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Jazz Bass...which one would you choose and why?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DVJENS, Apr 28, 2015.



    Feb 3, 2014
    Hi all,

    In the market for my first ever jazz bass and, as always, value your opinions.

    I'm looking, as we all usually are, for a great instrument at the most economical price. If you had the chance to buy a Squier Classic Vibe Jazz (either the Inca Silver or James Johnston models), or a Fender FSR Special Jazz (Natural Ash version), which would you choose? Oh, I should say, the Fender would be used but in mint condition. Squier is brand new. And the price for any of these would be exactly the same or close enough that there is no practical difference. Not a gear snob. I don't need to play a Fender....have nothing against Squiers so have no problem buying a Squier if it is the better instrument. Help me out here and tell me which I should choose and why? Looking for information, expertise and even two-bit, biased opinions. I don't care...whatever you can tell me would be a help! I have not tried any of these and likely won't get to...so flying completely blind here and just want as much info as I can get.

    Thanks as always!
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I think either is good, but the Fender will retain its "used" value due to the depreciation that has already happened and it is a Fender. Play them both if you can back to back. Don't buy with your eyes. Instead, listen, touch, and feel.

    A word of caution: the state of the strings and setup will very much influence one's impression. I am assuming you are an experienced bassist, so just remember to keep those things in mind. If the used bass seems dead or unfocused in tone, ask them to swap the strings from another Jazz or P-bass with fresher strings. Examine the setup and note any things that could be improved.
    Osztertag2112, walldaja and GregC like this.


    Feb 3, 2014
    I'm actually buying online so no chance to try either of them. Just trying to make the best decision possible even though the optimum decision would be probably not to buy online in the first place. It is what it is.


    Feb 3, 2014
    But a very good point about the Fender. Resale value. I hadn't thought of that angle...the Fender had already depreciated. I know Squier's take a hit when you go to sell them/trade them in. Heard a lot of good things about the Fender FSR so LEANING that way but not sure yet. The Squiers sure look nice and I know a lot of people swear by them.
  5. I agree with leaning towards the used Fender on resale value alone. If you don't like the Fender, you could turn it around and get most or all of what you paid for it back, with the Squier you might be lucky to get 1/2-3/4 on just the fact that it's left the store and was in your house a few days.

    If you like to tinker and plan on making this a lifer with no plans on getting rid of it, then it's a tossup that all comes down to how it feels in your hands. But judging by your post that won't be able to happen until after you already make the choice.
  6. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Tough choice. I don't think you can go wrong either way, but I'd go with the FSR for two reasons:
    a) As previously noted, if you don't bond with the Jazz design for some reason, the Fender is likely to retain its value upon sale better than the Squier; and
    b) The MIMs are terrific instruments. I'm biased because I own three of them. But of all the accolades here on TB for the MIMs, I think perhaps the most praise has been given to either the FSR Natural Ash Jazz or the Classic Series '50s Precision.
  7. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Garp is right…it is a tough choice. Barring a lemon, both the Squier CV's and the Fender Standards are excellent quality. With that in mind, if it were my money, I would grab the James Johnston Jazz. What can I say? I'm a sucker for painted headstocks! Also, of the two CV's I've owned, one was quite decent and the other was fan-flippin'-tastic! :thumbsup:
  8. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    In the same price range as the Squier CV i can wholly recommend a Sire V7 Jazz. These are endorsed by Marcus Miller, but dont let that put you off ;-)
    Active and/or passive, very impressive build quality and dirt cheap. Ive hardly read a bad word against these bases. Owning a CV jazz and a 5 string V7 its a tough choice, but the added value of the active circuit really pushes the V7 out ahead IMO.

    Sire Bass Club! | TalkBass.com
  9. Osztertag2112


    Jan 27, 2013
    I don't think you can really go wrong with any of your choices. I'd probably get the FSR just because most squire basses I've played had fairly tacky necks (an easy fix I know...) but whatever you like best!
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Geddy Lee - best "affordable" jazz I have played - and I've played many.
    Sadowsky M or R/V 4 if you have the cash.

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