Fender, the producer of Squier guitars, has a long guitar-making history. They’re one of the top companies for electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and guitar amplifiers. A regular Fender can be expensive, but they also produce lower-priced guitars such as the Squier Affinity.
Fender is a company I’m very familiar with. My first guitar was a Fender copy, and then I played the Fender Squier guitar before finally getting my first real Stratocaster. You get tremendous value when you play a Fender.
When I taught guitar a few years ago, I helped many students set up their first Squiers and shared my joy of this instrument with them as I taught them how to play. I always come back to Fender time and time again.
This Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS review looks at this beginner guitar and why you might want to consider it as a new player.
I’ve played electric guitar for many years, and my main electric has always been a Fender. They’re excellent instruments for beginners because they offer everything that you need in an electric guitar for a lower price.
If you’re a fan of the Fender Stratocaster but not sure if you’re ready to invest in this premium guitar, then the Squier Affinity Stratocaster is one that you might want to pick up. Here’s a little bit more about this instrument and what it can offer you.
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Review: About the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS
The Squier Affinity Series is a lower-cost line from Fender, the well-known producer of the iconic Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster guitars. They offer the Squier as a lower-priced option.
This guitar functions like a regular Fender Stratocaster. It has the same basic features but comes in at a much lower price. This makes it ideal for a beginner that wants to get started playing electric guitar.
This model has the same HSS pickup configuration as my Fender American Standard HSS guitar. This gives the guitar more bite for harder rock sounds due to the humbucking pickup in the bridge position.
I prefer this to the three single-coils that usually come on Stratocasters, although you can also get the Affinity with the standard setup. The HSS models give you more options in terms of musical styles to play, and it’s a great option for hard rock fans.
This guitar is popular because it offers the player a lower-cost alternative to a Fender Stratocaster, which is quite expensive. It’s a decent instrument for any beginner or for those on a limited budget.
The body of the Fender Squier Affinity is made from solid wood, which is usually poplar or basswood. It has the same shape as a regular Fender Stratocaster, which makes the instrument comfortable to hold and play.
The finish is a gloss polyurethane, so the guitar will hold up to abuse over time. It’s a nice finish for a lower-cost guitar, and it shows that Fender cares about its products.
These guitars come with a maple neck, and some of them feature a rosewood fingerboard. The neck features 21 medium jumbo frets, so it’s easy to play. It has a comfortable 9.5-inch bolt-on neck with a 25.5-inch radius.
The neck shape is a C profile neck, which is a standard on many guitars. The nut on the fretboard is made from synthetic bone, and it has standard Fender machine heads.
This model’s fingerboard material is laurel wood, which is similar to rosewood but not quite as expensive. It feels about the same as rosewood does.
The Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS has one humbucking pickup and two single-coil pickups. This gives the player more options in terms of sound. For hard rock and metal, the humbucker has more bite than a single-coil.
For fans of distortion and crunchy power chords, this makes the model the ideal choice. The pickups are basic, but you can always switch them out for something a little hotter, such as some Seymour Duncans.
This instrument has one volume knob, two tone controls, and a five-way pickup selector switch to control your pickups. It also features a regular Fender-style tremolo bridge, so you can do dive bombs and whammy bar tricks.
Other parts include an input jack for the guitar cable and two buttons for your guitar strap. The electronics are encased underneath the guitar’s pickguard, a Fender standard that covers most of the body.
What I Like and Don’t Like
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Review: My Experience with the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS
I’ve played many Fender guitars in my life and find that the Squier is an excellent guitar, especially for the first-time player. I first plugged in my brand-new Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster back in high school, in my friend’s garage. The sounds I produced that day made me a Fender player for life.
My Squier was a three-single coil Strat. I added Fender Lace Sensors, which were the top pickups at the time. I learned how to play guitar with that instrument. I took it to lessons, played with friends, and discovered my joy for guitar.
I remember playing my first chords, learning the pentatonic scale, and figuring out songs from music magazines. Today, I still play Fender, and my main guitar is an American Standard HHS Stratocaster.
I always like the sound of the Strat as it’s got a good twang to it, yet has a growl for rock music, too. The newer models with the HSS configuration are even ideal for hard rock and metal.
The guitar itself is well built, and it’s worth the price that you pay. It’s a cut above many beginner guitars, and it sounds great. Beginners will have a lot of fun with the guitar.
The Squier won’t match the tone of a regular Fender Stratocaster, but it does have a nice sound and is suitable for any beginner. It’s a comfortable guitar and has a decent tone that you’re going to love.
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Review: The Sound
I’m familiar with the Squier Line of guitars because it was my first instrument. I’ve played many of them since then because a lot of my students had Fender Squiers. This guitar has a lot going on in terms of its sound.
The sound of this guitar is quite full and balanced, especially for the price. The humbucking pickup gives the player many more options, especially for rock guitar, which many beginners want to play.
Think of rock gods like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, or Ritchie Blackmore with this guitar. You get the punch required for heavy power chords with that humbucker in the bridge position.
The instrument also has two single coils, so it’s perfect for other styles such as blues, country, and jazz. You have a lot more options compared to regular three single-coil style Stratocasters.
While these pickups don’t match those that you find in a regular Fender Stratocaster, they do sound quite good. If you don’t like the tone, you can always switch out these pickups to something slightly better.
The neck of the Squier Affinity Stratocaster is made from maple. It’s a regular Fender-style neck, but instead of having 22 frets, it has 21. These are medium-jumbo frets that are quite smooth to play.
Most beginner guitar students shouldn’t have any problems playing chords, single-note lines, and solos on the neck. It’s comfortable up and down the fretboard.
My only suggestion is to take your guitar to a guitar shop and have the action set to a reasonable height. Some of these instruments out of the box have an action that’s a bit too high, which needs to be adjusted.
Once the adjustment is done, this guitar will play a lot better and the student won’t struggle with the higher action that a lot of these lower-cost guitars, unfortunately, ship with.
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Warranty
The warranty you get for your Squier Affinity series Stratocaster depends on where you purchase it. Check with the store where you will buy your instrument to determine what the warranty is.
Frequently Asked Questions:
In this Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS review, I’ll address some common questions that you might have about a Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS.
Is the Guitar Worth It?
I have to say that it’s absolutely worth buying a Fender Affinity Squier Stratocaster because it gives you everything that a regular Stratocaster has at a lower price. I never regretted buying mine, and it gave me a good introduction to the iconic Fender Stratocaster.
This guitar will never sound like a regular Fender Strat, but it’s an excellent instrument for any beginner to get used to playing this type of guitar.
As a student, the Affinity Squier will help you develop the skills that you need to play. It’s a great starter guitar and one I highly recommend. The HHS pickup configuration means more options for the player and more fun.
How Can I Improve the Sound?
This guitar has a decent set of pickups, but they’re not going to match those on a regular guitar because it’s a beginning instrument. My suggestion is to change the pickups if you don’t like their sound.
You can take more expensive pickups that have a high output and put them in your Fender Squier. This will give you an excellent tone. I did this with my first Fender Squier, and it improved the sound a great deal.
If you’re going to do this, have a professional do it for you if you don’t understand all the electronics in electric guitars. You don’t want to ruin your instrument by doing something you don’t know how to do.
Also, make sure you have a high-quality cable, such as a braided one, to improve the tone of your new guitar. Don’t use a cheap cord, as they tend to kink up or break quite easily.
What Strings Should I Use?
I suggest you use gauge 009, as these are lighter strings. They won’t be as hard on your fingers as a higher gauge string would be. Beginners will find these more comfortable to play. I use this gauge all the time.
You can always mix and match different gauges until you find one that suits your preferences. You have to experiment a little bit with strings until you find something that works for your own individual style.
Where to Buy the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS
There are several places where you can buy a Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS. Here’s what you need to know before you order this instrument.
Amazon is my preferred location online to purchase musical products. I like the selection of guitars that Amazon has and their customer service and fast shipping times. You can also leave a review on a product that you order.
Sweetwater and Guitar Center are two other locations where you can purchase musical products. They have a great selection, fast shipping, and excellent customer service.
Your Local Store
You may also be able to pick up a Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster at your local music store. Please note that they might not have every model in stock, so you could have a long wait time.
Thank you for reading my Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS review. This is an excellent guitar for any beginner or those with a low budget. It plays a lot like a regular Fender Stratocaster, yet it costs a lot less.
This guitar is a perfect introduction for anyone that wants to get into playing Stratocaster-style guitars. It’s not going to sound quite as good as a regular Strat, but most beginners will have fun with this instrument. I certainly did over the many years I spent playing my beloved Squier.
Please comment, share, and like this article. I look forward to hearing from you about other Fender guitars or guitars in general. Now, pick up your new Fender Squier guitar and start jamming.