Squier wood quality

Discussion in 'Fender' started by 5F6-A, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Some of you might know that I was given a guitar that was in need of a lot of attention. It was at 2007 Fender Squire. Made in China. Affinity series so I'm guessing it was one of the cheaper models.

    It was abused and neglected but I got it back to working properly and now it is a wonderful guitar for slide in open G. However the action is very low and I can play it comfortably without slide for those Keith Richards moments.

    [​IMG]

    I always wondered about the quality of the words used by Fender in these, their cheapest guitars.
    Well, some of the abused that these poor guitar received was having some of the finish at the back removed. The good news is that I can see that it is proper wood and not some sort of plywood concoction. However, I am no expert in telling the quality of the wood so I am sharing these pictures with you. To me, it looks totally decent. It looks like alder to me. No nasty knots or suspicious residue. Much better than the wood used by IKEA to manufacture the desk I'm writing these lines on.

    What do you think? Apologies for the lack of quality of this last photograph. My phone cannot cope with anything but beautiful, full daylight.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    If you can tell the 'quality' of wood (in terms of a definitive tonal outcome) just by looking at it, then you have a skill that nobody on the planet has or will ever have.
    Any other metric of quality is subjective.
     
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  3. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    I see... is there a relationship between consistency in the wood and tone?
     
  4. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    Looks like decent grain for a multi-piece body, though you're in a better position than us to judge how the tone is. I would speculate that there is a connection, but I'm sure someone would come along and argue that down

    The current Affinity series uses alder, so depending on what the specs were in 2007, that would be a good guess. I just bought an Affinity Jazzmaster in Sept, I think it sounds great. The maple on the neck looks great, the rosewood fingerboard looks nice and dark for what is surely cheaper rosewood. I can't see the grain through the black finish, but I'd like to think it's good wood
     
  5. sollophonic

    sollophonic Senior Member

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    Affinity bodies are alder, Squier Standard Teles are agathis, the 50s Classic Vibes are pine and the Classic Vibe Customs are alder.

    Although my main Tele is a Baja, I have had quite a few Affinity Teles and still have one. I had it as a beater "chuck in the trunk" guitar, but I found the timber on the neck and the body to be pretty okay really. I love the maple neck on my Affinity so much (it's a chunkier one than usual), that I put it onto a thinline style body and made an even nicer guitar.

    [​IMG]

    The old blue Affinity body will still get used though, I feel an Esquire project looming;-)
     
  6. Phil W

    Phil W Senior Member

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    No!
     
  7. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    You might be able to map a result if you fed in a certain force and looked for a output in tonal spectrum response and note sustain. But that would be for 1 plank of wood and you'd need access to several hundred of the same species to even get started on having enough data. Multi planks not only add in glue joins, but then you have the way that the planks are joined complicating matters - would you need certain density bits in specific spots for it to work....and so on.

    And finally.....a guitar doesn't consist of just a body. Or more accurately, a guitar is never hewn from a single piece of wood. So any data you got from the body wood analysis would then have to be multiplied with similar studies done with fretboards, neck shaft woods, hardware etc. And I mean every permutation explored.
    Given that shuffling a set of playing cards gives enough permutations for essentially 4 billion years plus of shufflings before every permutation has been exhausted (assuming there are no repeats) you can imagine the time taken to get any meaningful data.

    Its best just to play the guitar, and see if you like it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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  8. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    If you play it and it sounds fine to you, the wood is fine.

    The biggest issue with cheaper/laminated bodies is that they will not age and sweeten the tone as they age like solid body guitars made from traditionally good hard woods. Talk to us in 30 years and let us know how you like it. ;)

    The same rules apply to cheap guitar bodies and expensive bodies. If you like it the guitar, it's good enough. If you don't, it isn't.

    Congrats!

    Enjoy your guitar!
     
  9. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    budget fiddles often have agathis, or indian agathis, and some have basswood.
    not to say basswood is a cheap lumber. if memory serves, suhr aand ibanez also use basswood.

    the difference with budget fiddles is often multiple pieces glued up
     
  10. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    my 3 strat squires all built in early 90's from the Cort factory , CN silver logos, all have different weights, and one has layed plywood look to it when you view the cavity...you can see the second looks like a 2 or 3 piece body...ii think they were built a year apart maybe??/

    IMG_20151113_193326162.jpg stratcavityCN.jpg IMG_20151004_161217722.jpg IMG_20151009_204000904.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  11. Guitaraxe

    Guitaraxe Senior Member

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    These days I would guesstimate it's decent / good to go.
     
  12. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    To cut to the chase... I was given an Affinity Tele and it appears to be multi-piece alder (body) and maple (neck). I am not aware of plywood being used in these guitars. The wood used is certainly adequate to producing a genuinely good-sounding guitar. But while I don't worry about the wood type, I do wonder about its stability and moisture content, and thus it's ability to retain is current -- and truly remarkable -- fit. I hope the neck, which plays like a dream, will remain true over time. I don't worry about the body, as a multi-piece is almost certain to be very stable. The quality of these "cheap" guitars is astonishing. And even the stock electronics are not only good, but excellent. Many of us worry about the future of American guitar manufacture.
     
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  13. sollophonic

    sollophonic Senior Member

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    I wouldn't worry about durability, for a start its a Telecaster, and I have owned Affinity Teles from yonks ago.

    I'll tell you a story about one that came into my possession. A mate of mine played in a punk/folk style band, and originally he played banjo. As they got louder and more raucous gigs happened, the banjo wasn't cutting it, so he bought a used butterscotch Squier Affinity and a cheap but loud amp. When his band split up after a couple of years, he gave this guitar to me and I wish I still had pictures of it, before I cleaned it up and gave it away to a local music project, as were his express instructions for what I should do if I decided not to keep it.

    This guitar was not only covered in stickers, marker pen and a huge number of dings and dents, but it would end up at the end of gigs, being covered in beer and worse. He told me that on quite a few occasions, having dived into the audience with it around his neck, he would get back onto the stage without it, and retrieve it when the gig had ended.

    He didn't use anything to carry it from gig to gig in either, and this guitar survived two years of this.

    Teles are tough. I'm sure yours is no different.

    Have fun with it.
     
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  14. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    Great!
     
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  15. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    I own a gold CV 60th anniv. Squier. Woods all Fender to me. Maple neck does have heavy poly coat, but is great player. Body is alder. Heavy. Previous owner slapped in tex mexes and a shawbucker. Sounds ripping, jazzy, or spanky. Plays l like a Fender Am. Std. Only wants sperzal gears and bigger block bridge someday. I love it.
     
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  16. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    That's a beauty! Squier uses good wood. You hit it on the head..."long as it's not plywood".
     
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  17. ehb

    ehb Chief Discombobulator Premium Member

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    I'll toss my opinion in here too....

    If there are layers, whether longways, sideways, upways, downways, it is plywood.... :cool:

    A Lester is plywood technically.

    Now that THAT is out of the way, I'm not concerned much about how many slices of cheeze or layers in the cake. If it is true surfaces, good glue, good pressure, good cure time, it's all good, mang...

    I have Skrats among Lesters and such. I don't much care if one of my Skrats is capped or multichunk. I just don't care. Every one of em are great. My 02 Hwy 1 is mondo badass... My particular Gold 60th Squier is better than than all my other Skrats....and I don't own shabby Skrats...

    If the wood chunks are good and similar (read consistent as far as grain, mass, and no obvious gigs), surfaces prepared correctly, glued correctly, it'll likely be a good body... Then there is the neck to contend with...


    Ain't nothing wrong with good plywood. So what it's layered...most guitars are....

    Consider: Plywood is glued, heated, and pressed with TONS of pressure. Tons. Like a LOT of pressure... And heat.... Hot...Pressure.... Rosie O'FunnelCake on fire and sitting on yo head pressure...

    Howzat compare to Titebond and rubber bands?

    Think it out... :cool2:
     
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  18. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    Alder, Basswood, Maple, all reflect string vibration better that plywood. Not because plywood is made of plys, but that the wood is softer and more absorbent that a hardwood. Having said that, Mahogany is a less reflective wood type and many of us love our mahogany slabs. That would hold true for plywood's sonic abilities as well. I can't say that it would be bad, your post makes a good point.
     
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