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Squier VM Jazz Bass Query from a newbie

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yukimajo, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Yukimajo


    Dec 11, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I have been seriously thinking about my next step on the bass ladder, and would like to get a full Jazz bass, which comes as a bit of a surprise to me as I figured I would be a P Bass person!

    I do really like the look and spec of the VM Jazz Bass with one exception. The body is basswood, and I know this is a softer wood than Alder that my Affinity (and a few Fender ones) is made out of. I have heard horror stories about the wood expanding and not holding screws tight enough as well as other niggles. Also the tone is a little muddier than Alder. So this all give me pause, but am I just being paranoid or would you recommend that I look for a different Jazz bass model?

    When the Affinity line has an Alder body, why Squier went for the Basswood for the VM I don't know.

  2. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    You're just being paranoid. Basswood is fine, and generally quite resonant and light (side stepping tonewood debate here). I don't know how these things work , but it seems conceivable that the Affinity's alder is of lower quality than the VM's basswood. Who knows?

    The Squier VM '77 is a fine bass if you're Jazz-inclined.


    Also available in 'burst and black (which looks really good IMO).
    shodan, Tvrtko, CPplaysBASS and 5 others like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Trying to save money where it can. My guess is the Affinities use wood that it can't use for better basses (remember, it's thinner). Lots of love here for that instrument.

    In general, the cheaper the instrument, the more important it is to try before you buy.
    JDMcDorce, ppiluk and Yukimajo like this.
  4. The black VM77 does indeed look really good. Here's mine to the right of the real thing:

  5. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Certainly someone here realizes they’re not all basswood, right? 9238-B66-C-5-A90-4685-A4-C3-C61-E864-CE0-A5.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  6. Yukimajo


    Dec 11, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I agree that the '77 does indeed look like a nice bass, but I prefer a dark fretboard, so I will probably stick to the regular VM and not the '77. And it saves me £30 to boot! Thanks @4sight for confirming that I am just being paranoid. I have a CSE (yes I am that old) in woodwork and was getting a bit bogged down in wood density. But I will always bow to practical experience over theory any day.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    basswood is wood, wood is good, bass is good, basswood is good ...I think we have a theme here lol
    some of my most favorite basses are made of basswood despite my irrational fear of basswood
    JRA and Yukimajo like this.
  8. PockySteve

    PockySteve Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2018
    Pennsylvania USA
    I bought a Jaguar VM three months ago. Great bass and great build quality. No niggles or issues. Was made in Indonesia and I am in Pennsylvania, and despite the big temp/humidity change between the two locations I have had no problems. As with anything I buy using wood screws (basses, amps, furniture, etc) I did slightly snug down (NOT overtighten) each of the screws. Thankfully absolutely zero were overtightened or stripped out of the box. Kudos to the guys/girls manning the screwdrivers.
    Yukimajo likes this.
  9. Ezralyte


    Jul 19, 2018
    Washington State
    Just got a VM 70s on Tuesday. Love it! Maple, not Basswood.
    Toddbass65 and Crazy_Jake like this.
  10. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yes, that makes sense. You have a bass. It is made of wood. So it follows that it is basswood, right?
    Here is mine. I've added Seymour Duncan Antiquity II pups and a Stewmac Golden Age Harness. It sound as good as it looks. I really like the 9 1/2" neck.
  11. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    that's a beaut!
    to me it's all about the neck, get that right and it's hard to screw up
    I have a great Squier VM P (P/J) and I think if it said Fender it would be worth a LOT more $$ lol
    jd56hawk likes this.
  12. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Too bad these are getting harder and harder to find.
  13. Yukimajo


    Dec 11, 2018
    Exeter UK
    That is just lovely.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  14. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Squier should've just kept making these Classic Vibe Jazz basses instead of those less-than-inspiring new models.
    Maybe add a Race Red model with matching headstock, too.
  15. darkestsun


    Nov 19, 2017
    South Dakota
    The squier 70s VM Jazz is amazing! You will not have to worry about bass wood (besides, it sounds good) because the 70s jazz is maple, however, this makes them tend to be heavy...
    Ezralyte, Crazy_Jake and Yukimajo like this.
  16. EBMM Bongo has a basswood body. Whether or not you favor basswood, you have to agree that EBMM wouldn't use it if it were poopiee.
  17. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    As was mentioned, the VM 70s Jazz has a soft maple body. But since you wanted a dark fretboard I suppose that option is out.
    I have several Squiers with Basswood bodies, and all of them are holding up just fine after a few years. It's nice to have the benefit of the lighter weight as well sometimes.
  18. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Unfortunately there's a lot of F.U.D. surrounding basswood, but its perfectly fine for instrument bodies. Huge numbers of guitars and basses come from Indonesia and most are basswood, so its hard to imagine something being fundamentally wrong with it. The fact that Affinity uses alder and VM uses basswood is likely just because they're made in different countries and have different wood suppliers.
  19. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    The basswood is fine, I have two of the VM predecessor, the "Classic" built with basswood bodies. They're a bit on the heavy side, but so's the tone! No issues with dents, dings, etc, and they get the soft-bag treatment as they were far cheaper than any hard case I could buy for them.
  20. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    This old VM (fretless) body's made out of agathis. There's been heated debates on the qualities of both of these woods (aasswood and agathis). Resonates completely different from my MIM ash Jazz bass and has it's own Fenderish gnarly tone (appropriate to this bass). I changed the pots to CTS and used a better cap (gumdrop 0.33). In general they're fair basses.

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