Yesterday I got a new 5-string Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass and it didn’t take long to realize that it’s a really nice bass guitar for the money.
Squires have a good reputation for being great budget basses and I can see why. This is one badass bass guitar!
It’s definitely a step up from the Ibanez TMB-100 that I’ve been using for the past year, but of course it sells for more so it should be better.
The first thing that jumped out to me about the VMJB, aside from the gorgeous natural finish, is how nice the neck and fretboard feel.
I was worried about how different a 5-string neck would feel after being used to a 4-string, but the C-shaped neck on the Squire VM plays great. It feels perfectly natural to me, unlike 7-string guitars where it takes longer for me to adjust after being used to 6-strings.
The Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass has a maple fingerboard that plays very smoothly. I’m surprised by how much lower the action is without fret buzz than on my Ibanez Talman bass. It really makes a big difference in overall playability, especially farther up the neck.
I also like the how much better the low B string plays and feels compared to when I had the Ibanez tuned down to BEAD tuning. It’s tighter and more precise as opposed to buzzing and vibrating constantly.
My only complaint at this point is the knobs could be better. Two of the three sort of have a rough feel as they partially rub against the plate when turning. I could probably take the plate off and try tweaking them a bit but I probably won’t bother since I rarely use them anyway.
One weird thing with this Squire bass is it requires having the gain turned up way higher than any of my other guitars when recording DI using an audio interface. I’ll have to try raising the pickups a bit to get a stronger signal.
I’ll post a full review of the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass after a month or two of using it regularly. So far it seems quite nice for the price. The 5-string version sells for $379 new and the 4-string model is $349. You can find them used for even cheaper, or you can sometimes find an open-box one like this one I got at a discount.