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sx fretless vs. squier vm fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jerm, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. jerm


    Jul 10, 2005
    So i'm about to buy a fretless and i intend to play it pretty often, which do you reccomend. I have a fretted SX and I wasn't really THAT impressed with it, I've seen the new squiers and they seem almost about mexican fender quality. what do you think.
  2. there's a prety massive price difference. Since they're both pretty cheap, that might not matter to you, and if that's the case, you should go VM all the way, since they are pretty much universally considered excellent basses (with no caveat for price).
  3. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Squier VM all the way. I got one recently and cannot believe the quality and tone for the price! It feels, plays, and sounds like a $1500 bass.
  4. jerm


    Jul 10, 2005
    id rather buy the squier and get something ready to roll in the first place than have to spend extra $ dropping in pup and a bridge etc.. i think im gonna go with the squier
  5. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I have an SX Fretless Jazz 5 & the Squier VM Fretless. The SX Fretless wasn't what i was looking for sound wise-really lacked the sustain and general sound that i'm looking for in a fretless. However, the VM [i'm thanking largely the ebonal board] is the closest i've ever been to the fretless sound i hear in my head. Well worth the money. The sound is there and it feels good. Like i said in another thread the only mod i've considered is dropping some sort of humbucking j-sized pickup in. The stock sound is great, but some of the venues that i play are really noisy with single coils.

    For full disclosure-i've only had the VM for about 2 weeks.
  6. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I've never played the SX fretless, but I have an SX fretted and the VM jazz fretless. I love the tone, feel, fit and finish of the VM, my only complaint is that the VM is very quiet compared to other basses. I'm right now shopping around for ways to remedy this, because I've been using it more for gigging lately and it doesn't cut through very well. I've got some MIM pickups that I'm gonna throw in to see if they output much more, but ultimately, when I can afford it, I'm probably gonna get some sort of preamp and use the original duncan designed pickups, since they sound great.
  7. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I have a Squier VM fretless and it really is of wonderful quality. However, they're more expensive than SX basses, so the added quality comes at a price.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've had a couple of SXes including a fretless, and I think the only reason they're raved about here on Talkbass is cuz they only cost around 100 bucks. The fretless was totally unispiring, couldn't get any kind of decent action on it, and wound up giving it away to a kid who now never uses it either. :) Never played a Squier fretless but recently bought the active jazz 5, and if that bass is any indicator of what they're putting out these days there would be no question as to which to buy. The Squier I have has become one of my main basses, and I have a basses that are worth 6X as much. I'd say forget the SX, get a Squier or save a little more and shop for something else.
  9. jerm


    Jul 10, 2005
    just bought the squier, i cant wait to dive into the fretless. yeah, i didnt want to get an SX and have to buy a new bridge and all that other junk, i just want something ready to roll. Squier has really improved alot, i remember a few years ago I would laugh if someone actually reccomended buying a squier unless you were a beginner.
  10. Good purchase, but just to be clear, you don't have to buy a new bridge and all that other junk on an SX. Lots of SX players play bone stock instruments. The price just makes them good mod candidates.
  11. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    This is quickly becoming the urban myth of TB. SX basses absolutely do not need to be modded before they are playable. They are great basses right out of the box. The only reason they are so often modded is because they are easy to work on and cost so little.
  12. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    i actually own two Squiers that are getting quite a bit of stage time, IMO there are very high quality instruments.

    the thing that i like about Squier's is,,, you can go down to just about any local brick & mortar music shop & pick thru their inventory, & pick the one that feels best to you.

    the SX's just show up on your doorstep & you're kinda stuck with it. unless you send it back for exchange & then you're stuck with that one.. no thanks, what a pita
  13. SweetMelisma


    Feb 25, 2008
    I recently owned the Squier VM fretless and loved it. I sold it when I got a deal on a Lakland 55-01 that I couldn't pass up. I know this is totally silly, but I think the Squier sounded better. It's passive and the Lakland is active, so the Squier is more of the sound I'm used to, but I still miss it.

    I had a heckuva time selling because nobody who is at a level to play a fretless would even consider a Squier. Well, their loss. That thing played and sounded great! In addition to how it played and stuff, I loved that I could throw it in the trunk and not really worry about it. I could let other people borrow it and not worry, because it was $279 new. There's no way I would do any of that with my Lakland.

    One thing to watch out for if you're thinking about buying one:

    The wood body is very inconsistant, cosmetically. I worked at a music store with 9 locations and I had all of the company's stock of that model sent to my store and they all had rather noticable different sections of the body. One or two of the three sections would be different colors. It was very obvious on some and I took the best of the bunch. They all played pretty much the same but looked rather different. If I can find an old picture of it I'll try to post it so you can see.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. I would buy another one if I didn't have higher priority things on my GAS list.
  14. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    I don't know about that...

    I own one too - they're very good *for the price.*

    They really are good, but $1500 value is an exaggeration IMHO.

    I *do* gig with mine all the time though!
  15. SweetMelisma


    Feb 25, 2008
    Ok, I found some pictures of mine. The guy I traded it to has sup'ed it up a bit and was trying to resell it. Don't know if he ever did. Anyway, you can find his ad here:


    Notice how the top part of the body (when in playing position) is a dark, cloudy look, under the strings is light and clear, and the bottom of the body is darker and muted. That's not a camera by-product.

  16. Curse you guys. I'm off to GC for one of these as soon as I get outta work. My wife is not going to be happy.

    (she'll get over it, she always does)
  17. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    ATTABOY... :hyper: another Squier player
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I think it's actually quite the opposite. People are raving about these basses "as is" because the price is so insane. If you take it to a gig and put it up against any other bass you'll get (hear and feel) the real deal. Sorry, but IMO they really don't stand up on their own. My SX J5 was cool in the house, but at it's first and only gig sounded like cardboard w very little little versatility, sustain, cut or anything else appealing. I couldn't get a decent sound out of it in a band situation. I tried everything I could within 3 sets of music. I sold it shortly after.
  19. Bought it, adore it, rock on. Going fretless is completely renewing my interest in low-end after 20 years of playing.
  20. I've had my fretless VM for a couple of months. For the price it's a very good instrument, the bass sound good, looks good, general fit and finish is good and hardware have a solid feel to them.

    The minuses:

    The nut was cut way too high on mine, same height as if it was fretted, which made it very difficult to play lower on the neck; a set of nut files from S&M fixed that.

    Then the tuner: it's not that they don't keep in tune, but they are difficult to turn, not smooth at all, so it is more difficult to tune when it does require it. Will replace them eventually.

    Then, on mine at least, the tone control doesn't do anything (I haven't yet opened it to see what's up).

    The Ebonol fingerboard felt good at first, but now that I have more experience I was having problem with playing properly intonated notes: there would be a buzzing noise, mildly annoying. The problem was that they used buffing wheels to polish the fingerboard, and buffing wheel tend to produce a not very even surface, especially when used on parts with different hardness like this where the fret markers are obviously softer than the rest of the fingerboard. A 9 1/2" radiused sanding block from S&M fixed that, plays like a dream now.

    Conclusion: a decent bass straight out the box that can be made great with a bit of sweat and not much money. Maybe not $1500.00 great, but great nonetheless and a great value for money.

    SX? My only experience with those is with a strat copy guitar; it was horrible and went back the next day. Maybe a fluke since a lot of peoples here seems to have a high opinion of them, but I'm not about to order another one to find out.

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