Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
#3065719 10/11/20 05:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,199
Likes: 1
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,199
Likes: 1
A while back I got a bass for a low price, mainly because of the price, but it played and sounded good too. Pawn shop find, wth. Cheap? Good enough.
When new, it was sold as a low-level instrument in a large line ranging from ones like this to models going for several thousands of dollars.

...yes, my recent acquisition is a Squier Affinity P Bass (PJ) that absolutely exploded my expectations for a "cheap" bass.

I have scoffed, as have others, at the Affinity line as being where Fender sends its scraps, but the recent Squiers I've seen look pretty good imo. I have played and seen a few that were, again, surprisingly good.

I would not have even looked at it, as I have more than enough basses atm (and some of the usual disdain for the lowly Affinity line), but the price was too insanely ridiculously low to pass up. This one is dated from December 2017 and looked and felt as new (still had the plastic on the pickguard), hence the review.


Paint is well applied with no uneven spots. The hardware looks less expensive than the brand name stuff, but all functions smoothly and effectively. The neck has kind of a satin matte finish that feels nice.
The body is Alder, according to Fender, and the bass weighs 8lbs 6ozs and balances fine.


It is regarded as basic and disposable by many, and as a worthy upgrade platform by others. They may both be right, based on past history.
That said, I found this one to be surprisingly good. It sounds good and plays well, it's light, well balanced, and looks good. It sets up easily and stays in tune.

The "bad"- The hardware does, as noted, look like cheap metal cheaply chromed, and the pickguard seems to be made of the world's most easily scratched material... and that's really about it.

The fingerboard is Indian Laurel, and I like it. I have noticed some wear from string bending already... we'll see how that goes.

imo It's a real upgrade from previous models, and I would guess it's fall down from the Classic Vibe and other improved Squier offerings.


Mine is a fun bass I would have no issues about taking to a gig (if that's a thing again), and everything is pretty easily replaced if there's any issues... and, did I mention I got it for an absurdly low price? grin


tl,dr- It is not the best at any one thing, but it is so very good in so many areas that it kind of begs belief... that an instrument this capable could be sold so cheaply is really impressive. If one wanted, it's also be an able mod platform, as all the main parts are solid. Don't sleep on it because it's an Affinity. It's just good.


I need to edit some pics... Stand by-





(I have no affiliation with Squier or FMIC)



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




BP Island
Re: About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
wraub #3065754 10/12/20 12:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,876
Likes: 232
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,876
Likes: 232
I've bought and sold a pretty good sized pile of Squier stuff over the years. I don't keep any of it because I don't need it but I had a metallic blue Squier Jazz Bass I do wish I'd kept.

I would have been in Heaven when I was a kid if the cheap guitars were anywhere near as good as they are now.
It was just a matter of time but Hartley Peavey was the first to sell factory CNC'd guitars, that was a major step to bringing the prices down and the precision build up.

What I like about the Squiers the most is that they can be retrofitted with Fender or Fender fitted aftermarket parts. That isn't true with all brands and it opens up a lot of possibilities.

Here's something I've done 3 or 4 times now - a customer needs a setup on their Squier and I discuss with them the idea of replacing the guitar one part at a time. Eventually you get the body (usually the last piece) and now you can put the Squier back together and keep/sell/give it away. Over time without using a credit card you've got a custom spec instrument with the features and quality you want but you didn't have to pay for it all at once.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
1 member likes this: Paul K
Re: About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
wraub #3065799 10/12/20 01:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 89
Likes: 6
P
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
P
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 89
Likes: 6
I bought a gently used Squier Jazz for $160 and upgraded the pickups for about $80. At the time I was taking lessons from a well known local bassist. I brought it to a lesson and after a few minutes he commented that it sounded better than his 1960's Fender Jazz bass that was worth thousands.

I sold it a few years ago to a drummer friend who wanted an inexpensive bass that people could use jamming at his place.

Re: About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
wraub #3065841 10/12/20 07:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 5,190
Likes: 4
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 5,190
Likes: 4
I'm always torn by this topic. I have 3 Roscoe basses made for me. I love them. They play themselves, like butter, all the cliches. Could I "get by" with a lesser bass? Sure. Would they sound like my Roscoes? Maybe close enough for most. I used to think I didn't deserve basses like this, but I've gotten over that. I enjoy each of them. I also have a G&L Tribute JB-2. It's a really nice bass - for the price. The maple board even has a grain to it. It's a little heavy, but no more than many jazz basses. I did put new Hipshot Ultralite tuners on for better intonation and some weight reduction. The finish is beautiful. If it had to be my only bass I'd certainly be able to gig.

I wish that "cheap" basses were as good back when I was younger as they are ow. A beginner can get a really decent bass for just a couple hundred dollars. My first "cheap" bass was maybe $500 or more. A Hondo. It wasn't that great.

Re: About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
wraub #3065883 10/13/20 01:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,876
Likes: 232
MP Hall of Fame Member
Online Content
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,876
Likes: 232
There's nothing wrong with having great instruments regardless of price.

And no, most of the under $300 basses are not as nice to play or hear as the $3,000 ones.
The "Is the $3,000 bass 10 times better than the $300 bass?" question is pointless and impossible to quantify.

James Jamerson loved old strings, high action and played with his thumb. Carol Kaye put a piece of felt over her strings down near the bridge and played really hard with a pick.

Pretty hard to argue with either of them. Play what you like the way you like to play it. Your bass, your music.

One of my basses is a mid Eighties Peavey Fury - the small pointy logo on the front of the headstock and "Handcrafted in the USA" on the back. I bought it cheap, intending to fix it up and sell it. It was filthy and needed a set up badly. When I got it up and running I fell in love with the way the neck feels, slimmer than a Jazz bass and just easy to play. So I decided to keep it, put the big cast Schallers on the headstock (better tone and better tuners - the bass is nice and light) and a set of EMG PA (alnico) pickups and now it is a too much fun so I keep it. Yeah, it's a cheap POS. I like it anyway.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: About "Cheap"... An Affinity Story
wraub #3066322 10/16/20 06:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,050
Likes: 1
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,050
Likes: 1
Play what you like, like what you play. That's my motto.


"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4