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  • I need some help, newbie on the forum

    Disclaimer: this is my first time using this website, and well, message boards in general. So I'm not sure if I'm using a thread correctly.

    I have a buddy who has a couple of squier basses that he can get me. They're new but he knows someone at a shop and can get me a friends and family discount and a warranty. The basses are: the Squier Deluxe Jazz Bass active IV and the Squier Classic Vibe Precision Bass 50s. Or at least those are what I've narrowed it down to. The reason I chose squiers was because they're in stock and they have the best bang for your buck as I've previously experienced with my Jag bass. I primarily play rock music so I usually just dial up my neck pickup all the way with tone all the way down and the bridge pickup all the way down. If I pick the jazz bass, I have more options, but I'm not entirely sure that I'd use them. If I pick the precision, then I don't have the options and I get a lesscrowded bass, which I love, but I've only been playing for 5 years and what if later I want that liberty

    Then there comes the woods.
    The jazz is basswood, and the precision is pine. I know tonally they're both "eh ok". But I guess more important than that for me is durability. I know these woods are kinda soft. And I've heard horror stories about both. I'm a pretty clumsily guy and I don't like the road worn look, so I want then to stay looking good. Again, Iacknowledge that neither of these basses are going to help in that department, but which one hurts less?

    Then there comes my issue with batteries. I think I'm cursed. Everytime I try to use a battery, within weeks they explode and I have to clean the crap up. I'm not a very handy dude either and I usually end up getting cotton everywhere. Then there's the quick release batter compartment. I've never had an active bass, but just bylooking at it, I know the type of compartment it is, the kind that I snap all the dang time. Whether it's from trying to open it or hitting it against something, I break these things, even when I'm trying to be careful. But on the other hand I maybe just overreacting. And it would be nice to play around with the active function even if I don't use it.

    Then there comes pickups. I never knew that much about pickups, so my issues with it will be sparse because I don't know what issues to look for. If I choose the precision, I get the single coil 4-pole pickup. If I choose the jazz I get the tried and true dual jazz pickups. I don't think there is much of a competition here in terms of what is better on paper, but I don't know if it really matters for me. Ive used a passive split coil in the neck with no time for years now and it's what I'm used to, so is the simple singular pickup really going to be an issue? The only reason I really mention this is because I'm sure the those of you (who are kind enough to help me, thank you) are going to see the two jazz pickups and say, "duh, the jazz" I just don't know if it matters, maybe it does, I really don't know. Maybe having the neck jazz pickup dialed up will sound more similar. Maybe I could play with the onboard eq to maybe it sound more like a split coil. Or maybe they're just extra stuff that I'm going to have to remember to put in new batteries for. I really don't know.

    I know you guys are going to kill me, but I care how they look. The jazz is an elegant blackout where as the precision is a classic bright and more fun colorway. I know neither of them look childish, that's not my issue. The black seems kinda of boring. But I could never get sick of it. The precision with it's light cream-ish( I forget the color name) finish and the white pickguard and maple fretboard just look so polar to the other ones. I'm a pretty bright guys, not big on boring colors, but I know what to expect with the jazz, everyday, black is going to be good, nothing exciting, but good. Now I know the fretboards may have their tonal qualities, like maple being more punchy, but I never noticed them. Look, don't kill me, I know you guys are pretty serious about this kind of stuff, but do you really think that if I can't hear it in a relatively quiet store with pretty good sound that when I take it to a venue with drums in the back and a guitar obnoxiously covering me up that anyone is going to notice? I understand that you guys don't know my personality, but there's always been something about a maple fretboard that just looks so clean, and bright and, idk, more interesting. Maybe it's because I've never had one and the grass is always greener on the other side. But the Black will always look good day to day.

    Next is playability, I don't know if you guys have had the opportunity to play these guys, but they're kinda different. Obviously the bodies have their differences, but the necks concern me. I've been playing a short scale Jag for years now. The jazz feels more like home, but I also feel like I could get used to the precision if it's obviously better. If it comes down to the neck, i don't care. But the fast neck is pretty cool.

    Now comes pickguards. Ok this one is weird I know. But I have a tendency to strip pickguard holes. I don't know why but I do. On my Jag, I knocked the control plate so hard it ripped the sucker out, then when I tried to open it up to diagnose the problem I stripped all the other bolts. I then took it into a shop to get it professionally fixed, but I guess I didn't let it dry enough even though it had been forever, and it wobbled around like crazy till I did something stupid and super glued it down out of frustration one day. It looks really bad and I regret it. With the precision, you get the control aye that's held on by just two screws. But with the precision you get all that crap on the back that my belt may hit against. Sure was it one bad experience that is fueling all this debate about pickguards/cavity plates in my head, but I don't want anything like that to happen again.


    Then there comes overall quality. I'm not exactly loaded with cash so this sucker is going to need to last me a while, and not suck while it's at it. I know I'm not exactly paying for an American made guitar here, but I still (at least out of the two) want something nice. I know their both squiers, but many people have professed that the classic vibe series is as good as it gets. Where I'm concerned is: what if they're just concerned about the emulation? Look, it really doesn't change my life that fender had a bass that looked like this thing 60 years ago. Sure it's cool(especially since I live in Corona) but it doesn't change my life, I don't care. So if the reason that this thing is so nice is because it is a copy of that first bass or whatever, I really don't care. I want whatever bass is best regardless of what it is trying to emulate.

    I probably forgot some stuff but I just realized how much I typed. Oh well, thanks for reading all that, help me out.

    Thanks in advance, Joe.

  • #2
    FYI, the Precision is not made of pine, it should also be basswood. You seem to like smaller necks so I'd pick the Jazz in this case and try to be a bit less "brutal" on the instrument.
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    Comment


    • Joebuscus217
      Joebuscus217 commented
      Editing a comment
      The fender website says pine, though I'm really not sure that will adjust your answer. But is there a big difference between them, or is it down to just preference rather than better or worse?

    • lug
      lug commented
      Editing a comment
      You are correct...just looked at the Fender site. Musician's Fiend has it listed as basswood..... http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/...0s-bass-guitar. Sorry for my confusion. as far as using pine...odd choice.

  • #3
    Basswood is fairly soft; pine varies a lot depending on variety, from somewhat softer than basswood to much harder. If your luck is anything like mine you'll wind up with one of the softer pines so consider it a tossup with a nod toward basswood. You can read more here: http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm.

    As for an active bass, if you're genuinely jinxed, accident prone, etc. you should probably choose a passive bass. Personally I haven't met anyone who had serious troubles. My "good" acoustic guitar has an active pickup and I've had the same battery in it for literally years. As long as you don't leave the cable plugged in you should be fine.

    As for pickups, the Classic Vibe Precision doesn't have a hum cancelling split pickup like newer designs; it's essentially a four pole Strat pickup. Whether that matters will depend on your playing environment but it could present issues. A Precision Bass has only one sound but it's a sound people associate with an electric bass. It's a classic sound. A Jazz Bass offers more flexibility.

    One neck isn't necessarily "better" than the other but a Jazz Bass does have a narrower nut. Some players prefer one, some prefer the other. Play both and see which one feels right to you.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about saying the Precision has "crap on the back." The Active Jazz Bass does but not the Precision.

    Finally, as for looks, I don't care for maple fretboards but that's personal preference. I do get wanting to like the looks of your bass. If you don't mind my muddying the waters, consider the Vintage Modified Jazz Bass 77 (https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier...307702500.html) or the Vintage Modified Jazz Bass '70s (https://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier...306702505.html). You'd get the maple fretboard and the flexibility of a Jazz Bass without active electronics. Of course you'd also get a pickguard so that's probably a negative for you. You may also want to branch out and consider other brands. For example, Yamaha basses typically don't have pickguards, at least not in your price range. You'll get active electronics though, which means a battery and stuff on the back.

    If you want a definite answer between the two I'd say go for the Classic Vibe Precision, assuming it feels okay in your hands. A P-Bass is about as simple as a nail, essentially foolproof and indestructible.
    Last edited by DeepEnd; 02-13-2018, 07:18 PM.
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    • DeepEnd
      DeepEnd commented
      Editing a comment
      The Classic Vibe 70s Precision would be a good choice but I can't find it on the Fender site so it may be discontinued or possibly too new. As far as hum with a single coil pickup is concerned, if one of your bandmates has a Strat, have him/her play it with just one pickup in the same place you expect to play your bass. If there's no hum with a Strat, there probably won't be with any other instrument with a properly shielded single coil pickup.

    • Joebuscus217
      Joebuscus217 commented
      Editing a comment
      I found one of the 70s in stock, I plan to try it out. If it’s comfy do you think it’s my best bet?

    • DeepEnd
      DeepEnd commented
      Editing a comment
      It's hard to go wrong with a P-Bass. As I mentioned, it's the standard. Unless there's something seriously wrong with it, the Classic Vibe 70s should serve you well. Best of luck.

  • #4
    Okay, I did some browsing online and you might want to look at the Peavey Millennium: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Mill4PVint. It's their take on a Jazz Bass, with two pickups, passive controls, and no pickguard. It's basswood with maple veneer on the top.
    Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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    Member of the Schecter Society
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