Squier CV: Should I bother?
I've currently probably got enough basses but I have been enjoying playing my beater a lot recently. It's a Squier Affinity Precision in the Candy Apple finish. It's completely stock and not a particularly well looked after instrument, but I am digging having that Fender style tone.
My good bass is a Spector and I keep that set up for gigging which requires me to be in C tuning all the time. That means it's not really an ideal instrument for faffing about with.
I've been thinking about selling the Affinity and buying a Classic Vibe but honestly I'm not sure if I should bother.
Dilemma as follows:
Firstly the CV line is quite dear over here, starting at about $500 new. Used instruments don't really come up and when they do they seem to be holding value (which is usually a really good sign of quality). Therefore I will have to sell the Affinity for about $100-150 which won't get me close to the CV.
Secondly, used Japanese Fenders (and I usually like Fender Japan basses) start at $700, and new Mexican Fender standards are around the $800 mark. Both these options are kind of appealing considering that if I'm going to have to spend $500 to upgrade I could just as well spend $700 and get a standard Fender or a Japan.
So what would you do in my position? Splash out and get something different (and if so, what) or just slap $40 worth of new strings on the Affinity and save my cash? For reference I'm not fussy whether I end up with a P or a J. I like both well enough.
Those seem like some very steep prices! In that case, I would say get some nice pickups in your pbass, a string change, and a setup.
Personally, I'd spend an extra $200-300 dollars and buy a Fender.
Check out Ozbass forum. Lots of great second hand Jazz basses come up for sale there.
I have a squier affinity, a classic vibe and a Mexican made fender (classic series so a bit of an upgrade on the mim standards). I will go ahead and say there is very little difference between the mim fender and the classic vibe. People can say that you should go with fender for the name but that would be the only reason. I have played a few bad "vintage modified" squiers but I have never played a bad classic vibe. They are fantastic basses and on a blind test I doubt a "gotta be a real fender" player could tell. There is a test on YouTube doing this with guitars and the guy mixed up a custom shop 52 tele with a squier classic vibe. May have been a set up to boost sales but I would believe it having played both. If you don't care what name is on the headstock go for squier. I think it would actually be an upgrade over the anemic sounding Mexican standard pickups.
That being said, I stripped and refinished my affinity p bass, put a fender logo on it (so I don't get hassled or judged for playing a cheapie squier) and put a set of vintage correct pickups I had kicking around in it. It sounds remarkable and quite close to my 700 dollar fender p bass. It's also super lightweight and easy on the back. I would say go for the classic vibe if you can afford it or spring for some good pickups for your affinity. Either way you won't be missing out on any tones by not having "fender" on the headstock.
Both Affinity Squiers and Standard Fenders are alder bodies Classic Vibe are basswood
Classic Vibe basses reproduce a somewhat Vintage tone thanks to aptly conceived pickups, electronics and fretting, other than those, they are completely updated instruments:
normally winding tuning machines;
Both Affinity Squiers and Standard Fenders are entry levels, so that they have poor fit and finish, if compaired to higher series, average pickups and electronics
Yet they count on alder bodies, so the trademark Fender combo is right there: bolt on satin finished maple necks (and rosewood or maple fingerboards) with resonant alder bodies.
On both, you would (eventually) swap pickups and pots out with something better (while Classic Vibes are good enough): if you're thinkin' to upgrade your Affinity series, my humble opinion is to start from headstock machineheads, putting a set of open gear tuners in (they would be larger than original, covering former holes) and then a different kind of pickup.
I really think, just like that, your Affinity to be as close to a Standard Fender as it could.
I love my 60's P CV. It continues to astonish me. I recently picked up a new Affinity PJ for $150. It plays fine, stays in tune and SOUNDS GREAT. Hardware looks sort of cheap but it does the job. Just what is it you're looking for? Look good? Sound good? Impress the bassists in your audience?
All the Classic Vibe series instruments I've played have been high quality. I used to own a MIM Jazz and it was not nearly as solid as the CVs in any way (tone, playability, construction...). There was also a line of MIM Telecasters I was looking at that were issued with the wrong bridge size, so that the string spacing was all off and the high E would easily bend right off the fretboard. I realize these are only two bad examples, but based on this, and the lower price of the CVs, I'd definitely go for a CV before thinking about a MIM.
I also currently own a couple Fender Japan instruments, and they are high quality instruments as well, with pretty unique designs. As you mentioned, you'll pay more for MIJ Fender than any Squier, but, especially with a used MIJ, you have a much better chance of retaining resale value in case you need to sell it at some point in the future.
Either way I think you can't go wrong with CV or the used MIJs. I guess it all depends on what you're willing to spend, but I think that you'd do better with the CV or MIJ than you would swapping pickups in the Affinity, as you'd end up with an overall higher quality instrument, and something new and (hopefully) pretty to show off on TB!
I think I'm just going to have to play some instruments to see what I like the feel of.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably end up keeping the Affinity even though it's a clunky unremarkable, fairly ugly bass. It never leaves the house but the thing is that I'm doing most of my playing at home these days so I almost do need a good instrument, not just a beater.
For what it's worth....
I went out with cash in hand to buy a Fender. I came home with the CV Jazz, after trying a bunch. It's top notch. Can't fault it any way.
Since you're in Melbourne, get yourself down to the Bass Center and try out one or two. You won't be disappointed. :D
CV Squiers are a huge step up from Fender Standard (MIM) series, and an even larger one up from Affinity series Squiers. Yes, $500 is a lot of scratch, but the instrument is well worth it. I had one, fell for the peer pressure to buy a Fender, and have regretted it ever since. One day I'll get another.
I've got a CV. It's a great P-Bass. It's got that P-Bass feel and P-Bass growl and that P-Bass thump and P-Bass look. I really can't say anything bad about it at all. When I sold my Warwick I put some of the money into the CV P.
I'm thinking of setting it up for BEAD since I don't play 5's; I think it should take it like a champ. It's solid.
The CV and VM precision basses are great quality instruments. If you can get a used one for a good price i would certainly recommend it for a beater, or even a main bass. They are great.
Compared to a mexican fender the extra couple hundred isn't worth it (for most models) even at the same price i would just skip the mexican line all together lol CV/VM then the RI/classic series then american fenders.
Yes you should. I love my Matt Freeman sig model. Only ones I've played better have been recent MIA's.
Keep the Affinity, if you are happy with it. Perhaps new electronics. In the meantime, just keep your eyes peeled for a screamin' deal on a nicer instrument.
ya ca always order from zzounds or americanmusical with their affordable play and pay programs.
I have the Matt Freeman sig as well and I gig with it, practice with it, and take it out on dates. I love that thing. A lot of musician friends of mine that are gear snobs were at first skeptical about that Squier but when I played it for them and let them play it, they fell in love with it.
Even though the stock configuration was just fine, I am currently installing some Seymour Duncan Spb-3s. BAM!
I have a MIC Affinity P that I bought used. Found a set of new CV pickups on eBay for a whopping $25(US) and swapped them in. Nice improvement, certainly worth the cost.
What don't you like about the Affinity? You can't do much to change the feel, but you can do a lot to change the sound with strings and electronics.
i have a MIM jazz that was the best sounding/playing model in the store before i walked home with it. with MIMs as with squiers (and if we're being honest and not delusional, MIAs as well) you have to play and play a bunch of different ones to find the good one.
i think you should play whatever you can get your hands on and walk out with the best bass they have in your price range regardless of the name on the headstock, and without worrying about where it's made.
The classic vibe p is a great bass. I really have enjoyed owning one. Perfect neck. The stock pickups sound great too.
In fact, there's a sonic blue one in the classifieds right now! ;-)
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