Squier VM Fretless Jazz Bass : PU's & preamp upgrade suggestions ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nuno1959, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. hi guys

    again it's about my Squier VM Fretless JB...... :rollno::rollno:

    been playing around with it for a few days now ( new half round D'Addario's, adjusted PU height.. ) & yes i do like it's playability & tone BUT....i can't help feel there's something missing & think that upgrading it's electronics would make it

    i HAVE read as many preamp/PU upgrade threads as i could lay my hands on here & elsewhere but if anything, i got even more confused...

    basically what i'm thinking about is to install either a pair of PU's, an onboard pre or both in order to bring forth every last ounce of it's ''fretlessness'' & take it to another level

    if i understood it right, a big part of how a fretless sounds ( the so called ''mwah'', the harmonics.. ) is down to the mids & how they're...how can i say this ?....processed ?
    with that in mind i've come up with a shortlist of preamps i THINK would be able to do that :

    1 - a Glockenklang 3 band, stacked 4 pot ( requires moving the output jack to side of body, no problem.. ) as this one :


    2 - an Audere Pro JZD as this here :


    3 - a John East J-Retro Deluxe as this here :


    as far as PU's, i have ABSOLUTELY no clue ! the ones installed are mostly devoid of hum & sound rather nice even if in a ''plain jane'', basic sort of way - not too many layers or lushness to their tone

    i know this is a highly subjective thing, each his own, etc....but considering i have absolutely no way of trying or listening to any of this gear without some major traveling & expense involved, i was hoping you guys could chip in w/ some suggestions derived from your own experiences - maybe even some links to some sound clips ?
    to make it even harder, here's a tone, a type of fretless sound i REALLY, REALLY like, amps/cabs, effects & chops notwithstanding :

    i love all of it but between 1.55 & 2.40 or so that is the sound that KILLS ME - in the best possible way

    thanks a lot for ''enduring'' through this post, any help will be greatly appreciated


  2. Torn Bassist

    Torn Bassist

    Feb 8, 2013
    I'm playing a 2012 Squier Jazz and have my mid up a little on the bass amp but also use a Zoom 506 pedal I found at a local swap meet (I use the programmed C3 setting) which has compression, minor distortion, chorus, and a little delay.
  3. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Cheers nuno, that's a vid I haven't seen before, awesome playing. He is using a few toys on the floor there-a silver Boss thing, don't know- I think his technique is the main thing here though, It looks like he has his forefinger on top of his index finger for more strength and power. And the bass he's playing there is a custom built jobby. Loving the pick playing section as well. I have a VM fretless also and I can get it to sound pretty nasty. Play around with the tone controls on the VM and your amp (which is ? ) and you may get to where you want to be.
  4. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    I have a 62 jazz that I've had defretted and I've dropped in a J-Retro... it sounds absolutely phenomenal!

    I did upgrade the pups with DiMarzios though...

    Actually in passive mode it's as dead as a dead thing...?
  5. hi guys

    & thanks for your input ! yes, that video is pretty intense isn't it ? if only there was a store near me where i could get some of them chops & a couple of drummers like that to boot !! ;-)

    as far as amps my home practice combo is a Eden Nemesis RS410, at the band's rehearsing room i have a Hartke LH1000 + a Warwick WCA411 cab. w/ both i use my Zoom B3 effects

    let's face it, in either situation the bass sounds good enough but pretty much as fine as my Cort GB35 sounded w/ it's original electronics
    then following a friend's advice i replaced them w/ Delano pickups & a Delano Sonar2 preamp & it was like OH....MY.....GOD !!!...

    a world of difference, you know what i mean ? i could go on for hours defining the difference & would NOT make it justice
    & that's what i feel with the Squier - yes it sounds fine BUT.......i KNOW it can give me more if i throw in there some ''vitamins''

    bh2 - what do you mean it sounds dead ? as in flat or ?...

    suggestions please, suggestions !! ;-)
  6. cvsurg

    cvsurg Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    I switched out the pups in my VM FL Jazz for DiMarzio model J's; big step up in tone-more "mwah", too. As I was trying to stay on a budget, I dropped in a SBK-3AD preamp from Guitar Fuel (around $45 at www.guitarfuel.com; great guys to deal with); 3-band EQ with adustable midrange frequency boost and cut- Yowza! Great tone that all my bandmates and I love. And it sounds great through a Zoom B3, too. Just for your consideration....
  7. Hi cvsurg

    thanks for sharing, i checked them out & holly crap, just when i thought i managed to narrow down the list you pull something like this on me ? oh man.... ;-)

    VERY attractive prices that's for sure, you wouldn't happen to have a couple of sound clips would you ?

  8. cvsurg

    cvsurg Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    I've got some, but I'm not sure my playing does the set up justice; let me review them and I'll let you know. Ty at Guitar Fuel will treat you right.