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Squier VM Jaguar Vs VM 2011 Jaguar Special

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by plymman, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. plymman


    Jan 3, 2012
    hi all,

    I've just joined after lurking for a long time, i was a gigging player nearly 20 years ago and am just getting back into playing after a 15 year lay off! I'm selling my guitars and basses and replacing them with just one guitar and one bass, both cheaper models so i can cash in on my unused gear.

    I got a Classic Vibe 60's P bass which is great value and sounds fantastic but I just cant get used to the neck after so many years of playing a jazz bass. Because i love the P bass tone I'm looking at getting a Squier VM Jaguar so I can have the tone AND the thin neck.

    I've done a lot of reading and they seem well respected but what is the difference between the original Squier Jag with stacked pots and the 2011 Special version (which i believe is active)? There's a £80 price difference so what would I be missing by going for the cheaper, newer model?

  2. Vintage Modified Jaguar® Bass Special

    Vintage Modified Jaguar® Bass

    One is passive, the other has an active bass boost circuit. The pickups are different (Duncan Designed vs. stock Squier), as is the control layout. There are also cosmetic differences in the fret markers (blocks vs. dots), headstocks (painted vs. plain), body colors, and - depending on the model - body wood.

    I've played them both, and liked them both. Similar feels (necks are the same), different sounds.
  3. plymman


    Jan 3, 2012
    the biggest difference then is likely to be the quality of the pickups I guess, the controls, inlays, wood etc.. don't bother me but the difference in the pickups is probably going to be the killer here. It's hard to find many reviews on the special but there's lots about the first release.
  4. Yea, the Special has amazing electronics and crappy pickups, while the VM has good pickups, but not as great sounding electronics.
  5. plymman


    Jan 3, 2012
    is the passive duncan designed pickup model worth the extra? I really don't want to swap pickups, I just want something that's good to go out of the box.
  6. major10th


    Aug 8, 2010
    So what could be done to improve the VM electronics - better pots/caps/wiring? Or is it just that you feel that the VM's electronics don't sound good when compared to the active electronics in the Special?
  7. There's nothing wrong the the DD pups in the original VM Jag - they are certainly good to go out of the box.
  8. Hey guys, just bought the cheaper active one over the pore expensive passive, and I'll explain my reasons and maybe it'll help. A) The active boost is really pretty good and adds a lot of low end I had been lacking with my passive jbass. 2) the fake tort pickguard on the passive one is just awful, and it would bother me until I replaced it. The passive one does have a beautiful neck, and great pickups, and I really do like the stacked concentric controls, but in the end I couldn't justify spending the extra money for the passive one.
  9. I bought the VM Jag Bass Special (P/J p/up configuration) about 3 weeks ago... and have just ordered some Wizzard p/ups for it because I think the original p/ups and active electronics are not very good at all. I can get about one useful sound out of it.

    The bass itself is good. It needed a set-up and the nut slots lowering out of the box - but that's to be expected - and I can get a very low action out of it. However; there's a slightly high fret area (15th fret, 2nd string) and some slightly sharp fret edges, both of which which I'm going to sort out when the p/ups arrive and I take the bass to pieces and re-string with D'addario Chromes (40/60/80/100).

    It balances OK on the strap, but it's very neck heavy when sitting down.... and those half on the rosewood fingerboard/half on the maple neck side-dot markers are rubbish. I notice the new Modern Player Jazz has the side-dots entirely in the rosewood - much better.

    All-in-all a good bass for £175, but not useable on stage with the original p/ups and not useable in an orchestra pit because of the neck-heavy-on-the-knee balance.... IMHO, of course.
  10. I'm not sure because I don't know a whole lot about changing electronics. All I know is when the to are compared to each other, the special sounds a lot better. It's a lot more versatile and it has that fender growl to it. The Special is very aggressive, the VM is very soft in the way that the sound
  11. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Me too, about 3 weeks ago. The real problem so far with the electronics is that they are too hot and after I lowered the action, much too close to the strings. I can't tell how they really sound as a result. The pu screws will not tighten either, so it has to come apart and see if I can drill them deeper or something... The thing is so hot I overdrive my first effect and I can't stack effects as I am wont. (It does make a DE Dark Boost or Fuzzhugger Arcflash roar/buzz nicely) I believe the bass boost is a gimmick aimed at young players. But for $174 it aint a bad piece of wood! I might try a badass bridge later too although that rounded low end thump from low mass is Fender-ish and the heavier bridge might not be necessary. I have other infinately sustaining basses and this might be useful for recording.

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