"Yes, it's a Squier. But it made a believer out of me!"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
Good Jazz Bass sound. The pickups (at least on mine) were pretty quiet, though. I played it back-to-back with my MIM Precision without changing any amp settings, and the P bass was way louder. So to play this bass I have to crank my amp up a bit. Not a big deal, but just so you know. Bridge pickup is a little weak, too. But good sound overall.
The thumbrest is there out of authenticity, keeping with the "Classic Vibe" thing. It's cool to have on there, but not real functional. The bridge is actually pretty good--lots of metal and way better than the "bent steel" bridge on my MIM P bass. Did have a bit of tarnish on the bridge when I got it, but nothing a little metal polish couldn't fix. Standard Vol-Vol-Tone knobs. Basswood body has good sustain. Hope you like Olympic White, cuz that's the only color choice. Actually, with the tortoise-shell pickguard, I think it looks kinda sharp. And I'm not sure if the brass bridge saddles are better than the regular chrome ones, but they aren't worse, and do look cool.
Ease of Use:
This bass plays pretty easy. I like the lacquered neck--that vintage yellow is nice. Some people think it slows them down, but I haven't found that to be true. Mine needed only minimal setup out of the box: some minor truss rod and bridge saddle tweaks is all. The frets are "vintage" style--that means "smaller than you're used to." I had to adjust my playing a bit so that I didn't end up buzzing every note, but it didn't take long to get used to it. I actually kind of like the smaller gauge frets, because sliding up the strings doesn't give you that "dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga" sound quite as much. It's smoother.
Good news: no major issues. The neck was seated properly, and the paint was fine. (Maybe not "awesome," but fine.) The electronics all work, and the output jack was screwed in securely, unlike some of the reviews of Squiers I've read. The tuners are decent, too. Mine all turned smoothly and have held their tune just fine. The stock strings are crap, but that's easy to fix, right? Bad news: minor finish flaws. There is a small spot in the lacquer right at the nut on mine. Looks like a drop of glue was there and didn't allow the neck lacquer to adhere properly. There was the aforementioned tarnish on the bridge metal. The stock strap buttons were installed with really small screws, too. I swapped them out for Marvel straplocks and had to enlarge the pilot holes for the larger Marvel screws, but I'm glad I did.
Haven't dealt with Squier.
Here's where this bass shines. I played lots of basses back-to-back at my local music store, and I found that this Squier sounds and plays just as well as the Fender MIM basses. Okay, so it's not better than the American Deluxes, but it is just as good as the Standard ones, and at just over half the price. Some things do need changing, like the strap buttons and pickups, but the important parts like the neck and body are just fine. For what you get, it's a bargain. (But no gig bag is included, so plan accordingly.)
The Wow Factor:
I used to be a huge Squier snob. Wouldn't even pick up one of the blasted things. But, on a whim, I played this one (and the Vintage Modified Jazz, also good) back-to-back with El Fendero basses, and I liked the feel and sound of this one more. I couldn't believe it. Was I actually liking a *Squier* better than a genuine Fender?
This is not a $1000 bass, make no mistake. But if you are a beginner and want to get started right, or if you're a pro and need a good backup, or if (like me) you have a Precision and want to also have a Jazz Bass, this is a really good choice. I guarantee you it plays/sounds just as good as a Fender Standard (except the pickups are quieter, but those are swappable, right?). The neck is finished well, it's comfortable to play, and has that classic, bright, snappy Jazz Bass sound. You can thump and pop all day on this thing. Bottom line: It made a convert out of me, and I'm pretty darn picky. Minor cosmetic flaws aside, this is a nice musical instrument that I will be proud to gig with.