Bronco Bass review by Squier

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.5 (49 votes)
Squier: Bronco Bass

Sound — 7
As I've mentioned in other posts, I do disco, funk, rock, country, jazz, and even toy with hip-hop and punk. I'm also a beginner so, as long as it makes noise when I attempt to play it suits me. I've been playing it through a Rumble 15 & 30. Out of the box it had a fair amount of noise - hiss/static/etc. The sound of the pickup was unexciting, but what fixed everything was a good shielding job and a re-doing of the solder. I would be disingenuous if I didn't disclose at this point, that I bought this do heavily modify, so it bears mention that the tone pot was tossed and the volume pot was replaced w/ a Fender 250k. The tone pot was replaced with a rotary Switch varitone that built myself. I also added a Quarter Pounder in the bridge position as well as a 5-way Switch to keep everything squared away... BUT, what is important for the purposes of this review is that I use the stock pickup as much as any other possible config on this bass, and it sounds GREAT with a competent solder job, and some comprehensive shielding. When plugged into my Rumble 30 w/ another bass, it just completely overpowers the other bass - almost like it's active. So I rate this a 7 because the potential is there and I can't say if the bulk of the sound improvement is from better components, better soldering, shielding, or any combo thereof. FWIW, the solder on the tone pot broke and killed the output, but that's covered below.

Overall Impression — 7
It is important to note that I bought this with the intention of using it as a project bass so the only thing I really was concerned aboyt was the wood and the frets. I asked to look at the one the had "in the back" since this one was a wall model, but when I pulled the "fresh" one out of the box, the strings were rusty and the frets felt like teeth on a saw blade. My demo model was a cream-puff in comparison. Definitely try before you buy. If you want a project platform, and/or you are somewhat technically inclined, you can't really go wrong for the purchase price and the cost of a couple of pots and replacement pickup at most. If you're NOT handy with tools and an iron, you may need to be prepared to look up-market or pay a tech to make it a custom right off the bat. FWIW, I've handled basses twice the price and more that felt worse than this one. If you can find a nice one - buy it.

Reliability & Durability — 5
As mentioned, the tone pot solder broke after I had it home for about 20 minutes. I pulled the pickguard and soldered the pickup straight to the jack so I could play it until my modification parts arrived. Now it holds tune as well as any of my other basses, and it doesn't really give me any trouble other wise. I'll give it a 5 since the broken solder may or may not be typical of all Broncos.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Action was too high; neck was pretty flat and seems to be straight; the pickup was adjusted too low; there are some rough frets but nothing too serious; either the tone or volume knob was little scratchy; strings were crappy - I replaced them with some regular old Fender nickle short-scales .40-.95; The neck has a nice snug fit into the pocket. Of all the things one CANNOT change easily, the rough frets are the only things that I can complain about. For all the shipping and sitting around that these things do until they're bought, I can't complain about hight action or too much neck relief. I'll give it a 6 mostly because I hate rough frets and the pots are suspect.

Features — 9
Mustang-style body w/ black poly finish w/ a maple/maple neck; tone & volume knobs; single strat style* pickup in middle position; short scale (30"); .40-.95 string gauges; made in Indonesia Oct 29, 2009; old fasioned dual saddle configuration bridge; faux (?) Gotoh tuners. Rating the features on the cheapest bass in Squier's lineup? It's a true entry-level short-scale; some don't even come with two knobs! I give it a 9 because it'll get you playing a shortscale bass for $150. When you're looking at something like the Bronco, you oughta understand where you're shopping. * Many argue about what the pickup actually is from, but I don't care. Suffice to say, it's six-pole series pickup.

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