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MIM P-Bass or Squier with mods?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Acme8, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Acme8


    Nov 20, 2018
    Hi all

    I'm a guitarist wanting to turn bassist, and I'm thinking about my options on getting a bass. I do want a P-bass, but what I'm thinking is should I buy a MIM Player series (PF) Fender for 698€, or would it be a better deal to buy a cheapo Squier Affinity for 213€, and get some modding parts, for example a Seymour Duncan SPB-2 (86€) and a Fender Am. deluxe bass bridge 4 (75€), for a total of 374€? I could even get upgraded tuners while I'm at it,and still end up way cheaper than the MIM. Sure, ordering a cheap instrument online is risky if you end up with an off-individual...

    Is there something I'm not getting here?
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  2. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I prefer the mim basses as they are a better platform in my mind. Not taking away from the Squires, but that's the route I've gone. In fact, my #1 gigging Precision is a '94 MIM I've modded. It just is perfect for what I need.

    The new mim p basses are very good from the reports here. If I was in the market for a new p bass, that would be my first stop.
  3. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    As an after thought, if I may suggest some pickups. If you go with the new mim player, the pickups are wonderful from what I've heard, and no reason to change them out.

    However, the mid bug hits us all eventually. If you do have a bass you want to swap pickups, I would first suggest EMG Geezer Butler signature passive set. They come with all of the electronics and are solderless. A quick and easy set up. The best part is they are modeled after a 60's model p pickup. The have a nice midrange push to them that can get nice a growly, or backed off in tone or volume, can be very vintage sounding. They are my favorite aftermarket pickup set. They get lots of love here, so it's just not me.

    My second favorite is a set of DiMarzio model P (dp-122) which have adjustable pole pieces so you can really tailor them to your bass and sound. They have a bigger booty, and have a thicker nicely done overwound flavor, more of a 70's feel. I have these in two p basses, where I really like them with flat wound strings, like DiAddario Chromes or EB Cobalt Flats. They are brighter, punchier flats, more of a rock sound to my ears.

    Mods are of course subjective to the modder, but after thousands of dollars, these consistently stay in my favorites.

    Best of luck.
  4. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I will chime in because I just bought a used P MIM from 2002 and would like to hear the suggestions. I like the DP122 suggestion. Have one of those and like it.

    From what I’ve seen the squier hardware isn’t that different. I wouldn’t change bridge or tuners unless necessary but focus on the pickup.

    I’ve seen a squier (an affinity at that) that played and sounded great. They don’t all so best is to try before you buy.

    I guess don’t have much of a used market there? That’s always the best way to get more bang for your buck.

    My actual advice is get a bass that you like the look, feel and playability of without mods. A setup and some fret work may also be a good investment.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  5. Acme8


    Nov 20, 2018
    Well, the used market here is very random, now that I've been following it for a few weeks there' s very few mid-range second hand Fenders for sale. It's either Squiers or 1000€+ vintage or signature instruments. My budget is max 700-ish, anything saved from that will go towards a small home amp :)
  6. Kikegg


    Mar 3, 2011
    Madrid, Spain
    Well, personally, I'd take a look to alder bodied Squiers. These indonesian-made squiers are almost on par to the mexican models. The latest Affinity PJ models, these have alder bodies, are dirty cheap and well made and would be a very good mod platform. I'm not sure if a pure P model exists with alder body. Put an EMG GZR P/PJ set and Wilkinson tuners and you're done. Perhaps the less apealing part of these basses are their necks, they don't feel (touch feel) as good as mexican/japanese/USA necks
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    no --- you get it!

    (me? i'd get the squier of my choice and use it as a 'modding platform' until i arrived at the best version of "ideal.")

    good luck getting what you want! :thumbsup:
    Acme8 and kodiakblair like this.
  8. J0hn


    Nov 12, 2016
    I went this route with a 96 Squier p that I got for under 100 used. Turned out to be a great bass. After dropping in the EMG GZR electronics and a Hipshot bridge it holds its own against basses $500+.

    That being said, you can truly feel the quality difference in the MIM instruments- a feel that I will never get from my modded Squier no matter how much money I dump into it (Short of replacing the neck and body)
    pcake and Acme8 like this.
  9. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    AE54A2D1-9710-4E2D-A7C3-7FF245BF843E. B D8611778-9DB5-4DB3-AFA8-D1B61E6D8C4C. Recently I have gone to the Short Scale basses due to bad Arthritis. Could no longer play full scale. I bought 2 new basses. A MIM Mustang and a Squier VM SS Jaguar. The build Quality on both are excellent. My favorite? The Squier!
  10. pht2356


    Apr 28, 2018
    Los Angeles
    How about getting a used squire and fixing it up & if you stick with it pick up a used USA p bass

    Attached Files:

    Acme8 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  11. J0hn


    Nov 12, 2016
    I don’t subscribe to the logic of “buy a cheap bass to see if you stick with it, then buy an expensive one”. Doing this is a complete waste of money spent on the cheap bass. Better to start with a MIM or MIA and just sell it if you decide it’s not for you. You will likely get 80% or more of your money back selling it on reverb. Squiers and other entry level instruments have virtually no resale value.
  12. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I would buy a MIM Fender any day over a Squier. I know buying a Squier and then modding it is quite popular with a lot of people on here, but upgrading a cheaper and in many cases inferior bass just for the sake of doing it does not appeal to me. I'd rather buy something that is good quality straight out of the box.
    Acme8 likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Buy the best instrument you can afford.
    Wisebass, Acme8 and Clutchcargo like this.
  14. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    There's always the chance of running across a cheap used bass that plays great and sounds good. I picked up a Peavey Milestone for next to nothing and it plays freaking great. I upgraded the pickups really just cause I was in "mod mode". I'd say, keep an open mind and play as many basses as you can, used and new until one just feels right.
    Acme8 likes this.
  15. Go get a used Fender Classic 50’s series Pbass for about $600 used. Your search will be over. No need for upgrades, and can easily be sold for what you paid for it.
  16. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Hey, no bassist comments around here.

    My #1 is also a '94 MIM P-Bass. All stock except the bridge. Pickups are perfect for the bass. The difficulty with the Squier Affinity basses is the wide variety in quality. Where you are ordering something and going with whatever the delivery man brings, you really have to go MIM or better.
    JGbassman and Acme8 like this.
  17. Boogalooboots


    Sep 11, 2018
    I prefer my Classic Vibe Squier over my MIM Fender. It's Squier's top offering and Fender's lowest so pretty comparable price bracket, similar quality, etc.... it just comes down to personal preference and feel. If you are switching from guitar you might want to try a short scale bass, Squier's Vintage Modified Jaguar is a really nice instrument even left stock but priced low enough to make modding it affordable.
    Acme8 likes this.
  18. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    I keep hearing the joke about "Peavey made some of the best Fenders" around here. Must take an opportunity to look into that.
    JGbassman and Acme8 like this.
  19. Just went p bass shopping.
    The new affinities i tried sounded weak and felt flimsy. The player P was absolutely amazing. Sadly was not in my budget.

    bought a used affinity P bass for $125 US. needed pots, jack, bridge and tuners. Pickup was solid. Fret ends also needed filed. Spent $75 on parts, so total spent was the price of a new affinity. Ended up with a solid bass, and i now know the thing inside n out .

    If you dont mind a little work and want to save the cash, get a squier. If you can afford a player, and in no rush to get an amp you should probably get it; it could easily be a forever bass.

    Also, consider the squier classic vibe or vintage modified; both are a step up from an affinity, still leaving you plenty of amp money.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    Acme8, McBass18 and saabfender like this.
  20. Frndmoretti


    Jun 17, 2017
    I have a frankenbass. It's the one in the photo. It's an old squier neck with a soft maple body the original owner got built. It sounded ok, but nothing amazing.

    Then I put the EMG GZR pickups and it's AMAZING. It does anything I want it to do and it has a really amazing vintage tone. I couldn't be happier.
    Acme8 likes this.

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