Squier Classic Vibe 50's P-bass: Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jd-ns, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. jd-ns


    Sep 28, 2010
    After viewing lots of favorable reviews, I decided to pick-up a brand new one of these yesterday (in Lake Placid Blue). I played with it at home for the afternoon with my micro amp and it set it up perfectly. I was really impressed.

    I then gigged it last night (I was so confident I didn't even bring a backup bass).

    -flawless finish
    -excellent playability (and I'm not usually a p-bass fan)

    -sound - very unsatisfactory. Very inconsistent volume/tone between strings and even different places on the same string. Wide open E is the worst I have ever heard - all overtones and with almost no fundamental. Sustain at different frets is widely variable (none at all on 7th fret G string).

    -it looks awesome
    -plays like a dream
    -sounds like crap

    Based on all the favorable reviews about this bass, I'm thinking that my bass may be a one-off lemon... but I'm returning it and have permanently crossed the Squier Classic Vibe 50's P-bass off my must-have list.
  2. BillyRay


    Jan 20, 2008
    Strings and setup ?
    pbassrules likes this.
  3. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    My VM Squier jazz was nowhere near setup when I bought it. The neck needed a lot of adjustment and the bridge needed constant tweaking for weeks before I was happy with it. But that's the point; Fender instruments come ready setup by a luthier at the factory - Squiers do not.
    Play with it, get to know it and learn how to set it up. My VM is beautifully set up now and plays like a dream, a really low and light action.
    Since then I've also replaced the cheap pickups with Seymour Duncans and it sounds incredible.

    Stick with it.
  4. FiveHorses


    Jun 21, 2013
    I was looking at one of these - so the review is really appreciated.
    I thought that it would probably need new pups and a good set up, so the fact you have confirmed it is great!

  5. jd-ns


    Sep 28, 2010
    *Update* - I decided after much debate to keep the bass and see if I can do something about the sound since the playability is awesome and I prefer the neck feel and overall finish to several of the Fender USA basses I have in the closet... crazy but true!

    Today I got an awesome setup, put on a set of Elixirs and that alone made a BIG difference.

    The pickup is still a dud (in my opinion) so I ordered a Fralin '51 single coil...
    pbassrules likes this.
  6. Didja try adjusting the pickup height? Makes a big difference. Cheaper than a new pickup, too.
    Oops! too late!
    pbassrules likes this.
  7. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    Ha, yes I did cheers!
    It had a good sound actually, but thin. Especially in comparison to the P. I think the fretless neck added to its lack of attack or something like that. But it sounds nice and fat now.
  8. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    I'm on the wrong thread here... Ha!!
  9. Ummm, that's baloney. Both my Squier VMs came brand new out of the box needing no setup.
  10. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Maybe the E-string slot in the nut is cut too narrow?

    Dead spot. Common on most basses, worse on some.
  11. endy_y_p


    May 2, 2009
    Try to lower the pickup, it would help balance a bit, but of course lower the output, but we could always crank up the volume knob on the amp right?!

    Btw, I'm too have the same experience, being compare with with my lakland and stingray (actively speaking), it does sound like crap, but with great craftmanship and playibility and I'm too waiting for Basslines SCPB-3 for upgrade, in the meantime, I try to set the best it could stock. At least it's a great bass to start with.

    Have fun!.
  12. PS - fenders do NOT come setup from the factory. I've played squiers in the shop with better default setups than USA fenders.

    In fact I've experienced that phenomenon far more often than seems proper.

    But yea, my particular squier jazz V affinity (purchased used) needed huge setup (including shim).

    I've always hated the single coil metal cover original p-bass pickups. There was one once I played and gigged with in a big band in the 80s that was pretty good... but still it is nothing compared to a split coil precision pickup.

    That single is one pickup design I never fell in love with. So for me I wouldn't know if missing fundamentals on the E is common to the design or just a bad pickup, but it certainly does sound like a particularly poor pickup sample you got there.
  13. jd-ns


    Sep 28, 2010
    ok - final update in this ridiculous lemon-of-a-bass saga...

    I finally was getting some good tones out of this thing with the new pick-up, a good set-up, strings, etc, and it was feeling great under my fingers, when a nasty non-string related vibrating/buzzing started up... I checked all the screws on the bass everything was tight - then I realized that the major buzzing was coming from INSIDE the neck - some kind of truss rod issue... loose/broken, whatever - I was done with it - back to the store it went.

    In the end, as is often said - you can't polish a turd.

    The store gave me a Squier Matt Freeman Signature (which is flawless - zero issues - already gigged it and it's a keeper) to play around with while waiting for my Tony Franklin Precision to arrive...
  14. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    Overall, it was likely a blessing in disguise. I hope the MF Precision serves you well. Is your future Tony Franklin gonna be a fretless, per chance?
  15. That's a shame, issues like that will put me off a bass too, I was a little luckier with mine... After checking it out I dropped a Fender 51-RI pup in, and a set of GHS P flats on and full setup... It's tone is fantastic and no string balance issues or obvious dead spots. It's getting a lot of use so my experience is different
  16. mojomike001

    mojomike001 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    I just picked up a used CV 50's P form Guitar Center online. My goodness! I'm shocked by what a beauty it is especially for how little it cost. I had to do some adjustment with the setup and intonation, but twenty minutes later, it plays great. I also relocated the finger rest to the E-string side to serve as a thumb rest.

    This could become my favorite bass.
    pbassrules likes this.
  17. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    Lets see a picture of her!
  18. mojomike001

    mojomike001 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    Here ya go.

    Attached Files:

  19. mojomike001

    mojomike001 Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    The wood grain is particularly nice for cheap wood. The last picture is with her cousin. Strong family resemblance here.

    Attached Files:

  20. pbassrules


    Mar 31, 2015
    It sounds like you definitely got a "lemon" ... too bad, because CV 50's P basses are really nice instruments. I bought one 6 months ago, and zero issues, it was nearly perfectly setup "as is" out of the box, according to my luthier ... the only change I've made to it is to add "flats" (I didn't like the "round" strings it shipped with) ... TI's to be exact. That one simple change turned a very good bass into an EXCELLENT bass. It's so good now, in fact, I'm likely going to sell a couple of my other basses ... I only want to play my CV 50 now ... it's my new "BFF" and I think this could be a permanent "affair" ;)
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    jbassbob likes this.