Are the newer Squier VM Pickups really this good?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Spirit of Ox, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. I wanted an inexpensive back up bass so I purchased a loaded Squier Vintage Modified P bass body. It's sunburst with a black pickguard and a Jazz pickup in the bridge position. I mated this to an all maple Mighty Mite neck. The results were fantastic.
    Now I compared the tone to my other two P basses. One is a 73 with the original pickup taken out and replaced with a Seymour Duncan Spb4 Steve Harris model. The other is a customized parts bass (my main gigging bass) Alder body, Maple neck and Bartolini CBPB and J pick up. I love the the Steve Harris pickup. It is punchy, nice mids, tight lows, and just the right amount of top end to provide that nice clank.

    The Bartolini CB series is also really great although a bit expensive. They have a nice high-fi tone a little less mids than I'm used to, but a nice even across the spectrum tone that's a tad on the bright side.

    So these Squier pickups, mostly the P bass pickups, sound amazing. They are just as good as my two expensive sets. They have high output, terrific Mid range response, which is very important in a P bass, and nice highs and lows. I couldn't believe it. The jazz pickup resembles a Dimarzio, but is a regular ceramic magnet single coil. It hums like any other single coil but it still has a nice soloed tone.
    Is Squier really amping up their quality or did I just luck out?
    zapped777 and blindrabbit like this.
  2. Thebrownarrow


    Jul 23, 2011
    I have the passive long scale VM Jaguar bass and the pickups in it are amazing. They are everything what you are saying. P pickups are strong. My J pickup adds a lot of zing and is dead silent. Absolutely zero hum from mine.

    I bought the bass figuring that I would probably swap the pickups out at some point. I have no reason to. They are fantastic.
    zapped777 likes this.
  3. Are you referring to the "Duncan Design" pickups which were originally mounted on the Squier VM Precisions? Or is there another newer pickup?
    dmac1961 likes this.
  4. No not the Duncan Designed. These are a lot better than the Duncan Designed pickups, at least the P pickup is. Squier really got it right with that one.
  5. Is that the active or passive model? I have the Fender CIC Modern Player Jag (in my avatar pic). Real good bang for buck bass.
  6. Thebrownarrow


    Jul 23, 2011
    It is the passive one. I have played one of those MP Jags. They are also super nice.
  7. godblender

    godblender Inactive

    Mar 11, 2009
    I found the DD pickups in my VM Jazz to sound really, really great. I compared them to the American Std. Jazz w/Custom Shop 60's pickups I had at the time and actually thought the VM sounded slightly better.
    Mili likes this.
  8. I played the first series VM P bass, white, black PG, and Duncan Designed pickups. I thought they sounded ok but they didn't blow me away. I can speak for the Jazz bass. I've only played the natural one and I thought it was incredibly bright.
    That could be due to the maple body but not too sure.
    The pickup in my VM body knocked my socks off. It's hot with killer mids and nice highs. It's not super bassy but that's OK for me.
  9. I wonder if my VM P bass has the same split coil as your Jag. I know the bridge pickup is different. Not sure why they went with a Dimarzio look a like.
  10. hopsbb


    Nov 8, 2014
    I've always liked Squiers better than an Fender branded basses.I still to this day after playing literally hundreds of Mim and Amstd think the Squiers play and sound better.
  11. When I had my Squier VM, I found the pickups to be very hot, and very bright. If that is a sound that works for you, then you've got it made with the stock pickups!
    zapped777 likes this.
  12. Yeah these work for me. They aren't good for slap bass, too much midrange and not enough lows, even with both pickups on full. I'm not much of a slapper anyways. This is just a great rock bass.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  13. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I have to disagree. The DD pickups on my VM Jazz fretless are very bland-sounding. Lots of low mids and not much else. This becomes more obvious when recording it. I plan to replace them soon.
  14. Great rock bass is a fantastic way of putting it. I used that VM to play classic rock and blues, and it was a perfect fit.
    Spirit of Ox likes this.
  15. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    Nope you didnt luckout.. I picked up a VM P bass in lake Placid Blue in the summer and it is as you say..punchy and good. In fact mine is so well put together and sounds so good it gets more play time now than my trustee old 70's P which was no slouch either, its just that the Squire is lighter and just nicer to hold and play.

    How do they do it for the price?
    zapped777 likes this.
  16. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Istanbul...not Constantinople Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Did they stop doing the Duncan Designed ones now? I had a set in my 70's VM J and they were uber brittle and twangy. A set of DiMarzio Model Js really beefed up the bass. Now the CV series basses do have some good pickups in there, the pickup in my Sonic Blue 60's P bass was perfect for oldschool stuff with flats. I have to say though, I do not care for the Duncan Designed pickups at all.
  17. Yeah same boat as me. I retired my 73 p from gigging. These VMs are super light too.
    How's the neck on yours. I might grab a LP blue one since it's such a good deal.
  18. They aren't using the Duncans anymore. Looks like quality control is getting even better.
    These freakin Squiers are phasing out mims as far as budget basses go. The CV series is highly regarded and these VMs are as good too.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  19. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    I have a lefty VM 70s Jazz, they're Alnicos and they're the 'Fender Designed'. I A/Bed both a 2012 with DD pups and my bass and found my version to not only be hotter, but fuller, deeper. Like any Jazz, the soloed pups do hum a little bit when adding some gain, but otherwise than that, it's a perfect instrument, all stock.

    Well, it won't be for long. I'm changing the control plate to this one, which has a blend and a push/pull for series/parallel. 50 bucks and the chance of having my all-maple VM approximate a Ric? Why not?

    ETA: oops... forgot the link...

    As for where these pups come from, they are likely manufactured by Artec, a pup manufacturer in South Korea. They do all kinds of mid-priced 'boutique' after-market stuff like Tonerider, GFS, Dragonfire and Calig. And a few others too you can find on e-bay.
    Spirit of Ox likes this.
  20. Artec makes some pretty good stuff.
    I'm starting to realise that you don't need Nordstrand, Fralin, or Bartolini to have a good sounding pickup.