Where does the Spector Performer rank on the budget bass market?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Diesel Kilgore, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Been very intrigued by Spector as of late. And also being rather thrifty I notice the Performer can be had for the price of a Squier VM.

    With the reputation Spector has I would expect this to be one of the best budget basses out there. Am I correct? I really want something different and Spector seems to be where my feelings take me. But on a budget does the Performer live up to its name? Instead of going after another Squier CV or VM or an Ibanez would the Spector be a notch above or just fit the budget mold?
  2. I liked the Spectorcore that I had a decade ago, and would grab one again, if I felt sufficient GAS pains. Seeing that QC from the east Asian factories has risen dramatically, since then, I would surmise that the instrument is likely gonna be a winner, to you.
  3. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I would never buy a bass before playing it, QC can be very shaky with entry level basses.
  4. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    This, plus I have seen some utterly terrible Performers that were so bad they wouldn't even set up because of bad CNC indexing making everything fit together cockeyed -- pretty much permanently.

    A lot of these things make it to the stores and you think, "well, it'll be OK after some setup," then find that everything is already maxed-out as far as it will go.

    I got this Performer Deluxe for about $168 on a SDOTD from MF a few years back and it was an absolute trainwreck. Everything was off. I spent far, far more benchtime than it was worth getting it to where it would be playable, but I eventually did...just to see if I could.

    I though it would be a cute beater because it was light and simple, with passive electronics. The pickups are EMG-SSDs, which are just the much-hated HZs with slightly different midrange to Spector contract.

    My only real problem is that it feels like at least a 12" radius on the fingerboard, which is far too flat for my tastes.
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  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    Never count on this with Chinese basses.
  7. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Happened to me with a cheapo Ibanez I bought a year ago, it sounds really good and the action is comfy after some work but there are quite a few dead notes.
  8. 4StringsEnough


    Mar 9, 2008
    There's a massive difference between the old Chinese Performers (which were pretty awful) and the new Indonesian Performer. The new version is a credit to Spector and certainly worthy of the name. It's without doubt one of the best budget basses out there and I'd take one in a heartbeat over a Squier VM.
  9. These Performers are built in China? I dont honsetly think its a bad thing unless its a complete garbage bass. I dont feel that way with Spector. Maybe im comparing apples to oranges. But ive dealt with certain problems my Indonesian Squier has had. Which arent big issues. Neck adjustments from different weather and fit and finish issues.

    The setup ive reached at the moment and performance of this bass isnt what ive seen from most Fenders. I will be honest with what ive got, Squier is Squier. If this Performer is approachably better then that for not much more. I would be very happy. Are these Spectors better then that? I can do a setup and handle issues. If these are workable in a Performer, then im down.
  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    If PT or someone comparable is making the new ones, then they should be fine, though I wonder if they've changed the fretboard radius to something more sensible.

    The Chinese ones -- and most of them were Chinese -- were sometimes pure junk and never that great.
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    If the problem is bad CNC indexing, you'll have your work cut out for you because the fit and alignment will be off.

    One classic problem is a neck pocket cut too deep, so the bridge won't lower far enough to match up for a decent action. Not a problem with something like a Fender design with a symmetric rectangular neck pocket which can be easily shimmed, but these and a lot of others have asymmetric pockets that require making and fitting a full-pocket tapered shim, a major pain and not for a novice. Never mind indexing fails where the neck, pickups and bridge are all permanently routed out of alignment with each other. :rollno:

    There's nothing you can do about that, though the SSD pickups have bar magnets which do not require pole alignment -- a good thing, as mine were routed a full 3/8" off-center. The Chinese ones had a much better bridge in terms of complex adjustability, so I was able to dig myself out of a hole with that.

    I see that MF has these in "restocks," which is usually a bad sign with any gear, indicating that there was a production problem severe enough to generate a lot of returns. Conceivably, whatever it was got fixed, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    If you want to give it a try you can always return it for free if it's too screwed up.

    The one I got was the last one, otherwise I would have returned it, for sure.
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    I find a lot of useful insight and experience in Bongolation's posts. However, I always have to sort out the useful negative stuff from the opinionated negative stuff. I like the SSD pickups just fine, and I can get usable tone from HZ's. I like smaller radiused fingerboards, but wouldn't say a flatter fingerboard isn't "sensible."
  13. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    isn't it kind of common for the first batch to be really up to spec with even reasonably good setups and then the later one's to experience corner cutting and rushed work, i'm not trying to offend anybody here, we always read about these amazing cheapo basses reviewers get and early buyers and then by the time i get to try one out maybe six months later they seem like something i'd leave in the art cabinet to mess around on when my students are running late