Although we love the Squier Classic Vibe series here at GvG for their impeccable value, Squier's roots are firmly in the budget market and guitars tailored for beginners.
The Squier Standard range has been the first stop on many a guitarist's journey. However, for those starting out, unsure of their ability, and unwilling to meet the initial outlay, Squier's Affinity range offers a slightly cheaper route into guitar ownership.
|Model||Squier Standard Tele||Squier Affinity Tele|
/ 4 kg
lbs / 2.9 kg
|Tuners||Standard Die Cast|
|Nut Material||Synthetic Bone|
|Fingerboard||Rosewood||Rosewood or Maple|
|Inlays||Pearloid Dot||Black Dot (Maple)
Pearloid Dot (Rosewood)
|Pickups||Standard Single-Coil Tele
Alnico Magnet Single-Coil
|Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele x2|
Strings-Through-Body Tele with Block Saddles
||6-Saddle Top-Load Tele
|Squier Standard Tele||Squier Affinity Tele|
The main difference between the two models is the thickness of both the body and neck.
The Affinity range as a whole are built with a noticeably thinner body and slightly thinner neck. This makes the Affinity a good couple of pounds lighter and ideal for beginners with smaller hands/fingers. But as you get better and perhaps start to experiment with upgrades, these dimensions make upgrading more difficult.
If aesthetics are a factor, Squier offer the Affinity in a very tasty butterscotch blonde, unfortunately not an option on the Standard.
Let's face it, if you're buying your first guitar, then chances are you want it to look good and stand out. Again, this is subjective but even its harshest critics would be hard pushed to challenge that for a budget guitar feature - the Butterscotch Blonde Affinity model is one of the more striking models in all of Squier's ranges.
Squier only offer the Standard with a rosewood fretboard (vs a choice of maple or rosewood with the Affinity). The Standard also has a non-traditional agathis body vs the more typical alder body on the Affinity.
While many (rightly) consider agathis inferior to maple, the quality of the maple on the Affinity is significantly lower than that of its Fender counterparts, so the comparison in terms of quality is not as clear cut.
At the bridge, for your extra $50 on the Standard model, you get a "proper" 6 saddle strings-through body bridge as opposed to a more basic top-loader bridge. This gives the Standard a tad more sustain.
The vintage-style pickups on the Affinity, along with its maple neck and thinner, lighter body, contribute to a slightly sharper, snappier attack than the Standard.
Take a listen to the demos in the Sound section above. The range and resonance of the Affinity is pretty much on par with its bigger brother in our opinion.
Our verdict is usually framed by what users around the web say. Our algorithm has both models tied at a score of 85.
We'd normally say, therefore, as the Affinity is cheaper, you would be receiving better value for overall user satisfaction and recommend the Affinity.
However, in this instance, we feel the extra $50 outlay for the Standard is probably worth it. Not necessarily for the extra kit you get for it, but for the ease of upgrading (e.g. better pickups) at a later stage.
A slight caveat to that is that if you really like the Butterscotch Blonde colour, then we feel you will get a great sounding guitar from one of the cheaper models on the market.
If you are buying your first guitar though, back yourself and buy the Standard model. As you get better and begin to explore upgrades, you'll appreciate the benefit.