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NBD - ESP LTD Vintage 214 P/J - Squier Killer!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tastybasslines, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Initial Impressions: Very good build quality (First Vietnam bass), easily going toe to toe with the Squiers, and so far IMO, exceeding the VM series and perhaps CV as well. I've wanted a P/J for a while and I was considering both this and the VM's. I've played many VM's but jumped on this after a good deal popped up and ordered without playing one. I've also wanted a "beater" a bass I can leave out and not worry about damaging" another reason for getting a new bass.

    The neck is very nice, super smooth and comfortable. I prefer a satin finish over the CV's gloss and this made it very appealing to me for a bass in the same category. Very nice wood grain on the swamp ash body, and this bass is light, unlike the VM's I've tried which are generally much heavier. Tuned her up and played fine out of the box, and a thorough once over revealed no dead spots anywhere on the board, and no sharp fret ends (see pic). The board radius is flatter than normal at 14" but felt just fine to play and fret notes. Nice touch with V/V/T instead of a pickup blend and no noise from any of the pots.

    Where this bass really shines are the pickups, which are smoking hot for a passive bass. With my EQ set flat there was PLENTY of thump from the P and a very nice growl from it as well. It destroy's the AM Standard P pup on my Highwway One and sounded way better than the VM's to me. The J still had a nice tone, but was a little less barky than I would like, but I dialed in some nice tones blending the 2. I like to play on the bridge pup a lot, so I might change it out for a Bart, but the 2 pickups are very useable as is. As I type this, I'm still thinking about how nice the P pickup sounded.

    All in all, very nice quality me thinks, and if you are a Squier fan, you should take a look at these, for the lower weight and nicer wood, sweet neck and nicer pups (IMO). I can see myself playing this quite a bit, especially with a J pup change.

    Now for the obligatory pics:


    Look at that grain!






  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I had the fretless version of this and it was outstanding. The pickups were great. More clean and powerful than any Squier I've played. I sold it because of my utter failure as a fretless player but it was great. And I think they come stock with cleartone strings, which I liked a lot although I really don't like coated strings.
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, came with the Cleartone stings, so far they feel nice, we will see when the newness wears off. Glad you liked your bass - you are right, the pickups are beast, can't wait to see what else I can pull out of them!
  4. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I agree the Cleartone strings feel really good for roundwounds and have the right amount of clank. The price for these is pretty good too.
  5. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I share the same opinion of my Vintage 204 (older relic'd model)... Great little bass. Super build quality, surprisingly good fretwork... The way it feels and plays does not reflect it's price. I ended up loading Seymour Duncans into it and it is a gem of a bass! I'm typically a high end bass guy but this has changed my opinion and I am now moving towards freeing up some cash and finding more gems like these basses.
  6. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah man. It's gonna feel great to never worry about damage or having an expensive bass get stolen...I'm gonna take it everywhere. The hard part about finding one that plays nice is the ratio between price and playabilty and this has it...low price AND excellent quality.

    $200 bones even right now on Amazon. Normally $369 everywhere else.

  7. Thrash3r


    Aug 5, 2013
    I had the older version of this as a backup for a while, played good but I didn't find it that light, roughly 9lbs compared to 7.5lbs the VM I replaced it with, biggest issue and the reason I replaced it was the EMG pickups I use didn't fit, are they standard sizes in the new one? I'm not a big fan of the stock pickups in these or the VM, they both need new pickups imo.

    edit: mine also had the same issue yours has with the string alignment, not a big issue but still something that bugged me.
  8. LennyJ

    LennyJ Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Acworth, Georgia

    Yeap !!!!, you are right on - I just got one for a beater and it is everything you mentioned.

    The only thing I might change is the controls - they is a little noise with mine.

    thanks for the posts.
  9. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    agreed. i've backed out of trading or selling this thing several times. does rock and funk too much. sadly, i only play rock and funk in the house.......but it sounds soooooo good.

  10. comannapaca


    Jun 17, 2013
    Totally agree. I have the vintage-204 ,the build is very good and the P pup is thumpy, has growl but not too muddy. won't change the p pup.
  11. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    This model would be on my radar if they offered both the "natural" ash body WITH the maple fretboard! WHY do they limit these choices? That would be a stunning looking bass, and the price point is (as you say) VERY competitive with the VM Squiers.

    But, until they offer us more CHOICE, I'll still be on the sidelines with the 214. Enjoying my natural bodied, maple boarded VMs.


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