Jazz Bass questions...

FortyEight

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OK, so I Guitar Center changed my mind complelty about Jazz basses. I had played one a few weeks back and I felt like the headstock was further away than my Pbass, to the point that I didn't like it. However, it was not a standard Jazz. It was one without a pickguard. And I don't know, maybe it was the way I was sitting.

But yesterday I think I played 4 or 5 Jazz basses and now I'm in love. I'm actually thinking the headstock felt a tiny bit closer. Possibly... I don't know. Just didn't feel awkward. And I like the smaller nut size. I think. I don't love when I feel a like a pickup is in the way of my picking but I feel like how they are position is fine. There are comfortable places to set your hand. When I palm mute my pick was just forward of the bridge pup. Plus it felt a bit more comfy on my right shoulder.... Like in a better position I think...

Anyways..... I could see it being a contender for playing regular for my recordings and country band.

But that being said, I'm trying to figure out if a classic Vibe would be as decent as a Mexican. Guitar center had a classic vibe used for 259 dollars. And it played nice. It was very sticky. And I don't mean the back of the neck. The strings and everything. Feels like no one ever cleaned it and played it with Jam on their hands. But as I was playing it, it felt like it was starting to smooth out some. I'm sure some cleaning would do the trick. They had some kind of Mexican that looked good and played really nice. But way out of my price range. But I have a line on a Mexican Jazz locally for 500. So I'm trying to think about if I should spend the extra money for the Mexican or just hop on the good deal of the Classic Vibe.

I'm not necessarily against an Affinity if I was just gonna consider it my back up or recording. But after playing one I may prefer it to my Pbass for gigs. Yikes. Although I think it's possible an Affinity could possibly be good enough for that? I'm not sure.....

Curious if you guys have any opinions about the different levels and what you would go for in a gigging bass. I don't have the money for americans though..... Or even a Vintera...

One more option is that a local shop near me has a a contemporary series. The write up on the website touts them as using ceramic pups like it's an upsell.... But I'm assuming they are cheaper pups.... Or maybe the same as in an Affinity. If all you're paying for extra in the Contemporary is the painted headstock... Meh... I could care less about that.
 

FortyEight

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Oooops. Sorry I got pictures. :)
 

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19sixty3

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Well, they are almost the same in quality. Sometimes the Squier Classic Vibes are equal or better than the MiM Fenders. With that being said, a Squire is plenty good enough. I’ve played mine on several stages, and had no problems. A Squire should do everything you need it to do in order to play bass in a band. I have to say, however, that I would prefer any MiM Bass with a Pau Ferro fretboard to any Squire CV. Only a personal preference and only valid for bass.
 

FortyEight

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My advice would be to buy the one you like the most that's within your budget. Don't overthink it.

The budget thing is always tough. I have enough saved to get the Mexican, but there is always something next to get. And our normal budget is super tight. I'm playing cheaper guitars and I would like to get a nicer Strat or jazzmaster. So the less I spend on the bass the sooner I can do that. BUT, I don't want to necessarily go super cheap on the bass. It's basically my favorite instrument to play and I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I told myself I never wanted to move on from my Pbass but sometimes having options is good too. My Pbass needs some work and I don't want to touch any of it til I have a viable back up.
 

Ronzo

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@FortyEight, I’d be all over that Classic Vibe if I lived near you.

Speaking from experience. You’re likely to change the pickups anyway with the MIM Jazz. I did, and don’t regret it.

If the CV feels good to you, I’d get it. JMO. I have MIM P & MIM J. Plus a couple of Squier VM Jags. I prefer the J neck, too.
 

maxvintage

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Ive lost track of which models do this, but in the 70s fender changed the pickup positions slightly. I;m not sure which models in fenders vast and ever changing lineup continue that. Possibly you were noticing that difference
 

68Telebass

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This....

CA0C90A2-8BBD-4D44-80D7-BCE63C42FAF0.jpeg


Daphne blue with tort pickguard...Heck! Looks like a winner, and can save for that Jazzmaster.

I’ve got a Mexican Classic 60s Jazz in sunburst with 4-ply tort, Alnico 5 pickups, reverse tuners. I’m eventually getting that chrome bridge cover for it. It sounds GREAT! For Classic/country, just favor the neck pickup more, and dial in the tone from the bottom up!! (Start with tone fully closed, then add “just enough”).
9128BFEC-A8F3-4482-9255-2F96B59F6F62.jpeg


The offset body actually moves the neck a bit farther away than a P, but the narrow nut can be fun as well- neck feels slimmer-

If you score the J, and you work on your present P, then you will have all your basses covered! :rolleyes:
 

Killing Floor

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They feel the same on the strap to me. I play both. And my hands feel better on a C neck like a P bass or a Ray. But it's all preference. There are some really great MiM basses so don't let the origin fool you.
 

alex1fly

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My advice would be to buy the one you like the most that's within your budget. Don't overthink it.

If you're buying this bass to be your #1, or to put a ton of love and time into it, don't skimp on the cost. An extra few hundred won't be noticed in the long run. But if you're buying this simply to be a backup bass, or a "what's it like to have this one?" bass, you can skimp on the money more.

For me, buying something because it's a deal has often ended up with buyer's remorse. In some cases, I'm happy to have saved the money because it ended up not being a good piece of gear for me. In other cases, I was not happy to save the money because I ended up with a subpar version of the thing I wanted in the first place... and if I could rustle up $400 of fun money, I feel like I should have just rustled up another $400 to get something higher quality. Trust your gut I guess.

What work does your P bass need?
 

Ronzo

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If you're buying this bass to be your #1, or to put a ton of love and time into it, don't skimp on the cost. An extra few hundred won't be noticed in the long run. But if you're buying this simply to be a backup bass, or a "what's it like to have this one?" bass, you can skimp on the money more.

For me, buying something because it's a deal has often ended up with buyer's remorse. In some cases, I'm happy to have saved the money because it ended up not being a good piece of gear for me. In other cases, I was not happy to save the money because I ended up with a subpar version of the thing I wanted in the first place... and if I could rustle up $400 of fun money, I feel like I should have just rustled up another $400 to get something higher quality. Trust your gut I guess.

What work does your P bass need?
What basses do YOU own and play?

And where are you playing them?
 

68Telebass

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@FortyEight

update:
just ordered chrome bridge and pickup covers from Amazon along with a bottle of polish and some cloths. My Jazz has nitro finish- needs a bit of TLC- got to make it shine for the new bling!:cool:
 

FortyEight

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Some very good input here.

You can't beat the price on that CV. 259.... It's likely it would work well. The skunk stripe has me a bit concerned cuz it was like.... well at the top where it met the maple it was just a bit not smooth. That's probably something I could just sand. A used instrument makes me wonder... It still has the plastic on it but it feels like it was played some. I would say nothing stood out as negative except for the stickiness. They had a brand new one of the same model but the action was so high. The neck looked like a banana. So I only played it for a moment.

And yeah, that's a super deal on MF for the same bass I played. Which was really nice. But I've never ordered online for that very reason. But that's like 300 or more less....... Actually, now that I think about it that model was like 1000, I think... what gives here.... Oh, I see now, that's a classic vibe. LOL Oooops. It looks identical to the mexican I played at GC.

But Ronzo brings up a good point that was kind of why I started this thread. All the CV's specs are it's a Fender designed Alnico pup. Whereas I'm assuming a mexican has a bar magnet pup.... I like the sound of my mexi pbass. But there is no doubt that pup is hot and really in your face. When I was shopping and bought that one there was another mexican p that had a quieter pup and I was thinking there was something wrong with it. But maybe it had a better pup... LOL. It didn't sound bad I just didn't know why it would be like that..... It was a pretty big difference. But every amp I play my P bass in, it's booming. I mean if I go up to 4 on my rumble 100 the house feels like it's coming apart.

So is that what's going on here? Do the mexicans typically have a bar magnet pup and the CVs may be a bit more like an American Fender pup wise?

I kid you not when I play out I'm never above 2 on my rumble 40. It's mainly cuz we don't play really loud and they got me through the system. But if I'm over 2 on the dial I can't hear anything else other than my bass. Although I sit right next to my amp usually. LOL. Well, I should say one drummer plays pretty controlled and the other drummer gets louder and plays harder as the night goes on. Until we get to a slow song. LOL. He gets booming though on the upbeat songs.

Cuz that seems like it could be an upside to the CV. I plan to use it for recording and I think a pup that has a bit more quieter character would be a good thing. I always feel like I'm trying to tame the beast with my P. LOL. I have to EQ more treble in the mix and I think the low end lacks a bit of clarity. But I like my bass low in theory.. Although I'm learning to experiment with other tones than just super low bassy lines.

Anyone know if the contemporary line is just extra money for the painted headstock and different color?

Yeah, as far as the neck position, it's strange. Like I said the first one felt awkward and far away to me. These ones I played on Monday felt very good. If they were further way then the thinner nut made it feel closer. I don't know. I don't get it. Maybe I had rose colored glasses on cuz I wanted to like them but they felt very natural to me. Which was exciting.

I was leaning towards a Mustang for a different tone but I don't love how they feel. I think I could live with it but I might be regretting it....

I really appreciate the input guys. It's a great place to bounce ideas off. And Ronzo steered me in the right direction with the amp and I've been very happy with the Rumble 40. Everyone loves how light it is. Including me. And it sounds good. I heard they started using different kinds of metal in the magnet and that's why they are lighter and still sound decent. So thank you sir. You are a gentleman and a scholar. :)

But you'll have to pry my bass from my cold dead hands.... LOL.
 
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Ronzo

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@FortyEight, you’re very welcome.

With TalKBass down right now, it’s good to have a bass sub-forum here. The Squier Classic Vibe series is pretty well-regarded by the TalkBass crowd. When I got my MIM basses in the early 2000’s, I didn’t care for the pickups at all. I replaced the P’s pickup with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder, and the J’s pickups with a DiMarzio Model J set. Those pickup swaps made decent basses sound much better, and more useful.

I’ve learned that, as with houses, “good bones make good buys”. If something like a neck or body is not to your liking, it’s irredeemable - for YOU. But if the bass feels good to you - the neck feels right, the balance works for you, the controls are where YOU feel they should be - then the sound can usually be reworked by 1. a pickup change, or 2. A change to an active preamp or replacement of one if it was active in the first place. Often, the amp controls can make the needed changes by themselves.

I understand the inspirational value of a fine instrument. But the difference between a Classic Vibe Squier and a MIM Fender is not an “inspirational difference” to me. JMO.

Based on your previous discussions about equipment with me and a few others, I see it this way: if the CV feels right to you, get it.
 

ElJay370

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The Squier CV with the blocks and binding is the one you want. I've yet to play any Classic Vibe that didn't perform well above it's price point. You'll be getting A LOT of bass for your 259 dollars.

That said, as with most sub 500 dollar guitars it would probably benefit from a pickup change, but your ears can be the judge. Part of what might be going on is that you're used to the P-Bass sound. J-Bass pickups have a much more focused, brighter tone.

I'd also recommend installing one of these:

https://www.allparts.com/products/bb-3351-4-string-grooved-omega-bass-bridge?variant=18579801112633

It will make a difference, trust me.
 
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