Starcaster Jazz Bass review by Fender

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.3 (11 votes)
Fender: Starcaster Jazz Bass

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from:

Sound — 5
I play all different kinds of rock and a little metal. For rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, GNR) it's just fine. For metal it doesn't quite have that aggressive tone. I play through a cheap 20 watt amp with no fx at home but through a good amp and speaker it has a great quality sound. Being single coils the pups have a slight buzz but if the volume knobs are at the same level, the buzz cuts out (that means they're reverse wound I think). I can get quite a range of sounds messing with the tone and volume knobs but the volume knobs are a little too drastic at changing volume, but they're workable.

Overall Impression — 7
For any kind of classic rock this thing is perfect. I have been playing music for five years but I got this a little over a year ago and taught myself. I've played about an hour a day for most of that time. I've never had a problem with this bass so I would definitely get it again if something happened to it. (I might get a P-Bass though just to have something different). The neck on this is the best I've ever played. I even played an MIA Fender J-Bass and I still like my neck better. I really can't ask for anything else from a bass except maybe some different features. Not better just different. If you're a beginner and you want something to learn on and won't outgrow anytime soon, I suggest this bass.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played live a couple times and this thing is totally reliable. The tuning pegs are solid and it stays in tune really well. The hardware will last forever on this thing. The strap buttons were rock solid and I didn't need to but I put straplocks on just for safety. I have and will in the future use this without backup. The finish hasn't worn anywhere and even though I've banged this around a lot, I only have one dent. And that just got put there two days ago.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The bass was playable out of the box but it needed some work. (Having it delivered in winter didn't help). The action was too high and the the neck was bent too much and the pickups were uneven. As far as materials and hardware go, everything was great and still is after a year of playing almost every day. No bad wiring, no fret problems, nothing. Only thing I can think of is that the screws for the pickguard were not totally put in right. None were stripped or anything but the holes weren't drilled exactly perpendicular to the body.

Features — 5
Made in Indonesia, 2010. - 20 frets. - Maple neck. - Rosewood fingerboard. - Black finish. - Fender J-bass body style. - 2 passive single coil pickups. - 2 volume controls, 1 tone control. Came with gig bag, strap, 10 ft cable, and pocket amp.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Funny the comment about Squier reject components in starcasters - after having both, I`d rate the Starcaster actually Better.. I had a Squier Standard and although the neck felt better than a good few Mex's I`ve played, the truss rod didn`t adjust enough and the Alnico pickups sounded weak - the Starcaster has classic Ceramics like Mex's have (even the USA Deluxe has Ceramics) and there`s plenty of adjustment in the truss rod, otherwise apart from a slight body thickness maybe (Starcaster using affinity body?) it`s the same as the Squier .. mine`s a 2010 too with wonky screws and pickups and the truss needed adjusting just like the OP`s - all sorted quicky - I got it because I need "That" (passive Jazz bass) sound which I`ll never get from the Warwick Streamer $
    Although the bass isn't the greatest, a lot of your tone issues might come from your amp
    I imagine they're about the same. The prices are pretty close. My neck plate on the Starcaster even says Squier. I've played a Squier P once that had the exact same neck as my Starcaster. The main reason I went with Starcaster is because I didn't know anything about guitars at the time and it said Fender on it.
    schirripar wrote: Although the bass isn't the greatest, a lot of your tone issues might come from your amp
    True. I'm just too cheap to get another one right now.
    leftwardfoil wrote: so, which is better? The Fender Starcaster Jazz Bass, or the Squier Affinity J Bass.
    I've seen Starcasters in the store with Squier stickers on the bodies. My theory is a lot of Starcasters these days contain Squier factory reject components.
    That could be. I mean... it'd be weird for Fender to give their name away that cheap. There's gotta be something wrong about it