Squier Classic Vibe Jazz Bass 60's, Olympic White
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- Basswood body with gloss polyester finish
- Modern C Shape maple neck, 9.5 in radiusrosewood fingerboard and 20 vintage frets
- 2 Custom Jazz Bass Single-Coil Pickups with AlNiCo 5 Magnets
- 4-Saddle HiMass Bridge
- Master tone and 2 volume controls
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The Squier Classic Vibe Jazz Bass '60s is an electric bass guitar that has all of the deluxe elements its Fender big brother did when first introduced in the 1960s: groovy offset waist design, narrow width, fast-action maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, 2 custom single-coil pickups with Alnico V magnets, individual volume controls that allow you to solo either pickup's sound or blend them for new sounds, and a master tone control for overall tone shaping.
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As a player- I love the snot out of this thing. It's solid, it's substantial, it's a proper Fender- you could effectively defend yourself with it, retune, and continue playing. It feels good, it plays well, it hangs properly. I love the vintage tint neck, although I deglossed it slightly on the back. I love the gloss finish neck on my CV 50s Strat, but I wanted something a little different on my J. It sounds like a Jazz Bass- Bridge pickup at 10, neck at 9, and let it growl. Hand this bass to a bass player in the dark, and he (or she) cannot tell you that it's not a Fender J. If you don't believe me, believe Ed Friedland. **Hint**Cough**Youtube**Cough
The guy I work with has been playing Bass Guitar (for money) for 35 years or so, and owned a 66 Jazz that he seriously regrets selling. He plays my Squier Jazz, and just smiles. Dave knows basses, and he's just astonished that you can have a guitar like this for this kind of money. He plays a 5 string because he must, but told me that if he could play a 4 banger, he'd jump on one of these CVs in a heartbeat.
From the technician's side, I can make this very short- The Classic Vibe series of guitars from Squier is the most guitar I've seen for the money, anywhere, period, end of story, and I see a lot of guitars. The CV Squiers are every bit as well built as the Made In Mexico (MIM) Fender Standard series, and nearly as nice as the Made In America Fender guitars, at 1/2 the price of the MIMs and roughly 1/4 the price of the MIAs.
You can find something to criticize in any guitar, but those criticisms need to be weighed against that guitar's cost. It's very difficult to be anything less than thrilled with a (bass) guitar at this price point that has this degree of build quality. My CV 60s Jazz Bass is a very fine instrument; the finish is spectacular, the fretwork is excellent, the parts are of very good quality and fit together perfectly. The wiring is nicely done, for Pete's sake, with Alpha pots behind the control plate. Alphas aren't top-notch, but they're perfectly decent, and a pleasant surprise in a guitar at this price point. I replaced the stock jack with a Switchcraft, as I do with any guitar that I buy. Given my choice of three of these at a store, I might have chosen one without the small flaw (in the wood, not the finish) mine has in the neck, but that's just me being fussy.
As Dave would say, "I like it, and I'm picky".
Now before I begin listing the issues with the instrument that I received from Amazon, I would like to say that I have played this particular model at various music stores and found them to be fantastic basses in their price range. The only reason why I haven't purchased one from a music store is due to them being out of stock in the stores I have demo-ed them at.
To begin, the instrument arrived with a severe back bow in the neck (very strange) and all four strings, on all frets exhibited a back buzz. I thought nothing of it as I as I feel comfortable setting-up my own instruments (e.g. truss rod, bridge, and nut adjustments). I then adjusted the the action on the neck by making simple truss rod and bridge adjustments. However, no matter how much I (gently) adjusted both the truss rod and bridge, I still experienced a back buzz. I then inspected the nut and found that the slots were ground too deeply, thus making it impossible to rid the bass of the back buzz without making the action too high for comfortable play.
At this point, I figured that I could just replace the nut and strings (fairly inexpensive modifications) and decided to play around with the bass anyways. However, once I started playing the bass, I noticed strange, unpleasant overtones resonating from the body when I played it without plugging into an amp. I plugged the bass into the amp and the unpleasant tones were amplified through the amp. Perplexed, I put on a set of good noise cancelling headphones, plugged them into the amp and listened to the bass through the headphones. Strangely enough, the unpleasant overtones were audible through the headphones as well.
Aside from the issues with the nut and the tone, I noticed some shoddy workmanship in the finish on the body and the fit of the neck in the neck pocket. The finish was sloppily applied around the bridge pickup and there are chips in the finish around the neck pocket. Most disconcerting though is the fit of the neck to the body. The neck does not feel as though it is snugly in the neck pocket and appears as though it is slightly off center of the neck pocket.
In conclusion, it seems as though I received a lemon from the Squier factory. Several of the other reviewers have left rave reviews on the instrument and I don't see any reason for them to be lying about their feelings for the instrument. They are great instruments if you get a good one from the factory. At this juncture, I am considering whether or not it would be worth my time to change out the strings and replace the nut to see if that solves the issues I have dealt with or simply return it to Amazon. If I can leave any of you considering buying this bass from amazon with a piece of advice, I would strongly suggest that you go to a music store like guitar center, play around with several of these instruments and pick the best one of the bunch. You can also choose to gamble with purchasing this instrument through amazon: you can luck out like the other reviewers or receive a lemon like I did.
*For the sake of full disclosure, by no means is this review an indictment against Amazon. I have had nothing but good experiences with Amazon and find their customer service to be the best in the industry. However, I strongly advise buying Squier products from amazon. This can save both you and amazon a lot of trouble.
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