I happened across this bass at a local music shop where I work. For context, I have been playing bass professionally for about 30 years. I have owned a wide variety of instruments, everything from entry level to the rarest of boutiques.
I have been generally impressed with the quality and playability of the Squier CV series, and I have test driven several. I decided to give this one a spin. After about 20 minutes, I realized that I wanted to spend some more time with it. So I took it home on trial.
I know that Squier can be hit or miss when it comes to attention to detail. For example, the body wood on this bass is pretty severely mismatched: about 1/3 of the body is highly flamed maple while the rest is not. For me, it's a pretty jarring contrast.
However, everything else about the assembly, fit, and finish on this bass is pretty much on point.
The thick poly finish, which is not normally to my taste, is evenly applied and buffed to a high gloss. The vintage tint is well matched and very attractive. The neck binding is even, though the trim job is a little rough in the higher positions. The side dots (position markers) are accurately placed and perfectly aligned. The painted rectangular position markers on the fingerboard are flawlessly applied.
There are no rough edges on the pick guard, which mates up perfectly with the control plate. All hardware mounting screws are seated properly and flush with their surfaces.
The fret ends are reasonably well shaped, mostly smooth, and are seated properly. There are a couple that are a bit rough, but nothing outrageous. I may clean up one or two, but I could live with them as they are. I noticed a small amount of buffing compound remaining around some of the upper frets, which was easily removed with a soft rag.
The nut is shaped and fitted well. A small piece has flaked off the E string slot. When I have time, I will need to check to make sure it is not too tight.
The action was very acceptable off the rack, though I did tighten the truss rod a little and lowered the saddles slightly to bring it down just a bit more. It plays effortlessly, and the neck contour feels absolutely fabulous in hand. The B string is not the tightest I've ever played, but it is more than acceptable. It takes a light touch to avoid overpowering the B string with the action this low.
The Fender Alnico pickups are fantastic for this price point. All of the classic Jazz Bass tones are here. With both pickups opened up, the bass is dead quiet and provides that classic scooped tone. Dial the neck pickup back just a bit...and there's that honk!
The bridge pick up on this bass is in 1970's position, about 1" away from the bridge. Curiously, the 4 string CV 70s Jazz on the rack next to this one has the bridge pick up a bit farther away from the bridge. It's very close to the 1960s position. This is strange, given that bridge pickup placement is one of the things that distinguishes 1970s Jazz basses. I've added a pic of both for comparison.
This bass is quite heavy, which is not a surprise given that it's a 5 string made entirely of maple. However, this one is very well balanced. There's no neck dive. I understand that is not always the case with this particular model.
From reading and watching various reviews, I have learned that these basses can be very inconsistent when it comes to overall build quality. I feel this is somewhat to be expected in this price range.
I feel like I've got one of the good ones, perhaps even a great one. But if you are considering purchasing one of these basses, I would strongly suggest spending some time with it first given the inconsistencies that some have experienced with them.