Apart from the easy playability, triple single-coil pickups, and vintage-style Tremolo bridge, the biggest attraction of this combo pack is that it gives you EVERYTHING that you possibly need to get started as a budding musician. So you can basically check everything off your to-do list in one go- a high-quality gig bag, a guitar strap, a 10W-10G amplifier with a high-quality cable, picks, electronic tuners, and of course an instructional DVD.
All the more, the high-quality bolt-on maple neck warrants easy to repair or replace in the long run. Irrespective of where your musical preferences lie between the extremes of country and rock, or even the blues and various other funk styles, this one is sure to allure you!
- Pack includes guitar, amp, tuner, instructional DVD, gig...
- Body Shape: Stratocaster
- Neck Material: Maple
Review and Experience
Before I get into the details of my review and experience of the Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack, I’d like to give you a little heads-up regarding the manufacturer Fender, a very reputed instruments manufacturer that has been in this business since 1946! Now Squier was another company that manufactured strings exclusively and was taken over by Fender around 1965. With the advent of globalization from the 1980s onwards, Fender has re-created and customized ‘Brand Squier’ to tap into the huge market of ‘beginner musicians’.
Now, if you ask me which model is better for a novice- Stratocaster or Les Paul, I would say that each one has its own characteristic qualities, pros, and cons. So it would be more about discovering your aptitude as a musician, rather than some expert telling you which is better.
OK, so given the fact that these Stratocaster Starter Kits from Fender have been selling like hotcakes, it was imperative that I placed an order to review it right away. Delivery-promptness and packaging-wise, Amazon has never ceased to amaze me. As I unpacked the beauty, I realized how delightfully light and slender it was, just perfect for pre-teens and teens to get started with their guitar lessons without needing to tug at something terribly heavy. The brown sunburst model with its glossy, contoured body looks really classy and it takes just a couple of minutes to do the entire set-up with the amplifier, cable and auxiliary input jack.
Then, of course, you have the single-coil pickups situated on the neck, mid-zone, and bridge. One great thing is that despite the 25.5” string length and the higher string tension as compared to its Les Paul counterpart, the playability and comfort levels are absolutely marvelous. A lot of the credit goes to the asymmetric cutaways' body, which widens your reach toward the higher notes. As opposed to the thick, deep sound of a Les Paul, the bright, crisp tone of this Stratocaster makes it perfect for country numbers, blues, and even funk and surf. Yes, I agree with the buzz factor that’s innate to single pickups but it is not as distracting as is usually perceived.
Now moving over to the construction part, the bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fingerboard are pretty standard, as you might find in any other similarly priced model. However, the wood used for the body seems to be locally procured hardwood from China (or someplace in Asia); now a novice might not be able to notice much of a difference but my expert eye caught it immediately. Also, the chrome tuners and skirted control knobs do not boast of the kind of superior finishing that higher-priced electric guitars offer.
Having said that, these are very fine details and do not make a big impact. The overall design, playability, and maintenance of this Stratocaster electric guitar by Fender is definitely A+. The presence of a Tremolo Bridge, no doubt makes it easier and faster for you to tune your guitar as compared to a Tune-o-Matic (provided you learn it from an expert first).
As I end this section, I’d like to be fair and give you the complete picture. The Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack is very specifically for absolute beginners who are starting from ground zero. If you have been taking guitar lessons for a while already, you might not find this model meeting up to your needs. Also, the affordability goes hand in hand with the wood and metal used. So it’s naïve to expect something more than the basics!
- Highly competitive pricing of this all-in-one starter kit makes it an attractive purchase option for absolute beginners to get started
- Long Scale Length of 25.5” offers greater space between frets, higher string tension, and spunky, chiming tones
- Both Guitar and Amplifier boats of simple, compact design, lightweight construction, and excellent portability
- Attractive, fun to play and easy to learn with simple controls for volume, treble, and bass
- Ideal for working up crisp tones as well robust distortions; separate auxiliary input jack gives scope for connecting CD, tape or drum machine
- Basic but attractive-looking Stratocaster Model with an impressive range of accessories; makes it ideal for gifting
- Very basic guitar primarily targeted for beginners; not the best electric guitar for intermediary or expert players
- Mass-Produced in Asia, thereby lacks manufacturing precision of Made-in-America Guitars
- Single Coil Pickups may be prone to humming or electrical interference noise and the likes
- If you are not experienced with using the Tremolo Bridge, you might risk getting your guitar out of tune
- Sturdy Hardwood Construction (Body) with smooth 21-Fret Rosewood Fretboard
- Signature Stratocaster Maple Neck with 6 strings and 25.5” Scale Length
- Additional Accessories include 10 Watts, 10G Fender Frontman Amplifier, Electronic Tuner, Gig Bag, Guitar Strap, Cable, Picks and Instructional DVD
- 3 Single Coil Pickups with 5 way toggle switch for crisp tones along with separate Headphones Jack and Auxiliary Input Jack
- Vintage Fulcrum Tremolo Bridge with comfortable chrome tuners and skirted control knobs for ease of tuning
- Increased Bass Response with a closed-back body and Fender Special 6” Design Speaker
What can be possibly bad about an all-encompassing electric guitar starter kit from a reputed brand such as Fender? The Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack is a safe way to take baby steps into the world of musical creativity, just enough to know if you want to go all the way. Especially for those who are wary to spend too much at the beginning (or even small bands on a budget), this is the ideal purchase to test the waters. Honestly, my job is to try and give you the best advice possible, which is “Play your heart out till you acquire intermediary skills and then upgrade to a more advanced instrument!”