Squier’s 1982 launch sparked the entry-level revolution, and the original budget range still leads the pack with the ‘Stop Dreaming, Start Playing’ bundle. Sure, it’s more expensive. But the combination of an Affinity Strat HSS and a feature-rich Fender G-DEC Junior makes it clear this pack isn’t just about scraping by with poverty-spec gear, it’s about twiddling knobs and having fun.
We don’t know what’s better: the Affinity axe, which just feels so solid, playable and professional, and genuinely sounds like a Strat; or the G-DEC Junior, which not only has 15 effects (from spring reverb to flange) and 16 brilliant amp sound presets (from a British sparkle to a fat Fender Bassman thud), but even primes your technique for your first band by letting you solo along to a choice of 15 rhythm loops.
In any key! With optional basslines! At 15-watt volume!
The only conceivable criticism here is that the Affinity is incredibly twangy - even with the humbucker selected - but that’s a mere drop of criticism in an ocean of love.