Affinity Stratocaster HSS is virtually the same as the regular Affinity Strat. The only major difference is found in the electronics department. HSS has a humbucker in the bridge position, instead of a single coil pickup. This adds more juice and gives a stronger tone. It`s made for all the players who like it a bit rougher, but still do not want to give up Strat`s clarity, definition and playability. Standard set of knobs and switches guarantees the authentic Strat experience. Bridge section on this model is equipped with a standard two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with string-through construction and chrome-plated hardware. Regular alder body is solid, double-cut and flat on top. Bolt-on maple neck has C contour in the back. 21-fret fingerboards come in rosewood and maple options.
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I'm writing about my black Strat with 21 frets, H/S/S pickup configuration, master volume, tone knobs for the single coils, and a standard Fender whammy bar. The first thing I should mention is the neck pickup, which is beautiful. Crystal clear and smooth, it works fantastic for clean or slightly overdriven tones a la the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just don't use it highly distorted, as it tends to go quite muddy. The middle pickup honestly seems unnecessary except when used in combination with the neck one, as it essentially provides a less vocal version of it's higher twin. The humbucker in the bridge sounds decent clean, but like most bridge pickups it sounds best when you feel like cranking your amp and rocking hard. No complaints there. Sadly, I can't say the same thing about this guitar's whammy bar. Someone I know, a more experienced player, once came and tried this guitar for the first tome. Initially impressed, as soon as he tried the bar he thought it would break the guitar. It takes a RIDICULOUS amount of effort to push the bar down, even when I removed a spring, and the range is very bad. The worst part, though, is it's poor tuning stability. Checking out a Youtube channel called FruduaTV, I found some techniques to improve but not eliminate this problem. But it still gets worse. The bar only returns to perfect zero if you pull up on it after a divebomb. One time I did the and the arm snapped off! This was the last straw, and I'm currently awaiting the delivery of a new guitar, one with a proper trem. Bottom line: If you aren't a whammy user, I'll rate it an 8. If you want a whammy, I'd call this a 6 for you. I'll split the difference and give it a 7. Apart from the inexcusable whammy bar, this is actually quite a well built guitar. Squier has one of the best reputations in the industry for beginner guitars, and the great fret job, stable tuning(as long as you keep your hand off that bar), and nice pickups live up to that standard. Two minor issues: The 5-way pickup selector is a little noisy when changing to a single coil, and the factory action was a little higher than I like. The first issue is quite minor, and the second was very easy to fix due to Fender's great bridge design. I'd personally be embarassed to be seen with this on stage just because of Squier's "beginner" vibe, but it would definitely survive a hard gig, if you actually are a beginner who wants to perform in front of an audience. 9 picks for great quality :) For the money, this is a great buy. A beginner can afford to get humbucker and single coil sounds, a whammy, and some fine playability. Would I buy another if it was lost? No, because I'm no longer a beginner and now wnat a little more "class" on my guitar than a low budget name like Squier. Still though, if you're looking for your first electric, or even a good backup guitar for gigs, you'll find it here. It's a great guitar for it's price. Look, this isn't the most high end electric out there, and you're not gonna see rock stars playing them onstage. But this guitar is designed for a different market, and hits it's intended performance perfectly. I would rate it a 9 if it weren't for the horrendous whammy, which I hate with a passion, so it gets an 8. Seriously, check out FruduaTV if you own one of these, he's a very smart guy who can save you a lot of screaming over the stupid trem. And if you want to play anything from the Chili Peppers to Black Sabbath to AC/DC, but don't want to sell your car to do it, give this a shot.
I've owned the Squier Affinity Strat for about two years. The guitar still looks great. The feel is what got me. The guitar has a nice feel to it. Feels a lot like the American Strat. I've upgraded the pickups withing the past two months with EMG DG-20 (David Gilmour Pickups) and pick guard. Now it sounds and feels like an actual Fender Strat. I would recommend this guitar to any beginner looking for a guitar with a nice feel and great playability. You will not get a better guitar for the price. I think Fender makes the best guitars in the world. I'm in the process of buying the Fender Roadhouse Deluxe Strat, but I will keep my Squier Strat for a very very long time.
Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster HSS 3.85 out of 5 based on 83 ratings
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