A little advice here...Squier Vintage Modified 77' Jazz or Yamaha RBX374

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fredolee16, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. I want a cheap good bass for play almost every kind of music. From gospel, latin, balads to heavey rock. In my search this days I find two basses that can fit my wallet but not too many reviews on youtube from both:
    1. Yamaha RBX374 has a nice look and alder body. I hear a lot of good things about Yamaha reputation. A couple of reviews but not too much sounds clips. A couple of bad things about that this basses eat batteries fast even when you unplug the cable(of course it's active).

    2. Squier Vintage Modified 77's jazz bass has nice look too and that white blocks inlays are very nice. I founded some information yesterday that this bass doesn't come with Duncan design pickups like the 70's jazz bass VM. My complain about this one is that I tried two of the SVMJB 70's and has a high action and when I tried to low it, they started to fret like hell and I have carpal tunnel so I need a bass with a very low action to protect my hands. The other thing is that I hate a lot, a lot those fenders vintage bridges so I will need to spend an extra money to buy a Gotoh, badass or other.

    Tell me about your experiences with this two guys. Are they versatile basses? What about the action, neck, durability and other things that you think I should know.
  2. Anyone?
  3. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I have a VM 70's jazz that is one of my main players. Even if the pickups are different on the 77, I wouldn't worry too much...the Duncan Designed ones aren't that great-- they are just ok. I am going to swap mine for Dimarzio Area J's, when I get around to it. Jazz style basses are pretty versatile. I like my action fairly high, but I'm sure that you could get it fairly low, especially with a good setup. I also have carpal tunnel and I find that mine is one of my most comfortable basses.

    The Yamaha will sound different due to the active pickups. Yamaha makes very nice basses too, but I like Fender style basses, and generally prefer passive instruments. Yamaha do make passive basses too.

    The best advice that I can give you is to buy whichever feels the most comfortable, spend money on a good setup (or learn to do your own), and get a good amp or preamp-that will affect your ability to be versatile as much as the bass.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If you are planning on keeping them forever, I might lean toward the Yamaha but it will have a considerably worse resale value. I have bought and sold lots of entry level basses, the Yamaha RBX series are seriously underrated, fantastic entry level instruments. You can never go wrong with a Fender in the stable though and I generally recommend them to my students.

    Unless you can actually put you hands on one of each model to compare this one to that one it is really just going to be a matter of taste, just because I have not seen a Yamaha dog does not mean they are not out there. There are plenty of Squier dogs out there but there are plenty of good ones too.
  5. billgoodwin


    Mar 28, 2011
    I have the 70's VMJ (which is my main bass) , had the '77 jazz for a little while - bought black block inlay decals and put on it which made it look grand. But, I could never really connect with it. Just couldn't get a good sound compared to the 70's vmj. Advice - play as many of the basses your interested in that you can get your hands on. I've played probably 6-7 other 70's vmj's and none of them play as well as mine.

    Hence, I traded the '77 vmj for a vm jaguar, but just traded it for a vmj fretless.

    Again, if you can find a good 70's VM jazz that would be my choice. I totally adore mine.

    happy hunting
  6. Thanks,,,I guess I have bad experiences with the VMJB of 70's,,,a lot fret buzz there. What about the neck of the Yamaha? flat?
  7. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    I've only played the RBX375 but the one I've played was a great bass. Of the squiers I've played some of them are great, some of them mediocre, and some not so great. If buying site unseen I'd say I'd trust yamaha more. If you can put your hands on them then its a toss up. You might also look at the new Yamaha TRBX basses.
  8. Yeah,,,My first choice was the new Yamaha TRBX304 but I can't buy one of those because they don't send it to my country...something about that a store here have the exclusivity of Yamaha. I called the store yesterday and they told me that this new model didn't arrived yet.
  9. I have owned a few Squier Jazz`s and own a rbx 374. They don`t eat batteries, I think this was a problem a few years ago which is resolved. Out of the 2, I would buy the Yam hands down. It`s well built and I have yet to own a Yam that I have been dissapointed with.

    It`s a pity you cant get an TRBX 304 where you live. I bought one of these last weekend and they are superb. You get a great range of tones with the 5 way switch.
  10. Thanks for the advice,,,I think that the Yamaha is wining right now.
  11. Osztertag2112


    Jan 27, 2013
    Yamaha is bad! Was my first bass and i wasnt very happy with it, coud never get the acyion right, it ate batteries like a madman and for an active bass the stonal options wernt fantastic, the vm jazz on the other is a beast!
  12. Co0O

    Co0O Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2012
    Bergen, Norway
    Squier has switched from "Duncan Designed" to "Fender Designed" pickups on all new VM Jazz Basses. I've got a VM '77, and it's a really good bass for the price. It's a bit heavy though, but that's the only negative thing I can say about it. The DD pickups are OK, and I'm sure the new FD ones are good too. I've replaced mine with Fender Vintage ones, and it's now an absolutely amazing Jazz Bass. If you get a Squier or Fender bass, upgrading possibilities will be almost endless (unlike Yamahas).
  13. Well that's true too. If I want to upgrade a jazz bass, there are a thousand possibilities to create my own sound,,,VM has a point here.
  14. cba_bass


    Jul 9, 2013
    I own a rbx374 and a squier vm. The yamaha kills the squier, is loud, comfortable and stays in tune for months
    Lionel Albert likes this.
  15. I own 2009 Squier Jazz5-Active.

    After doing set-up is now my main-go-to-bass.

    For the $..hard to beat. Tons of tone and doesn't eat batteries.
  16. Thrash3r


    Aug 5, 2013
    After owning both (older VM with duncan designed pickups & RBX375), I'd pick the VM any day, much better build quality & electronics, the RBX ate batteries, output was lower than the VM & badly needed the fret ends dressing, wouldn't recommend anybody buying an RBX375
  17. What about the neck? For a guy like me that have carpal tunnel and need a very low action, how is the fretboard in general about those basses? Flat neck make me feel a lot of pain if I play for more than a hour.
  18. I LOVE my 77 jazz.
  19. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    I have the older maple VM Jazz and an RBX 375. Similar but not identical to what you are comparing.

    My RBX375 also eats through 9V batteries as others have noticed. So much so that I started taking the battery out every time I'm done playing it, which is a pain in the rear. Otherwise, the Yamaha build quality for the price is wonderful, and frankly in my experience is a bit more consistent than I've seen from Squier. I'm not a huge fan of the painted surface on the back of the neck, but at least it's a satin paint vs. gloss. The action on mine was really high from the factory, but after a full set-up was medium-low and perfectly fine for a 5-string.

    The older VM Jazz is currently one of my favorite instruments, and I LOVE the tone it develops from the DD jazz pickups. But it wasn't perfect from the factory at all. First, the fret edges on mine had to be filed from their knife-edge status upon arriving from Indonesia. Next, the neck had to be re-set to sit straighter in the neck pocket and shimmed ever so slightly to get lower action. I also had to replace the volume knobs with some traditional directional ones. And I added copper foil shielding in the pickup cavities, electronics bay, and under the pick guard, because the stock single coils did tend to pick up some noise from nearby lighting circuits.

    But the result is worth it, IMO. With some nice rounds installed, the DD pickups are, IMHO, absolutely great, and nail the early 70s tone perfectly. (The Audere guys did some spectral analysis and found the DD jazz pickups came closest of any they tested to some vintage early 70s Fender pickups they used for reference.) The neck is easy to play and fast.

    So in my experience, if you want something that you won't need to modify much other than a basic setup, go with the Yamaha. But in the end, I almost always take the Squier with me.
  20. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Never owned a Yamaha, played a few in stores ... so cant speak from experience on them

    .. for me it would come down to active vs. passive, and I have no interest in an active bass

    ... FWIW, I have a couple year old VM 77 Jazz (blk/maple), and a brand new one (amber/maple) .. the high gloss neck on the new one (amber) is night and day better looking than the satin finish on the black one. The profile is the same, but the blocks on the amber are strikingly nicer as well ... I am not a fan of gloss necks, so if I keep this one I will need to knock the high gloss back down, but it is an amazing neck that came to me with very low action, and no fret buzz (bought from a guitar tech). I cant really comment on the diff between the Duncan Designed pups and Fender Designed, because one has fresh rounds and one has aged flats ... both are very light basses, although I have had VM J's that were no where near as light as these, so I think that factor needs to be case by case ... JMHO's