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Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by guestOU812, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    Update 3.28.18: I had custom wound pickups from Sound Laboratories made for this bass. I wanted a growly 4003 Rickenbackeresque sound. DoooOOoood! What an improvement. The sound is incredible. I would describe the sound as beefy, thick, clear as a bell and totally has a Ric growl. It's insane! Check out Sound Laboratories www.soundlaboratories.us

    Let me start with the Squeir name. I would not buy one. They are generally awful and I would not recommend them to beginners. Simply because its a poorly made instrument. Why recommend something that will be uncomfortable to play and keep set up?? Please don't answer that question this is not about that philosophy, keep reading.

    I started playing bass in 1980. My first bass was a crazy shaped Hundo I picked up for 220 bucks at Sam Ash in Queens, NY. From there I went all American. At 14 years old (1985) I got a Guild SB202, at 15 a G&L L2000 (still own it and it's my fav!!), then a Ric 4001, then an Ernie Ball Stingray 5, Pedulla 6, American Standard P, 64' Vintage Jazz, another Ric but a 4003, 1984 G&L El Toro (an amazing bass!!) and my most recent purchase a Squier Vintage Vintage Modified Bass VI which I've had for about a week now (Feb 2018).

    Why? Well a few months ago I was listening to the Four Seasons, Oh What a Night. I figured out the bass score. Between those basses mentioned I couldn't figure out Don Ciccone's sound. So I dug a little deeper. On the video it looked like Don was playing a guitar. So I dug a little deeper. I discovered it was because he (I believe) used a Fender Bass VI. What the heck is that I thought?! So I dug a little deeper and figured I had to try one. A 6 string bass that isn't a 6 string bass, isn't a baritone and is tuned like a regular guitar, how cool!!!! I play guitar as well.

    So I dug and I dug and dug. I wanted to try it...bad. No one in the NYC area had one in stock. Fender sold a custom shop one on it's site for like 4500.00 bucks!!! There was a pawnshop edition but that was Mexican made at 800.00 bucks second hand It was not like the original setup with what looks like a P90. And there was the accessible Sqier...

    Musiciandsfriend.com had a sale and I figured this would be my chance to at least check one out.

    It came and I set it up. Straightened the neck, set the action to my liking and set the radius. It physically felt sturdy. Something a Squier never felt to me before. I did't have time to plug it in at home so I took it to a Saturday night jam at CatScratch Studio in Chelsea. My friends were like, "dude there are like 9 guitar players tonight." I said. "don't sweat it this thing is actually considered a bass."

    I plugged it in and HOLY COW!!! This thing was fun!!! and it sounded GREAT!!!

    Since I've been playing guitar for some time I acclimated to the instrument pretty quickly. I play with my fingers and a pick when needed. The folks in the room were literally blown away as was I. That extra 2 higher string is F*&k'in cool! The 2 other bassists in the room wanted to play it and they loved it. They did mention that the string spacing was difficult but they don't play guitar.

    After 2 hours of getting down and digging in I noticed the high E and B strings were getting little buzzy. Then I noticed the set screws of the bridge saddles were nearly falling out. The things rattled themselves loose. All 4 of them!! In the morning the neck bowed back to nearly it's original setting. Why won't I recommend these to beginners?? Because they don't know how to fix these things. They eventually say to themselves "these things are too difficult to play."

    I can't figure out how these instruments aren't just as popular as 5 string basses and I wish Fender would produce an American made Bass VI at the standard American prices. I still have a little over a month to return the Squier Bass VI to MF however I think I am going to keep it. If I could find an alternative bridge that isn't 130-150 dollars Ill buy it.

    Do you have a Bass VI? What do you think of it? I love mine but wish the metals were milled better.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    So you love it, but Squiers are generally awful and you wouldn't buy one?
    NKBassman likes this.
  3. maplenecked

    maplenecked Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    Squiers rule, don't think I've seen a bad thing written about them here since I've joined, I think you need to post some pics, it's a....6 string?
  4. scabpicker

    scabpicker Gold Supporting Member

    I have one, a VM Squire like yours. I like to play it, but mine has it's issues. The screws on the bridge saddles aren't tight enough, and the action will drop from the vibrations of playing it. I have the same problem with my MIM P/J Mustang bass. With the Mustang, I just roughed up the screws with sandpaper. I need to do that with the Bass VI so it will hold a set up, and I'll play it more.

    If your problem with the bridge is that the strings occasionally pop out of the saddles, a Whizzo Buzz Stop corrected that for me.

    My other issue with it is that the pickups are a bit twang-y and guitar like for straight bass work. That's probably due to it being a fairly faithful reproduction, and is part of the personality of the instrument. If I were going to change any of the pickups, it would probably just be the neck pickup.
  5. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    Lol yeah the irony in that :D
    I meant was I would normally not buy a Squier but this one is too much fun and do I dare say it? A really dynamite novelty.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  6. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    So far I love it's sound. It's just the inaccuracies in the metals that has me bummed.
  7. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011

    My Bass VI isn't buzzing (yet) the set screws on the adjustable bridge wiggle out. So far and I was surprised by this is I'm happy with the pickups however since I do wind my own (this is my site www.soundlaboratories.us) pickups I will most certainly rewind these, change the magnets, rewire the harness and upgrade the pots at some point...if I am still loving it at the end of the trial date MF allows.
    Micah D likes this.
  8. jaybones

    jaybones Inactive

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    This is definitely on my gas list.

    And I love my Squier Affinity Precision, although I have upgraded the electronics (Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pup, CTS pots and Switchcraft jack), replaced the PG with an MIA red tortoise one, the bridge plate (which had the chrome plating flaking off) with one that wasn't.

    I'm mostly a guitar player, and I'd like to try some of my guitar riffs through a little gain and dirt.
  9. I had a Pawnshop VI and it is worth the money, far better than the Squier. But I sold it, when there was an offer for the limited edition MIJ Bass VI. The only one with the correct bridge (even the CS Fender uses the wrong bridge from the Jazzmaster guitar) and it has a special titanium trussrod...

    It was a little over 1.000,- or so new, but they usually go for about 1400-1600...
    2015-05-16 12.13.10 Pawnshop Bass VI MIJ.jpg
    An Army Of Juan and Mike.C. like this.
  10. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    I've gotta get one! Thanks for the bridge info.
  11. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    What I find "bad" about Squier's is...well lets take look at the one I wrote about in this thread. 2 hours after some good jamming the set screws in the bride rolled out. Since Saturday I've had to readjust them. Just this morning I had to readjust the D strings saddle. When the screws are not receiving resistance from the bridge plate they wiggle. Now thats dodgey machine work. I've straightened the neck twice. Once on Saturday and again this morning. The result was high action. If I were a beginner I wouldn't know better. I would assume its difficult to play this instrument. Since I can with confidence make these adjustments it's not a huge deal but would I want this happen while playing? No!

    This isn't the first Squier in my possession. I do setups and I build custom pickups (www.soundlaboratories.us). Many of the guitars I install pickups into are similar to the quality of the general Squiers I've seen out there. With the installation Ill make adjustments to the truss rod (if it isn't frozen) and the action. Everything from the potentiometers to the metals are, for a lack of a better word...absolute junk. The pickups are blah sounding and the materials are made from cheap stuff. All of my customers and friends are blown away at the improved sound and feel after I am through. Oddly I really like the sound and feel of this Bass VI after I set it up. I've set it up twice in 5 days.

    I've built guitars from the bottom up (mostly from parts) and I marvel at how inexpensive the CII and MIC's are. Sanding a body by hand can take weeks!! This MII (Crafted in Indonesia) Bass VI's body and neck are the best I've seen out of China / Indonesia. Real solid stuff compared to it's brother and sister instruments. I can only imagine how little these "luthiers" get paid.

    Here's the flip side. I play in a Punk Band called Jiggers is King. It's not the most accurate band. My singer who's the guitar player uses a Tele Squier. In the studio I have a 4 Tele's; an American Deluxe, 2 well made Tele's I built with Japanese and American parts and one MIJ Tele with a Bigsby. If we use the "better" guitars for this project it just doesn't work, at all. His Squier is the only one that works well for this noisy stuff. My guitarist is no yngwie Malmsteen or a Luciano Pavarotti he's a high energy artist. Point is, it works.

    I used to think (many years ago) that Pro Tools was the only software for music recording. All else was substandard. Thats just not true. Each audio software has it's strength and weaknesses. For example Logic's MIDI and Instruments kick the pants off Pro Tools regarding usability but Pro Tools kicks the pants off of Logic when it comes to recording from analog sources and certainly strives in mixing and editing. But no audio software will make the recordings "sound better." Thats all outboard gear (converters, preamps, rooms and so on) and software setup.

    How I like to work with recordings and instruments in general is to start high and work my way to low. Because when I start with low standards I cannot "uprez." Hence my first paragraph in this thread. Now if in my mind I need that particular "low" quality sound high and gear rarely captures the authenticity of say my bandmates Squier.

    All in all I very much enjoying the Squier Bass VI. If Fender decides to make an American reissue in and about 1-1.5k I will get it simply for the reliable hardware.
    Micah D likes this.
  12. Gully Foyle

    Gully Foyle

    Sep 28, 2014
    Near Boston
    Look around for the club, lots of squier VI love around is here. Mine is great, and so are squiers in general!
    Inconnu and djp420 like this.
  13. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Baffled by loose screws? :rollno:

    Blue Loktite. I'm surprised you didn't already know this if you do setups.
    FranF and Bassbeater like this.
  14. Your welcome. AFAIK it is only the limited edition series from 2013 or 2014 that has the correct bridge. The '90s MIJ Fender VI doesn't. I've read in another forum that the custom shop asked the japanese Fender guys to send them some bridges or so and they refused to do so.
    There are some good replacement bridges available.
    One has to know that some problems with the bass VI are part of the original design.
    All contemporary Fender VI basses (Squier, Pawnshop, MIJ) come with the "wrong" strings. Labella makes some - roundwounds and flats - with the correct gauge that fits the design much better. These have the same gauges as the strings the original Fender VI were equipped with.
    IIRC the D'Addario E-strings are 85 or so, the Labellas are 95.
  15. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    actually not, it's a regular 30" scale bass tuned at the bass octave, but with the intervals like the guitar after the G string (B and E). also, strings are at the bass gauges (except the B and E, obviously).

    it was made 20 years before the first "5 string bass" or "6 string bass", so it's not even a strange tuning, it's just that in the 80's the idea of the bass was to go deeper and lower, and it started the era of the B string, and the fourth interval was preferrd on the bass, so here's the C string as the high in six strings.

    but the Bass VI, as mentioned in the name, it's 100% a bass, tuned as it would in the 60's, when it was made.

    Squier has changed a lot over the years, and offers instruments from 100 to 600€... an Affnity and a Classic Vibe are totally different instruments in terms of quality.
    hi-end Squiers have the same hardware as Made in Mexico Fenders, and the Classic Vibes have even bigger and better made bridges.

    I've ownes six Squier basses over the years, and my main guitar is a Classic Vibe 60's Strat, chosen after 10 years of guitar research :p after 4 years it's still working properly, even with a perfect tremolo bridge...

    as mentioned above, the Bass VI ws born in the 60's, and wasn't used much. it's famous in many country records and because it was used in the White Album by the Beatles (mostly played by Lennon and Harrison doing the bass tracks in some songs); in the 80's it became the "signature" instrument of Robert Smith of The Cure (used for "guitar" parts), and it was also used on many tracks by Simon Gallup as a bass.

    however, most bassist wanted lower notes and the ability to keep the same "shapes" and fingerings if the key was changed (that's the real purpuse of the 5 string bass), so the B string was added.
    then some virtuoso bass player wanted to go higher and use more chords, and the sixth tring was added keeping the fouth-tuning.

    that's a short history of why the Bass VI was never a thing :p

    PS: four years after the Bass VI, Fender tried a new idea, the Bass V: Fender Bass V - Wikipedia

    a 5 string bass with only 15 frets and an higher C string (to keep the fourth-tuning), but it had a really short history, and John Paul Jones used it: http://theconcertdatabase.com/sites/theconcertdatabase.com/files/jpj.jpg
    Mike.C. likes this.
  16. Threadlock. And it’s pretty much a niche instrument for them to make a US version.
    Bassbeater and djp420 like this.
  17. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    There are a few bum American and Japanese Fenders out there but I have yet to find one. I have a 08' Highway One HSS Strat. That guitar seems to get better as it ages.
  18. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    Thats a great suggestion!!
    Bassbeater likes this.
  19. guestOU812

    guestOU812 Inactive

    Jul 30, 2011
    I am aware however I shouldn't have to do this upon delivery. If the machinery is weak that speaks for the rest if the build?

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