Jazz Bass Comparisons @ GC Today. Another Squier Convert.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Twocan, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    I've been convinced for some time now that my next purchase will be a post 2008 American Standard Fender Jazz. I had a chance today to pop into GC today to try one, among others:

    1) New Fender American Standard Jazz - very nice neck - I liked the rolled edges. Tone was good, but not overly defined. It seemed a little dark/muffled to me. Weight was average. Finish was excellent (sunburst). $1,399

    2) New Fender MIM FSR Jazz (natural) - suprisingly lighter than the American bass and a little clearer at the top end of the tone. It was all downhill from there. The neck had poor fretwork and was sharp at the edges. The hardware was not impressive and the pickups made a horrible "thump" noise if you slapped (lightly) anywhere near them. They were NOT raised higher than normal. $599

    3) Squier VM 70's Jazz (natural) - very light with a neck that was far slimmer than the others (like a Geddy Lee model). I was surprised to find a high gloss finish on the neck, as opposed to the satin finish that earlier models had. The frets, blocks and binding were, i dare say, perfect. The pups were very clear and lacked the "thump" issues that the MIM had. The wood selection was mediocre, with two different shades used. The bass was light and comfortable. $299

    In summary, had this been a blind test drive i would have chosen the Squier. The slim neck just felt faster and more comfortable. The pickups were perfectly "jazz" sounding to me, and over all it was just a sharp looking instrument that I would not hesitate to gig with. I think that my GAS is now set on a natural Squier VM 77 Jazz, only because I prefer the white blocks and binding. Otherwise it appears to be the same bass that I tried today.
  2. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    "I've been convinced for some time now that my next purchase will be a post 2008 American Standard Fender Jazz"...

    Why this particular year?
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  3. I found similar disappointment with the higher end American Standards this summer. I played several Am.Std Jazzes with the new CS pickups and found the tone to be fundamentally bigger at the low end, but much muddier and less defined. It's almost as if the newer pickups have lost the lovely top end burp and harmonics of the pre 2012 model. The necks have also been thickened (fingers to thumb) compared to the previous model.

    I was more impressed with the clarity from the older (2008-2012) pickups in the American Special, which has the thinner neck profile and overall, plays and sounds so much better, especially with the grease bucket tone control.

    I know what you mean about the current Squiers. I have a pupil who has the Vintage Modified 70's model in black and it plays and sounds as well as any American bass. The properly finished necks are a boon too.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
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  4. Because the model that came out in 2008 was vastly superior to the current models. Personally, I'd go for the current American Special. It's a really nice bass and sounds just like a Jazz with 60's pickup positioning should.
  5. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    I meant 2008-present.

    2008 was the year that Fender made some significant changes to the American Standard line and there's been a lot of reviews talking about improved QC since then.
  6. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    thanks for the reply. I heard that between 2004 - 2008 the AmStd Jazz basses were different in some way.
  7. I'm a recent convert as well. I was going to rent a bass while mine were being shipped from the Westcoast and I ended buying the Squier CV Jazz Bass hanging on the wall. A quick setup and honestly this is one fantastic bass! Love the neck, the finish is awesome, tone is great and crazy Inca Silver! classic vibe jazz bass 60 inca silver-500x500.jpg
  8. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    .. different is correct, as in non existent ... Fender actually dropped the name American Standard for the series in 2000, and simply called it the 'American' Series ... they returned to the earlier monicker in 2008 as the 'New' American Standards ... 2004 thru 2007 the American Series were equipped with the s-1 tone control wiring to mixed reviews .. it seemed to make more sense on a Jazz than a Precision ...
  9. Bob-I


    Sep 12, 2014
    Glad to hear you found a good one. My experience at GC wasn't as good but playing my friend's Squier was exactly as you described, a great instrument. Congrats.
  10. nerkoids


    Jan 3, 2014
    I went to a local guitar shop (we don't have GC up here, and L&M has but a handful of stores in La Belle Province) and came across a 3 tone sunburst lefty VM Jazz (the 60s, basically) and I swear, this one was rather exceptional compared to some other post-2013 models. I think the body on this one was one piece (yes, I looked front, back and couldn't tell at the heel, it was too dark). Often, they are three, sometimes 4, and rarely 2 (they rarely seem to be capable of matching up basswood properly) but to see a one piece Squier bass... were it not for my VM 70s... I would have snatched it up. There was an AM standard (righty one, though) right next to it... aside from the tortie shell pickguard... wow, the finishing just looked incredible. Even the rosewood looked classy.
  11. If I was going to buy a new MIA P, it'd be post-2012. The QC improved before that, as well as tuners, bridge etc, but I didn't like the pickup on my 08. The CS ones are much better. I assume it's the same with the Jazz basses, but I don't remember hearing an 08 model extensively.
  12. Funkmabassup


    Jul 16, 2013
    Squier is good but the main problem is Fender that really need to step up the game if you ask me, the american special sounds and seems very good tough
  13. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'm not sure this makes you a "Squier convert," or that there even is such a thing. I think it means that you went to a music store, tried several basses, and found one you like. Good for you for not judging the instrument by the name on the headstock.

    In response to your comments about the MIA bass, the muffled tone could mean you don't like the pickups or some component of the bass. It could also mean that the strings are dead.

    With regards to the MIM you played, fret sprout is a common problem, but IMO it is one that has become more prevalent due to cost cutting measures in the last decade. Also, it you are slapping and knocking the string into the pickups, then the pickup is too high given you style of playing.

    If the cheapest bass is set up in a way that suits you best, you are probably going to like it best. I like basses from many price points. I have learned that setup and strings is more of a factor in liking a bass than the price or "quality" of the instrument.
  14. Buy a bass by feel and sound, Period.
    Never what is on the headstock. If a Squier does it for you, play it proudly.

    I never cared for Carvin much, but when I saw the SB4000 great reviews. I took a chance and got a custom one made. Best bass I have EVER played. And I have played everything other than the $3K+ boutiques.
    Added bonus, I am the ONLY one gigging a Carvin in my area, so it looks a bit different than everyone else.
    One other note- people need to stop judging basses on "pickup" output- that is why there is a volume knob on your amp. (unless a bass has just seriously LOW output). Neck Feel, Tone, Weight and Balance should be the primary factors of concern.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  15. Thumper19605


    Jun 29, 2013
    Love my Squier, sound feel fit and finish count. Name on the headstock, naaaaaaaa :)
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  16. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I have the same experience wherever I go.
  17. I have 4 Jazz Squiers - a CV Olympic White that is the best Jazz bass I've ever played, 2 VM fretted and a VM fretless which are all excellent. I've played some MIA Jazzes but did not like the neck profile.

    I love my Squiers. I have a vintage Precision inbound so I might be singing a different tune soon!!!
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  18. fenderbassman40


    Apr 7, 2011
    I have a Squier vm pbass, fretless pbass, and 5 string jazz bass. I love them all and paid less for 3 basses them I would have if I bought one american standard. I'm a better player and have a aresenal of tones to pick from so I practice more. I can't wait to see what squier does next.
    grrg63 likes this.
  19. The american jazzes i've tried recently (all recent models) have been dissapointing at the price they're at but the ones with the custom shop pickups sound excellent. the finish or edges i don't care about at all, since i let my instruments get danged up and using a small file is pretty easy. so my only real beef with the american jazzes was that they feel a bit easy to play (weird, right? like low effort = low reward or something) and the tone, but the ones that come with the custom shop pickups brought it to a level where i was happy with it overall. then again the price was way high and the 5 string warwick corvette rockbass in the room at 1/2 the price has had everything except certain really good stingrays in there beat for time.
  20. I consistently have a similar experience to this when I go into local guitar stores. The Squiers whip the Fenders, and it isn't even a contest. In particular, the Squier CV Jazzes are time and time again the best playing and sounding jazz basses in the store, and their consistency is impeccable in this regard. The only complaint I have with them - and again, it is a consistent complaint! - is that they are too heavy for me. Weight was the reason I sold my VM Jazz, which ended up going to a fellow who now uses it for studio recording. The only Fender bass that I've played in a long time that was in Squier's league and came anywhere close to justifying its price was an MIJ '75 Jazz - now THAT was a fantastic instrument that I kind of regret not leaving the store with.
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