Yeah yeah... here's a crummy online photo and I'll give you another when I get home.
I had been jonesing for a Jazz for a long time but was concerned about ordering blind. I started with the American Standard J with the custom shop pickups and bounced around from one to the next. I tried 3 or 4 Americans, a MIM, a 70s, a few Squiers and two MPs
I ended up trying about 15 different basses and my head was spinning.
Eventually, I settled on the MP because:
1) I actually liked the noiseless bassier pickups, which I think will work well for real jazz walking lines
2) It was one of the lighter instruments I played
3) I liked the stained aged finish -- even though I never thought I'd be a big fan of heavy coated necks, it seems to work for me
4) The neck felt a bit slimmer to my hand than the other basses I played
5) It didn't have a Squier logo (haha...!)
6) If I decided that I wanted to move toward a traditional Jazz pickup setup, swapping a pickguard and pickups is relatively cheap and then I'm looking at a better "sounding" setup than just about anything if I need it
Overall, I was really pleased with the fine instrument. I ended up walking out at $400 + tax, which was a screaming deal in my view for such a fine instrument.
I would add that I am consistently amazed at how poorly setup many basses are at GC -- it's a dreadful shame as it makes it very challenging to actually test an instrument.
So onto a broader topic, having played all those basses and become really pleased with the end result, I find it increasingly challenging to spend more than $1000 on an instrument. Even when I am luckily able to drop $1-3k on a bass, I find the stuff at the lower end to be of fantastic quality these days. I also deeply appreciate the ability to not sweat scratches or upgrades because you're dealing with a much cheaper bass.
I think we're all very lucky to be able to get such fine instruments for such low amounts. I had the same experience two years ago when I was ready to buy a $2k custom shop and walked out with a Schecter.
What a nut case!!!
PS -- not that I intend it, but what kind of replacement pickups fit into the pickguard here?