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You lucked it getting a Chinese "crafted" Affinity. The build quality is better. Not sure if it was the labour force skill levels or the contract value/spec. The higher the contract price paid under the contract, the better build the units will be. Either way, the Chinese model Squiers were/are better IMPE, and I say that without bias owning guitars OEM and O manufactured in both countries. e.g. Ibanez, Gretsch, Yamaha, Cort, Squier.
String through vs top load. Lots of emotive argument, but IMPE, it's moot. I have both types on Teles and it's neither here nor there AFAIC. Makes absolutely no difference to tuning, tone or sustain. OMMV but that's my observation and experience based conclusion. String though does visually 'feel' like you're getting something extra, Classic originality (?), though. Just the human condition. Recent Squier models have been all over the place on this. I had expected to get an Indonesian one rather than the latest 2022 model as they were the outdated images the seller was illustrating on their web site, but when mine arrived it was Chinese current build and top load. For the pittance I paid I wasn't about to complain or send it back, nor did I care much at the fact because upon opening, inspecting and playing it, I was delighted. It's an astounding guitar for the $, a delight to play with several particular advantages to the Chinese build I won't elaborate upon here other than mention that both pickups in the Chinese version are much higher output & superior tonally, the low output pickups in particular being a noted weakness of the Indonesian Bullet Teles.
I don't have a Mustang or Jazzmaster, not even the faux Affinity versions. I was looking at one of these recently in it's rather fetching Burgundy Mist. Sale price was very tempting. I've read and head really good things about them and I don't have anything with unique Jazzmaster style single coil pickups, even the Affinity ones. But, one can't have everything and I had already spent those potential funds elsewhere, so for the moment no sale.
Jared James Nichols is a Blackstar ambassador pretty much. Check this out. Jared James Nichols, Blackstar amps and Paul Kossoff's Gibson. Listen to that tone! WIN-WIN-WIN. Besides "The Beatles", "Free" as was are my favourite band ever.
I have one valve Blackstar in the Artist 30 Blonde 2x12 (Vintage Celestions) with 6L6 power valves. I also have a Blackstar ID Series 260 TVP which is a valve emulating amp but selectable for multiple power valves types. e.g. 6L6, EL34, EL84, KT88. They're all very good, but the KT88 is uttely gobsmacking and possibly my fav emulation if I had to choose one. It does an amazing job and not only sounds like valve, but responds to touch/feels like playing valve. The ID Series TVP have been superseded since by the Silverline Series. Primary differences latest (still) SHARC DSP, Celestion speakers instead of Blackstar (OEM?) and a cosmetic overhaul. The ID Series TVP 260 has morphed into the Silverline Stereo Deluxe. Obviously I'm biased, but Blackstar solid state amps, hybrid and valve are state of the art across all segments. There's something for everyone, and the prices are right.
All amps which interact through firmware will eventually be incompatible with newer features when superseded, and amps dependent upon software whilst remaining functional, will be the abandonware. e.g. The Fender Mustang as you relate Fender's abandoning of support for it. That's just a characteristic of the age we live in. They want you to buy the latest version, upgrade.
Cant go wrong with one of these or these or ....? So many to choose from including the magnificent sounding Studio 10s in 'pick a power valve' flavour. 6L6, EL34, or KT88