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Squier Jazz or GFS Jazz Kit

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by C Squared, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. C Squared

    C Squared

    Nov 15, 2010
    Hi All-

    I've been a lurker here for a while. This is my first post on this forum, (I'm over at MyLesPaul a bit as well)

    Question for the evening (or the next 3 hrs anyway lol)

    I'm torn between one of these GFS J Bass style kits


    Or a Basic Squier J Bass from local store for $150

    I've crafted from scratch a few of my own guitars over the years as time and work load have allowed, so I'm not new to sanding, fitting, drilling, setting, finishing, and set up. It's something I really enjoy doing. When I saw these kits for around $120 it really seemed like a fun winter project.

    But a brand new squier with a warranty, pretty good set up at the store, for a few dollars more....

    I've had a few basses over the years, kept my Ibanez SR505 the longest (loved that damn thing!!) but I've never had a J bass. Found a Wenge control plate in my parts bin a while back (where did that come rom???) and I have a DiMarzio J Bass Bridge pup hanging out as well

    What would you go for and why??
  2. Hmm ... I enjoy my Squier VM Jazz a whole lot, I'm really glad I got it, so my intial reaction would be to get the Squier, but... If you enjoy the process, the kit bass could be fun. Best I can tell you is that I personally would rather get the Squier (if I didn't have one already), because I would get the kit and it would never get made. But, that's me.
  3. dreasher54


    Nov 18, 2010
    Hmmm I'm not really sure what i would do. but that kit looks like a lot of fun. Has anyone done one of those?
  4. I would go for the kit kuz it seems fun but ur gonna have to finish it yourself so you should add that into the cost.
  5. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
  6. C Squared

    C Squared

    Nov 15, 2010
    well now that's intriguing;)

    Govier- yeah, I was adding in the cost of finishing while contemplating the kit build, plenty of stains and clear here, just the extra sand paper and elbow grease... that and a black pickguard, which would be needed for either of my initial options...
  7. I have one of the GFS P-bass kits. Unless you're just itching to build a guitar, I'd get a Squier.

    The headstock isn't shaped, so unless you have woodworking gear, it's a bear to cut by hand. No bridge holes, no tuner mounting holes, but it does have the 4 neck mounting holes in the body. I guess I got spoiled building Carvin kits, where every hole is drilled. Obviously, the Carvin kits cost more, but no bridge holes for the included bridge?

    Anyway, my 2 cents....
  8. C Squared

    C Squared

    Nov 15, 2010
    I like building them actually, never did a kit build though. They tend to leave the body undrilled for bridge so that you can upgrade or swap to what your preference is ( t least that's what Jay from Guitar Fetish told me, same with headstock)

    How is the quality of your p bass kit? Neck straight and truss rod work? Body have any issues (router tear out)?
  9. Neck seems straight, and the truss rod works. The body is very light, and has some router tear out, but nothing major. In my world, the kit should have all holes drilled. If I wanted to mix and match the parts, I would have bought them all separately. I'm doing that right now with a warmoth build.

  10. gitlvr


    Nov 13, 2009
    No. Va., USA
    Between the two, I'd definately get the Squier. It's a known quantity. Plus, since you're buying from a local store, you can play first. That's always a plus. As for the SX suggestions, I've no experience with them, but on the rep that they have on this forum and elsewhere, I wouldn't hesitate to include them for consideration. Having said that, I repeat, you can see, hold in your hands and play the Squier. IMHO, that beats the others .
  11. The GFS kits look pretty bad low quality, hand picking the best squier of the bunch is ideal or order a SX and if its junk send it back. I loved a SX i had , hated the other2.
  12. This.

    I'm a carpenter by trade, so the woodworking part of the equation isn't a problem for me, but it seemed really odd that they wouldn't include the holes for the bridge that came with the parts. Yes, I understand that there might be a desire to upgrade the bridge for some folks, but IMHO the idea of a "kit" is that you get to assemble it from the parts provided. Builders who want to go with an upgrade could either a) use a bridge that had a similar mounting pattern, or b) fill the pre-drilled holes and drill new ones before they applied the finish. Not drilling the bridge holes seems to me like a manufacturing shortcut. Then again, the kits are only $100, so...

    Just my two cents, but if you're in the mood for mods, you might be better off buying an SX and going from there. Even with shipping, they're only a few bucks more than the GFS kits. The SX bodies are made with ash or alder, compared with paulownia for the GFS J & P bass bodies.

    Back to the OP: I would definitely go with the Squier over the GFS kit unless you're dying to start a project.
  13. gitlvr


    Nov 13, 2009
    No. Va., USA
    If I were putting together a kit to be assembled by someone else, i might not drill the holes for the bridge. Putting a kit together, any kit, seldom goes together without a hiccup or two. I would leave the bridge holes undrilled to ensure that the assembler could line up the bridge with the neck so that the strings run along the edges of the neck properly and it's placed in the proper position re the scale length. If you look at a lot of parts builds, the neck and bridge alignment are one of the places where the builder/assembler's skills really show. I'd leave that alignment and placement up to the builder. MHO.
    P.S. : I'd still get the Squier.
  14. C Squared

    C Squared

    Nov 15, 2010
    I went with the Squier just for that reason. Would have loved to spend some time doing some wood work and finishing (which I still may for the price) But quite happy with the Squier I played a few times. I stopped back there today and put some cash down. Pick it up on Thursday (next paycheck). Also played a Behringer Ultra Bass BXL900 that I'll take as well for $150. Sounded great, loud enough for small gigs and didn't weigh a ton. So I got a whole new rig for under $300
  15. gitlvr


    Nov 13, 2009
    No. Va., USA
    Good deal. Congrats.

    A sister church of ours uses a Behringer bass amp. They've used it for years with no problems. A Bluegrass group I know uses a Behringer powered board. Zero problems there as well. Behringer gets a bad rap, but there are a lot of people who use their products and love them. Congrats on your purchase.
  16. C Squared

    C Squared

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks man. To up it a bit more, I just wired up a set of diMarzio Ultra J pups I've had here for a bit. Almost forget I had them (found them while looking for some caps). Now it sounds almost as good as it plays
  17. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I use a Behringer BXL600 that I bought used from GC at church, which is my only gig, and it has served me well for 4 years now. There may be some things they don't do well, but if my amp is indicative, I like their bass combos. :cool:
  18. I would have actually gone with the GFS kit, I personally am a DIY fanatic - I've built a one humbucker strat from a kit, three ukes from scratch, and am in the process of making three more ukes, a mandolin, and plan on making some homebrewed beer when all that's done. I dunno, I personally find a good deal of satisfaction in building the instrument.

    As far as bridge and tuner holes go, all you really need is twenty minutes and a drill, or drill press - honestly, don't be butthurt over such a small amount of time. and these kits really do seem like a good deal - the kits are made from 3 piece bodies - unlike the 5+ you find on a saga, they aren't sealed - so you could give it any finish you want, so the wood isn't alder or ash - it's not like you know how the "no-name" woods are going to sound anyway - Leo made his guitars out of those woods not because of "tone", but because they were cheaper than mahogany.

    in terms of "quality of setup", you're gonna have to do that yourself - file the frets, adjust truss rod, adjust action, file the nut - it's all part of the DIY experience.
  19. upandb


    Feb 18, 2009
    CT and NY
    Good call on the Squier. When I first started playing bass at 15, my father bought a bass kit. I don't know if it was the same brand or not. It was fun working on it with him, but the thing sounded like garbage. Worst sounding bass I've ever heard.

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