#1
Well here is the thing. I know a guy selling a Squier Jazz bass super cheap. Its in great shape. Would it be worth it to buy and just slowly put American parts on it? I know the wood is different. Will that make a huge huge difference? Only reason I ask is he doesn't want much for it and I don't really need a new bass, but if I could slowly fix it up into something nice why not?! My only concern is never really getting a good tone from because of the body wood.

Any thoughts or feelings?

Thanks
#2
How much is he asking for it, and what model Squier is it? And buy "put American parts on it" what do you mean (just a pickup swap and some new tuners, or complete overhaul)?

EDIT: My opinion: If the Squier plays nicely, then it might be worth it to get it and swap out the pickup, maybe do a hardware upgrade here or there.

If you're planning on replacing pretty much everything but the body, I'd say just save for an American Fender if that's what you're going for.
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Last edited by Tostitos at Feb 25, 2012,
#3
I could get the bass itself for about $125. Its in good shape, but I would plan on putting new pickups, new tunes, new knobs, new bridge.

But I'm just asking for opinions. Like i said I'm not in the market really for a new bass just thought it would be a good project to have a second decent bass by the time it was done.
#4
If you already have a bass, save more find an American used fender, or slowly buy body, neck, pickups etc.

American Fender parts are expensive, pickups might be worth it, but after market stuff is same price or less and usually better. Tuners etc.

Edit: I wouldn't waste money on legit fender knobs, or bridge.

Fry's electronics sells jazz style knobs for like .89 cents a piece.
Last edited by askrere at Feb 25, 2012,
#5
It's been a general point of contention between players that body wood doesn't make a bit of difference in sound; that is, some say that electronics and pickups are the only components you have to worry about. Some say wood can make all the difference as far as tone goes.

While I won't comment on that debate, I'll say this: the only difference the wood will make depends on what you replace. A Fender replacement neck (Mighty Mite, Warmoth) will feel different (IMHO, much better) compared to the stock Squier neck. Almost any pickups you choose as replacements will offer a more diverse tone than the stock pickups.

A new bridge will offer more adjustments and/or more mass, which is purported to increase sustain and provide better contact with the body (should you be of the persuasion that body wood matters).

In the end, it's really up to you and how much money you want to sink into it. Just remember that depending on the price you pick it up for and how much you want to drop in upgrades, you could have bought a very decent brand new high-end Squier for possibly less.
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#6
Quote by graybass_20x6
Almost any pickups you choose as replacements will offer a more diverse tone than the stock pickups.

A new bridge will offer more adjustments and/or more mass, which is purported to increase sustain and provide better contact with the body (should you be of the persuasion that body wood matters).



Well pickups are an opinion of course as well. I liked my squier pickups.

Couldn't the contact argument be solved by just drilling a ton of holes in the bridge and adding as many screws into the body as possible.
#7
Quote by askrere
Well pickups are an opinion of course as well. I liked my squier pickups.

Couldn't the contact argument be solved by just drilling a ton of holes in the bridge and adding as many screws into the body as possible.


I don't particularly have a problem with stock pickups myself. Different pickups offer more diverse (different) tones, which I believe is generally accepted as fact.

As for the second question...theoretically, yes. Cosmetically, I'm not sure how it would fly. Again, it really depends on whether you believe body wood really affects tone or electronics only make a difference in electric instruments.
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#8
For a bridge upgrade, I'd suggest the Babicz Full Contact Hardware bridge. It made my vintage 70's JB sound amazing. The sustain improved dramatically as well as the overall tone, and surprisingly it stays in tune really well (even with stock tuners).
#9
Quote by graybass_20x6
I don't particularly have a problem with stock pickups myself. Different pickups offer more diverse (different) tones, which I believe is generally accepted as fact.

As for the second question...theoretically, yes. Cosmetically, I'm not sure how it would fly. Again, it really depends on whether you believe body wood really affects tone or electronics only make a difference in electric instruments.


*not trying to sound like a dick over internet*

Are you just pointing out the obvious, that new pickups offer a different tone? Other wise I dunno exactly what your suggesting?

Not in the wood school myself, but I am making a big mess of a affinity P bass currently. Decided I'd leave it looking like an ugly bastard (stain wood burned designs) that sounds good . Might try that screw theory, I mean unless you spend a lot of time looking between the saddles might never notice an extra row of screws?
#10
well, i think that the "what squier model is it?" is an important question to answer. if it's california series, definetly not. if it's affinity, some may say yes, some may say no... i think i would mod that. but if it is a Vintage Modified, or a Classic Vibe series, i think you have a nice bass to mod.

I have a Vintage Modified series, and i am thinking of upgrading it... however, i think if i get better pups, bridge, tuners, nut, electronics, and knobs, i might be investing as much as to buy a MIM brand new, that adding the VM price, would be like buying a MIJ jazz. and the wood is better in those basses.

the only advantage/reason to upgrade a squier that far, is because you can do it little by little. buying a MIJ would be better though. Still, i consider the possibility of upgrading my squier that far (in the long, long term) but it's because I have a personal attachment to that bass. Seeing that this isn't your case (since that bass is not even yours, yet) I think you'd be better off saving money to buy a very good bass in the future (considering you don't need a bass rigth now).

However , if you only plan to change pups, or something like that, i say go for it! (as long as we are talking about the better squier series...)
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Last edited by Sudaka at Feb 25, 2012,
#11
Quote by askrere
*not trying to sound like a dick over internet*

Are you just pointing out the obvious, that new pickups offer a different tone? Other wise I dunno exactly what your suggesting?

Not in the wood school myself, but I am making a big mess of a affinity P bass currently. Decided I'd leave it looking like an ugly bastard (stain wood burned designs) that sounds good . Might try that screw theory, I mean unless you spend a lot of time looking between the saddles might never notice an extra row of screws?


I just sort of expanded on the the obvious in context to the OP's call for suggestions. Maybe if I made a suggestion (such as some DiMarzios ), it would have sounded less ambiguous.

I don't think anyone would notice more screws under the saddles, but I'm sure the routing and grinding the holes would make for an interesting afternoon. Hell, you should add two or three more screws to the neck plate, just to ensure absolute fusion of neck to heel pocket. I can't think of anything else that would need more extraneous securing.
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#12
Yeah, a fair amount of good advice in this thread. Let me throw my opinion in:

Modding a squier is a fun and educational venture. That said, there's zero point in trying to "turn it into an american fender." It's a waste of money for relatively little return, both in how nice the instrument is and its resale value. It is not, however, a waste to mod a squier for the sake of meeting your own personal needs--creating a very unique bass that suits you very well.

As Askere said, there are lots of great aftermarket parts in hardware, electronics and necks, that are as nice or better than the Fender stuff. You can spend less money, have more customization, and, arguably, better stuff than if you did straight american fender upgrades.

As everyone else has said, changing some parts gets you a lot more milage for your money than changing other parts--here's the most important order of upgrades for a cheap passive bass IMO:

Pickups
nut
Neck (only if you don't like the current one)
Bridge
Tuners

You might as well change electronics when you change pups just so that you can wire everything up from scratch and know the jacks/pots won't come loose or disconnected like they often do on starter bass. Any pup swap will produce an instant, noticeable change in tone.

A nut change can sometimes instantly fix the intonation on a cheap bass or guitar that just won't intonate properly even after a good set up.

The necks on a lot of squiers are just fine--a nice alternative to buying a new one might be a professional set up with fret dressing just to make sure they're all even and properly seated.

People argue about how much of a difference a bridge makes; I don't know about sustain, but I think the saddles--how much they contact the string, how big they are, and what they're made of--make a subtle but noticeable difference in tone. A bridge's contact to the strings affects the overtones ringing out quite a bit. Also, a nice hefty bridge makes the bass feel more like a serious tool.

Cheap bass tuners don't usually need to be changed because, as bass players, we're not bending our strings to high heaven and playing with a tremolo/whammy bar (usually) even cheap chinese tuners tend to hold tune fine when you don't put a ton of stress on them. If you do a lot of popping an upgrade may be in order, but I think stock squier tuners aren't quite at the bottom of the barrel and they can usually even handle that.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Feb 25, 2012,
#13
^ Exactly, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Tighten tuner screws, replace rusting loose parts, add a dap of filler, paper or tooth pick to tighten stripped screw holes.

Think of your instrument like a car, sometimes you need maintenance not new parts. This of course isn't going to help your bass choice, but a lot of "cheap tuner" "shoddy bridge" complaints might be solved with some routine fix ups.

On the subject, a lot of people prefer just upgrade, especially on cheaper basses. What you might not realize is Low budget models like squier etc. used to be supplied parts by Mr. Gear head, now most fender parts are all distributed under that umbrella name. Global economy, mass produced product... it isn't really surprising they use the same parts more and more. I mean if everyone everywhere has the same machines and skill, you're really only looking at a difference in how much production and labor cost is. You wouldn't pay someone to purposely make shoddy parts so Squier stays as low budget as possible.

My opinion, maybe a pickup difference and wood choice, but other than that 5-20 years you couldn't tell a difference in Squier or American Fender except by name, but people would still buy American fender regardless of price or debatable differences.
#14
Quote by askrere
My opinion, maybe a pickup difference and wood choice, but other than that 5-20 years you couldn't tell a difference in Squier or American Fender except by name, but people would still buy American fender regardless of price or debatable differences.


I agree somewhat. People will still buy American-made Fenders just for the prestige of saying "I have an 'murrrican Fender."
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