NBD: Squier Deluxe Active Jazz V
This was a dent-and-scratch rescue from my local GC, where the worker bees had apparently been using it as a doorstop. There was a healthy discount involved as a result. Pics to follow as I work it into presentable shape.
Okay, finally...after cleanup, buffing, new strings and setup, this is what we have.
This model has the painted matching headstock. New GHS Precision flats replaced the stock rounds.
Another look at the buffed out paint job.
I used Scott's Liquid Gold to buff the back of the neck...really brought out an interesting grain in the wood. From what I can tell by researching the serial number, this Squier was made in Indonesia by Cort, and their workmanship shows. The fingerboard is a black phenolic resin and the frets are level and flawlessly dressed. All in all, a nice rescue purchase!
Nice! I owned one for about a day earlier this year... until I realized it weighed a metric ton (about 12.5 lbs) and was killing my shoulder. Returned it and got a US Peavey Millennium 5, and my Peavey obsession has been in overdrive ever since. This is a great bass though... had that one not weighed so much, I'd probably still have it.
whoa! I never knew these were that heavy! Nice clean looker though.
I have posted this story many times on TB...
In 2009, my wife gifted me with my Squier Jazz 5 Active. We went to GC to BUY an active MM 5er. Main difference was monetary about $1300 more for the MM. GC guy's jaw dropped as mine did. We heard identical tones from Squier as We were hearing from the MM that I came in to buy.
I was a gear snob...no longer.. If Squier made a fretless 5, I would own one as well. Several months ago, I played a Squier 4-string fretless with stock flats. Played like someone had sprayed WD-40 or wiped the [phenolic] finger board with chicken grease.
I tell everyone that the most difficult part of ownership is correclty spelling Squier. I bought mine thinking of spending a small fortune in [ unecessary] upgrades, but if it ain't broke..don't fix it. After I set it up to my liking, my Squier Jazz 5 Active is my main go to bass.
Meanwhile my Zon stays in it's case; too precious to play, while I enjoy my Squier. You have purchased an excellent instrument.
Nice. This bass was on my short list when I was shopping for my first 5er.
I have one of these as my backup 5-string, really like it for the most part, the one I have is the Sunburst although it is a very dark burst.
Nice sound, good workmanship, slightly over 10 lbs and a small amount of neck-dive, which could probably be taken care of with the right strap.
First, the pickups are ceramic types with a single blade under the cover rather than separate polepieces. If you look back at my original photos, you'll see a stacked pot which controls low boost/cut and high boost/cut. Not much to get excited about. Yet.
The bottom knob is a midrange boost/cut with a mini toggle next to it. When this switch is in the "up" position, the EQ is essentially disengaged when all pots are in the center detent position. Flipping the switch to the "down" position engages a pretty hefty midrange cut (think slap tone here...which is why the control is sometimes called a "slap switch"). The midrange boost/cut control is active in either switch position, allowing for a lot of tonal control from the instrument itself...never mind your amp settings and such. Where did this interesting preamp concept come from?
Doing a bit more digging, I compared the schematic of the Squier's preamp with a few other known ones from EMG and others to see if I could find any similarities. I eventually came across a schematic of a Bartolini preamp which looked very much like the Squier's -- in fact, it had the same components, signal flow and PCB layout.
Upon opening the control cavity of the Squier, I was faced with what I believe is a very good generic reproduction of a Bartolini preamp. No wonder this thing sounds the way it does.
Oh, and pulling the pickup covers revealed bobbins and blades in a design copped from many Bill Lawrence pickups I've seen over the years. Who knew? ;)
You have done far more exploration than I have.
I prefer Bartolini pups and preamps..GOOD TO KNOW, as Bartolini would have been an "upgrade " I would have chosen; obviously not needed.
Mine needed a set-up, which was not provided by GC. Thanks to TB and Fender sites, I did my very fIrst neck adjustment; wrench provided.
Tuners are OK. On my American Standard Precision "tuning' is a rare tweaking; essentially set-it and forget-it. Not so with Squier, but it holds well enough even in all-day outdoor show in Georgia August farm gig..high heat and humidity.
Frets have sharp ends, but as I play behimd frets not on end edges; a a non-issue.
Also knobs have middle detents, same as $17-1800 MM and my even more pricey Zon Sonus. OH..Knobs have never loosened nor fallen off as expected.
Until that fateful day in 2009, I would have NEVER tried Squier ANYTHING. My first [real] Electric Bass was a Rickenbacker, 2nd was Fender, 3rd was Zon..then Squier. I am a reformed gear snob.
As well..I have found GC Acoustic amps to be best bang for my $$; handles a low B without distortion and I have tried them ALL.
That's what sold the Squier. I brought in my GC Acoustic B200
to try out the 5 string MM, then balked at the ticket price, held my nose and tried the Squier..and was amazed, as was the GC guy; I even asked if he heard what I was hearing; same tones as the MM.
Granted : The MM felt a little better, but the neck on the Squier is satin smooth ad comfy.
Main difference is "pawn shop value"; other than that Squier is nearly equal to MM-5 Active.
Thanks again for details, GARY M.
Not a problem...everybody learns a bit from these things. The more I play this bass, the more I like what I'm hearing and the more the sophistication of the electronics becomes apparent. For tone like this, I can deal with the weight.
Kudos to Fender for contracting Cort to do the build on this series of Squier instruments...the quality and attention to detail really shows. A great value at street price and an incredible one via resale or store discount.
Mine weighs in at just over 9lbs, so they're not all heavy. I'll probably swap the tuners for some ultralights at some point. The tuners work fine but that's a lot a weight on that big headstock. It sounds nice. Someone put Sadowsky HC pickups in mine so I don't know what the stock pickups sound like.
Great value. The fat neck took a little getting used to. My four string jazz feels like a toy after I've been playing the Squier.
Sadowsky pups, eh? That's a nice touch. What do you think of the sound?
I'm terrible at describing tone. I usually run the preamp in the detents and move the blend knob around for different tones. It's dead quiet. I have the original pu's but don't know what they sound like so I can't tell you if it was definitely an improvement.
My wife was so pleased with how much I enjoy playing the Squier that she also ordered a top-of-the-line Fender HSC for my Squier. It's the one with the pluch orange crushed velvet and the actual Fender logo.
Funny..My Squier resides in a little higher quality case than my Fender P. The P-Bass case has a "made for Fender by: ...some case making company whose name I don't recall".... badge on the inside. Outside is plain, but clearly a standard "Fender-type" HSC, with
black plush velvet inside, which matches the Black P-Bass..Wait a minute...Except for tuners, frets and knobs, my Squier is all black...hmmmmm
I suppose that I could swap them around..but something tells me there is an "ethics issue" there.
Tuners? Yeah a little cheap, but they hold tuning well enough to perform with and under harsh Ga Summer humidity, so no need to replace unless one fails, which I doubt would be any time soon. And no neck dive issues.
Again, I remain impressed with the knurled metal knobs;. equal to the MM I almost bought.
I don't mind the neck width; the neck feels nealy as good as MM which I keep mentioning.
Mine is not a Cort, AFAIK; However, one decal reads, "made in Indonesia". I do not plan to remove or replace the Squier decal. And yes, I expect some gear sobbery as a result, however, I will gladly continue playing my Squier; won't hesitate to look at Squier as next purchase as they seem to be better quality than previous years when I would have NEVER considered Squier ANYTHING. Also.. sooo very affordable in comparison to "Real" basses"
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