Price paid: € 270
Purchased from: Mitros Music
Features — 8
This Standard Jazz Bass by Squier was made in Indonesia. Unfortunately, I cannot remember when, because I do not have the documentation that came with the guitar anymore. However, since I brought this bass back in 2011, that should serve as a terminus ante quem for you. It must have been made somewhere in the naughties; the guitar looked fresh at the store when I got it. Its neck is not so fat, I would say it is medium in thickness; quite easy to handle, even though I am mainly an electric guitar player. It's body is laminated alder, it is nice and bright, yellowish in color. The neck is adler, too, but it is solid. It has the awesome looking skunk stripe in the back. There are two volume knobs on it for the two passive electronics, which are Duncan Designed. There is also a tone control knob. The tuners, I guess, are Squier's own, there is no name written on them. It is a pretty basic guitar, yet it has served me well over the years. One thing I do not particularly like about it is that it is quite heavy. Keep in mind that I had only electric guitars before this one, and this beast can wreck your back if you let it (though it is nothing really to be afraid of, no yoga exercises are recommended).
Sound — 7
Firstly, I like playing heavy metal (mostly Metallica). Some of their songs I have learnt to play on it, but I would suggest that this is not really for that kind of music. On the other hand, for indie music, for instance Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, even Arctic Monkeys, it is great. Sadly, I do not have a bass amp yet, so I use it with my Marshall MG. It has a bright sound, you can hear all those little subtleties in it, which is I why I would argue that it is suited best for less aggressive music. The bottom line is, it is a Jazz Bass! Even the name hints at what it is aimed at (even though I have never played jazz on it, and I am and will remain only an admirer of that genre...). Sometimes I put the distortion on on my MG. I noticed that this bass can shriek like crazy. I would not suggest doing distortion with it, it would really compete with the electric guitars in the band (talking from experience here).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
No problems here, the guitar was well set up, and I had no problems with it since I bought it. I have not had to adjust the pickups. The factory (or the shop), did a great job in this regard. I did not have really high expectations, but I would have spotted it rightaway if the guitar's quality had been less-than-desirable. I have to admit that there is a little dent at the top of the first fret, but I cannot remember if I did that or if it was like that at the shop. Memory fails me on this one (although, if I consider the things I put this guitar through, I would say it was my fault).
Reliability & Durability — 10
It has withstood a few gigs, so it is good for live playing. I have to admit that I have transported it quite a few times now without a case, and somehow I even managed to smash it to the floor once, but it still looks like brand new - without exaggeration! It is robust, built like a tank, no backups needed!. Ordinarily, I try to preserve my things in mint condition, but it somehow happened so that this Jazz Bass existed in harsh conditions a few times, so to speak. Yet there is still no rust appearing on it, which I am grateful for and I try to make up for my misbehavior by not letting such things happen anymore.
Overall Impression — 9
If you are an avid indie music listener, and you would like to start playing the bass, this is a brilliant first choice, I would argue. For metal, as I have said, not that great. I assume it is good for jazz, too, and other kinds of genres which are more experimental, but this is only an assumption. I have been playing the bass since 2011, before that I started playing the guitar in around 2007. I love the fact that it has been so reliable over the years, the tuners are great, the guitar stays in tune for long periods of time. As I have said it is robust, it does what it should, and that's that. I recommend this as a beginner's guitar, but more intermediate players will like it, too, given their budget does not let them go wild guitar purchase-wise.