Jazz Bass California Series review by Squier

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (55 votes)
Squier: Jazz Bass California Series

Price paid: $ 270

Purchased from: Roland Pro Music

Sound — 8
I play funk, rock, blues and a little bit of jazz and this bass is the perfect one for me. It will give you that Vintage growling tone, a warm bass-heavy tone and - with a little tweaking - an incredible slap tone. I play it through a Fender Blues Driver (I know it's stupid to play a bass through it but it does the job for now) and I get very good results from it. Of course, you will have to deal with the signature jazz bass p-up buzz. Personally, I prefer it as it sounds vintage. The place where I think this bass beats others is in versatility. I've been playing for a year now and so far, I've not come across a more versatile bass. Better? Yes. More versatile? NO!

Overall Impression — 9
I primarily play funk-rock. I think the only bass that would beat a jazz bass in funk is the Stingray. It's a treat to play slap-pop on this especially with light gauge Di'addarios. I compared this bass to other Ibanezes and a Squier VM 70's Jazz Bass and this one was the best in terms of playability. Since then I've played MIM Jazz Basses and Yamahas and Ibanez SRXs. I thought only the MIM bass better. But after I replaced the nut with an original Fender bone nut, the bridge with a Wilkinson Vintage Saddle bridge and the bridge pickup with a Fender Vintage '75 pickup I realized that it's miles ahead of the MIM Jazz bass at a Much lesser cost (Bass + mods = $350). The tone I get now from the bridge pickup is as good as it gets on a bass. Pure vintage! If you're on a budget (actually, even if you aren't) or if you're staring out, this is the best choice for you. If this was stolen, I'd probably start saving up for a Stringray, realizing midway, that its impossible for me to save up so much and end up with another Squier Jazz Bass (CS).

Reliability & Durability — 9
The body is made of alder. So I'm sure that this bass is durable and will last a long time if you take care of it. The strap buttons are ok but if you're gigging with it I'd recommend to get strap-locks. I've been gigging with this for a year without backup and it has Never let me down and there's hardly any cosmetic damage on it. This is one tough bass guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory set-up was not so good. Mine gave fretbuzz when I went beyond the 15th fret. I took it to a shop to re-set it and since then it's never given me any trouble. The pickups were well adjusted and so was the bridge and other hardware. The fretboard is a treat to play on. The finish iss surprisingly good for a Chinese Squier. It's very glossy. And so far mine hasn't worn off At All. But you might want to replace the nut asap. It's just a cheap piece of plastic.

Features — 8
I bought this bass guitar from India. This one is "Crafted in China" with a serial number starting with CXS. It has 20 medium jumbo frets. An alder off-set jazz-style body, maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. The finish is glossy. Standard open-gear tuners and chrome hardwares. Even the volume(2) and tone(1) knobs are of chrome. It has two single coil, jazz-style pickups (neck and bridge). The bridge is somewhat odd though. Works fine. Decent sustain. But it has 3 screw ins rather than the standard 5. So if you want to change the bridge as I did (I put on a Vintage Wilkinson), you'll have to drill in two extra holes. They gave me a gig bag and a cable when I bought it.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Guitar_Jester wrote: Looks nice, though I won't buy it. I'm happy with my Fender American Standard Jazz Bass in Olympic White
    You Dick!
    Cole419 wrote: Guitar_Jester wrote: Looks nice, though I won't buy it. I'm happy with my Fender American Standard Jazz Bass in Olympic White You Dick!
    Looks nice, though I won't buy it. I'm happy with my Fender American Standard Jazz Bass in Olympic White