jaugar SS or Mustang SS
I am 62 going on 63 and just taking up the Bass. I have a Squier VM 70 Jazz Bass that I haven’t been too successful with but after doing a lot of reading on TB if bought a Bronco and have really enjoyed playing around with it. I like all kinds of music from classic rock to Yanni but not too much of the punk, grunge, or metal type stuff. I can get these through the local GC or my preferred independent music store but they don’t carry them on the shelf and I don’t like to ask them to get them in just to see I might like one. I like to make an informed opinion before ordering even though I know I can return the instrument. Having worked in retail I try not to screw over the stores if I can help it.
I am not one to get in to modding much and would rather just upgrade so I have been looking at doing just that. I see the Squier VM Jaguar Bass Special Short Scale seems real popular here but another one that has caught my eye is the Squier Mustang Short Scale. One looks alone I like the Mustang better but I never buy anything based on looks.
So I am asking those who might have first hand experience with both Basses to please give their opinions on these instruments. Many thanks in advanced.
I own a Squier Jaguar SS and the neck is super thin at the nut. The bridge pick-up is really weak, almost to the point to being unusable, but the P pick-up is pretty decent. Other than that it's a pretty nice bass, and a lot of fun to play.
I've never played a Squier Mustang, but I own a Fender re-issue (my main bass). I hear the Squier is pretty close to the Fender version. The neck feels a lot like the Bronco neck (my friend owns a Bronco, and I've played it several times). The pick-up isn't a versatile as the Jaguar pick-up, but it does have a nice, thumpy tone. If you like your Bronco, and don't want to modify your new axe then I would suggest the Mustang.
Hope this helps.
EDIT: Musician's Friend has a return policy. I've never used it, but hopefully someone will chime in with details.
If you are set on one or the other, having played both, I believe the Jag SS to be a better buy. It's a steal for the price.
However seeing as how you already have a Bronco, I feel I should point out that modding a Bronco is one of the easiest things to do on earth. Pop off the pickguard, pull the pickup and solder in a new one. Then put on your new pickguard with the new pickup.
Or you could have someone who knows how to solder do it for you for a few beers :D. It really is that simple. The electronics are all connected to the pickguard, other than the ground wire which does not have to be disconnected to change the pickguard and pickup. There's plenty of room. The hardest part in fact is finding a replacement pickguard!
The end result is you end up with something a lot more unique than a stock Jag or Mustang.
I thought about getting a Bronco and modding it after reading all kinds of things about doing so. However, the Jag came out, so I bought one of those. Now, I don't have to learn how to solder. I probably should learn how anyway at some point.
To the OP: Congratulations on taking up bass. I was 55 when I started. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE!!!!!
Never played a Bronco but have the SS Jag and I think it's fantastic. An amazing intrument for the price. I didn't do any mods other than tidy up the fret ends a bit, put on some flats and set up for the new strings. I have no plans of ever putting another dime into it - just doesn't need it IMHO.
I own a Fender Mustang reissue and love it. The neck is great, the pickup is great. I did try an SS Jag and thought it was very nice as well, almost bought one before I found a deal on the Mustang I own.
I did also try the Squier Mustang a couple of times at a store and I liked it but I did find that it had some neck dive compared to the Fender Mustang and the Jaguar SS. Personally, I would rather get the Mustang SS and buy a better jazz bridge pickup if you really need it (not a must have at first in my opinion) or try to find a deal on a Fender Mustang reissue.
I found the Jaguar easy to upgrade and feels very comfortable in my hands but it is heavy for it size. Iím not too fond of colors and prefer my instruments natural but I found the Jaguar to be a pretty bass for its price.
I picked mine up for $100.00 shipped as a return item from Musicians friend
Another vote for the Jag SS. Have two of them. Here are a couple of observations.
1: Neck, thin easy to play. 20 frets and can get all the way up the neck. I have no neck dive on either of mine. The radius (not sure what it is) works real well for my small hands and short fingers. String spacing is good for me.
2: Body; There seems to be quite a difference between them. One of mine is good wood. The other one is made from six different pieces, two of hardwood and the others of who knows what. Not a problem if you leave the original finish on them, but the one was majorly a pain to refinish. The one with good hardwood is heavier than the other, which is to be expected. From what I've seen the red finishes seem to be the highest quality.
3:Pickups; The "P" pickup is pretty good. Nice solid lows that can get growly. The "J" pickup is weaker. This can be a problem if you like to solo it. BUT, if you use mostly the "P" and use the "J" to blend in some highs and mids then it is adequate. Changing one or both of the pickups is an easy fix that may not be needed depending on what you like. One of my basses has the pickups replaced by Lace Alumitones and the other one has the originals. The Alumitones sound better, but cost more than the bass did. There are MANY other options out there.
4: Hardware; The hardware is completely adequate and better than what you find on some other basses for the same money. Tuners stay in tune, seem tight, and I haven't had a problem with them. The bridge is your standard Fender bridge and works as expected. Uses the mini pots for the VVT. The action can be set quite low. At least on both of mine the necks were straight and the frets were fine. No buzzes or dead spots.
5: Modability; Easy to do mods on to get a unique bass that's just yours. All the way from major overhaul to little things like change pick guard, pickups, change electronics to VBT or add a dual pot tone control, finger rest or tug bar, ashtray over the bridge and/or pickup cover, strap locks, etc.
For the money I think it is one of the best deals out there in terms of quality and value for price.
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies. modding is not a technical problem. I spent 35 years in Computers and micro-electronics, soldering I can do in my sleep.
Assuming I decide to go that way the only things I am considering would be the pup and the bridge. I would prefer to have a separate adjustment for each string. Any recommendations? Again Thanks.
Hmmmm... in responding to your initial post the first time I somehow missed that you were so new to bass. In that case you definitely need a new Jaguar SS to go with that Bronco! One short scale is not enough and they will complement each other perfectly.
But mod the Bronco too! LOL!
BTW, congrats on taking up the bass. I started just over a year ago myself at the age of 52. Thus far, it's been one of the best experiences of my life.
I have a Squier Bronco, a Jaguar SS and a Mustang SS and love them all. The Bronco is a modding dream so hang on to it and as your tastes develop you can mod it to suit your needs.
The Jaguar as has been noted has a very weak bridge pickup but a very decent sounding neck pickup. It really is in need of a mod to bring out the best in that bass.
The Squier Mustang is perfect right off the rack and needs nothing to make it one of the best sounding and playing basses you can buy for under $1000. I'm in my mid 50's and have some finger dexterity problems so the short scale basses are all a pleasure to play, but the Mustang in the two tone burst finish with the maple fretboard just really looks classy to me.
My vote is for the Mustang with zero mods needed to make it the perfect bass. BTW - I have a lot of Fender and other very high end basses but the Mustang gets more playtime than any other Fender type bass I own.
I think there's more tonal versatility with a "weak" bridge p/u than none at all! I actually think the Jag's is fine as long as you don't wanna solo it - I mix some of it in most of the time and find it very useful as is. No plan on changing it. I've never heard a bridge pickup on anything that I liked solo'd...
I like Mustangs. Never tried the Squires but have both a 68 and 69.
I juggled the choice between these basses for months. I have small hands, and was looking for an end-all cheapy. I have owned several Bronco's (too cheap), and in the end, didn't care for the Mustangs Basswood body.
I finally forced myself to buy the Jag (Silver). It is the best playing guitar that I have owned.
Thanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate everyone taking the time to give your opinions. I'll keep the Bronco and investigate perhaps replacing the pup and bridge and when my playing skills rate a new instrument I'll give the Jaguar a try. I am also a radio amateur, so I'm always building and modding equipment so it was probably inevitable that I would get around to doing my guitars even if my first inclination was not to.
Thank again everyone.
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