Fender Affinity Telecaster Review | Good for Beginners?
Popularized by Fender and made affordable by Squier, the Affinity Telecaster is an excellent option for any beginner guitarist looking for a new electric guitar. In this Affinity Telecaster review, I want to dive into exactly what makes this guitar good and what you’ll be giving up for such a good price.
As I mentioned in my earlier Affinity Stratocaster review, the Squier family of electric guitars was bought by Fender in 1965. By producing the Affinity series of guitars in Asia and using more efficient materials, Squier has managed to make the Fender Telecaster – one of Fender’s most popular models – affordable for most anybody interested in buying a new beginner guitar.
Squier Affinity Telecaster Review
The Affinity Telecaster, like the Strat, is made with an Alder body and a maple neck. One of the few differences in materials between the two is the use of maple for the fretboard on the Telecaster instead of rosewood.
The Affinity Telecaster is equipped with two vintage-style single coil pickups that are located at the neck and near the bridge as well as a three way selector switch. All of this is controlled by two knobs for volume and tone.
Overall it is a very simple, very sturdy setup for an electric guitar that has proven effective and long-lasting for many guitarists.
Affinity Telecaster Review: Sound
In my opinion, the Telecaster is a finesse guitar. It’s not meant to play heavy metal or hard rock. For this reason, when I hear people complain to me about buzz on the Tele I’m not shocked when I learn that they were beating the hell out of it.
It’s also not fair to review the sound of the Squier Affinity Telecaster when run through the cheap amp that comes with the starter pack. When playing it through a quality sound system the Tele responds well with a crisp, bright sound that it is known for.
That said, how the Affinity Telecaster comes setup has not impressed me. The action is unpredictable which can be one reason why some people hear a buzz. The natural tone of the guitar isn’t incredible. Most people, however, will be sending the signal through so many pedals and amps that they won’t know the difference.
Affinity Telecaster Review: Hardware
The knobs and switch that came with the guitar were quite cheap and I’ve heard others complain that they were all loose. It’s disappointing but not at all a surprise considering the price of the guitar.
The pickups are also of a lower quality but, as far as a beginner is concerned, they get the job done.
One of the best parts about the Affinity Telecaster, however, is that you can correct all of this. We call this a guitar mod.
Modifying the Affinity Telecaster
What many people, including myself, love about the Squier Affinity Telecaster is that it’s a great guitar to modify. Just Google “Affinity Telecaster Mod” and you’ll see all sorts of articles and forums where people talk about how they modified their guitar.
What exactly do they do? Most of it has to do with the hardware and electronics. I replaced the single-coil pickups as well as the knobs and switch. The nut also needed some work on my Tele so I fixed that up as well.
The best part is that the mods are usually quite cheap in comparison to buying a higher-end guitar. Because of this, a lot of people opt to buy the Affinity Telecaster for the sole purposes of modifying it.
Summing Up Affinity Telecaster Review
I hope this Affinity Telecaster review has given you a better idea of what to expect with this guitar. All in all, Fender produced a sturdy body and neck.
The hardware and electronics will work for most any beginner guitarist. But, you probably won’t want to bring it on stage without modifying the guitar. Thankfully, new hardware and pickups won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Oh, and one last thing – I think you’ll really enjoy the different color options available on the Telecaster. Fender produces everything from “Lake Placid Blue” to “Sunburst” to “Butterscotch Blonde“…and they’re all beautiful.
In conclusion, I give this electric guitar a 4 out of 5 stars for a beginner guitar. You will want to either upgrade or modify eventually. Be prepared!