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Found a Fender 5 I actually like!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by embellisher, Sep 22, 2000.


  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    ...besides the Roscoe Beck, of course!

    And, it says Squier on the headstock! :eek:

    Finally got my hands on an Indonesian made, Squier Standard Series Precision Bass Special.

    Funny lookin' bass, has a P pickguard, but 2 covered(ala EMG) J pickups.

    Very tight B string(much tighter than any American Standard, American Series, American Deluxe or MIM I have ever found!, almost as tight as the Roscoe Beck!), nice tone, well focused tone on the B, a little uneven string to string response, and the pots are the cheapest and sloppiest I have ever seen.

    All in all, for $299.00, a great starter 5 string.

    :cool: :D

    Why can an Indonesian factory make a bass with a better B than Fender's American or Mexican factory?
     
  2. Well congrats on your find.

    I'll tell you though it's not a fender. Squire is made by fender though.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    They just (coicidentally) used a good piece of wood for this bass. With those high procuction numbers you really have no control over the quality of the wood. That's why Fenders and Ibanez basses have so much differences when you compare two similar instruments.
     
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Over on the FDP, there's a review of the Squier five string by a guy who calls himself Holderman. It's very interesting, and this is a guy who has plenty of experience, and also a RB5 to compare it to. He also offers fixes for the unevenness of the pickups. His final conclusion is that this can be a very good bass. You should check it out.
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    The 5-string P-bass with the Jazz pickups is an interesting model, if another bastartization of the Fender design. I haven't seen one of those at GC yet.

    Will C.:cool:
     
  6. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Bastardization??
    Fender must Innovate, classic designs are fine, but i think everything has to be re-invented, innovated.
    Imagine a Fender with a molded luthite body(or rockwood would be nice too), graphite neck, lightwave pickups, and a nice Lane Poor humbucker, active electronics and fanned fret system.

    I would say.. WOW.
    oh.. and with the Jazz Bass body.
    :)
     
  7. geo?

    geo?

    Mar 29, 2000
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Reinvention is perfectly ok, Ifabara. In my view, however, this model is not an innovation. It's simply a variation of an old design. The Stuart Hamm bass is sort of an innovation, even though it's based on the Kubicki Factor bass. The Roscoe Beck also. The Squier model this thread is about is basically a 5-string Jazz with a Precision body (or a 5-string precision with Jazz pickups) and that's why I think it's a bastardization of both designs, neither here nor there. That doesn't mean it's a bad bass. Just unoriginal.

    Will C.:cool:
     
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Having 5 basses already, I'm not buying one of these, MaxPower.

    I was just commenting on the fact that an Indonesian $299 Squier had a better B string than any American or MIM Fender I have played, other than the Roscoe Beck model.

    I would say though that for you guys on a budget, looking for a 5 string with a good B, that you should DEFINITELY check this one out.

    And later on, for a little money, you could replace the pickups and electronics and have a 5 string that is better than some $700 - $1000 5s that I've played.
     
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I just ran across one of these puppies this afternoon, and was VERY impressed with the playability and sound, especially for a ~$300 US bass. I'm with embellisher, best B on a Fender product other than the RB5, and for about 1/4 the money. Obviously it's not as nice as the RB, which has much better pickups, electronics, and hardware, but for a beginner looking to get into a 5, it's a steal. It's more than good enough to learn on, and if you decide you want better, very upgradeable...add a new bridge, tuners, and pickups, you got a real smoker. It reminded me very much of the RB's I've played, I'd call it a "poor-man's RB5". My bandleader owns a store that is a Fender dealer, I'm gonna be strongly recommending he stock one...heck he offers me the right deal, I may even buy a pair! :) They'd be the PERFECT bass for going into "dive bar" gigs. ;)
     
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Gard, I've played 3 more of these this week, one was typical Fender 5, floppy B, no tone on B string, but the other 2 were like the first I played.

    Like any Fender(or Squier in this case;) ), I would recommend a try before you buy, but I think that this bass is a killer value for somebody that would like a rock bottom priced, upgradeable 5 string.

    [​IMG]

     
  12. I played a Squier 5-string Precision Bass Special today, and I was really impressed with it. I was able to compare it with two other 5-strings they had.. a Spector NS2005 and a Dean Edge 5, and I thought that not only did the Squier have the most comfortable neck (for my hands), but it also had the best B string. Much tighter than the Spector, with a better fundamental. Whoulda thunk it? The pickups need some adjustment, but other than that.. very nice, and if I had the bucks, I might have made it an impulse buy.
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am certainly a fan of this particular bass.

    Put in some Basslines pickups and electronics, you would have a killer 5 string for under $500.
     
  14. Somebody please 'splain to me how the B string could be floppy on some instruments and not others. The distance from the tuning peg to the bridge is the same and the string is the same. The tension is the same to get the string to vibrate at the desired frequency.....right? Or is the amount of tension (probably measured in lbs or Nano units or something) not consistent from one instrument to the other? What's up with floppy B strings. I've seen floppy G strings, but that was in the geriatric topless bar.
     
  15. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Rick -

    I wish I could explain it, honestly. I'm certain that there's some reason that can be stated through physics, but I'm personally unaware of it. I can tell you this though, I've played some B strings that were nice and tight, full and throaty, and some that were like trying to get good tone out of an overcooked spagetti strand. Scale length isn't always a factor, although, TYPICALLY longer scale = better B. That said, I've got a 34" B (standard "long" scale) that is just thunderous, so there are more factors at work. Neck stiffness seems to be a concensus choice guesstimate, makes sense to me :D.
     
  16. also, granted some B strings are floppier than others, but it also depends how you play them. Depending on how hard you hit it, if you slap the string or not, it all makes a difference. what may be floppy to one man may not be no another
     
  17. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    There are so many factors that contribute to the integrity of a low B...

    Scale
    Neck stiffness
    Body joint
    Pickups
    Preamp
    Bridge
    String itself
    Setup
    How plucked

    Some examples of good B's and why:
    Warwick: HUGE neck, solid bridge, solid neck joint, good pickups and preamp.
    Modulus: XL scale, stiff graphite neck, solid bridge (ABM), solid neck joint, good pickups and preamps.
    Musicman: big graphite reinforced neck, 6 bolt attachment, deep pocket, huge pickup poles, good preamp.

    Bad B's and why:
    Older Ken Smith (some): The necks on some of these (burner maybe) were so thin that you could bend the neck very easily while playing. A lot of other components made up for it, but didn't truly solve it. Now they have better basses (in their low end) that have graphite reinforced necks.
    Fender Jazz V's: They still use the old 4 bolt neck attachment that has been proven to be flimsy with even 4 strings. (Bass Player Magazine even faulted the Modulus Flea bass for having a symetrical 4 bolt attachment.) The Jazz also has a relatively shallow pocket, some have passive pickups, and the bridge is usually just the folded sheet metal with barrels.

    This squier, as I recall, has a nicer (or at least sturdier) bridge that will hold that b down pretty well. Plus the neck is fatter so it will hold tone a bit better. OR MAYBE, it was a fluke and this bass is a rarity. Who knows?
     
  18. Are some of youse guys saying that the B can be floppy because the neck is so flexible that it will bend to the point of reducing tension on the string? Wouldn't that wack the string way out of tune? I admit right up front that I don't know from nuthin here, but I'm having a hard time believing that the neck or neck to body joint is so loose that the big old B string gets loose.
     
  19. I think it's not so much the neck BENDING as it is flimsiness in the whole system. If the B string vibrating puts enough stress on a poorly constructed instrument, some of the energy from the vibrations gets absorbed by other parts (neck, bridge) vibrating.

    A friend of mine was talking to the Sadowsky folks about how hard it is to get the true Fender Jazz bass sound out of a five string. The Sadowsky folks said that what makes a Jazz sound great and what makes a good 5 string are kind of fundamentally opposed to each other. The 4 string Jazz has that skinny neck and crappy light guage bridge and the 4 bolt attachment point, all making for a fairly flimsy package. The side effect is that it tends to suck up some of the fundamental of the notes and makes the Jazz accentuate the harmonics more than the fundamental.

    In contrast, a Sadowsky 5 (which although it has a 34" scale still has a SUPERB B string) is a comparatively very rigid assembly (5 bolt neck attachment with screw inserts, better aged / cured wood in the neck, massive heavy bridge) and therefore does NOT suck up the fundamentals and accentuate the harmonics.
     
  20. I've been wanting to look into a 5 string for a while now, and from what I've read in here it'd seem if I could find one of those here in Hong Kong I'd get it. Of course, with Indonesia being so close to Hong Kong, I might actually be able to find one. I dunno. Besides a floppy B, what else would be really important for me to look into, taking into account I'll be looking for a cheaper 5 string?