Price paid: $ 179.99
Purchased from: Central Music
Sound — 8
As with all split-coil pickup basses, the sound of the P-Bass tends to be on the brighter and poppy side of the wall. Luckily and surprisingly, there is not much feedback from this bass even while tone and volume are turned completely up. I found this to be a rather great part of Squier's product and shows that they can create something great as well. The only time I did receive feedback is when I would rest my bass against my amp, at which point it sounded like the walls were giving out. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the sound for my personal taste, but that does not mean I can't appreciate it. I tend to go for warmer, deeper sounds that rumble more than they are heard, and I could not fully achieve that with this bass. However, it could come very close when equipped with flatwound strings and the tone off. However, oftentimes I was playing it through a Behringer Ultrabass BX1200, which itself has horrible tone, so my inability to achieve complete warm tone, although still true, would probably have at least sounded better through any other amp.
Overall Impression — 9
Personally, at this point in time the Squier Affinity P-Bass is not the bass for my music and style of playing, although it was a tremendous bass to start with and I am proud to have owned it for 6 years and know that it will continue to perform as well as the day I got it. I have since moved up to a P-Bass Special and Dean Edge Q6, but still played this bass frequently at home or for practicing. Seeing as how it was my first bass I had nothing to compare it to, but overall I'd say it's the best for its buck and maybe even then some. Still my biggest complaint is the lack of tonal control but for the price I'd still recommend it to anyone looking for their first bass or a step up from a Rogue. After seeing the quality for myself inside and out over the years of dismantling it and putting it back together I do commend Squier for a well-built bass. Also, as you move on, as I am about to do, it serves as great way to start learning how to modify your instruments without much fear of losing a large investment.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Seeing as how this bass just turned 6 years old I will say it has and will stand the test of time and hold up to the damage to I have put on it and will continue to put on it. I have used it live numerous times and not once has it let me down. The only hardware problems, again, seem to be the knobs falling off. One time the nut also came off completely, due to my squeezing a low B string in the E string slot and then trying to pull it out. However, under normal circumstances I'm sure that would not have occurred and place the blame on the user and not the instrument. Another issue is that after a few years I noticed the bow in the neck had become a very big problem and adjusted it myself back to an upright position. However, now a few more years later it still has a slight bow and will not go back to completely straight while all the strings are tuned and tightened. Everything else seems to be in great condition and no wear is visible on the body, aside from a few dings from hard impact. But again, it takes a beating like a champ and keeps playing like one all the while.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I purchased my bass from my local store they set up the action, neck and everything else right in front of me to my liking (which, seeing as it was my first stringed instrument, I had no idea what my liking was until a year later). However, I have since played some as they were from the factory, and they are not too bad. More often than not the action is maxed out and the pickups are generally high too, so it's not always the most comfortable experience to pick one up. Everything else though seems to be ok out of the box and I have heard minimal complaints about them from other players. My only real problem, as stated before, were the loose tone and volume knobs that seem to be on all of them.
Features — 6
My Squier Affinity P-Bass was manufactured in 2004 in Indonesia and is still in great shape today, especially for what many consider being a cheap or beginner bass. The craftsmanship on everything in it is excellent and durable, and it all still works to this day. The 20 fret maple neck and rosewood fingerboard have held up beautifully and did not require much maintenance over the time I've had it. The body is typical of any P-Bass model: lightweight, durable, and immediately recognizable. The stock bridge was decent, but sometimes did not do what I wanted it to do when I adjusted my action, though I was always able to eventually struggle to the way I wanted it. The passive pickups were decent for stock but did not have much tonal range when it came to the tone knob. Again, I would recommend replacing these but they are still great for stock on the bass. Speaking of which, there was a single tone and single volume knob for the entire bass, both of which were not great. The volume knob came loose and eventually I had to superglue it on, and it could not get really soft tones. I jumped from mute to moderate with the slightest twist, and as I said the tone knob barely changed the tone, more or less took a little edge off of the highs. Standard clover-tuners grace the headstock and held tune very well for the most part, even while using the bass to hit crash cymbals repeatedly on stage. Overall, for a bassist who wants to play and not worry about finding their own tone quite yet, I'd say this is fine in the features department, but as I am well past that stage I have to give it a less than perfect score.