Chris Aiken or Matt Freeman Bass???
I'm looking to add the P-bass sound to my sound....I've narrowed it down to these two options. Depending on which one, I'm going to modify it with a BA II bridge, a tort pick guard and an EMG pickup. Seeing as I own a Marcus Miller Jazz, I would love the CA bass due to the blocked neck. I also like the MF bass because I have two color options. Does anyone on here own one or has played one of these? How are the necks on these??? Do they take to rod adjustments well? Which one has a better overall quality???
i can only speak for the matt freeman model. i dig mine, use it as a backup. great bang for the buck. the neck is typical p bass. fairly chunky and wide. keep in mine, i normally play a jazz style neck on my other p, so this feels like a baseball bat by comparison. i've actually had no issues with this bass after i raised the pickups and did some minor set up work and have been happy with it as my backup. by comparison, my other fiddle is a franken p bass with spb-3's. hope this helps some.
If you're really going to mod it out that much I don't think it really matters which model you get. Just choose the one with the color that you want.
The MF neck is pretty skinny by P standards though. The tort is cool, but why would you ruin a perfectly good P Bass by adding a BA II and an EMG pickup? :D
I've got vintage white MF. Nice bass. The neck feels a bit chunky if you take it right after j-bass. But still it is not that "bassball bat" comparing with classical p-bass.
Neck is pretty responsive to truss rod adjustmnet and is very stable. I had to adjust it twice: when brought it home and when swaped strings to heavier guage. I don't see a point of swapping the bridge (which is 20 mm string-to-string, not he standard 19 mm therefore has wider hole pattern and is not directly compatible with fender/BA). The same applies to EMG pickup - you should have a reason to want it after you hear the stock one.
I can only add to what others have posted. My MF is a black/maple, it's a classy look with a deep amber tinted neck, and the fit and finish is superb. IMHO these CV basses are the king pins of that entire Classic Vibe Series guitar included. I've been playing Fender Basses for nearly 40 years and this MF is as good a player as any PBass I've ever owned including an original '63.
The necks are more typical of a '70s PBass (1.65" nut width) which these were modeled after than wider and deeper "U" necks of the late '50s and early '60s models.(1.75" nut width) It's both wider at the nut and deeper top to bottom than a Jazz Bass neck and beefy but not at all uncomfortable. I go back and forth between my MF and a CV Jazz all the time.
The stability of Squier necks has never been an issue. Climate changes require periodic tweaks of the truss rod and that's the nature of the beast. Here in Colorado I do it about twice a year. But other than that the action on both my basses is very low and they hold tuning and intonate extremely well even with heavier gauge strings.
You can swap the bridge if you want but it's not something I'd prioritize. The stock bridge is actually quite good. If you insist on doing a bridge swap I'd look at a Babicz as well before deciding. I think it's a far better design than a BA II and runs about the same in cost.
If these basses have any weakness at all it's in the pickups and even those are far better than you'd expect from a bass in this price range. Ed Friedland did a video review of the CV Jazz Bass pickups with those CS pickups in his '62 Jazz and there was little if any real difference. I would assume the MF pickups compare pretty favorably to their CS counterparts as well. But if you're determined to change something this is where I'd suggest spending the money.
I play Bill Lawrence/Wilde bass pickups in both of mine because I like his designs and I truly believe they are the best sounding replacements for Fender style basses around. They may not be your cup of tea vs the EMGs but you may want to check out a P46 anyway since your talking $60 for it vs $89 for a passive EMG. There's a huge thread about Bill's pickups here in the Pickups Forum.
That's all I've got for you. Good luck with your hunt.
i wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to switch out the pickups, but just raising my heights helped a lot. i wouldn't mind something different, but these are pretty good pickups for a sub $400 fiddle. i'd play them for a bit before deciding.
the stock bridge is pretty beefy, don't really see any benefit to replacing it either, but it's your bass.
Hey thanks everybody for the input. Only reason for switching the bridge is that I'm partial to BA II bridges and I have one laying around!!! :) granted i might like the stock pickup, but I would love to have the headroom and clarity of an EMG pickup(I'm not an aggressive player so headroom helps.) the pick guard is just for looks.
I like both Basses - the MF is made on the CV line in China and (iirc) the CA bass is made on the VM line in Indonesia - so if you have a preference between the Classic Vibe and the Vintage Modified basses, that may be worth considering.
The other thing to consider would be the lack of a tone knob on the CA bass...you would need to add one if desired.
I think the PUs are decent on both basses...and agree the bridge on the MF is actually pretty decent (and not a direct BA drop in...again iirc)
Can't really go wrong with either (imho) but of these two I prefer the MF
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