After a nearly 6-month wait for the right instrument, my vintage white SQUIER VM TELECASTER BASS is here!!
First, credit to my sales rep at Sweetwater for keeping an eye out for shipments of the bass for me; yes, he works on commission, but this kind of customer service is a real added value especially when I had specific requirements regarding weight (which is analyzed by Sweetwater on an individual instrument basis). I wanted one of these but it became clear that these ran heavy – up to 10+ pounds. I wanted something in the 8 lb. range, and got this info from my rep as soon as stock arrived as was weighed in. (mine: 8 lbs, 10 oz.) I’d suggest that anybody who has a specific need and is serious about buying an instrument to make that need clear to a Sweetwater representative, who will look out for your needs and keep in contact with you WITHOUT bugging you in the interim (true).
Well, for those who’ve been wondering, this bass is not a telecaster guitar -sized body with a 32”-scale bass neck attached. The body is BIG, longer than a P bass body from endpin to the back of the heel (though shorter in the upper horn, clearly) and a bit wider, too. This fact and the fact that it is a slab probably accounts for the weight. Interesting that though mine is on the lighter side for this model, it is NO neck diver – quite the opposite in fact.
The overall length is almost the same as a P bass; I thought it would be akin to a Mustang in length, but not so. See pic for how it looks next to a Precision Bass and Peaches the Wonder Cat, and when slung on a 6-foot, 170-lb Lowbrow.
The setup was perfect, fretwork even and smooth, the neck fast and buzz-free, and construction very solid and issue-free. Pretty much just what I would have expected from Squier China – glad this dependable build translated into Indonesian. (I swear, that any CV, and now VM Squier I’ve played equals or surpasses any bass that passed for ‘Fender’ in the 70s – the quality of today’s inexpensive basses still amazes me).
The 3-way switch is a joke – probably just to give a function to a design element. The forward position is the same as rolling down the tone knob all the way; the back position the same as trying to get a lousy, thin bass sound out of your amp. Luckily, the middle position sounds just like a good bass, so IMO, no harm, no foul.
Sounds great - like Fender-type basses generally do – a little different from your standard 51 setup bass as, while more or less in the P sweet spot, the pickup is obviously technically not in the same position due to the fact that we are dealing with a medium-scale bass. So, the midrange of the D and G emphasize a lower frequency (a little ‘snocky’-er) than I generally approve of, but I’m a split-coil P guy anyway and have become used to certain sounds that this different bass clearly will make differently (make sense?) I believe that I will swap out the pup for something a little less polite – currently polling around in the p/u forum for suggestions. I use DiM Model P’s on my split-coil Precisions, which are really just like “2 louder” than normal P pups to my ears, and I’m looking for the same approach to use on this baby.
Now, here’s something funny- you’ve seen how Telecaster guitarists generally wear their axes higher and higher and they age and their bellies swell? Well, that’s what you got here, too. With no waist contour, this bass sits out in front of you rather than hugging you and ‘looking up’ at you. I’m skinny and it makes a difference. So consider, my rounder brothers and sisters. Also you’ll get what we call ‘tele-rot’ on your inner right forearm if you’re a strummer like me. I don’t care, cause this bass looks so cool and I’m not in a band anyway at the moment!
Anyway, short story is LOVING IT and very glad that my wait is over!