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Pro/working musicians & boutique bass owners what's your opinion on inexpensive inst

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chuck norriss, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    instruments namely Squier Affinity
    Just want to hear your perspective. Please discuss

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I've played quite a few gigs/studio dates on a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz. Some of these can be fantastic instruments, you just need to sort through a few to find one that speaks to you. I am not that big on the Affinity as I find the hardware a bit lacking(especially the machine heads).
  3. JPBourdier


    Jan 2, 2011
    Texas - DFW

    What were the machine heads lacking?

    I've owned 3 Squier Affinity basses and all have been dependable instruments. They intonated accurately, responded evenly, and will keep a tuning for several days.

    My opinion: a reliable instrument sold at an affordable price makes music-making appealing and accessible to more people who may not be able to pay 2x as much for a Fender or another more expensive brand.

    I give Squier Affinity basses very high marks. They've never disappointed me, but other more expensive brands have.
  4. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    Affinity hardware is it's Achillies Heel, IMHO.
  5. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have an Affinity Jazz V I took to gigs a few time right out of the box, used it as a music-room beater (when I drank a lot) and an office practice bass for a while (I’m now retired).

    I never found issue with any of the hardware or anything at all on that bass; everything performed as intended. All I did to it was put a tort guard on it (it’s oly white) when I got one for my MIM, and it even looks sweet imo.

    Ha, now I have the urge to dig it out and play around with it, but I have three go-to basses ahead of it. :)
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I used to own a Squier Affinity Jazz and it was just ok. Sub-par quality wise and sounded thin. I own an Affinity Strat that is actually a bit more of a quality instrument (sound, fit/finish and HW/PU).

    I personally believe the $100-ish extra to upgrade to a Vintage Modified is a no brainer IME. MUCH more of a gig worthy instrument. My main bass is a Fodera but I still gig the VM from time to time and it is my main practice bass.
  7. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I recently bought a VM squire jazz brand new for my son who is learning to play.
    280 brand new.
    some of the best fretwork and rod adjustment I have seen in a bass
    sounded excellent too-just outstanding in every way
    I was sorry i had to hand it over to him

    makes me wonder why I spend all this dough on high basses
  8. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    I "gig" Zon but once bought a Yamaha RBX170 (I think) just to see it was possible to both sound as good and enjoy myself as much playing a cheaper bass.

    While the Yamaha sounded fine (especially in the mix), it was little minor things that made me sell off the Yamaha. The fretwork was not as good and the neck was not as straight, even after I adjusted it as best as I could. Is it worth it paying 30 times more (in my case) to play boutique? Well, not really, but I feel it's those little things that really matter.

    I will say that the average costing stuff (the mid-end factory basses and up) are generally very good. The difference in quality between those and boutique stuff usually comes down to personal preference (as in, a boutique bass you order will be catered exactly to your personal preferences, as opposed to the average preferences of many bassists).
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have no problem with cheap instruments as long as they sound OK and play in tune. My first test is playing unplugged, if it has dead tone unamplified I'm not interested.

    The main difference with more expensive instruments (to me) is that after a trip to a good repairman they can be setup to play like butter, many cheap instruments cannot.
  10. portpc


    May 31, 2011
    Cheap is great if it stays in tune, The action can be made so the instrument is playable & it doesn't buzz, hiss or have an input jack that wants to break or short out..

    Personally I think it's a buyers market & a good instrument can be had for a great price, I'd avoid Active basses though as the electronics tend to be lo-quality & noisy.
  11. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I gig Roscoe basses, but I also own a one these. It seems I adjust the neck pretty regular but it does sound and play good and I only paid $200.

  12. I'm playing a Warwick Rockbass in my avatar pic. That pic was taken the day I auditioned for the 135th Army Rock Band, and then I also had a gig that night. I used that Rockbass all day, didn't bring my other Warwick with me. The army didn't care, I passed the auditions with flying colors, and the gig paid the same, the money wouldn't have been any different no matter what bass I played.
  13. When I recorded an EP with a Honky-Tonk band a few years ago, I ended up using the engineer's bone-stock Squier Affinity P-bass instead of my Fender Jazz. I probably wouldn't tour with it just because I didn't feel confident with it's long-term dependability on the road, but it sounded great on tape for that session.

    I've had Squier and Squier-level instruments in the past, and they've been fine. If it's going to be depended upon as either a principal or backup instrument, I'd generally recommend looking over the electronics (pots and switches) and maybe upgrading them. It's a cheap upgrade that can make a world of difference.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I can't comment on the Squier Affinity, but speaking as a fairly busy semi-pro who plays boutique basses, it would never occur to me to judge another player by his instrument. I've seen too many great street musicians playing low-end or pawn shop gear. All that matters is the music.
    El Pelusa likes this.
  15. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    unfortunately the affinity basses i have seen have been pretty neglected and ended up being pawn shop basses that needed overhauls, but for 90 bucks they would be a good way to learn about basic wiring, pot cleaning, string choices, and set up techniques
  16. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I bought a Squier active jazz for a tour last year. No problems keeping the bass in tune and it played really well. The only thing for me is that the electronics didn't sound as good to me on stage as they had in the shop when I bought it. Then, after the tour the electronics were cutting out (I still haven't addressed the issue). I'm considering swapping out the preamp and pickups...
  17. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Not that I'm a pro, per say....but I do have an Affinity P bass. It's at least 13 years old and I bought it used from a friend about 5 years ago. All in all it's a pretty good bass, but this one is heavy. Probably near 10 pounds. When plugged in and compared to my MIJ Classic 70's P bass, the Affinity is lighter sounding and doesn't have the depth of sound that my MIJ has. It's also the only "Fender" bass I've owned where I've had to shim the neck in order to get decent action from it.

    But hey, for $70.00 it wasn't a bad deal at all!
  18. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    They work well enough for gigs, leave a bit to be desired for feel/hardware/electronics but they get the job done. I think you get a lot more for the money if you look for a used Yamaha or Ibanez at the same price point. Actually all my gigging basses(and keepers) are Ibanez basses that I have spent less than $300 on.
  19. I think its a matter of "want" vs "need"

    If your playing through a 20 year old PA having an expensive instrument often makes little difference in sound. Now it may be easier to play but often you can get by with a mid prices instrument just fine.

    Live people should consider focusing on the "show" aspect. I've seen a lot of band lately that were flat out boring to watch.

    Would I spend thousands on a custom bass? Yes if that's what it took to get exactly what I want
    El Pelusa likes this.
  20. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Sub par electronics and hardware. Terrible wood. You'd be much better of buying something better used. For that money new I'd go with an SX.

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