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Which would you get? (New vs. Used Squier Bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Basslime, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Basslime


    Apr 21, 2015
    Hey guys! I'm starting to learn to play and am going to buy my first bass. I've researched a lot of basses and I think the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass is the one for me. (Note: I'm not in the United States, and instruments cost more in my country: I've converted figures to USD but don't be shocked if they're higher than what you're used to.)

    I can get the Squier brand new, with 12-month warrranty, at a local music shop for $425.

    However, I've found someone selling theirs in the local classifieds. They say it is (and it looks to be) in good condition - 'almost new' - and that the current strings are quite new and haven't been played much. They've also upgraded to EMG J pickups, which aren't particularly important to me right now as a learner, but there it is. They're asking $270 (firm).

    My question is: what would you do if this was your first bass? Would you save the $155 and go for the almost-new bass, or get the same model brand new with the 12-month warranty?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for any input you can offer!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  2. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I'd probably go with the used bass, but I'd play both first before making the final decision. The reason I think that the used bass might have an edge is because the current owner cared about upgrading it, and they also played the thing and kept it long enough to do that. That means it's probably a good bass that held up for awhile, and I'd guess they had the bass set up properly and cared for.

    As always, make sure you inspect the bass first. Intuition can say it might be a good buy, but it's seeing it in person that verifies it actually is.

    I also like saving money. You could also put that 110 into getting a better amp that will grow with you as a player a little better (you won't trade it in as soon on a new one). But, that can be a gamble too if you think there's any chance of losing interest in playing bass.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  3. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I would play the one in your local shop,get the feel of it and hear it through an amp and if you fall in love with it get it,if you get the used one you won't be able to play it or anything,it's always a gamble when you order a bass that you can't try out first,it's really up to you but if it was me I would get the one that felt and sounded good to me.Good luck and welcome to the world of Bassdom
  4. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    OP says it's in the "local" classifieds, so he probably could try out the used one...

    which is what I'd do.
  5. Basslime


    Apr 21, 2015
    Firstly, thanks for the welcome, og61! I intend on making a proper introduction thread when I'm all set up and playing.

    Thanks for your detailed input, Antisyzygy.

    Thanks, too, for contributing, Marko. Testing it out is a great idea - the problem is that the seller and I live far apart from each other and we'd have to meet up in a central, public place. So actually playing it seems out of the question. I'm not sure I'd even know what I'm looking for if I did play it hooked up to an amp.

    That's a great suggestion of og61's to try the model out in the shop: I haven't got my hands on any bass yet (d'oh!)

    I'm hearing you and taking all of your suggestions on board.
  6. Well..In my humble opinion...considering that this will be your first bass..I would buy new. Why? Because you will have a warranty (if needed) also hopefully it will not have any issues (fret buzz/to much bow in the neck/scratchy pots etc) Also you have have a "tech" set up the bass or change the set up as you get more experience..that is strings lowered or raised/neck adjusted etc all you your "new" liking as you gain experience.

    Also talk to a person at the music store where you bought your bass about your instrument. Get them to explain what all the components of the bass are and what they do to get that sound. Just my thoughts... Laurie.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    New is good if your music store staff has a good rep for setting up guitars. If you want used, I would begin by reading this stuff. ALL BASIC SETUP QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE | TalkBass.com
    Particularly watch the videos and read Jerzy's guide.

    It's very important to get a grip on how a setup works so you can think about what to look for in a good playing bass.

    I agree that if the seller of the used bass went to the trouble of putting EMGs in it, he probably has a handle on what it takes to maintain a bass. Therefore the odds are that it will be a good instrument that has been adjusted properly and regularly.

    But when humidity swings with the season, the neck will need adjustment so you should have a handle on how it works. Even if you don't do it yourself, you'll never regret understanding and you'll be able to make knowledgable decisions on purchasing and knowing what is good and bad on prospective guitars.
  8. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    I'd go with the new one myself. Somehow I like that it's "mine". Plus, most places have a return policy that allows you to give it back if you find in a week or two that you don't like it as much as you thought you did.
  9. fenders I don't mind buying used.

    I don't know what the market is like in other countries but in the states I think if your thinking fender/squire I personally would rather pay the same amount for used mim fender. And here the used mim fenders are about the same price as new squires.
  10. Basslime


    Apr 21, 2015
    Thanks very much Laurie, 96tbird, The Chuck and Nephilym for your advice!

    After reading all your recommendations and ruminating on it, I've pretty much decided I'm not willing to buy this used Squier at 2/3 the price of a new one (despite the pickups, which aren't a major concern for me on my first bass). Negotiations with the seller have come to a standstill so I've wished him well with the sale, and will go into my music store and play a few models this weekend.

    I really appreciate your contributing to help a new bassist out!
    Laurie Bass likes this.
  11. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    Welcome to TB and the lowside.
    For you as a new player, who probably isn't sure if a low or high action suits you, I'd buy the new one.
    Depending on where you live, most good shops will offer a free setup plus the cost of new strings. They usually tell you to bring it in after a couple of months for the setup. One reason is to allow time for the neck to settle, also for you to get an idea of how you want it setup.

    PS Don't go near the effects threads, just don't :)
  12. AndreasK


    Jun 11, 2014
    Northern Norway
    Like others have said. If you can't play and really don't know much about basses, get the new one. If the shop has several, try them all. There may be subtle differences between them. Go with your gut feeling.

    Welcome to the low end!
  13. Basslime


    Apr 21, 2015
    Thank you!

    Cool! This is great to know! Is this something I should ask the shop first whether they provide? Sounds like a pretty good thing.

    Anything else I should ask while I'm at it? I've been looking at a local music shop that has the bass I like, but there's also a bass-only shop in my city that might be worth checking out too if after-sales service/an ongoing relationship is important!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  14. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Bass only shops are awesome, but sometimes they're a bit more of a boutique shop. They might only sell higher end basses. We had one in my city that closed recently, sadly the guy had some serious health problems, but it was amazing what they'd do there. They'd rescue interesting basses and mod them to be unique and versatile instruments, or sell some of the boutiquey basses you usually have to special order. The problem is their basses ran in the 800+ dollar range, and the low end was for some of their rescued/modded basses.

    Still, going to the bass shop might be a good place if they have instruments in your price range, because as you said you can start a relationship with them and most of them will be bass players.

    I'd still say check out the used bass. It might be awesome. It would probably be easier to check out the shop first, then if you like the bass keep it in your back pocket. Tell the person selling the used bass you want to try it out first before agreeing to purchase it, but you are interested and see what they say. If they don't want to show you the bass without you agreeing to purchase it, don't bother with it.

    The shops will give you a warranty, probably a set up and a return policy most likely so it's the safer bet, however saving money and getting a neat modded but used bass can also really pay off.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  15. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    yes check first,I don't know where you are, but here in Adelaide all the shops do it.

    Go to the bass shop if only to see / try a better range of basses.

    There are two kinds of music shops.

    The one where if you don't look like an uber rich maestro they will ignore your 'petty' needs. Walk away,don't look back.

    The other kind is where the owner is glad to see you, is interested in your needs, will talk to you about features etc and will let you try out whatever you want. They are happy to talk 'shop'.
  16. Basslime


    Apr 21, 2015
    Great! Thanks, BazzTard and Antisyzygy, and everyone else who's contributed. You've all been really helpful and very patient and generous with your time.

    I'm really excited to be part of this community. I'll check back in when I'm all set up! :bassist:
  17. Agreed, this would be my recommendation as well.
    Laurie Bass likes this.
  18. Personally I would have a look at the used one first.....I'm guessing that the owner has already had any "setup" issues taken care of.......and the EMG pickups probably sound pretty good.

    A warranty on a new one might be good........if you are in the store looking at a new instrument with a trained eye and notice/hear things that need correction or replacement right away.

    I haven't been too impressed with "instore free setups' on purchase. I end up going to a tech/luthier that really knows what he's doing anyway.

    One of my basses , the luthier told me I needed a fret edge dressing. He was correct and it made quite a difference for playability. They never pointed this out at the store.

    Most of the free setup they did at the store was 'off' anyway and he redid it all to much better.

    Plus....often times the strings that come with a new bass are junk......so you replace them anyway.....and then you end up doing a "setup" on those strings defacto......
  19. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    EMG's aren't necessarily an upgrade , most guys on here prefer the Duncan's.
    Good luck !

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