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Cheap, but good Jazz Bass ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jnewmark, Oct 25, 2018.


  1. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Here's the deal. I already own a '98 MIA Fender Jazz, and a RW Jazz. Both have nickel rounds on them, and I use them both on live gigs, to the point where I don't want to change any mojo about them. The last couple of years, I've been doing more studio work, and have been asked to bring a bass that has Flats, for I do mostly Blues/Soul stuff when I'm there. So, I thought I would try to find a cheap, but good, playable, passive, Jazz , 4 string, Rosewood neck, for the studio stuff, and put some LaBella's on it.

    I've been checking around, and it seems like a VM Squier might be a good choice, but I wanted to throw it out there to the Talk Bass community and find out what other choices might be better. I'm not opposed to buying used, as long as everything checks out on the bass, and I'm not necessarily stuck on a Fender, but I would rather find a Fender as I am used to playing them. Budget is right around $ 300 - $400. Before you suggest it, a P bass is not an option - been there , done that.

    So, what else is out there ? What model/year Squires should I look for ? What other, cheap but good Jazz basses are you guys using ? Any inherent problems, issues, etc. with certain models ? All comments welcome !
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  2. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I've got an SX with flats that I've both gigged live and done studio work with. Minus the Rosewood fret board, it's probably what you're looking for.

    rig.
     
    GreyEagle, Warhawk, Federighi and 3 others like this.
  3. tyohars

    tyohars

    Nov 11, 2016
    Jakarta, ID
    Sire basses, for your price range, perfect. Get used V7 Alder as it come with rosewood neck, it's the best jazz bass for that price point. If you want a new one, Sire V3. Never played one, but it have the same preamp as V7, difference only pickup and body wood. It comes with Daddario round, but great with flats, already strung it with Daddario chrome, but that's not for me so put Rotosound there. Good luck with your search!
     
  4. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    For something different than Jazz, why not check out a Sterling by Musicman Stingray. They go for $499 and might be a unique tone with flats.
     
    ruju, pht2356 and selowitch like this.
  5. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    That looks nice. The neck looks more like a P-style neck, wider by the nut ?
     
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Thanks, but pretty much want to stay with a Jazz, as I've been playing them for 30 years.
     
    Eikari, HawldieMPB and MoeTown1986 like this.
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I've heard of Sire, but they seem to bee in the same price range as a squire. What might be the differences ? Also, pretty much want to stick with a passive bass.
     
    HawldieMPB and JZQuantum like this.
  8. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    In that case, several years ago I had an SX jazz from Rondo music that I was very fond of. Cost was only $150 new and only mods it needed were a fresh set of nickel strings and a good setup.

    Just Google rondo music and you'll find it. SX have high regard for value proposition around here.
     
    DJ Bebop and jnewmark like this.
  9. tyohars

    tyohars

    Nov 11, 2016
    Jakarta, ID
    I'd say, Sire V3 on par with Squier and V7 with MIM Fender. The electronics tho, way better on Sire (at least the V7). Build quality is on par on my MIJ Fender, except the tuner. They sound great too in passive mode, I played them passive sometimes. At Sire Bass Club, I heard someone play it passive exclusive. The build quality is way better than Squier, at least on my V7. Really great bass.
     
  10. I suppose that if you put flats on it you intend to go passive. G&L tribute JB-2 perhaps (I only played the MJ-4, active and more expensive, a great JB).
     
    Arnel M. likes this.
  11. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    HawldieMPB likes this.
  12. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Look for a Dean juggernaut .Great bass for the money.
     
    jnewmark likes this.
  13. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Great suggestions so far ! Also, if you happen to know the weight, please include that. As a reference, my other two Jazz basses come in around 9.2 lbs. Like to keep it near that, or lighter if possible !
     
  14. tyohars

    tyohars

    Nov 11, 2016
    Jakarta, ID
    Then, you should forget the Sire, it's a little heavy, even heavier than my MIJ P, which is made from the same body wood. You might want to check Bacchus basses.
     
    jnewmark likes this.
  15. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    There is also an Indian hardy and you know what you get with both together right?
     
  16. alack

    alack

    Nov 20, 2000
    Florida
    Full disclosure: While I own 2 Squiers (A VM J with a maple board and a SS Jag with the laurel board), I have not played the new Contemporary J. My experience is that the Squiers perform great. In many ways I prefer them to my expensive American basses. If I were in the market for another J I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on the contemporary over the VM based on looks (blue with matching headstock) and the fingerboard wood. A set up and fresh set of flats and I'm certain it would rock. The laurel on my Jag feels very much like the rosewood on my 74 P.
     
  17. The US JB-2s are light (<9lbs). The tributes I don't know.
     
  18. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    There are plenty of Squier VM J's at musicgoround in your state.
     

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