted my post.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021