Squier Affinity Strat Pack Review

Squier Affinity Strat Pack Review

As I have mentioned in many other reviews, the best way to get started with the electric guitar is to buy a beginner package that has everything you need to get started and the Squier Affinity Strat Pack is one such package. All the top manufacturers offer numerous beginner packages that pair their guitars with the peripherals that you need. This package by Squier — a brand made by Fender — combines one of their less expensive strats with a bunch of nice extras. The guitar in this package is the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster and it is a pretty good cheap electric guitar. It has 3 single coil pickups, which gives you plenty of different tonal options. It has the classic stratocaster look, a whammy bar, and features a solid agathis body with a bolt-on maple neck that has a 21-fret rosewood fingerboard. Like almost every Fender/Squier guitar that I’ve tested, the build quality on this was very good and I really had no complaints about it. The guitar is a solid guitar through-and-through, but it is not something that is going to knock you off your feet and wow you. You’re not going to be disappointed with the sound, look, quality, or durability of the guitar, but you aren’t going to be blown away.

The rest of the package, however, is absolutely amazing. The most amazing thing about this package is definitely the amp. You’re getting a 15-watt Fender Frontman amp. This is probably the best amp that you are going to get in any starter package offered by any manufacturer. Not only are 15-watt amps uncommon in beginner guitar packages, but you are getting a top-notch 15-watt amp as opposed to a mediocre one. Long after you upgrade to a better guitar, you will still be using this amp. The rest of the package includes the standard cable, instructional dvd, digital tuner, guitar strap, headphones, and, of course, a gig bag in which to carry your guitar.

Squier Affinity Special Strat Pack Verdict

The guitar in this package is a good, solid electric guitar that is a solid B+ across the board. It isn’t spectacular in any one area, but it doesn’t really have any drawbacks either. The amp in this package, however, is hands down the best amp you’re going to find in any guitar package offered by anyone and everything else is better than most. For $250, you are getting a lot of value for your money, and the Stratocaster is a classic guitar that anyone will love. You can’t go wrong with this.

Buy The Squier Affinity Special Strat Guitar Pack

Guitar Center: Buy for $249
Amazon: Buy For $249

Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Buy The Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Fender SE Special Strat Starter Pack
Guitar Center:Buy For $199
Amazon:Buy For $199

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Player Pack
Guitar Center: Buy for $269 Lefty for $284
Amazon: Buy for $259

Epiphone LP-100 Starter Pack
Guitar Center: Buy for $399 Buy Lefty for $414

Reviews Of The Best Beginner Electric Guitars

With the electric guitar, the best way for beginners to start learning is to purchase a package that has all of the pieces you need to get started. The electric guitar requires a lot of extras in addition to the guitar so getting everything together is perfect. In addition to the guitar, you also need an amp, a cable to connect the guitar to the amp, extra strings, a tuner, and a case to carry your guitar, accessories, and to protect the instrument from damage. Each guitar package is the best package in its respective price range: under $200, under $300, and under $500. There are many other good options available, but these are the packages that I consider the best based on my experience and knowledge. Without further ado, I give you the best beginner electric guitars.

Fender SE Special Stratocaster Starter Pack

The under $200 price point is the most entry-level guitar point but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get something that is very good. Guitars and guitar starter packages in this price range won’t have all the bells and whistles that you would find with a higher priced instrument, but it is a great way to get started, and it doesn’t break the bank. The best package that you are going to find under $200 is, without a doubt, the Squier by Fender SE Special Stratocaster Starter Pack (Squier is a brand that is made by Fender). This starter pack has a great deal going for it in addition to the price. Included is a Squier SE Special Strat with a tremolo bar — a nice bonus in this price range — as well as a 10-watt Squier amp, gig bag(soft carrying case), a guitar stand, picks, digital tuner, cable, shoulder strap, and an instructional DVD. Each component of this package is very good, and you won’t be disappointed with this. My full review of this package is here.

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Player Pack

This specific electric guitar package clocks in at $269 and it is absolutely amazing. The guitar that comes with this package is the best electric guitar that you can buy under $200, and it is definitely one of the best beginner electric guitars you can buy. If you buy the guitar by itself, it will set you back $169, so the rest of the package tacks on an addition $100. The best thing about this package is the fact that you get the truly phenomenal Les Paul Special II as the guitar. This is a guitar that will grow with you as you get better, and it is an absolutely gem. You can read my full review of the guitar here but, suffice to say, I love this guitar. Included with the amazing guitar is a very solid 15-watt amp — you typically get a 10-watt so this was a nice plus — as well as a gig bag, digital tuner, 20 foot cable, shoulder strap, and headphones. The headphones are great because they allow you to play with your amp without disturbing anyone else, which is great for those late night jam sessions when you get the itch to play. Maybe it’s just me, but I do a lot of my best playing late at night, so I am always listening to myself play through headphones. I do this with my piano too! The one thing I wish this package had that it doesn’t is a guitar stand, but you can buy one for $10, so it is a very negligible problem.

Epiphone LP-100 All Access Pack

Another Epiphone Les Paul? Yes. I have been quite impressed with the Epiphone Les Paul guitars — they have a wide range of them — and I actually own one of them myself. I’ve been a Les Paul fan since I was a boy, and I used to go sleep at night and dream of the day when I would have my very own Gibson Les Paul, and I am now fortunate enough to own a few. Back to the guitar! This guitar is definitely a solid step up from the the Les Paul Special II, and the guitar itself will set you back $299. This whole package is going to cost you $399, and the rest of the package is more-or-less the same as the LP Special II pack. Once again, this package doesn’t include a stand, but that is not a big deal. The extra $100 over the other package definitely brings everything to a whole new level, as the guitar is just a better instrument. You can read my review of the guitar here.

The Verdict

Whatever price range you are looking at when buying your first electric guitar, you can find something excellent that will get you started the right way. Most of the cost of these packages is tied up in the instrument, so the more you spend, the better the guitar you are going to get. With that said, when friends come to me and ask about getting started, or buying a guitar for their kid to learn to play, I typically recommend with staying under $300 unless you really know that you’re going to want to continue playing. These three packages are the best beginner electric guitars that you can buy in each price range, and you’ll be happy no matter which route you take. Happy Jamming!

Squier Bullet Strat Review

Buy The Squier Bullet Stratocaster

Guitar Center: Buy for $100
Amazon: Buy for $119

My Review Of The Squier Bullet Stratocaster Electric Guitar

There are almost no guitars out there that come in under $100. Typically, if you do manage to find an electric guitar that is less than 100, you are probably going to be getting a giant piece of junk. To say that I was pleasantly surprised with this Squier Bullet Stratocaster is a massive understatement. Quite simply, I was shocked that you can get a complete electric guitar from Squier for this price. It isn’t a great electric guitar, but it is a phenomenal guitar for the price.

The first thing to know about this guitar is that it isn’t completely setup out of the box. It is an “assembled kit” so you’re going to need to make some small adjustments or take it to someone who can make those adjustments for you which will probably run you about 20 bucks. This guitar has a dual humbucker setup and this little guitar can actually put out some decent tone. The overall fit and finish on this guitar isn’t great — the neck was a bit rough and the paint seems to chip pretty easily — but you’re getting a lot for your 100 bucks. This guitar has a solid maple neck with a 21 fret rosewood fretboard. The body is a wood composite, but it gives a surprisingly nice sound. This guitar also has a tremolo bar which I found pretty surprising. One of the problems with this guitar is that tuning it is a chore. The tuning knobs that come with this guitar just aren’t that easy to manipulate and left me frustrated, but picking up some new ones are cheap.

The Verdict

This guitar is the perfect guitar for a number of people. Total beginners who are on the fence about whether they are going to play for very long will be very happy with this. It is more than adequate to start playing and if the guitar isn’t for you, you’re only out 100 bucks. This is also excellent for kids as it has a composite wood body making it much lighter than most other electric guitars. With that said, I believe you’re much better off spending an extra $40 or $50 to get a superior instrument.

Other Relevant Reviews

Squier Guitars
Guitars Under $200
Les Paul Special II Review

Squier SE Special Strat Pack Review

Buy The Squier SE Special Stratocaster Start Playing Set

Guitar Center:Buy For $200
Amazon:Buy For $200

My Review Of The Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming, Start Playing Set: SE Special w/ Squier by Fender SP10 Amp

Fender has always been one of my first choices when it comes to electric guitar manufacturers, and the guitar package offered by Squier — which is made by Fender — here reaffirms why I love them so much. The guitar package in question is the Fender SE Special Strat With Squier SP 10 AMP Value Pack. The guitar itself has a bolt on maple neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and an agathis body. It has a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard which boasts dot inlays. One of the things I really like about this package is the fact that you can get the guitar in either white, black, or the classic brown sunburst. All three look great, but my favorite is the sunburst. So, what is it that makes me think that this is such a good package? The first thing is the price. This package is under 200 dollars, and it is tough to find a decent guitar for under $200, let alone an entire starter package.

Packages like this are not hard to come by, but in my experience they can often be expensive. However, the sound alone from the Fender SE Special Strat included in this back With Squier SP 10 AMP definitely makes this guitar package worth it. The great thing about this guitar is that the sound is incredibly versatile. For example, if you want a clean sound then it is not hard to achieve, and the same can be said about getting a muddy, distorted sound. This is something that can be difficult to find in guitars that are around this price range. Most guitars are going to be good at one thing or another, but this is very versatile. One thing that did slightly disappoint me was the amp. It isn’t a bad amp buy any means, but typically, Squier amps are awesome and this one fell a bit short. One other thing to mention is that the guitar needs to be retuned more often than others, but this isn’t a big deal with a tuner handy.

The Verdict

This package contains everything that you will need to get started playing guitar. Overall, it is a very good package that offers great value for money, and though it has some faults, it’s definitely one of the best options you’re going to find as a starter pack in this price range.

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Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Review

Buy The Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Special

Guitar Center: Buy for $299
Amazon: Buy for $299

My Review Of The Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Special Electric Guitar

The Jazzmaster is one of the iconic fender models along with the tele and the strat. This Jazzmaster by Squier, which is the less expensive brand made by fender, has a lot of things going for it, including the price. At $299, the Vintage Modified Jazzmaster comes in well below the price points of most guitars by Fender, which can cost upwards for $3,000, and it still maintains that classic Fender feel and sound.

The guitar that I reviewed was the “Butterscotch Blonde” and, I’m going to be honest, it is an UGLY color. This guitar also comes in a lovely sunburst — as pictured — and I would definitely suggest if you’re going to get this guitar to get it in the sunburst finish. The price is the same, and you won’t want to retch every time you look at your guitar, which is definitely important. I’m a big fan of the Jazzmaster in general, and this version does not disappoint. The solid alder body feels sturdy and the c-shaped maple neck and 21 fret fretboard feel great in your hand and beneath your fingers.

It has a top-loading hardtail bridge with adjustable string saddles, which allow you to adjust the intonation in addition to being height-adjustable. The Vintage Jazzmaster has the old-school volume/tone knobs where you have the volume knob at the center and then the tone adjustment as a ring around the outside, which is something I like a lot. The Duncan pickups, which were designed specifically for this guitar, are definitely solid. The bridge pickup is nice and bright and clean while the neck pickup produces a lovely rich sound. You’ll find this guitar produces a very nice sustain and it is definitely pleasant to play.

The Verdict

The Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Special by Squier is a very good electric guitar under 300 dollars. The guitar is well built, it has a very pleasant sound that is both versatile and vibrant. It is definitely worthy of consideration, especially if you’re a fan of the Jazzmaster shape. I can’t say this would be a perennial favorite in my guitar collection, but I would have no problem shelling out $300 for this guitar, and I would consider it money well spent.

Other Relevant Reviews

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Squier Classic Vibe 50′s Telecaster Review

Everyone knows the look of a Telecaster. The Squier Classic Vibe 50′s Telecaster brings back all of the vintage glory of the electric guitar from the birth of rock n’ roll. Few guitars are more synonymous with the founding of rock n’ roll than the Telecaster. This telecaster has a solid pine body and a solid maple neck with a 21 fret fretboard. It has a 9.5″ radius neck which makes it perfectly sized for playing as it is neither too narrow or too fat. There is no overhang on the frets that can snag your hand when moving up and down the neck, which is one of my biggest complaints with many guitars. Most of the electric guitars I have played do not have pine bodies — Ash, Alder, and Mahogany are more common — but the resonance of the pine body on this guitar is lovely. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it before I picked it up, but I was pleasantly surprised. The construction is very good, and I have very few complaints about the fit and finish of the guitar. The dual pickup setup is nice and they’re great for the amount that you’re paying for this guitar. The front pickup gives a warm and rich sound, which makes it great for lighter playing like rhythm of folk. The back pickup creates that classic Telecaster sound that was made famous by the likes of George Harrison, Joe Strummer, and others.

The foreign made Fenders — and Squiers which are made by Fender — had a poor reputation for many years as being poorly built with a sound that did not match their American-made counterparts. That is simply not the case today and this guitar is every bit the Tele as it’s more expensive cousins. Overall, I was very pleased with this guitar and while it isn’t as hot as some of the higher end guitars I’ve come across, it is a great guitar for its price. You can buy this Tele for 349 bucks. Please feel free to check out my other squier guitar reviews and fender guitar reviews.

Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar HH Review

Buy The Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar

Guitar Center:Buy for $299
Amazon: Buy for $299

My Review Of The Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar HH Electric Guitar

The first thing you notice about the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar is the sexy styling. Whether you go for the 3 tone sunburst — my personal favorite — or the solid fiesta red, one look and you fall in love. The aggressive angles and the solid feel; this guitar is a pleasure to hold and look at. This guitar has a unique top-loading hardtail bridge that features string saddles which are adjustable for intonation and designed to have a 9.5″ radius when sitting flat on the bridge plate. This gives a great deal of adjustability for people who want to be able to modify where the strings are, but it doesn’t cause any problems for anyone wanting to leave it as is either.

The body is incredibly well designed, and I find the look of the body incredibly attractive. There is no feedback whatsoever from the pickups, which are also very well positioned. The difference with this guitar is that the pickups are a lot beefier than what you would expect from other Fender guitars and this is a definite plus point in my opinion. The one-piece maple neck feels sturdy and is comfortable in the hand and the rosewood fretboard is well spaced. The basswood that has been used for the actual body offers fantastic sustain, something that I have had issues with in the past with other guitars, especially when playing live. If you like a grungier sound then this is a definite winner; the sound produced is fantastic. The only complaint that I would have to make, if I have to make any, is the fact that the volume and tone controls are a little bulky for my liking. However, this is more or less nit-picking.

The Verdict

The price for this guitar is more than reasonable in my opinion, clocking in at $299, especially considering the very obvious workmanship that has gone into it. If you are looking for a guitar that is reliable yet still versatile, then the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar fits the bill quite well.

Best Electric Guitars Under $300

If you are a beginner guitarist then you are more than likely on a budget that will restrict what sort of electric guitar you can buy. Or so you think. There are actually a lot of incredibly good electric guitars out there at the moment under 300 dollars. This may sound unbelievable, but if you look in the right places for the right sort of guitar then it is possible. Let’s take a look at some electric guitars under 300 dollars.

Danelectro Dano Pro Electric Guitar

This solid body electric guitar is one that should definitely be kept in mind for the beginner. At only $249 it is highly affordable. Although this guitar may not look as aesthetically pleasing as, let’s say, a Les Paul, it does still have its advantages. Owners of this guitar have all commented on the really nice raspy sound that is produced, and the high quality pickups. This is one of the more retro types of solid bodies out there at the moment, but very affordable, and a very nice guitar.

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar

The trusty old Stratocaster; a guitar that every guitarist must own. The price range of the Fender Standard Stratocaster will vary greatly, because there are a lot of different custom models out there, but you will definitely not struggle to get one for under 300 dollars. The sound produced by this guitar is very nice, and although it is a basic guitar, it is very nice to play, and perfect for live performances or just playing at home. You can buy the basic Fender Stratocaster for $210.

Jay Turser Cutlass F Electric Guitar

A lesser known brand, but a fantastic guitar none the less. For $298 this guitar is just inside the 300 dollar range, but it is definitely worth the money. The low output pickups produce a really nice, high quality tone, and the guitar is actually really nice to play. The guitar is loosely based on the Les Paul in terms of appearance, and it is definitely well worth the money that you will have to pay for one of these.

Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Electric Guitar

The Telecaster is an incredibly popular type of solid body electric guitar and for good reason. The vintage model not only looks retro, but also produces a fantastic tone and overall sound. At $299 it squeaks in under the $300 price point. One big advantage that comes with the Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster is the wide range of sounds that the guitar is able to produce. This is definitely a good thing for the beginner who hasn’t chosen a set style and is still experimenting with different tones and sounds. You can buy it here.

Ibanez

Why no model name? You may ask. Well, there are a lot of Ibanez’s available in this price range. If you are looking for a reliable solid body electric guitar that has a brilliant reputation for sound and tone quality then an Ibanez is definitely something to keep in mind.