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Low quality instruments vs. medium quality

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bexuga, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    Hey guys, I'm a junior bassist and I recently discovered (after 12 years of playing) that there are short scale basses, and I bought a Harley Benton secondhand for 40€ to try it out, and I found that it is much more comfortable for me to play, since I'm a young lady with tiny hands and also have back issues.
    Anyway, my question is: since I'm not in a band right now, and I haven't been in a while, do you think it would be a good investment anyway to spend 200€ on a Squier VM Jaguar Bass? I chose the Squier Jag, because I heard the Bronco sucks, and it is still basically a Fender instrument, so if I change the pups, the tuners and the bridge, I can get a great instrument if I ever want to.
    I don't actually need it, but I really think that it would improve my playing. I find the Harley Benton so bad that I keep practicing on my long scale Stingray instead, but I can't endure long practices because I get tired fast. Also, the Stingray has flats, and I haven't changed the Harley Benton strings because it just seems crazy to me to spend as much on strings as I spent on the bass itself.
    Idk, sometimes I feel like I'm just making excuses to buy a new bass :roflmao: What do you guys think?
    Pbassmanca and rollie 55 like this.
  2. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    What in particular don't you like about the current bass? I ask because if it is uncomfortable because of a bad setup, it will be a gamble with any bass.
  3. Modler


    Jan 16, 2017
    You might not need to change anything on it, it'll probably be good enough as it is.

    The older Harley Benton's are very bad instruments indeed, but they have become much better. Some of them are pretty almost Squier-level now.
    Whats is it about yours that makes it so bad?:)
  4. felis


    Jul 31, 2013
    Midwest, USA
    I think you're "just making excuses to buy a new bass". :laugh:

    But in this case, it's probably justified. The Jag SS is an excellent little bass.
    Can't recommend it enough, even if you just leave it stock.
    Give it the usual 'set up to your liking' routine and you should be good to go.

    That said, you might be able to get by with your current SS if it's possible to fix what you don't like about it.
    macmanlou, B-Mac and JRA like this.
  5. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    What I dislike the most about the HB is actually the strings, but I'm afraid of buying new strings and still don't like it. I also hate the white pickguard on black bass, because it reminds me of every kid in highschool that had a Squier guitar kit and thought they were a rock star. I've repainted a couple of guitars before, and I want to do it to that bass too, but I mean, eventually, not right now. And when I do it, I'd have to go back to the Stingray again if I don't have any other bass.
    I don't think that the HB is a bad bass for the price, at all. But it just feels cheap, idk.
  6. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    I set it up myself! so that's not it
  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    My experience is most "low quality" instruments aren't fixable with parts swaps. The problem isn't so much the parts as how they are put together. If a bass can't hold intonation, can't take a good set up, is loaded with dead spots (those are the characteristics of low quality instrument), no amount of parts swapping will fix it. On the other hand the market is loaded with medium quality instruments, that a pro set up, and maybe some changes in electronics will improve drastically. The foundation (the way it's put together- and relative quality of neck and body woods) can't be fixed.
  8. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    Yeah, I think that's the issue. Maybe the Jag is a good idea then.
  9. Dingo


    Mar 16, 2018
    Check out the TMB30 Ibanez. That is a killer of a low budget SS!
  10. Ostie


    Aug 1, 2018
    Lansing, MI
    You Beat me to it. I just scored a tmb100 and it is a great bass. I actually wanted the tmb30 short scale version, but this on was such a great deal I couldn’t refuse.

    I Also have a VM Jag SS and I like it a lot, but I would say the fit and finish on the Talman is better. The tmb100 is active. I assume the tmb30 is active but I don’t know that for sure. While I love the look and feel of the tmb100, I’m not used to active eq and prefer passive. That’s my only complaint.
    Skillet likes this.
  11. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    I don't know, I had seen that bass before, but I'm actually more of a Fender gal, and the money is not much more.
    Can you elaborate more on the difference between the two?
  12. Malak the Mad

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

    One advantage to the Squier VM Jaguar SS is that the parts are very standardized. If there is one, little thing you don't care for, finding a replacement or upgrade will be fairly easy. (e.g.: VM's are usually very interchangeable with Fender MIM parts)
    Warhawk likes this.
  13. crab


    Oct 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    also, while your changing the strings on the bass you have, paint the pickguard. There's no better time to do that.
  14. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    new good quality strings will improve the bass a lot. no excuses for buying more bass's its the law :thumbsup: ;)
    saabfender likes this.
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    There's no reason to automatically change the bridge or tuners on a VM Jag. Unless you just happen to get a bad example, they are fine. Pickups maybe. The bridge pickup is pretty meh, but get it and play it before you make that decision.

    Also, before you dump much money into a Jag, consider getting the MIM Mustang.
  16. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    Yeah, that's one of the reasons I'm more inclined towards the Jag
    Malak the Mad and rollie 55 like this.
  17. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    I never did that, I don't really know how to paint plastic. Is it the same way you paint wood?
  18. Bexuga


    Feb 21, 2018
    Almada, Portugal
    Isn't the Mustang a lot more expensive? Anyway, is it worth the difference?
  19. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    eh :eyebrow:
  20. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    i think the best thing to do is go to a music store and try some bass's see what you like. [you have a harley benton there a there is a thread just for harley benton's on talk bass ]:thumbsup:

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