NBD - Squier VM Jazz Bass Fretless
After lots of aborted attempts at buying a new bass recently, I finally made a decision and picked up a VM fretless. I'm not playing out at the moment, I have a MIM Precision and a couple of Yammies that are solid, reliable instruments that work in a whole lot of contexts, and I just wanted something to enjoy at home and that was, for me, at a justifiable price-point. It was a also a belated post-wedding, post-PhD, post-Vietnam holiday present for myself (and hey, I'm Australian; discretionary spending is our way of life.)
It was ordered from the Fender warehouse, sent to the store, the store checked it over, and sent it to me. So I don't know how much of the initial setup is factory or store, but anyway... out of the box it was ready to go. The setup was perfect for me; I play with a lighter touch these days and the strings were nice and low. You barely have to look at this bass and it starts mwahing all over the place. Yummy. Intonation was set so that most notes are in tune when you stop the string *just* behind the fret marker, which feels right to me but some people may have other preferences.
The hardware is sturdy and clean. The electronics are in better shape than my MIM - although I lucked out with my MIM, because it was shipped with two linear pots of unknown origin for some reason. The Seymour Duncan pickups give a fairly classic Jazz burp, and there's plenty of tonal variety. When soloing either of the p'ups, there is very little hum at all. I have a BB405 with a J+J configuration; the SDs are probably a bit brighter and the Yamaha p'ups seems to have more of a low-mid bark, though a bit of EQ soon does the trick. The strings also need a bit of playing in, so have a bit of natural brightness anyway.
The sunburst finish is fantastic, as you can see, and although the tops aren't matched on these basses, mine is close enough. The neck was a bit rough in spots, as though the sanding job wasn't finished, but it's nothing I can't fix my self if it really annoys me. The bass itself is light, and the neck (my first 'proper' Jazz neck) is thin and a real joy to play. You don't really notice the ebanol fingerboard, and the great thing about it is that if you scratch it with roundwounds you can just rub the scratches away with your fingers!
I'm really enjoying this bass, and am glad I picked it up. I can see it getting a lot of playing time at home and when, as I'm planning, I join up with the local big band again. For now, jamming out to standards with this bass and iReal Book on my iPad is good enough.
TL;DR AAAAA++++ great customer easy transaction please shop again thank you.
Very nice! Looks like you made a good decision...:bassist:
if you dont mind me asking where did you buy it from? i live on the west coast of Australia and i see them on sale for $299 eveywhere on the net and yet i cant get one to my house for near that price. just interested.
sweet. Thanks for that. Im seriously considering a VM 70's jazz.
Congrats... they're really nice, I was considering one as a backup to my 62 Jazz fretless.
Would make a great modding bass... J-Retro, vintage machines, tort, jazz knobs etc.
I strung it up with LaBella flats (760FS) last night and it's brilliant. The action is still low, so no loss of 'mwah' and there's still plenty of that Jazz bite and burp. The sound is a bit thicker and warmer, less bright zing, but the tension (I think) has improved note articulation and killed fretboard buzz when digging in. Perfect match!
Re the rough neck issue - a bit of playing on the neck seems to have smoothed things out.
If I upgrade anything, it would probably be dropping in a J-Retro - sure, it's almost as much as the bass itself, but having a pre like that around would still be useful in the future if I wanted to put it in another Jazz or just sell it. If I decide fretless is my thing, it'll probably be something I consider.
I threw some bartolini pups from tb classifieds in mine cheap, love it to death.
However, the first thing I did when buying was to spend 13 dollars on quality pots and a cap and ditch the garbage it came with in there.- made all the difference in the world, immediately.
Always love those pickguardless jazz basses!
Just a practical note: the La Bellas are obviously a higher tension string. Even it they work fine in the first week, without a neck adjustment you'll get buzz eventually (if you had your strings low for 'mwah'). Currently experiencing this (might also have to do with local weather changes) and have also discovered that the standard Fender Allen keys/hex keys won't fit the truss rod - you need one slightly smaller.
Otherwise, still awesome - I think I'm fully converted to fretless playing (although I am a double bass player, so....)
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