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Beginner again

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EdgeXXL, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    I just found this sight four days ago and have been reading non-stop. This site is a great resource of information.

    Here is my story. When I was 16 (back in the mid 70's) I started learning how to play guitar and bass. I picked up a very used Fender Jazz and played it for a couple years. I joined the military and quit playing. Well I have started playing again after a 35 year layoff. I am a beginner and don't remember much but I will pick it back up quick.

    My original bass is long gone which brings me to the questions I want to ask here. I am shopping and have a few in mind. I am thinking about another Fender in either a jazz or precision model. What are some of the pro's and con's of each model. I have played a jazz recently as my son ownes a very nice one that his grandfather gave him several years ago. I like it but have wondered about what a Precision would be like. I will go to the local guitar center and play one later this week.

    Second question is there are several nice used in each model locally available. What are the pro's and con's of either a made in Mexico Jazz or Precision or a Squire Vintage Modified Jazz or a Squire Classic Vibe Jazz.

    Thanks and waiting to see what kind of suggestions I get from all of you on this great forum.
  2. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    Welcome. I just turned 51 this month & started playing 4 years ago. I tried playing bass in H/S in the late 70's & just could not get the hang of it & gave it up. I also went into the military in '81 I don't know about Fender's, I have a '89 Peavey Foundation, so I cant offer any advice there but, this site & www.studybass.com have been a great source of info & help for me
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    As a generalization, Precisions tend to sound warm and thumpy, while Jazz basses are brighter and growlier. That said, both basses are capable of a wide range of tones and work well in just about any style.

    Jazz basses tend to have thinner necks than Precisions, which some prefer, and some don't, so make sure you check out a few of each.

    As for MIM Fender vs Squier, they're both great basses at great prices, so I'd suggest you just find a bass that "speaks to you".
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I have a Squier Five string and a MIM Fender Jazz Five string. Quality of the MIM Fender is in my opinion better overall. If you can swing it, I would say go for a MIM Fender.
    Definitely try them out first though- I know my MIM Jazz bass has a pretty thick neck even for a five string and it's pretty heavy. P basses have a different feel altogether and I actually prefer those over the Jazz to be honest with you. It all comes down to preference, you can't really go wrong with either.
  5. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Yes P necks are wider in all directions. Finding the bass that speaks to you as mentioned is where its at.

    Also, dont be afraid of used, good deals can be had.
    Pick a good amp. I prefer a 15" due to the low end difference, but everyone has a preference. Just bear in mind a good amp will make a decent bass better

    Personally, I am very happy with both the VM jazz and the MIM standard Precision I have. The CV is a good bass, just didn't play it as much as the VM. Traded it for the MIM P
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass! And welcome BACK to the low end.

    Couple questions.....
    What kind of music do you think you will be playing? (To me, that will influence what I would suggest you go for.)

    How about budget? Watcha' thinking about spending?

    How about a rough description of where you are? There are guys from all over on this forum and perhaps someone more local to you will know of a hot deal in your area. Even a basic region will help (like "Southern California or Florida Panhandle").
  7. LutherHeggs00

    LutherHeggs00 Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
  8. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    Same year I joined. I ended up spending 30 years in the AF.

    I will be mostly playing Country, Southern and Classic Rock.

    I live in Southern Arizona.

    I have seen several nice basses posted in both the Tucson and Phoenix area craigslist. I am trying to keep my budget around $400 or less for the first one and should be able to do that easily. I still need an amp and will shop for a good used one also.
  9. If you're looking to do this on a budget, the MIM's and VM's are a good way to go. Some quality variances with both, so it's best to try em out, and compare, if possible. Both generally have well made necks and bodies. However, the bridges and electronics are well short of MIA standards. But, you can generally find one of these for $300 or less, and drop in some high quality components, and what you end up with is a very formidable bass, for far less than what you would pay for a MIA.

    You'll have to feel out the neck size, and see what is more comfortable for you. But, keep in mind that the P and J necks are interchangeable, so you could always match the neck to the pickup sound you want, if you're willing to put one together, as opposed to buying off-the-rack. Just make sure it's Squier with Squier or MIM with MIM, though, because the neck and pocket route have to match.
  10. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm 6'5" tall and have very large hands, yet I chose the thinner neck of a Squire Vintage Mod. jazz bass. I just love the satin finish on the neck of mine- makes playing very easy, and moving up & down the neck very fast. I've seen some Squire VM basses with the lacquer finish necks, and they just feel sticky to me.

    As for P bass- the necks just feel too thick & clunky for me. Love the sound, but not the feel.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Cool. Used Mexi or (if you're lucky) Japan P bass would be the route I would go. Keep in mind that a lot of modern country gets down on a Low B 5 string quite a bit, but you can fake it fine without. Good luck with your hunt! (And thanks for your service.)
  12. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Of the three most-mentioned types (Squier Vintage Modified, Squier Classic Vibe and Made In Mexico aka Fender Standard), you really, REALLY should try as many as you can. Like Bassist4Eris said, find the one that speaks to you. For example; I've tried out a couple VM Jazzes and I thought the CV Jazz just blew them out of the water, but others swear by their VM's. It's all very subjective.

    Let us know what you decide upon, 'kay? And the general rule around here is "No pics…no bass." So, welcome aboard and share & enjoy!
  13. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    Edge, welcome to TalkBass. Say goodbye to your wallet!
  14. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    Thanks for the welcome guys. I already want to get both a Jazz and a Precision and will if I find the right ones and they are in my budget. Just waiting for the right one to come along. I will be looking at several of each model in the next couple days. I am sure I will find one that speaks to me.

    I have been playing my son's 73 custom shop Jazz and its very nice. His grandfather gave it to him 8 or 9 years ago. He ordered it right from Fender and it has been played a lot. Its still in very nice condition. My son said there is no way in hell he will ever part with it.

    I have never played a precision but tomorrow I am going to Guitar Center to play a bunch of different guitars. Who knows I might come home with something besides a Fender.
  15. javadog


    Mar 13, 2010
    Also while you are out shopping, take a look at the 35 inch scale 5 string basses. There might be one in your future.
  16. ih8law


    Aug 8, 2009
    Houston, TX
    If I could only recommend one bass to a new or returning bass player, and the options were limited to Fender-style instruments, I'd recommend the MIM Fender P-Bass Special Active Deluxe. It has a P-bass pickup as well as a Jazz bridge pickup, a jazz bass neck (which is thinner than the P-bass neck) and pretty darn good electronics (preamp and pickups). You can find these used for an amount that appears to be in your budget.
  17. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    Scored a really nice 01 MIM Jazz today. Pictures and story to follow later tonight.
  18. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    So here is the story. I had been checking the local craigslist and had found a few Jazz and Precision's in town but I thought the asking prices were too high. I also checked the craigslist in Phoenix and there were several in my price range. I had arranged to go look at some later in the week.

    Today I stopped by a local guitar shop where I had purchased a very nice used Ibanez acoustic/electric bass last week. I don't know what made me stop by this shop. I just happened to be in the area and wanted to look at a nylon string acoustic guitar. As soon as I walked in the owner asked me how I liked the Ibanez. I told him I didn't like it much but my son loved it so I gave it to him.

    I told him I was looking for a Fender J or P bass. He said well I forgot to show you this one the other day when you came in. He goes in the back and brings out a nice hard case and when I open it up there she was. I plugged her in and played a little bit. What a nice playing and sounding bass.

    This shop deals mostly in acoustic stuff. Lots of guitars, banjo's, mandolin's and such. They very rarely has any electric stuff. I asked him how much he wanted and he said make me an offer. I said how does $200 out the door sound. He said it sounded like I just bought myself a bass guitar. He agreed so fast I should have probably low balled him but it's a very nice guitar and worth every penny. As the saying goes around here "Picts or it didn't happen". Hope you enjoy the pictures.

    Now I begin the search for a nice used amp.


  19. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    You got THAT and a hard case for $200?! So…effing…jealous! And I'm diggin' the cigarette burns on the headstock. That's some quality mojo there! ;)

    By the way, is that a Custom Shop stamp just between the "A" and "G" tuning posts?
  20. EdgeXXL


    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson Arizona
    The stamp says "Offset Contour Body" so not a custom shop stamp. The case is a TKL hard case made in Canada. I am really going to rub it in now. I also got three sets of strings and a strap that were in the case. This find was a MAJOR SCORE. I still have enough money left in the budget to keep looking for a good deal on a P to go with it.

    I think I may have a deal on an ampeg BA112 amp also for cheap.

    Here are a few more pictures.