Squier Bullet vs Affinity vs Standard Stratocasters (2017)

I’m making this post for my own benefit as much as for anyone else.  I get confused over which is which in the model line up. Some brands try to make it easier – one day I WILL decode the Pacifica numbering – but with names it’s less easy. Especially when they are so close in price that a variance between shops can put a lesser model at the same price as a higher one.

It actually turns out that there’s six models in the current Squier Stratocaster range. Starting from low to high we have Bullet, Affinity, Standard, Classic Vibe, Deluxe and Vintage Modified.  With such a tight price range (which I assume runs up to the low end Fender Strat models) the changes must be incremental.

Starting with the Bullet as an entry level model, currently retailing at a ludicrously affordable £120 available in three colours with either an HSS (humbucker-single-single) or SSS (single-single-single) pickup configuration.

After this comes the Affinity series, at £195. This is the first of the ranges to offer a left handed model and also comes with the HSS and SSS configurations. The HSS available in 4 colours and the SSS in 7.

Rocking up at £265 we have the Standard Stratocaster, again with a left handed model.  HSS is only available in black and chrome and appears to be a special order. Even more special is an FMT version with a flame maple top, going by the pictures it isn’t bookended and hardly worth the extra £45 it seems to demand. But who am I to tell you how to spend?

The Vintage modified range is next which will set you back £310 or £335 for the 70’s version. This range offers two colours at all configurations and comes with an upgrade to the pickups which are apparently “Duncan designed”. Seymore Duncan I assume, not Peter Duncan.  The extra money for the 70’s version seems to have gone into a maple fingerboard.  No left hander available there, in the 70’s everyone was right handed.

The vintage models and up see the start of basswood rather than agathis body wood which is better because it has bass in the name. FACT.

We’re almost there, it’s time to go Deluxe.  Two variants here, both at £350, one with hot rails pickups and a rosewood fingerboard the other coming in two understated colours and more standard single coil pickups.  Beyond the colours and more modern looking knobs, I’m not sure what the Deluxe model brings you over the Vintage range.  That might be worth the extra £40

The final series, Classic Vibe, sees the biggest price hike. This range will cost you another £90. We do see the return of a left handed model here, in both variants. Variants you say? Yes. For these models we appear to be visiting the 50’s and 60’s.  All the models are just available in SSS, as is fitting of the time. Both generations give us the standard sunburst, 3 band in the 60’s with a brown pick guard. The 50’s have a lovely retro-futuristic Sherwood Green Metallic colour.  That alone can’t cost a tonne, what else is there?  Custom Vintage-Style pickups apparently.

I tediously put this table together, which might help matters.

Model RRP Variant Body Wood Fretboard Frets Tuners Finish Pickups Tremelo
Bullet £120 HSS Basswood Rosewood 21 Standard Polyurethane Standard 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Bullet £120 SSS Basswood Rosewood 21 Standard Polyurethane Standard 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Affinity £195 HSS Alder Rosewood 21 Standard Polyurethane Standard 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Affinity £195 SSS Alder Rosewood 21 Standard Polyurethane Standard 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Standard £265 HSS Agathis Rosewood 22 Standard Polyurethane Standard 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles
Standard £265 SSS Agathis Rosewood 22 Standard Polyurethane Standard 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles
Vintage Modified £310 HSS Basswood Rosewood 21 Standard Gloss Polyester Seymour Duncan HB-102B, SC-101, SC-101N 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Vintage Modified £310 SSS Basswood Rosewood 21 Standard Gloss Polyester Seymour Duncan SC-101B, SC-101, SC-101N 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Vintage Modified £335 70’s SSS Basswood Maple 21 Vintage Gloss Polyester Seymour Duncan SC-101B, SC-101, SC-101N 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Deluxe £350 Hot Rails SSS Basswood Rosewood 22 Vintage Polyester Seymour Duncan HR-101 Hot Rails 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles
Deluxe £350 SSS Basswood Maple 22 Standard Polyurethane Seymour Duncan SC-101B, SC-101, SC-101N 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles
Classic Vibe £440 60’s SSS Alder Rosewood 21 Vintage Gloss Polyester Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coils 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Classic Vibe £440 50’s SSS Alder Maple 21 Vintage Gloss Polyester Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coils 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo

 

 

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