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Caught the Squier 50s Vibe; Pickup Advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lowbrow, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I've been looking at Web photos of the new Squire "Classic Vibe" 50s Precision out of the corner of my eye for months. And when I spied one in my local GC this afternoon, well...


    ...it followed me home, honest!

    This bass plays great, sounds great, looks great -- tiny frets, BIG chunky neck, light body. Respectable fretwork, nice bridge

    And as a side note to you Jazz bass fans: I also tried out the Squire "60s Vibe" J-Bass, which is pretty terrific! I did not plug it in as I didn't plan on buying it, but physically the Squire Jazz is shockingly good! Try one out if you can -- like the 50s P, it is a very, very good instrument for $299.

    Question for you assembled geniuses: This is my first 50's p/u equipped bass -- is there a buzz-mitigating replacement pickup anyone can recommend?
  2. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    Awesome! My local GC didn't have any in stock so I had to order mine. UPS says it should be here on Tuesday. Can't wait!

    Lindy Fralin makes a hum canceling pickup that gets good reviews. Apparently they wind the E/A coils one way and the D/G coils in the opposite direction, giving hum canceling similar to a standard P pickup. I believe they'll custom wind for you, too, so you can specify how hot you want it. I've also read that Seymour Duncan has a custom made one but it's not listed. Apparently you have to contact them to have one made.
  3. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    Congrats! Is the neck finished at all, or does it have the kind of super-satin/matte, almost unfinished feel of the VM Jazz and VM Telebass?
  4. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i'd seriously go with Fralin's, or Nordies, but that's your call.
  5. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I didn't see anything on the Nordstrand website. Do they make this type of pickup?
  6. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    hmmm... i know they did, as i was thinking about getting one for my '51 RI before i sold it. but i guess the demand wasn't high enough. oh well. makes Lowbrow's decision easier.
    so go with the Fralin's! you won't regret it!
  7. miss g

    miss g

    Mar 30, 2008
    I played the 60s jazz today, I bet that P sounds great.
  8. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Actually has a glossy finish front and back.

    Thanks to all for your guidance on my pickup options!
  9. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I tried out a Classic Vibe 50s Tele bass a couple weeks ago at my local L&M but wasn't able to try it through an amp because of too many wankers in line ahead of me using the only amp out of dozens that was powered up. But unplugged it looked pretty good for the money. The neck was a little chunky if you're used to something slimmer but definitely playable. The hardware looked adequate. The bridge looked solid and the tuners worked. The fret work seemed decent. The finish, the Lake Placed Blue was nicely applied and buffed out. Too bad it's the only finish available. I also thought the balance was good when played sitting-no severe neck dive. The weight seemed to be about 9 lbs-a bit heavier than I would have thought considering it is a basswood body, but I expect there will be some vaiation from bass to bass.

    As I said, I couldn't try it through an amp that day, so I went back yesterday for the express purpose of doing so and figuring if I liked it, buying one. Unfortunately the bass wasn't there although their computer said it was. So I got the friendly sales clerk to order one in for me with the understanding that if I didn't like it I wouldn't have to buy it. He said it would be in within 2 weeks.

    I've heard the stock pickup is a bit noisy so I fully expect to replace it with something quieter if I buy the bass. Lindy Fralin or Seymour Duncan seem like the two best options for me here in Canada so I'll probably go with the one that gives me the best mail order service.

    Yesterday I did try the Squier with the Tele body and big humbucker through an amp. It was decent enough to play on too and the quality seemed to be on par with the 50s model. Unfortunately the sound was just too thick and bassy through an amp. I just couldn't dial out enough of it. I don't like a midrangey sound but this was way too much the opposite way for me. It was a nice looking bass though with the sunburst ash veneer top and back. Too bad they didn't ofer something similar in the 50s model.

    So when the 50s model I ordered comes in I'll try it out through an amp (maybe I'll bring my own GK MB150S because I know the sound of it well) and post what I hear if you're at all interested.

    I'd also like to hear any further reviews any of you come up with. These new Squiers seem like dent basses for the mony.
  10. kai_ski


    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Yeah I played one of these at the GC tonight, and thought it felt great. I'm really tempted by it. I've looked into possibly building one with warmoth body/neck, but for the price it might be better to just go with the Squire and make some mods. Specifically replacing the pickup with one of the Lindy Fralin pups or doing one of these http://www.hammoneng.com/largeimage14.htm. Possibly a BA-II bridge, and then for appearances sake a white pearl pickguard.

    so that would be:

    $65 for the bridge
    $120 for the Fralin or $200 for the Darkstar
    $? for my vanity cover

    What do y'll think Could I build a similar Warmoth for <= $600.
  11. RedemptionBass


    Dec 12, 2007
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Head (and only) Honcho at Redemption Bass
    I really, really like the Rio Grande Muy Grande 51P. I shielded and grounded very well and I get no hum.
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Congrats on a cool bass. The only thing I don't like about that bass is the color. Lake Placid Blue is a beautiful color, but seems out of place on a 50s style single coil P bass.

    My advice is to spend some time with the bass. My JTB-401 has a single coil pickup and the single coil hum is absolutely zero problem in a real live gigging situation. I don't know how good sounding the Squier pickup is, but my JTB-401 pickup sounds downright sensational. I wouldn't dream of replacing it. If the Squier was available a couple years ago I'd probably have one instead of my Turser.

    A bridge cover is only about $29 or so on Ebay....
  13. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    I like what I've heard of their stuff too, a split-P and a bridge J. Rio Grande is very overlooked IMO.
  14. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I really liked the tone of the stock pup, especially when pushed a bit, but I couldn't resist the urge to mod. I got one of these and installed it on Thursday and tried it out with the band last night. Compared to stock it seemed much fuller and more aggressive across the spectrum. Lows were big and round. Mids were full and grindy. Highs were present and solid but not piercing. (I don't spend a lot of time in the upper registers or on my skinny strings, though, so take that for what it's worth) It's higher output than stock so I was noticeably louder at the same settings. The aggressiveness and fullness gave it almost a split-P pickup sound, although not quite the low-mid punch--it's a bit more even sounding than that.

    I really like it for the aggressive country grunge rock sound that we play. The stock pup has more of a classic sound and this one is definitely more of a rock sound. Higher output, aggressive, grindy and full...I like it.

  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm tempted but I don't like that color on that bass. I also don't need another electric 4 string w/old school tone.

    Give me a sunburst, black, or Mary-Kaye finish.
  16. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I'm much more of a sunburst or black person, too. This wasn't my favorite before I got it but it's grown on me and now I really like it. My drummer said it's his favorite.
  17. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    I have a Squier 50's P and love it. Mine is light and has a fairly slender neck and the stock pots and pickup are awesome. It came from the factory with shielding paint in the control and pickup cavities so it's very quiet.
    The Rio Grande 51P and Duncan QP are both excellent sounding pickups. I prefer the QP just a bit because it has the largest diameter poles so you get less dropout if you bend a string. I've tried two different stacked Duncan humbuckers (one flush poles, the other staggered) and neither sounded right to me. I haven't had a chance to try a Fralin split-coil yet but I want to.
  18. El Jefe

    El Jefe

    Jun 25, 2008
    rugaar everytime you post pics of that beauty i get more excited to get mine on tuesday!!
    what strings are you guys running on your 50's p's? i think i want to get some flatwounds when i get her but im not sure which brand to go with
  19. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Get the Fralin singles.

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