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NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:24 pm    Post subject: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

Before posting this thread I've had to mentally prepare myself for being completely roasted by Benecol and BacchusPaul.

Back in January I decided I wanted a "fancy" Telecaster, because my Squier Affinity Tele is the only guitar I've ever kept for longer than a couple of years. Ended up buying a 2005 MIK Fender Lite Ash Tele, and I liked it at first, but eventually realised it just wasn't for me. I was hoping for my Squier but better, and it just... wasn't that. It turns out two of the main reasons I like my Squier are the weird body (Affinity Teles are about 1/4" thinner than other Tele bodies) and the neck, which is basically completely dry and unfinished. I have cheap taste, I guess.

So I've sold the Fender, and I've decided, why not spend all that money on hot-rodding a Squier Affinity?

I wasn't sure about modding my original black one, because ~sentimental value~ (I've had it since 2006!), and also like... it already plays/sounds/feels great to me, so I don't want to risk ruining it. Plus I could do with having two Teles, one for standard tuning, one for special Beige Palace business. Thankfully, last week I spotted a shell pink Affinity for cheap - in fact it actually came from my old local shop from when I lived in Scarborough, which is a happy coincidence. The delivery guy knocked once, and by the time I got to the door he'd left it OUT IN THE OPEN (???) WITH FENDER LOGO VISIBLE ON THE BOX AND EVERYTHING (???) LEANING UP AGAINST THE DOOR SO THE GUITAR FELL INTO ME AS I OPENED IT (???). But thankfully it's fine.

Here it is before I totally modd:



I've already planned out exactly what I want to do with it (you'll have to wait and see, dear reader). Although I'm well aware of my own limitations (completely cackhanded), so a guitar tech friend of mine will be doing most of the work. Hopefully next week, if all the parts arrive.

First impressions, the neck feels GREAT. God damn, I love me some plain, unfinished maple, babey !!! It weighs the same as my other Affinity Tele (3.4kg*), and will probably be even lighter after the mods I have planned. I haven't had chance to play it plugged in yet, although the electronics are gonna be totally gutted anyway, so it doesn't exactly matter. My only bugbear is the fretboard is so, so very dry. These Affinity Teles usually have a maple fretboard, but for the FSR shell pink I guess they decided to change it up a bit? So I think the fretboard is laurel, which from what I've read can be pretty prone to dryness. Gonna have a go at oiling it when I can, and see if that helps.

*I think this is about 7lb 9oz, for those of us who are frightened of the metric system.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

Also inb4 Doog responds with this:

Freddy V-C wrote:
It weighs the same as my other Affinity Tele (3.4kg*), and will probably be even lighter after the mods I have planned.



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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indian laurel just looks dry in general, it isn't really. I noticed that on my CV Mustang. It feels really smooth, kind of like lacquered maple.

They've only been using those fretboards for a couple of years, not enough time to dry.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It feels pretty dry to me. Like, to the point where bending strings is kind of uncomfortable. Should be a fairly easy fix though.

Based on a quick Google search, a few people have had similar experiences with Squier laurel fretboards. But apparently, even without oiling or whatever, after a couple of months of regular playing the issue tends to go away. I guess from all the human grease.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Freddy, it looks great!

I suspect then lightening might involve routes under the pickguard, possibly for a middle pickup and/or buckethead arcade button killswitch?
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
I suspect then lightening might involve routes under the pickguard, possibly for a middle pickup and/or buckethead arcade button killswitch?


Laughing

Damn, you got me.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good one, congrats

"Unfinished maple" is a myth, it's just a satin finish. If you try to scratch it with a screw or a nail you'll find out it's as thick as any gloss finish is. At least a couple of "unfinished necks" I drilled/modded were like that
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benecol
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No roasting from me; I've worked my ways round loops of gear umpteen times (hello, six SGs, why not stick your head in on two Vibrochamps while you're here?) - sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate. Lovely looking tele, think rosewood looks best on a pink tele anyway. Hoping the bridge is one of the things you're changing, but sure Doog and his finely calibrated ear will disagree.
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kingkiller
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sucker for PANK Telecasters, looks great Freddy!!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
It feels pretty dry to me. Like, to the point where bending strings is kind of uncomfortable. Should be a fairly easy fix though.

Based on a quick Google search, a few people have had similar experiences with Squier laurel fretboards. But apparently, even without oiling or whatever, after a couple of months of regular playing the issue tends to go away. I guess from all the human grease.

Could be yours, mine has a glossy neck back, it's a higher end Squier.

Although from how you're describing it, sounds like the tops of the frets aren't smooth.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
Also inb4 Doog responds with this:

Freddy V-C wrote:
It weighs the same as my other Affinity Tele (3.4kg*), and will probably be even lighter after the mods I have planned.




Laughing Laughing Laughing

benecol wrote:
Hoping the bridge is one of the things you're changing, but sure Doog and his finely calibrated ear will disagree.

Alright, Seymour Dunkin’; save some sass for the rest of us
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Seymour Dunkin’


YASSS
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. I agree with Benecol - its great that you know what you like and that the bridge should go - get an ashtray.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
benecol wrote:
Hoping the bridge is one of the things you're changing, but sure Doog and his finely calibrated ear will disagree.

Alright, Seymour Dunkin’; save some sass for the rest of us


I was jonesing to go to the pub, and trying to remember the word compliance to jibe at you with, but couldn't remember it. Compliance. May write it on a post-it.
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a far, far, far cooler guitar than the one you just sold. I'd be cautious about dumping all the fender money into moddds though, as you won't get it back on the other hand if it results in the cool pink tele of your dreams why not?

The fingerboard on my harley benton tele is either laurel or baked maple and it so tightly grained that it doesn't look like it was really absorbing lemon oil when I applied it. Is yours like that?
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Doog
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: NGD: (another) Squier Affinity Telecaster Reply with quote

benecol wrote:
Doog wrote:
benecol wrote:
Hoping the bridge is one of the things you're changing, but sure Doog and his finely calibrated ear will disagree.

Alright, Seymour Dunkin’; save some sass for the rest of us


I was jonesing to go to the pub, and trying to remember the word compliance to jibe at you with, but couldn't remember it. Compliance. May write it on a post-it.


I knew what you were getting at Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks so good in shell pink. For sure a bridge with 3 compensated brass saddles will drop you off right in the centre of coolsville.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m truly disgusted.




Just kidding, there’s nothing worst than an uninspiring guitar.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks! All the bits and pieces arrived quicker than I expected, so I'm taking this to my pal's workshop tomorrow. Exciting!

sunshiner wrote:
"Unfinished maple" is a myth, it's just a satin finish. If you try to scratch it with a screw or a nail you'll find out it's as thick as any gloss finish is. At least a couple of "unfinished necks" I drilled/modded were like that


Well, yes. But these Affinity Teles seem to be especially satin-y. It really does feel like bare wood, but I understand it isn't quite (and I understand that I'd probably get a lot of splinters in my hand if it was literally bare wood).

benecol wrote:
No roasting from me; I've worked my ways round loops of gear umpteen times (hello, six SGs, why not stick your head in on two Vibrochamps while you're here?) - sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate. Lovely looking tele, think rosewood looks best on a pink tele anyway. Hoping the bridge is one of the things you're changing, but sure Doog and his finely calibrated ear will disagree.


Thank you for your mercy. I am upgrading the bridge, although I'm afraid it will still be 6-saddle. Sorry nerds.

Fakir Mustache wrote:
Although from how you're describing it, sounds like the tops of the frets aren't smooth.


I did wonder about that. Will have a look when I change the strings.

Bacchus wrote:
The fingerboard on my harley benton tele is either laurel or baked maple and it so tightly grained that it doesn't look like it was really absorbing lemon oil when I applied it. Is yours like that?


I hope not, although I suppose I'll find out soon!
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went to get this off my mate today, and then had a band practice this evening. I love it.



We've gotten rid of the neck pickup and replaced the bridge pickup with a Bareknuckle Brute Force. Replaced the stock control plate with a single volume. Replaced the tuners with white button Klusons. The pickguard is just one I had lying around (I was intending to put it on my other Tele but changed my mind) so the neck pickup hole is taped up currently, but I love the shell pink/blue pearl combo, so I'm intending to get a custom cut blue pearl Esquire pickguard. We were also intending to upgrade the saddles, but the ones I bought turned out to be slightly too wide for the bridge plate. Might replace the whole bridge at some point, but that's a whole extra headache because the Affinity Teles are toploading rather than string-through.

There's a little bit of ground buzz which Joe (techy pal) couldn't seem to get rid of. I probably wouldn't have even noticed if he hadn't pointed it out, and in a full band context you literally can't hear it at all. When I get a proper Esquire guard we're probably gonna add some extra shielding inside, and see if that helps. He also did the work for extremely cheap by way of apology because he noticed a hairline crack in the headstock and he thinks it was his fault (I can't remember if it was there before, I also don't really care - I feel a lot happier when my guitars already have cracks/dings/scratches because then I feel less guilty about making more).

The fretboard has been oiled (apparently it took A LOT) and now it's much more comfortable to play, no more weird resistance with string bends. At practice tonight it pretty much physically felt like I was playing my black Tele, it just sounded different, which is exactly what I wanted. The logic behind the super high output pickup is that I want to be able to use the exact same rig for Thank and Beige Palace, but Thank needs more gain, so it made sense to install something that would push everything a little harder.

Here it is with the rest of the gang:


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