Looking to buy a better bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shonuff, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Shonuff


    Jan 3, 2014
    Nampa, Idaho
    I am looking to buy a better quality bass that is still great for a beginner to learn on. I currently own a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass. It is OK. The strings are buzzy. The owner of a local shop adjusted it as much as he could but said that it was because the neck had warped due to them using green wood to build the bass. I have been looking a few different basses and was just wondering what others would recommend. My budget is around $300. Thanks for any help.
  2. spanndrew


    Oct 14, 2013
    Atlanta, Ga
    Honestly, I'd get a new squier 70's jazz bass. I've spend many a hour playing one at my local GC and love it. But if you want to get away from squire then I'd take a look at a sterling sub 4. Another great bass. You wouldn't go wrong with either.
  3. The tech that worked on it is incompetent. Green wood? Gimme a break.
  4. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    +1 both great basses for that money.

    PS have a different tech set it up or learn to do your own as well
  5. 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
    There may be a warp in your bass's neck, but not from "green wood." All necks are under tension from the strings, and will win or lose that battle from time to time. That is why they have a truss rod.

    Have you examined the truss rod to see if there is more adjustment possible?
  6. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    the Sub is an amazing bass for the money. I just got one and it's so well constructed. Nice low action and excellent sound. Perfectly set up, no string buzz..I've had Squier basses before and still have one in my collection- really none of them are close in quality to the Sub to be honest with you. That's telling you something about Sterling as Squier basses are pretty decent basses for the money.
    I bought a mint green one- total came out to $286 inclusive of tax.(15% discount at GC). If you buy it online, you can get it for that price from Amazon, MF delivered to your front door- no tax, free shipping.
  7. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Although a new bass may be a good move for you, a new tech is the first thing that you should be looking for.
  8. spanndrew


    Oct 14, 2013
    Atlanta, Ga

    Make sure you need a new bass before you pull any triggers. You'd be surprised what an excellent setup can do.
  9. Shonuff


    Jan 3, 2014
    Nampa, Idaho
    Thanks for the tips guys....I think I will look into getting one of those Sterling Sub 4's.
  10. I recommend if you do get the SUB to try and keep the squier, both of those in your arsenal will make a nice variety of sounds. I would honestly get a good setup done on it first but I completely understand wanting to try new things.
  11. Malak the Mad

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

    I'm really diggin' a used Classic Vibe Jazz I practically got for a song. It sounds as solid as it feels.
  12. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Definitely give it a try if you have a GC near you. Always try it out first. As one post mentioned, keep the Squier though. It'll be a nice variety of tones you'll have.
    One funny thing I should mention is that I'm so used to having to adjust the truss rod on a new bass when I buy it and having to lower/raise string saddles . When the box with the Sterling Sub came to the door, I had my truss rod handy, getting ready for a session of adjusting it... and....only thing I had to do was tune it. Frets were perfect, no buzz, string height was just right. I was really surprised and from what I've heard from others who bought the sub basses, the basses were properly set up out of the box. In fact there's a card attached to the neck of the bass with the names of the people who put together the bass for you and set it up so there's accountability there at the plant and you know who to say messed up any part of it, that is, if there was anything wrong with it at all. For reference, I've had 60 basses the past 3 years, I have to say this is one of the better values I've seen so far. Don't get me wrong, I still give equal love to the Fender basses too.
  13. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    With all due respect, I glanced at your profile and saw that you are not a youngster, so by all means buy/own what you want and can afford .. but, with that said, you have something in your hands that is probably better than a great majority of us old timers started with ...

    With regards to the strings 'buzzing' could it be a technique/playing issue by chance due to action too high, and trouble getting a solid note, are you fingering just behind the fret, or is it truly something mechanically wrong with the bass? ... when you say the neck is 'warped', we read that as having excessive relief, and a 'buzzy' fretboard is usually an indication of too little relief, action is too low, or uneven frets, poorly cut nut, etc..

    ... I am not crazy about your store owners terminology, as 'warped' could mean a lot of things ... again is he talking too much relief (upbow), bending backwards (backbow) or does it actually have a twist in it ?? if you could post pics of what you have it could help us to determine ...

    I am not a tech, or anything remote to a luthier, but I have fixxed several pieces that I purchased with supposed issues ... and with a budget of $300, you might not be getting a whole lot more than you have now, and IMHO, a bass to 'learn on' also means a bass that you can learn to adjust and set up along with learning how to play the right notes at the right time ... it has always been my opinion, that if a person that can learn to make his own changes/adjustments to accomodate his playing, he will become more comfortable with his instrument, play it more, and probably learn quicker and play better ...

    JMHO's respectfully submitted ... ;)
  14. mybassisalemom


    Jan 3, 2014
    Hey! A Squier is better then my current bass!
  15. Shonuff


    Jan 3, 2014
    Nampa, Idaho

    I'm not sure what he meant, either. He did make some adjustments for free and said the only way he could fix it was by taking all the frets off and resurface the face. I just know that he was the most highly recommended person in the area that I live in. I think he is actually a luthier. The Squier that I have is not a bad bass to learn on IMO. I just really want to get a new toy anyways. I just don't want to put a lot into it until I know for sure that I am going to stick with it and can play halfway decent or at least as good as a Victor Wooten with both arms cut off :). I have only been seriously practicing for about a month now when I picked up Rocksmith 2014. I also have Teach Me Bass Guitar which I am planning on finally using after having it collect dust for a year.
  16. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    It may well be that the neck is bowed or twisted. That's not endemic to VM Squiers in particular, it's just something that can happen. If you otherwise like the Jag, you could just buy another one. Did you buy it new from a store or online? There may still be warranty on it.

    ANY bass is "good for a beginner to learn on." Higher-end basses aren't any more complicated to play, unless you're talking about a six-string fretless or something. Otherwise, it's still 4 strings and frets, and you'll learn the same on a $5000 Fodera as you would on a $200 Squier Affinity. At $300, I'd look around at other VM Squiers, or I also saw that AMS was running a $300 special on the Yamaha BB424x, which would be a steal.
  17. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I sort of disagree with this. I have a SUB ray 4, and a Squier VM jazz bass. I bought the VM jazz online and the sub in-store at a Guitar Center.
    I set up my own basses--the SUB needed far more setup work than the VM jazz. They both have their "cheap bass issues" but both are excellent basses. I do agree that the OP should strongly consider a SUB though, because overall, it's a very versatile bass and does get close to a true classic ray vibe.
  18. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    The best bass that you can buy for $300 is probably a used Yamaha.
  19. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    You should be able to find a used Mexican-made Fender Jazz or Precision within that budget.
  20. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    If the jag has decent tone but the neck is truly not usable, some squier necks can be had in the TB classifieds for less than half of any bass price, new or used.

    Eventually the jag will have to be playable even if all you are doing is selling it.

    Do you live in the dry part of the state? My basses get fussy if I dont keep a humidified music room. With the humidifier running, i have a lot more truss rod adjustment available. 90% of set up issues can been done in your own home. Gather some tools, get on you tube and make a go of it. Worst case the guy who set it up already said it is not playable, you will need a new neck. You already were going to buy a new bass.
    Give it a whirl