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Upgrading Squier

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vobidy One, Jul 31, 2012.


  1. Vobidy One

    Vobidy One

    Jun 5, 2012
    Ireland
    Hey everyone.

    Well I'm saving up some € for a decent bass, but I'm a man who loves a budget.
    I want to get the best possible bang for my buck, because my funds are constantly quite low.

    I've looked at the Modern Player series by Fender and the Classic Vibe series by Squier.
    The Modern Player Jazz Bass I was looking at was around 450€ - that is quite pricy for me, considering I have heard that the Modern Players are almost identical to the Squiers in terms of quality, and the only difference is the name on the headstock.

    I'm considering buying a used Classic Vibe or Vintage Mod. Precision, and doing a few upgrades like
    - Fender / Seymour Duncan Pickup
    - Changing the headstock decal & neckplate for Fender ones (I have a chip on my shoulder :smug: But obviously I'll have no intention of ever selling it as a Fender, it's just cosmetic.)
    - Locking tuners
    - Maybe a new bridge.

    I reckon I'll have a nice, professional looking and sounding bass for a lot cheaper than it would be to buy a MIM p-bass, and also cheaper than buying a Modern Player.

    I've heard really good things about the Squier Classic Vibe 60's Precisions - most people reckon they sound as good-as, and some people reckon they sound better than a Precision MIM Standard. Opinions?
    :hyper:
     
  2. Classic vibes are really nice basses. But, the same can be said for all of the ones you mentioned. There's pros and cons to each one, but if you're after a budget, pro level instrument, its hard to beat the classic vibe.
     
  3. Vobidy One

    Vobidy One

    Jun 5, 2012
    Ireland
    Thanks for the reply. What about the Vintage Mods, are they any good?
    Considering I'll be replacing the pickups, is there much difference? The Vintage Mods seem slightly cheaper.
     
  4. There's quite a difference between the vintage modified and the classic vibe. Especially in the neck. They're both great tho. I really don't think you can go wrong with squier.
     
  5. I have a VM jazz and the duncan designed pick ups are amazing. I was going to upgrade when I got it but decided to keep it stock and keep my money. I am still rocking and gigging the VM with stock pups/ bridge/ name plate/ Decal now for over two years. I'll I can tell you is go play him and get what feels best to you.
     
  6. Vobidy One

    Vobidy One

    Jun 5, 2012
    Ireland
    Thanks for both replies. Looks like I might go for the Vintage Mod, I'll see if there's any of the two at my local music store.
     
  7. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Doing those mods on a CV will save you only a $50 or so... Try getting a VM Squier. On the used market, they sell for as little as $150 and you won't have to fumble with the wider string spacing on the CV bridge that will have you filling in the holes and drilling new ones to accommodate other bridges. Personally, I'd recommend saving up more cash (at least $500) and pulling the trigger on a used MIM Fender Classic '50s or MIM Fender Precision Special. Those require no upgrades at all (unless you hate the standard bent bridges) and are fantastic - not good, not decent - FANTASTIC players from the get-go. Spend your money on something awesome to start with. Don't get me wrong, I praise Squier for upping their QC and being good basses, but almost everyone I've seen and read comments/profiles/gear list/etc. that buys one - sooner or later - buys a better bass: be it Fender or not.

    As to the 2nd part of what I've quoted from you to answer: Yes & No. Squier CVs definitely play better than most MIM Fender Standards pre-2008. But since 2009+ when Fender upped their QC as well, the newer MIM Standards rock better than the CVs. As for the sound, that's subjective. Some people like the classic sound of the CVs while others think they are weak. Some like the MIM standard pups, others think they are too "hot" and/or "modern". Your choice, but since you're swapping pups anyways, doesn't matter.
     
  8. As an owner of two Vintage Modifieds, (the only mods done are strictly aesthetic) I can honestly state, that, IMO, if you are concerned about saving money, simply get either a Classic Vibe or Vintage Modified (whichever innately appeals to you the most) and don't mod it at all. Unless you really really hate something about the bass, there is absolutely no inherent NEED to mod these basses. It is not absolutely necessary unless you like doing mods just for the sake of doing mods.
     
  9. I have a vintage modified and a classic vibe. My vintage modified rocks, and its bone stock. I use to gig in my band, full time. I would not hesitate to record with it, and plan to do so. My classic vibe is modified heavily. I sometimes wish it wasn't and although I love the bass dearly I may end up putting it back as close to stock as I can get it. These basses are my latest acquisitions, and I have so much fun with them that my expensive basses just hang on the wall for now.
     
  10. grinx

    grinx

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    i have a VM jazz that i love and plays great

    i would get a CV if i had to do it again. the bridge is beefier.
     
  11. That's one of the features of the Classic Vibes I'm not all that thrilled about (not all that thrilled with HM bridges in general, I can take them or leave them). Not that I would change it if I got one, it's just not a feature that would cause me to buy one bass over another. The main reason I went with the natural VM Jazz instead of the CV jazz was because it appealed to me more on an aesthetic level as I felt the differences in the hardware were inconsequential. I believe I made the right decision (for me). Of course the fact that the VM was fiddy bucks cheaper didn't hurt! :)
     
  12. autodidact

    autodidact

    Mar 13, 2011
    Lancaster, PA
    I personally bought my Classic Vibe Precision mostly based on the neck. The thing is just so damn comfortable. Fit and finish as a whole is miles beyond some other Squiers I've owned. Even though the stock pickup was more than acceptable I swapped it out for a Fender Original '62, threw pn some GHS Pressurewounds and now I play my CV more than I play my Carvin which costs 4 times as much! CV Ps are a winner in my book.
     
  13. tabdog

    tabdog

    Feb 9, 2011
    Used VM Jazz Bass $200
    Bartolini 9J Jazz Bass® Pickups $176.00
    Changing the headstock decal & neckplate for Fender ones? $30
    Gotoh Bass Tuning Keys Nickel $130
    Chrome Leo Quan Badass Bass Bridge $120
    Total $656

    Here's an option,

    Fender Standard 5-String Jazz Bass Guitar $650 at GC

    Tabdog
     
  14. ThudThudThud

    ThudThudThud

    Jun 4, 2010
    Have you heard the stock pickups on a CV or VM?
    What is it about them that makes you want to 'upgrade'?
    Why 'locking tuners'? Are you excessively aggressive with the strings?

    My CV works perfectly. No need to 'upgrade' anything.
    Not even the decal.
     
  15. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    This. I had a CV P-bass; the only modifications I made to it were to a) change the pickguard (aesthetic reasons), and b) I'm pretty sure I put a Switchcraft output jack in it (it sucks when the jack fails in the middle of a gig).

    I am a pickup changing fiend -- I swear, it's like some kind of obsessional thing with me. But the stock pickup in the CV P-bass is fantastic, and I could not see any need to change it.

    I'd still have that bass if I didn't have so many P-bass-ish kinds of things already.
     
  16. Vobidy One

    Vobidy One

    Jun 5, 2012
    Ireland
    Thanks for the replies again, guys.
    I think I'm just going to get a Vintage Mod and change the decal, and maybe at some point change the pickup. From what everyone is saying, it doesn't sound like I will have to change anything else. Anyways, I was planning on some cheaper upgrades than what you mentioned - but it sounds like these wouldn't be worth it considering the quality of the hardware and pups in the Vintage Modified already.

    Thanks for the advice, looks like I'll be leaving most of it stock!
     
  17. exmaxima1

    exmaxima1

    Jan 27, 2009
    Geneva IL
    I have CV Precision and went thru the same thought process regarding mods. In the end I find nearly everything fine with the stock bass except the strings, so I changed to flats. I greased the tuners---they're fine, changed the amp settings---PU's are fine, adjusted the bridge---fine.

    While a new decal is tempting, keep in mind you will need to strip the clear coat to remove the present logo. While you're at it, might as well remove the "Made in China" decal as well!
     
  18. ulynch

    ulynch Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2010
    Nor Cal
    And for all those mods, you get almost no functional improvement whatsoever. For ease and accuracy of intonation and height adjustment, the Badass is an improvement over any stock Fender bent-metal bridge. If you like the sound of the Barts, go for it, but they're not "better" than the stock.
     
  19. Or, like I said earlier, get the VM Jazz new for $300 and do NO mods, because they are not needed, and save about 350 bucks over all that unecessaary claptrap. Or even better, use that $350 and get yourself a Classic Vibe Jazz as well.
     
  20. From my point of view, you don't need to do either of those things, especially not the decal. I can see changing the pickup at some point if you do indeed eventually figure you don't like the stock one, but changing the decal ... Sorry, but IMO, that's being a bit of a phony.
     

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