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Is Squier Better Quality then Fender Made in Mexico?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hardbassjunkie, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. When I say Squier I mean Vintage modified and Classic vibe series. I have a butterscotch VM precision with the Duncan design pickups which I love! And I just newly aquired a CV Inca silver Jazz Bass. These lovely basses are sitting in my living room with a Made in Mexico precision player bass. The Jazz does not have a hard shell case so it lives on a guitar stand.

    I live in Canada and winter has been here for the last week, very cold and dry weather so fret sprout season is here. Who sprouted the most? The MIM! And the CV sprouted the least! Maybe I’m wrong but better quality wood should shrink less in the winter? Also, both squiers are more balanced. The MIM is body heavy. And the MIM has a gap on the right side of the neck pocket that almost fits a 0.88 mm pick. Guess what? The squiers don’t and the neck isn’t to tight that the finish is cracking in the pocket either.

    I don’t know about anyone else this indicates to me that my squiers are better quality then the MIM. Also, I just recently sold a MIJ fender Jazz because I like the Way the CV sounded better. What is going on here?
    Tvrtko, dingwallxx and Zoobiedood like this.
  2. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard. Supporting Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    When comparing your particular VM and CV (they are of the previous generation) to the MIMs of the same year....it is possible.

    Regarding the new CV vs the Player series, I would vote for the Player series. In fact I just went to buy the CV Jazz this week at a store and left with a Player Jazz. It felt, played, sounded, and was built much better than the new CVs. I also have a Player P and think it too is quite nice for the price.

    IMO the Player series is the best improvement Fender has made to their line.
  3. Agreed, I've got a stock Player, and a Player neck, and both are great.

    I also have a Matt Freeman Squier that I love, and have owned various VMs, and some older MIMs.

    I'd say you're firmly in the price territory where you cant say one line is better than the other, dodgy QC and wood variance is par for the course. Some will tell you that MIC Classic Vibes are unquestionably better than MIM Fenders, others the complete opposite - all I can say is my experience doesn't reflect that.

    Tl;dr, my own experience- Player series > Squier MIC CV >= MIM Fender (depending on the particular bass) > VM Squier
    dingwallxx, Iristone, twc1313 and 3 others like this.
  4. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I won't weigh in on the question, but your methodology is flawed. Just because one MIM bass had more fret sprout than two Squiers doesn't mean that Squiers are better than MIM.

    My Genz Benz amp broke down twice. My Ampeg PF-800 has never had a problem. Does that mean that Ampegs are more reliable than Genz Benz? :meh:
  5. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    Better question for the budget conscious buyer is "is a MIM 300-400 bucks worth of better quality than a CV?". And only you can prevent wallet fires.
  6. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Pro tip: plywood won't exhibit fret sprout, either. Which must mean a plywood fretboard would be an indicator of "better quality."

    Ggaa, MDBass, DrMole and 3 others like this.
  7. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    Impossible to quantify. Your average 2019 Squier is probably better than my 2001 MIM Jazz bass. My 2014 (?) MIM P bass outplays any Squier I have ever personally played.

    I've never played any of those sacred cow '80s Squiers that I've ever liked. I've never played a nice '90s MIM Fender either. The corner-cutting in '90s Mexican Fender instruments is far too apparent.

    Speaking in general terms, I find the MIM Standard stuff to be good modding platforms but fairly boring when left stock. The good Squiers, in general, tend to be basses trying to be specific instruments; a '60s Jazz Bass or a '70s P Bass etc.
    NoSlapForYou likes this.
  8. My methodology is probably flawed. I guess I'm jealous my brother who keeps his $3000 guitars loose in the basement and never has to adjust anything haha. I guess my hope is I run into a gem that costs me like $500 and I can do that.
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Yea, good luck with that. I've had very expensive guitars that still need to be adjusted periodically. I also had a custom built guitar that had fret sprout. Learn how to fix that yourself; it aint rocket science. I'm probably the least handy person on TB and I did it easily.
  10. I dont think any of the basses that are mentioned are made of plywood
    Huw Phillips likes this.
  11. What do you use for fret sprout?
  12. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    A hammer.
    flyingfinbar, TheAndinator and lfmn16 like this.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    A file. I would recommend doing a google search. It's not quick to do, but it's easy. You just have to be careful.
    Gothic likes this.
  14. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
  15. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    lfmn16 likes this.
  16. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    What do you use for fret sprout?

    Frets don't sprout, necks shrink and swell. That being said, get that bass as dried out as you can. Get some tape, small files, emery cloth or stones and start rubbing. Practice at the dusty end of the neck 1st.
  17. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    I think a metal eraser guard works better than tape when you file. You can buy cheap hobby files, but guitar specific ones will have a smooth side. If you have sandpaper, you can take a hobby file and give it a smooth side.
  18. Mike Whitfield

    Mike Whitfield

    Apr 10, 2019
    lol +1 My first thought was to wonder whether the MIC instruments were actually built with synthetic or manufactured/engineered wood fretboards, both of which would typically be more dimensionally stable. But clearances and dimensional stability would surely be suitable measures of quality, even though a bass with an ebony fretboard would typically be considered of higher quality than one with an engineered wood fretboard. (Although this may say more about musicians and perceptions than about actual quality.) It would be very interesting to know whether higher grade (by lutherie standards) wood within the same species (or at least within the same genus and species group) is more dimensionally stable, as well as whether there's a difference in moisture content between MIC and MIM (or MIA, or MIJ) versions of the same instrument.

    Personally I'm trying to avoid MIC products for geopolitical reasons, but it's simple truth that many Chinese factories are producing very high quality instruments, perfectly capable of competing with high middle level instruments. I have a couple of made in China higher end Epiphones that are flawless, and that's not even the highest end of Chinese imports. I suspect the only reason they don't produce instruments capable of going head to head with Fender or Gibson Custom Shops is that there isn't as much of a market for and/or profit in a Chinese competitor. In another ten years, we'll probably see Chinese instruments competing on merit for this market alongside South Korean and Indonesian instruments, because once people become comfortable with those nations as top notch lutheries, they'll have a huge advantage in the number of allowable hours per retail dollar. Especially China, who peg their currency to the dollar.
    InternetAlias likes this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    In general, the more expensive bass will be better made, and with higher quality parts. But plenty of people gigging both.
    dingwallxx, Artman and lfmn16 like this.

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