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Should I upgrade my Squier Affinity P bass, or buy a new bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PacerNation, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. PacerNation


    Jan 28, 2014
    I have a Squier Affinity series P bass, and a Peavey 112 200 watt bass amp. It seems decent for it's money, but I feel that it lacks greatly in tone. I've only heard amazing things about the Classic Vibe Squiers, the main one being the Matt Freeman Signature Bass. Should I upgrade my Affinity bass, or should I buy one of the Classic Vibes? Also, if you have any other suggestions for an inexpensive, well-built bass that would go great for Punk Rock, please let me know. That'd be great!
  2. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    The upgrade process is a great learning experience.
    Give it a try.
  3. PacerNation


    Jan 28, 2014
    Thanks for the reply! What modifications do you think I should do to my bass to get a nice, punchy, Punk Rock sound? I've done no modifications to the bass. Any ideas on pickups, strings, or any other modifications?
  4. low_boy


    Mar 11, 2005
    Having done just this I will weight in here.

    First keep in mind that any money you put in will do little to increase the resale value.

    Next you must decide if the basic neck and body are worth upgrading. Is the neck straight and the fret work smooth? Is the body color and weight OK? If you are not happy with the bones of the bass it is probably not worth upgrading.

    The primary items that will benefit this bass are electronics and tuners. The pickups/pots are easy to upgrade if you have basic soldering skills. While you are doing the pickup go ahead and spend the extra few bucks to get CTS pots.

    Upgrading the Tuners is a bit more involved. If you go with Gotoh tuners they will basically retrofit right in the tuner holes already drilled but will require you to carefully align the keys and then drill one small hole per tuner on the rear of the headstock to fix the alignment of the tuner. The small screw holes for the original tuners will be visible.

    I also put a Leo Quan bridge on mine but in retrospect although I like it I wouldn't have spent that additional money.

    Good luck which ever direction you decide to go!
  5. suggs137


    Sep 30, 2011
    The Matt freeman signature was my first P that I owned. Great bass. Best part of it is the neck. Purchased another freeman neck to put on my jazz. The only downside to the bass is that the body isn't as heavy as I would like it to be. Imo, Heavier basses have a slightly thicker tone.
  6. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    +1. But if you decide that everything on this list passes muster, then a pickup upgrade is your best bet for tonal improvement. The stock pups in the CV series aren't going to be that much better than the stock pups in the Affinity. Spend less coin and get more improvement by upgrading the pickups. Seymour Duncan Basslines would be a good choice for hard rock styles including punk.
  7. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Some good advice above.

    But before sinking money into a new bass or any upgrades, I might suggest that you also plug into a few different amplifiers, if only to verify that your tone concerns rest within the instrument itself. I don’t mean to knock the Peavey 112 (in fact, my first bass amp was a Peavey), but with its simplified EQ arrangement and just 40 watts, there’s a chance that you haven’t yet heard the full tonal range of which your Affinity P is capable.
  8. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I agree. Go look at a few different amps, and bring your bass! There's always the old adage, a great amp can make an okay guitar sound great, but a cheap amp makes a the nicest guitar sound like the cheap amp. I own two Squires and a standard Fender, and most of my upgrade attention over the past few months has been in the amplification department.
  9. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Dump it, buy something better.

    Modding is almost always a financial mistake and a fool's errand, but if you disregard this advice, at least have the sense to not do anything you can't put back.
  10. +1 on the amp upgrade.
    I thought I maybe might want to change my Affinity,
    then I got a better amp.
    Turns out it's pretty amazing, once I could hear al it had to offer.