Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster Beginner Electric Guitar Review

The Fender Telecaster has always had a distinctive sound, and as a beginner guitarist, I wished I could afford one. Had I been aware that Squier offered a beginner model, I could've started working with that distinctive Tele sound years earlier than I actually did. If you, like me, have the problem of loving the Telecaster sound but not being able to afford a true Telecaster (or if you feel you aren't a good enough player to justify spending money on a genuine Fender Telecaster), you may find that the Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster beginner electric guitar is a good choice for you.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Beginner Electric Guitar

For many beginners, the central question in buying a guitar revolves around the balance of quality and price. After all, if you're a beginner, you don't want to shell out thousands on a guitar just to find that you don't want to keep playing. But you also don't want to go so cheap that the guitar you get is virtually unplayable.

The ideal customer for a beginner guitar like this one is someone who is just beginning playing. If you know you'll be playing guitar for the long haul, it may be wise to put away your money and save it for a more expensive, more versatile guitar. However, if you're new to playing, or even if you're someone who just wants to try out an affordable version of the signature Telecaster sound, this guitar may be a good buy.

The Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster

This bestselling beginner version of Fender's classic Telecaster echoes back to the 1950's vintage sound Telecasters are famous for. While it is an affordable choice for the beginner, its two single-coil pickups and fast c-shaped neck make it a highly playable instrument for those looking to get into playing the electric guitar. While it is ideal for beginners, more seasoned players may prefer the higher-quality sound of a genuine Fender Telecaster.

  • Comes in configurations and finishes similar to those of the genuine Telecaster
  • While it's affordable, it still benefits from Fender engineering
  • Quality sound for the price
  • Manufacturer does not disclose the type of wood used for the body
  • Pickups are not as high-quality as those used in higher-end models
  • Some users have noted that this model has sound issues

Features and Benefits

Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster

Now that I've gone into the basics, I'll detail some of the features and benefits of the Affinity Telecaster.

Construction Materials

Generally speaking, it's hard to find information on the materials Fender uses for its Squier models and other entry-level guitars. While the manufacturer notes that this model has a maple fretboard and neck, it does not detail the type of wood used to make the body. It does, however, note that the body is made of solid wood. While this generally means the body is made of a lower-quality wood, this may not necessarily be an issue for the beginner who is just looking to start playing the electric guitar.

Electronics

Like all telecaster models, this one has two single-coil pickups. Single coils are known for having a bit of a bright sound compared to humbucker pickups, and Telecasters in particular are famous for being used on country songs, although the are surprisingly versatile guitars. The single-coil pickups are placed in the configuration that's become Telecaster tradition, so while they may not be as high-end or quiet as those in a genuine Telecaster, they are generally enough to give newer players a sense of what playing a Telecaster is like.

Playability

The Affinity Telecaster offers a six-saddle bridge, which offers slinkier action when playing. You can also adjust each individual saddle for your preferred intonation. When playing this guitar, I notice that the neck is incredibly fast, which is important for quick chord changes. Some users have noted that they needed to file down the edges of the frets a bit.

​Rating

Design

4

Performance

4

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Squier by Fender Standard Telecaster

Squier by Fender Standard Telecaster

While this guitar is still made by Fender's budget brand, it is a bit of s step up in terms of construction and electronics. The Standard Telecaster has a slightly thicker body and features Alnico pickups (as opposed to the unbranded ones on the Affinity model) for superior sound. Although it is a bit more expensive than the Affinity, those looking for something closer to a genuine Fender Telecaster may want to check it out!

Comparison

Squier Standard Telecaster

Price: $249.99

Construction: Agathis body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: two Alnico single-coil pickups

Squier Affinity Telecaster

Price: $199.99

Construction: Alder body, maple fretboard and neck

Electronics: two Tele-style single-coil pickups

Squier Affinity Stratoscaster

Squier Affinity Stratoscaster

This beginner electric guitar is Fender's budget-friendly version of the ever-popular Stratocaster. It is constructed of alder like the Telecaster, but the main difference is its three single-coil pickups that produce the classic Stratocaster sound.

Comparison

Squier Affinity Stratocaster

Price: $199.99

Construction: Alder body, maple fretboard and neck

Electronics: three single-coil pickups

Squier Affinity Telecaster

Price: $199.99

Construction: Alder body, maple fretboard and neck

Electronics: two Tele-style single-coil pickups

Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS

Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS

This guitar provides a versatile pickup profile. Unlike the typical stratocaster configuration, which involves three single-coil pickups, this model features two single-coil pickups and a humbucker pickup (hence the HSS in the name). The Stratocaster HSS is a good choice for those who would like the option to choose between the rounder, warmer sound of the humbucker pickup and the brighter single-coil sound.

Comparison

Squier Affinity Stratocaster

Price: $199.99

Construction: body wood not specified, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: two single-coil pickups and a humbucker pickup

Squier Affinity Telecaster

Price: $199.99

Construction: Alder body, maple fretboard and neck

Electronics: two Tele-style single-coil pickups

​Final Thought

In conclusion, if you are faced with the problem of finding a highly-playable beginner guitar despite being on a budget, the Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster electric guitar offers quality engineering and great playability at a very reasonable price. This guitar is affordable enough for most beginners, but it is playable enough that even a talented player can appreciate it. For additional inspiration, make sure to check out our electric guitar guide.

Stephanie Su
 

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