GAS Attack!!! Help Fender Aerodyne / Squier Standard P Bass Special

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Platypus13, May 9, 2021.

  1. Platypus13


    Mar 3, 2021
    Need help deciding if I’m just tweekin on GAS or if I’ve happened upon a deal I shouldn’t pass up. Found a Fender Aerodyne nearby for what seems to be a really good price. To put it in perspective, I’m fairly certain if I bought it, I could turn around and sell my ‘00 Squier Standard Precision Special (P/J) and probably make all of my money back.

    The Aerodyne is a CIJ, all black, with the strat style jack, not sure of the exact year. Everything looks original and it seems to be in really nice shape save for some small scratches but nothing major.

    I have a set of SD QP’s I’ve been meaning to put in the Squier, as well as a Fender Hi-Mass bridge, which if I bought the Aerodyne, it would probably get these upgrades instead.

    FWIW, I’m more partial to the thump of a P-pups than the nasal/growl of J pups, but I like having both types of pickups there for the options it affords me. I don’t need two P/J basses and I do like my Squier Special and you can’t get em anymore, but that Aerodyne is sooo sexy and the setup seems pretty similar when it comes to the meat and potatoes of each one, both having the jazz necks and P/J pickups. I also love that polished black body and cream binding on the Aerodyne, no pick guard, etc, and I’m generally not a fan of black basses. My Squier is a 3 tone burst, and it’s pretty too, but there’s an Epi Thunderbird Vintage Pro in Tobacco burst on the way in the next couple weeks, so...

    Would it be foolish to pass up on this Aerodyne if i could more or less make an even swap for it with the Squier? Or are they pretty comparable machines concerning what really matters and when it comes down to it it’s more of an aesthetic choice (I know the Aerodyne should be lighter weight, but that’s not a huge factor in my decision now)

    So the real question is, how does the Aerodyne compare with the Squier PJ, tonally, quality wise, etc. I know there’s plenty of fans of both of these basses out there, so hoping to hear from those who have first hand experience with either/both of these basses.

    Thanks in advance
  2. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Heya, yea been gassin for an Aerodyne myself also own a standard P bass special in TB, does the Aerodyne your looking at have a routed bridge? If so you may need a spacer to flush mount a different bridge.

    If the Aerodyne is a killer deal why not grab it then decide, you should have no problem moving either one if you decided you really didn't need both.

    Haven't played an Aerodyne yet but would love to get my hands on one but for me I would keep the P bass special (sentimental reasons) and the fact it now wears a fretless neck. Good luck!
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
    JRA likes this.
  3. Platypus13


    Mar 3, 2021
    It doesn’t look like it, though that wouldn’t be an issue as I have the means to machine/fabricate a spacer. I know I’ve read somewhere about the bridge being recessed but can’t remember where. Did they only do this on earlier Aero’s or non export’s? From the pics the bass just has the standard bent plate bridge and it looks to be surface mounted.

    This makes total sense..... in theory. What I’m afraid of is getting the Aerodyne and then not wanting to part with the Squier, because they each offer something valuable yet different enough to justify keeping both. Also, I’m already in the doghouse for my recent bout of GAS. So I guess I’d like to be sure that, objectively, the Aerodyne can do everything the Squier can do sonically and possibly more, and that it’s unquestionably a superior instrument. That way I would be more confident that I’d be buying the Aero as a replacement rather than an addition, haha.
    C Stone and Cabrodante like this.
  4. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid

    Jun 7, 2013
    The Aerodyne is a killer bass. If you can swing it try to have both for a little bit. The Aerodyne might not want the upgrades, mine sounded huge.

    Aerodyne has a standard bent plate bridge. Any aftermarket will fit, but why?
    C Stone and foolforthecity like this.
  5. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    If it were me, I'd go for the Aerodyne in a heartbeat.

    One thing to be aware of, however, is that the hardware on the Aerodyne has a "smoked chrome" finish, which means that an ordinary chrome or nickel bridge would stand out like a sore thumb, unless you also swapped the rest of the hardware. Now, that might not matter to you, but to me it's part of the appeal of the Aerodyne.

    In any case, there is little or no reason to do anything about the stock hardware, really.
    C Stone and foolforthecity like this.
  6. I love the Aerodynes. Get it!
  7. My experience with the Aerodyne Jazz bass, so far (cannot say anything about the Squier):

    * Lovely neck shape and finish.
    * Lightweight instrument.
    * The hardware works.
    * A little delicate, perhaps, when it comes to scratches and dings (the body wood is a little 'soft'; the piano black finish doesn't hide blemishes well).
    * Quite versatile in how you can make it sound.
    * More low-end tone than you would expect from such a light, thin bass.
    * Some J-pickup hum, under certain circumstances.
    * With the P-pickup solo'd, the Aerodyne does not sound identical to a P-bass, but it works quite well. My strings, roundwounds, are kinda old and lifeless, though.
  8. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    If there's nothing wrong with the Aerodyne, I'd get it. This is a no brainer imo. You don't get Aerodynes for the price I think you're alluding to, check the neck though and make sure the truss rod isn't maxxed out.
    I don't think it's been mentioned before but the neck radius of the Aerodyne is 7.25" so it's going to feel completely different to the bass you already have. It may be more comfortable or you may need to get used to it especially if your previous bass has a flatter radius.
    If you don't like the bass for some reason, you can more than recoup what you paid for it, heck even buy two Squier Special P basses if you'd like.
    kjp360 and C Stone like this.
  9. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Yeah, get the aerodyne. Do exactly what you said.
  10. Platypus13


    Mar 3, 2021
    Haha, yeah that’s what I thought the verdict would be. Just needed the reassurance, I guess?

    Thanks for helping. I’m in contact with the seller, so fingers crossed, she will be mine sometime this week. I’ll post pics if all goes as planned.
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    good luck! :thumbsup:
    C Stone likes this.
  12. Platypus13


    Mar 3, 2021
    As far as the upgrades, I would definitely hold off on the pups unless necessary. I do have a set of Hipshot tuning machines with the one that has the lever to go into drop d, but they’re chrome, and yeah I agree the smoke hardware on the Aerodyne is part of the appeal. I’ve never really been a fan of the bent plate fender bridge and I do believe in high mass bridges although maybe it wouldn’t really matter on such a light body? Point was, if the stock hardware or electronics were anemic in any way, I could readily up the ante, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to be the case judging by your comments.

    Could you elaborate on this? I was under the impression that both the Aerodyne and the Squier Special utilized J bass necks? See Squier Standard Series P Bass Special for specs on the Squier Special. It just says Jazz bass neck( no radius measure) and 9.25” radius on the fretboard. Just to be clear I’m not arguing your point, just looking for clarity in my own knowledge.
  13. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    Aerodyne is awesome. Have had one as my primary for years and I still love it.

    Pros - Awesome quality for the price. Best neck I've ever played on (personal preference being slim necks), super fast. All of the other stock hardware is solid for what you're getting and I'm extra partial to the dark / gunmetal / chrome that come stock. I got strap locks to match. It's super attractive looking (to me) and the "binding" pops just enough.

    Neutral - These guys are light, so that's all personal preference. Mines a heavy Aero at about 8 lbs, but they usually run in the 7-8 range. This is also super fun when playing if you like to swing or otherwise do showman style stuff during a set. No pick guard.

    Cons - stock pups aren't great. I pulled them in the first week. The noise because of the the p (hb) and the j (sc) was not fun, particularly when any kind of dirt pedal was thown on top. I replaced the pups in the first month or so of having it. The neck is solid black and the dots can be difficult to see in a show situation, as they don't really register in your peripheral. This may or may not be an issue. Because I sing and play it was for me, so I just solved that with a few glow in the dark stickers - not the classiest mod, but easy enough to removed if I were to sell it (I won't.)
  14. foolforthecity

    foolforthecity Supporting Member

    Aerodyne. IIRC the first several digits on the MIJ/CIJ serial number reveal the manufacture year. Stock pickups were wooly sounding from the beginning, so I changed them out and all is good. Great bass for extended playing times.
    C Stone likes this.
  15. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    They may be similar in width (jazz bass width is 1.5" at the nut ) but the radius is another measure that either makes the bass more comfortable for some. Sorry,to elaborate, I meant fretboard radius. A lower radius will mean more curvature of the fretboard, the higher it is, the flatter it is. One of the things I first noticed when I tried an Aerodyne was this and found it pretty comfortable.
    This article explains it far better than I can. lol
    What Is Fingerboard Radius? (

    the curvature of the back of the neck is measured by shape The Difference Between Popular Neck Shapes C, V and U ( Within the C designation, there are terms such as Modern C.

    My current bass, a Peavey Dynabass (in my user pic) has a neck radius of 8" and find it extremely comfortable to play on.
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  16. Platypus13


    Mar 3, 2021
    Oh, gotcha. I misunderstood when I read your original post, thinking the radius of the neck on the Aerodyne was 7.25”, which seemed odd. You were talking about the fretboard radius. That is good to know though, as I hadn’t been aware of that. So, same neck on the Aero & Squier Special, different fretboard radii, yeah?
    Maxdusty likes this.
  17. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I edited my comment above, included info on neck profile. The Aerodyne has a shallow C neck, I think that would be categorized as Modern C? so the neck feels really slim on the back of the neck.
  18. Squier vs Aerodyne. The setup, the strings, and the pickup set are the critical variables when it comes to tone and response to your playing.
  19. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Aerodyne!!!! That's a fantastic bass. Only caveat is that if you like that gorgeous finish, be careful with it. The light weight is achieved by using a basswood body, and they dent really easily. Does this one have a pickguard? I know some (all? ) of the CIJ models do. If so, that's half your wear problems solved. My nephew has one without pickguard, but he kinda beats on it, and it's fully Road Worn.
  20. Eric Huber

    Eric Huber

    Aug 20, 2019