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NBD: Squier Chris Aiken Signature Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PBnJBassist, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Got one of the new Squier Chris Aiken Signature P-Bass 3 days ago, but I wanted to make sure I ran the usual "tests" on it before posting. First thing is first, let's get the specs out of the way (cut & paste from Fender's official website):

    Neck Shape: "C" Shape
    Number of Frets: 20
    Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
    Position Inlays: Pearloid Block Inlays
    Fretboard Radius: 9.5" (24.1 cm)
    Fretboard: Maple
    Neck Material: Maple
    Neck Finish: Polyurethane
    Nut Width: 1.625" (41.3 mm)
    Scale Length: 34" (86.36 cm)
    Neck Binding: White
    Pickup Configuration: Single Split-Coil Pickup
    Middle Pickup: Duncan Designed™ PB-105 Split Single-Coil Pickup
    Controls: Master Volume
    Hardware: Chrome
    Bridge: Hi-Mass bridge with brass saddles
    String Nut: PPS
    Tuning Machines: Vintage Chrome
    Retail Price: $275-299
    Country: Indonesia

    Second, the pictures of it along with my Fender Seafoam Pearl Special Run Precision Special Active Deluxe. As you can see, I'm a huge fan of 4 things:
    1) Glossy necks
    2) Bind & Blocked Inlay Necks
    3) Precision Basses
    4) Mirror Pickguards

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And last, my impressions of this bass. I'll format it into short points with pros (+), cons (-), and neutral (o) points. Please remember, YMMV due to a various number of factors either internal or external.

    Neck Quality
    + No sharp fret edges
    + Smooth finish
    + Tuning machines hold tuning well
    o Binding on this particular model is good but not perfect
    - Compared to other Fender models (not Squier) the binding is about half the size (height-wise)
    o Compared to other Squiers the binding is normal-sized.
    o PPS nut (scroll to the very bottom of the post for more information on PPS and what it is)
    o 1.625" nut width in combo of the "C" shape neck - feels easier to play than a 1.75" spec "C" shape neck like on the MIM Fender Classic & MIA American Vintage P-Basses / This is completely preference though.

    Body Quality
    + Smooth finish
    + Light weight
    o Basswood body / Preference, but the tone-wood fanatic inside of you (if there is one) might be skeptical.
    o Olympic White is the only color option / Other choices would be nice, but it does match the pearloid blocks and white binding.
    o Squier Hi-Mass bridge (same one that are on the CV & Matt Freeman basses) / For those that favor other bridges or like to replace bridges with their own preferred choice - a direct drop-in replacement is out of the question due to the mounting hole placement.
    o String Spacing is slightly larger than the usual 19mm / A blessing for some - a hassle for others.

    Pickup & Electronics
    + Volume doesn't scratch when turned
    + Volume knob is responsive
    - No tone knob / I know there are some players out there (like me) that - when a tone knob is available - we keep it wide open. However, a tone knob would have been a nice option.
    o Duncan Designed PB-105 / Modeled after the Quarter-Pound pickup but (to me) is voiced like the SPB-1 from Seymour Duncan - gives a vintage tone but with the mids a bit subdued.

    String Reaction: Strings that were used during this test with EQ flat, Notch Frequency off, and Tweeters off on an Acoustic B600H and 2 Acoustic B115 cabs plugged straight from the bass to the amp. Note that all rounds were fresh out of the pack during this test for the most *zing* and played roughly 45mins to 1hr after intonation and being tuned. Unfortunately, no Stainless Steels were available to me for testing.

    Rounds: Fender Nickel Plated Steels, GHS Boomers, Dean Markley Nickel Plated Blue Steels.

    Flats: GHS Precision, Fender Nylon Tapewounds.

    Personal Verdict: Best match were the GHS Precision flatwounds. The way the pickups are voiced, a warm and vintage tone is a solid way to go on this P-Bass. None of the strings sounded "bad" on this bass, but the GHS flats were just able to let the pickups sing (for flats). As for rounds, the Fenders were the only strings that felt like it wasn't fighting the pickup. The Boomers slightly suppressed the mids more than it already is and the Blue Steels gave it an unwanted "boost" and "bite" that sounded a bit harsh. On a side note, I use the Blue Steels with my active P/J and they sound fantastic with that bass.

    Overall, for a $275 bass (BRAND NEW), it's a great buy compared to the other PRECISION (TYPE) basses within the $250-350 price range. Is it the best in it's category? IMO, I would rather take a Classic Vibe over this one. However, the neck alone is worth the price of admission. The nut and the binding could be better, but let's face it, it's a $275 instrument. Some things are not going to be perfect while some things will be. Now, the last question to answer might be: How does this compare to a Fender MIM Standard? I won't make a comparison since each offer something a little different that the other doesn't. But as for THIS particular bass, it gets a seal of approval from me.

    Now for the info on PPS and what it is (for those wondering what on Earth Fender was using for the nut on the neck)!

    Jeff O'Connor likes this.
  2. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    This might be the longest NBD post I've ever read.

    Congrats man, nice bass!
  3. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    LOL Thanks! Sorry about the long post. I also wanted to do a review since this model is still new and I know there are people out there that are in the market for a budget-quality P-bass.
  4. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    Never heard of these. Those are a good deal at about $100 less then a CV squier. I cant believe with the hi mass bridge, gloss neck, binding, blocks , etc there selling it for under $300, seems like they would charge around $350.
  5. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    They look a lot nicer in person than they do on the website. On the site they have an almost plastic look, very nice bass. Good score!
  6. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
    Cool bass bro!
  7. nickcdart


    Dec 31, 2012
    Worcester, uk
    Excellent post and I'm seriously thinking of getting one as I'm a fan of fours like you and P fan. Any chance of a rear photo of the headstock showing the machine heads.

    Happy new year!
  8. Durockrolly


    Nov 26, 2012
    So. Cal.
    I love the glossy necks myself!

    Nice basses.
  9. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Happy New Year to you, too! Post updated with pictures of the back and rear headstock. :)
  10. Nice looking bass. I think this Chris Aiken P and the James Johnston jazz are some cool offerings from Squier. They both look great and have some nice features.

    GHS Flats are always the best pairing in my book. Good decision on a precision. :D
  11. Cougmeister


    Oct 1, 2012
    I saw you mention the cv squier p. My local gc had one listed for 225. Definitely worth it so far.
  12. Thanks for sharing your bass with us. Looks really sweet. Cheers