Fender Squier Jazz: Surprisingly Amazed
just wanna clear this first: i enjoy fenders. i wouldnt call myself a fender guy by any means, but ive always loved P's and J's and if i i didnt have money sunk into old gibsons and other stuff id probably have a 70s model of each. so there haha.
Squier has a bad name, we all know theyre considered beginner basses or "cheap" fenders. I was at guitar center on friday before a gig, picked up a squier nat finish block inlay J, and man was i impressed. thing sounded just like a J should and like ive heard many many times over the years. has that nice J pop, every marcus miller lick i know sounded just like a marcus miller lick on a J. i had to do an A/B to make sure i wasnt crazy, so i picked up the american made J, which as everyone knows is about 1K+ more in price tag. This thing didnt even come close in terms of playability, tone, even finish. now it could just be a dud, i know theres always QC issues for anything mass produced. I had both basses setup by the guy in store so i could A/B again with a low action, and still the squier felt and sounded better.
i guess my point was id like to know if anyone else has experienced a really nice squier compared to a really poor american or vice versa. has fender had issues with QC more and more lately than they used to? or is it more of a "when you find a nice one, its a real nice one"?
As someone who owns MIA, MIM and CIJ Fenders, I have to agree that some of the Squiers are really nice instruments — the CV Series in particular. I haven’t purchased a Squier yet, but I’ve been mighty tempted as of late. My hesitation has nothing to do with my perception of the brand name, but rather, I already have the J and P thing covered in spades with my current herd.
When Squier’s Vintage Modified Series was first introduced, I saw a few examples in-store that — in my opinion — shouldn’t have made it past the QC inspector. However, more recent examples seem to have cured those manufacturing issues. The CVs also seem to get a little more TLC on the factory floor.
I think the Squiers stand on their own as great instruments. FMIC has found the brand’s niche without excessive cannibalization of their other higher-priced offerings.
I just bought one of these, actually. I'm planning on doing extensive mods because it was cheap, but as it came, it's definitely a good bass. Very much the classic J tone, look and feel.
Most Squiers that get a bad rap just need a little love to begin with. But once dialed in, they easily compete with their more domestic brethren...
And those often need love as well, the extra $1k doesn't always buy a better setup, fretwork, or sound. Sometimes, yes, sometimes no.
I've had plenty of all species of Fender in my days. Personally, I'd rather buy 2 Squiers than 1 MIM for the same money. They do great work with these basses at the price point. If you want to customize the hell out of one, they are cheap enough to not only cut into, but to have money leftover for upgrades.
One of the best sounding, best playing basses I've ever had was a Squier, albeit upgraded. But it still cost me less by a lot than most of the other basses I've owned.
I think these modern Squiers are quite a bargain for what you're getting on them now; as back starting in the 90's a lot were very middling or poor in my opinion. I think the biggest thing with them is the internet, as it's a lot easier to find other makes and models of instruments in the 200 - 500 range and it's also a lot easier to find other people's opinions on them so they just can't bang out "cheap" any more and have to have substance.
I've a few of these on my radar, and I think with a bit of footwork, and shaking the used market tree, then some will be coming home to keep my MIM Jazz V company... I just hope that my other half buys the excuse of when you put two in a room, they start fornicating.
And with the quality of quite a few of the VM and CV I've played, I would dare say that anyone with a bit of savvy and knowledge on setting up instruments could get a nice stable of a Jazz, a P, a fretless and a five string for < 1000 just by ignoring the headstock logo.
The Fender in the store probably had setup "issues."
I own the Squier J you described. Pretty impressive.
My main bass is a Fodera and I still gig my Squier VM Jazz from time to time. Can't beat it for $299 new.
I do find that the American Standards sound better (better PU and HW) and are better constructed, but 4x better? That is debateable.
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