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New bass - Squier, SX, etc...new questions!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alexit, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. alexit


    Feb 21, 2006
    I'm picking up serious bass playing again, and looking at getting my first real bass. I've been doing a LOT of homework, playing basses, comparing, etc. I had it pretty much narrowed down to the squier standard jazz, but then I came across this forum and saw there's a good deal of praise for SX basses.

    Let me start out by saying I've played just about every bass that guitar center and the local shop has in stock. I narrowed a lot of things down pretty quickly. I'm definitely looking for a sub-$300 bass. The thing I liked the most about fender jazz basses is the really solid feel you get. And of the low-end basses I tried, only the squier came close to that feel. Very solid, to the point that it made the low end soundgear and yamaha basses I tried feel like toys. The action was smooth in the stock setup, with no buzzing, and I liked the way it played. The tone quality maybe wasn't as good as the MiM, but in all-around feel, I could feel zero difference.

    Now, some questions and points...

    -First and foremost, Has anyone played a newer squier standard head-to-head with an SX? I have a feeling that quite a few opinions regarding squier are regarding the instrument you tried when you went to buy your first bass 15 years ago...etc. There is plenty of discussion here that suggests the quality of different product lines change both for the better and for the worse over the years.

    -Kind of leads into the second point...difference between squier Affinity and squier standard. I played an affinity that I thought was worse in many aspects. The difference seems best described as playing a "beginner bass" vs an exact copy.

    -My main concern about SX basses is what I hear is "it's great for the money.............IF you get new pickups, bridge, sand the frets, etc..." I'm not afraid of messing around with it, but I'm still kind of a beginner so I'm not sure what I want in customization. I understand it'd be easy to put 300 on top of the base price and go over my budget.

    The best advice i've found so far seems to be 'play what feels right,' and my problem with this is I haven't gotten a chance to play an SX. I understand it is quite possible the squier I played just happened to be a gem. I know rondomusic has a good return policy. But I'm getting antsy to buy, and as of today, the squier feels pretty good. It's just the comparisons of the SX to the MiM that are throwing me off. I guess my other option is getting a used MiM. But that's on the edge of my budget, and I'm not sure about the uncertainty of an ebay bass, especially as a beginner.

    Thanks (for reading all of that)
  2. If you want your first "real" bass, you should consider a better bass than the SX or the Squier.
    IMO your best bet is to save up a little coin and try to get into the $500+ range.
    Honestly, you can go into a Guitar Center and talk a brand new $700 bass down to $450-500.

    The guys on here that buy the SX basses are doing it to hot rod an OK bass. If you don't have the $$$ to put up for a nicer bass, grab an SX and upgrade it with bridge, pots and pickups over time. That's going to be your best $300 option at this point. I did this myself, and I'm not sorry I did it.:D For $300, you could get into an SX Jazz that will look every bit as sharp as a MIM Fender, and you can get new pots and WAY better pickups. It's kind of a compromise, though...

    This really isn't an elitist standpoint, either. You take that Squier and jam it, then grab a Geddy Jazz, Schecter Stiletto, Spector Legend, or G&L Tribute, and you'll see where the $200-400 difference lies, I promise.:D
  3. alexit


    Feb 21, 2006
    Cool. I'll stick with the squier to jam and practice on, then go for something in the $700 range when I want to work on a real sound.
  4. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    You can find a used Fender MIM Jazz or Precision for $300 or less if you look around. You could also look at used Ibanez or Yamaha too.

  5. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    +1 Jim's right, the used market of higher end Ibanez and Yamaha is where you'll find the greatest bargains (IMHO). You'd be surprised at what $200 can buy you in a used Yamaha.

    If you fill out your profile, there might be a fellow TB'er here that lives close to you and might be able to guide you in your quest. It's HIGHLY recommended that you fill out the profile if you want to real help here.
  6. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    There are some good Ibanezes, but I also recommend an SX. The one I had had perfect frets, pretty good sounding (and really hot) pickups, and the tuners would refuse to budge after tuning.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You can do a lot better than SX and Squier for the $300 you mentioned, is that really your budget? Do you have an amp already?

    I've played SXes and Squiers and both are variable, but IMHO, at the exact same price point, the Squier is usually, but not always a better instrument than the SX, though the SX is good in its own way, and usually much nicer looking.

    In the $300 range, you can open up to Peavey, Dean, Yamaha, Schector Diamond Series, and many other options that are going to be substantially superior than anything from either SX or Squier.

    Rondo also has some nice basic little amps, they've got a 100 watt practice amp that can probably keep up with a drummer for a very reasonable price. If you're talking $300 for an amp and a bass, go to Rondo and get ready to be happy.
  8. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    It has been my experiencs that sx basses meet or exceed thier squire counterparts in sound and playablility, have more/cooler finish options, and cost less. All before upgrading.

    My sx 5 string (75 model with blocks and chromes) smoked the afinity squire p-bass I used to have in look and tone, and cost about the same.

    If you can spend 350. Check out "The Bass Company" they have a 4 string, chambered body, mm/pickup, 2band active bass that looks beautiful, and has gotten some rave reviews from folks on this site. I have not played one, but I have no doubt that it would smoke the sx or the squire.

    Also check out old used peavey basses (usa made): foundation, fury(only the usa made ones), patriot, t-40(very heavy, but sounds great), t-45 and others. They almost always sell for under 300 bucks and are great basses for the $. The older the better.
  9. For <300 I'd go for a used MIM Fender Jazz before a new squire. Buy used, there's plenty of gear out there.
  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    $100 SX + $35 pro setup + $165 lessons = beginner budget well spent

    but I also agree you can find excellent used basses from quality brands at the $300 mark.