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Cheap basses or gas pains??- help!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alanloomis1980, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Im having a bit of an identity crisis here. It seems every month or so im finding myself unsatisfied with my bass....

    Ive been playing a peavey jazz for about a year. I love the feel of it but was never really satisfied with the sound ....

    Then i got a squier affinity P bass. I love the sound, but really dont like the neck. Im gradually coming around to the size difference , but im noticing the fret ends are not that clean and the neck just feels "cheap." Further i cant really get the action that low. (About 5mm is all i can get to) saddles are maxed and getting string clicks on the pickup. I guess i could lower pickups or shim the neck..... or try clear nail polish.....

    Then i put the peavey neck on the squier body. Feels and sounds pretty good, but still same problems with action and string noise.....

    So heres what im thinking, do i:
    -keep this parts bass together, live with high action? Or try something else to lower the action?
    -put my peavey back together ,try new pickups?
    -get a nicer neck for the affinity?
    -save up for a MIM fender jazz (or another nicer bass)?
    -save up for a nicer parts bass?

    My values: feel comes first, sound a close second. Passive, simple basses. Affordable.

    I appreciate your feedback and brutal honesty. I keep changing my mind and need some help coming back down to earth, before i go insane.

    Thanks y'all
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Get a nice Squier or even a Fender J-neck. The action can probably be fixed by shimming the neck. Good luck.

    PS: I'm sure you can find a great J-neck in the TB classifieds for decent money.
    Aqualung60 and alanloomis1980 like this.
  3. @alanloomis1980

    Hate to break this to you but it sounds like something is terribly wrong with your set up procedure.
    1 bass messed up I could understand but both basses.... Same trouble after a neck swap ??

    With the action sitting a mile high, what have you set neck relief to ?
  4. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you have 5 mm string height and you’re hitting the pickups, your pickups are way too high. You need someone to do a setup on your basses.
  5. The peavey was fine, easy to dial in. It was the sound; while i like the sound at home, I've been having trouble with the J pickups at gigs. Much better results when i started taking the P out.

    Don't have an exact measurement, but the necks are pretty much flat. (But the squier neck seems about maxed, another reason i feel its cheap-o) im starting to think theres a little slant to the squier pocket.
  6. MrWolf14


    Jun 28, 2015
    Munich (Germany)
    My 2 cents... put back the peavey neck and try to setup that bass, as good as you can (including some shielding if needed).
    If you don't like the sound, try to configure the pickups in series.
    If you still don't like it, you may change the pickups or consider acquiring a new bass.
    Ciao, Domenico
  7. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    From my experiences, the Affinity necks I've seen are not shabby.
    With a little fret work, it might turn out right for you.

    I bought a VM SS Jaguar online and the fret edges were horrible, much worse than my AFN.
    I had the Jag's fret worked on, and now I have a smooth operator.

    I agree that a proper setup may be in order. Also, one of the many mods I did to the AFN, was a Gotoh 201.
    The saddles are bigger than the stock bridge saddles, but the 201 was cheap so I couldn't resist.

    rollie 55 and alanloomis1980 like this.
  8. @alanloomis1980

    With the mid thing going on with jazz basses I've had trouble myself for a decent live sound. Many others will disagree.

    Check the Squier pocket with a combi square,could be a build up of finish is the trouble.
  9. I have them in series now, which i loved at home but was just mud when i took them out. My gut tells me to put it back together, something is bugging me about having it apart. Maybe its time to go back to the drawing board and play with my EQ and pup levels.
    MrWolf14 likes this.
  10. With all this trouble im having with setup, i dont know if its wise for me to attempt fretwork, lol. I tried a new affinity, and the frets were much better, but sounded weak. Hindsight 20/20, would have been much easier to put new pups in that one. And it has a gotoh 201! Maybe thats the issue....
  11. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    @alanloomis1980 , what amp are you playing through and what are your EQ settings on it?
  12. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    Very well could be some of the problem. In hindsight, I think I would've passed on the 201 since the stock bridge worked well and I got lower action.
    But you live and learn, besides, the 201 was cheap so I could have found something else to use it for. I've actually been too lazy to put the stock bridge back.
    Now that's a shame!!!

    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  13. V3 Fender rumble 100c. Vintage on. EQs at noon (will sometimes boost low/hi mids to 2-3) gain at 9:00. Line out when needed.
    el jeffe bass likes this.
  14. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    Sounds like you need a setup by a professional luthier. There is a process to getting the action to a playable condition and you should leverage their experience. After they setup your bass, you can then maintain it with seasonal truss rod adjustments if necessary.

    I've even worked with luthiers who will teach me about what they did to my bass, so that I could do my own setups on my other basses.

    It just comes with a little experience and a little effort.
  15. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You mentioned something about a nicer bass.
    Saw this hanging up at Sam Ash and it looked so good I just had to try it.
    Michael Kelly Element 4.
    There was a time when I would've shied away from most "unknown" basses, but after playing so many over the past few years it's become obvious that it doesn't have to say Fender or Music Man on the headstock.
    And I found out this one played and sounded every bit as good as it looked.
    Active, but it does have a passive switch.
    Great tone in either mode.
    I actually considered buying one but hey, it's holiday season...time for buying stuff for others, not myself, but I will try it again to see how it sounds with my Xvive wireless next time I drop by
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  16. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Sounds like all your woes could be corrected by a good set up.
    DJ Bebop and alanloomis1980 like this.
  17. Im new to setups and not afraid to tap out if im in over my head. But, i didnt have any problems getting the peavey dialed in. Is it possible the affinity is beyond saving?
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    You won’t really know until someone skilled in the art of setups has a go at it.

    Setups aren’t rocket science, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can screw up a neck.
  19. I hear great things about sires, but im a passive guy, both in tone and simplicity. Ive tried some fender jazzes that i absolutely loved. Im struggling with my cheap basses, but ultimately its an identity crisis; my hands want a Jazz but my ears want a precision.
  20. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Here's what I'd do. Put both basses back together. Install Dimarzio model j pickups in the Peavey--they will change the sound of it so it sounds more like a p bass in the mix (if you favor the neck pickup). Then take the Squier to a pro for a setup.
    DJ Bebop and alanloomis1980 like this.

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