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Squier affinity Jazz Bass IV VS Ibanez GSR200 for (Aston "Family Man" Barret) Reggae

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RoyZ7, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    Hi friends!

    I'll appreciate some :help: for a noob :)
    I am new to this forum and to Bass guitars.
    but not to guitars in general.. I've been playing classic guitar since I was a kid, but now I had this desire to play some bass guitar.

    I'll try to make the story as short that I can and I am sorry in advance for the long post.
    I admire the great late Bob Marley AND the Wailers.
    what I want to achieve with the bass is the closest sound that I can to the sound of Mr. Aston "Family Man" Barret, which is a brilliant musician IMO..


    so I've researched about Mr. Barret's gear and style and found out that he played a variety of guitars but the main one he plays is a Fender Jazz Deluxe (with an "Eden" amp and cab)
    and that his playing style is as in the picture where he tucks his thumb on the neck and plays the strings between the neck pickup and the beginning of the neck itself.

    so I was trying to figure out which would be the most similar bass to his in the style but not expensive and ended up with a Squier affinity Jazz Bass IV.. (we don't have Squier Jazz Bass Deluxe where I live)
    I'm sure you all know how it looks but anyway..


    so I bought it!
    I hooked it up to my Roland Quad Capture sound card (which is great!) and used "Amplitube 3" for amp simulation. it is SO MUCH FUN to play Bass..

    But... I have some issues with this Squier:

    1. This guitar is SO HEAVY! it actually hurts my thigh after an hour of playing as it rests on it.
    (I've seen a guy on YouTube that taped some cushioning to the bottom of it- I just think it's too crazy you have to go this way just to play a guitar..)

    2. I didn't find the playing very smooth and easy, it seems I really need to pay attention to how I play to get clean sounds and to minimize rattle.
    about that, the guy in the store said it was setup but I think some other professional could do a much better job as there is a lot of fret buzz and rattling which other guitars didn't have when I've played them.

    3. I do like the sound.

    I am thinking to replace it with the Ibanez GSR200


    which I can tell you about:

    1. It is super-duper light and very comfortable to sit with.

    2. playing it is like butter, very very smooth and easy.

    3. I didn't like the sound as much. it's very muffled and lacks tonality. it also doesn't have the neck jazz pick up. it's a Precision pick up that from what I've heard is configured in reverse to a fender p-bass..
    no idea if I could get nice Jazz bass style sound from this guitar by using this neck pickup.
    and playing between the two pickups is much less comfortable to me. it's actually very comfortable, fun and easy to me to play as Mr. Barret does.

    4. It's an active bass and also has some kind of "bass boost", apparently an EQ feature.

    the (nice) guy in the store told me that the best thing I can do is to go with the Jazz bass and get use to it.
    he said the Ibanez is very good but not as much versatile and better for Metal or Rock but not as good for Reggae as the Squier and even if I'll get the Ibanez,
    one day I'll end up deciding I want to switch to a Jazz bass (Squier or alike) and be sorry for not going Jazz bass from the beginning.
    about all my issues with the jazz bass I got he basically said that I should get over it and stay with it.
    I will just mention that I am not from the USA and where I live, I need to add about 80$ to get the Ibanez so the guy is persuading me not to spend more money where he works.. (he is giving me what he thinks is the best advice)
    I am sorry this post is so long, I feel it is all relevant information.

    I've also read that most Reggae bass players today play 5 strings guitars, I've tried a 5 string in the store and didn't like that mega thick additional low string, I can see why some will want that and even more, but not me.

    last thing, the only reason I wanted a bass guitar was to get some of my own Roots Reggae material ideas recorded to my computer
    and as a replacement for a VST+midi keyboard setup which even that it sounded OK for the job, it's still a keyboard and to ME the guitar is different by where the notes are and by groove.

    I wanted it to sound good and the closest that I can to Mr. Barret's sound but I wanted it to be comfortable as well. that when I would sit and play it for a long time with no pain. and not in the spirit of "no pain, no gain"..

    I didn't know what to expect as I bought this guitar as my first bass a week ago, but if I can speak for myself, I manage to play it very well for a beginner.
    (playing "Stir it up" smoothly) with that said, I am NOT looking to become a very good Bass player. I just want to get some simple bass lines going and record them, no slaps or other techniques.. just very simple and easy playing lines.

    what's important to me is to get the best sound I can for the money and comfort.

    I would love to hear what you think about all this, do you think I should I replace this Squier with that Ibanez?

    Thanks a lot for reading and for your answers! :)

  2. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    I replaced a Squier with an Ibanez gsr200 & there's been no turning back for me.
  3. mokkat


    Jan 22, 2008
    strange, the affinity jazzes I've played have all been very light.

    Anyways, the store guy is right - anyone could play reggae with any bass, but an active preamp and P-pickup will get you much further away from your specific goal. Forget the Ibanez and spend the money on some flatwound strings and a good setup (if you aren't skilled at this yourself) instead, or something
  4. Carl_D

    Carl_D Guest

    ^ This.

    Get a pro setup and some flatwounds. LaBellas or GHS Precision flats for that old-school fat reggae thump.
  5. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    Interesting :) and adds to my confusion..

    well, the jazz bass I got is heavy as a ROCK. it's made in China if it matters.. amazon says the "product" itself weights 14 pounds, that's pretty heavy for a guitar isn't it?
    but I hear you. I might just do that.

    Thanks for that strings tip too, that makes you two to give that advice... :)

    I just wish it was half the weight, it's not fun playing for long.. :crying:
  6. Carl_D

    Carl_D Guest

    A pro setup will take care of any buzzing issues, and set the action to it's optimal level.

    14 lbs sounds a bit extreme for a 4 string jazz :confused:

    My Squier VM Jazz 5 is 11 lbs, and I consider that heavy. There's only so much you can do to alleviate a heavy bass... install some light-weight tuners, get a good quality wide strap to spread the load, etc.

    If it's just too heavy for you, the best thing to do is off-load it and get something that is comfortable for you.
  7. mokkat


    Jan 22, 2008
    ouch :( That kind of weight for a bass is reserved for the toughest and most insistent on heavy woods- kind of man out there, IMO.
    I have sold off a bass before for weighing so much that I had problems playing it live even with an 11cm strap - I don't think that was near 14lb.

    If you have the option, return it or swap it for a lighter one. There's not much enjoyment to be had if you can't even play it sitting down

    edit: 14lb is shipping weight for the amazon package though, and probably more of an odd worst-case-scenario for this instrument. Still, it sounds like your jazz is excessively heavy for you
  8. noiseguy


    Apr 1, 2013
    I have both; a Squier VM and a GSX100 (which is a passive P bass setup). The VM has a thumb block and the Ibanez I play off the neck just as pictured above. The Ibanez weighs less, and I use it at home for practice or as spare. The VM gets played out; I actually prefer the heft of the Squier when performing. Both are fine for what I paid for them... Suggest if you look at Ibanez again finding a passive version, though I'd wager you could get that 200 to sound appropriate if you played with the strings and knobs...
  9. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    I have that Ibby and love it, but I think for your situation you should stick with what you have.
  10. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    Thanks for the replies good people.. I still can so I think I'll return it.. *edit*- "Casting Thunder" you make me reconsider.. THIS IS SO CONFUSING!

    and more over since I already purchased it (for about 300$- that's what it costs here) and I need to make a decision cause time in running up.

    "noiseguy".. I guess it could deliver nice sound but not sure how nice compared to a Squier..
    another option is just to get the Ibanez and sell it second hand if after a while it won't work out.

    should I try to find some kind of other brand's Jazz Bass? that will probably be too bad cause nothing will be close to a fender jazz bass as a Squier jazz bass right?
    we got some not expensive "Cort" basses here, does anybody know if they are any good? they don't seem popular in the USA..

    I've seen this one (on a website of another store) which looks nice, especially in white.
    though it's active and mokkat said about the Ibanez active pickup that it's not the best for my requirements..

    *edit* it shows to be passive on "Cort's" website but active on the store website.. nevertheless.. should I go try it out in the store?
  11. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    For your purposes that you stated above I don't think it's worth spending the extra cash. If you want you explore other genres, and become a proficient basses (which you should totally do because the bass is awesome, and TB is awesome (we have carrots)) I'd say get the Ibby.
  12. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    Thanks.. you are right.. it all seems awesome :bassist:

    as for other genres.. I'm not into any but reggae and instrumental (spannish guitar stuff) but that Ibby is very fun to play....
  13. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    The Ibby will inspire you to pick up the bass more, but I am totally biased.
  14. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    I was thinking exactly the same and went to replace the squier with the Ibby but the guy had me convinced again that Jazz Bass is what I should stick too.. so I just went back home with it.. it's so hard to decide!
  15. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I was fortunate enough to have opened for The Wailors a long time ago and Aston played a Precision with flatwound strings through an Eden head with XLT(2)1-15 cabs. I was playing a Jazz at the time. We can all see that he plays Jazz basses as well. If the VM is too heavy than why not find a lighter fender ? Don't ask me why I didn't try a P during my reggae/rock days because last year I played one for the first time in a long time. The first thing that I said to myself was , " why in the flip wasn't I playing one of these ten years ago. I can promise you one thing , Flats on a precision will get that great warmth and thumpy roundness that you hearing, in spades.

    Then again, I bet putting flats on the Ibenez will sound good, too !
  16. Get good flats and a decent set up and rock that jazz.
  17. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    I've never heard anyone say the part I made bold, and honestly wouldn't put much stock in it. I have yet to play a genre on my Ibby that didn't work (considering that it's a entry level bass).
  18. RoyZ7


    Jan 11, 2014
    That's so cool! :) thanks for your input too! I didn't look into other fenders but I think that if I'll replace it I'll go with the Ibanez as I really got a good vibe with it but passed on it because of the sound and the p-bass pickups..
    maybe it's a lesson that one should go with he/she feels right from the beginning? :) though that actually wouldn't always be ideal since one could be comfortable with a guitar that doesn't sound so good as well..

    So I think that I will end up getting the Ibanez.
    I will put flats on it- as many of you have suggested and I guess (and hope) it will sound pretty good!

    would anybody care for some sound samples after I'll get it done and ready?

    I did want to but it just doesn't work between us.. she hurts me.. :)
    I have weighted this Squier, it's not as heavy as I thought, the scale shows 4KG or 9LB but I never had a guitar as heavy as this one and I can honestly say
    that there is a spot on my upper thigh now that really hurts when I touch it as if I got hit by something.. and I'm not a "girly" guy (no offense girls).. and didn't have the guitar on me in any out of the ordinary way.
    so it's just not fun.. I really like the sound but I just can't do it with the weight, I don't want to think twice before I pick it up.
    the Ibanez weighs something like HALF the weight. it's very light and it's curvy and smooth on the bottom, so it's very nice to sit with it, and the neck it very nice too.. so I think I'll compromise on the sound and just go with it.

    Thanks again Casting Thunder.
  19. Dave Oliver

    Dave Oliver

    Jul 13, 2013
    Go with what is comfortable and makes you enjoy playinG. I never look at the name on the bass. I play an old (1981?) ibanez p bass copy and a beat the crap out of ovation magnum that just feel natural and perfect. Ive tried fenders and did not like them. I play rock, country, reggae, and a little jazz with my band and these work. Good luck with your choice!
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    Primary TB Assistant

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