AudioRumble rating 95/100
What We like
Amazing reliability and durability.
High-quality replica of one of the most iconic bass sounds ever.
What We don't like
Stronger electronics wouldn’t hurt.
Gig bag not included.
When folks discuss best beginner basses, they often tend to single out this fella as their top pick – the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass. And indeed, this is one fine axe, and upon testing it out, we think we found out why people praise it. Let’s dive into this one.
This thing epitomizes the classic Fender Jazz Bass looks. We are looking at the features so well-known and renowned, that general audience hardly considers them as staple Fender design, but rather a standard guitar design and simply the way guitars should look. This is often overlooked when discussing Fender stuff, and we just wanted to take a moment to give a nod to the iconic manufacturer.
Anyhow, we’re looking at a sturdy piece of equipment with a quite smooth feel to it. The neck has a medium thickness, the body has a medium weight, everything seems just fit for a newbie player to meet the charms of bass-playing without getting too spoiled by slim stuff or too discouraged by chunky stuff. Ultimately, the craftsmanship is at a very high level by budget instrument standards, and that’s what matters the most.
So both in terms of practical and aesthetic aspects, we give this instrument a thumbs up. The natural wood finish brings a touch of class we’re a bit of suckers for, the headstock looks really nice, and the mixture of chrome hardware and black details give away a really nice vibe.
To give you some concrete specs, the bass utilizes a solid wood body, a vintage tinted gloss neck C-shaped maple neck with a maple fingerboard with 20 medium jumbo frets and black block inlays. Neat stuff, for the listed price tag we can’t really complain.
In the electronic department, we are looking at a set of two passive Jazz pickups. To control the sonic attack, the user is presented with classic two Tone knobs – one for each of the pickups – and a standard Master Volume knob.
Additional notable features include a standard fixed four-saddle bridge, a set of die-cast tuners that do a very good job in maintaining the tuning, a black pick-guard, a 9.5-inch fingerboard radius, and chrome hardware.
So what’s so great about all this stuff? While specs seem fairly standard, the answer to that question would be reliability. This fella is the most reliable, durable and error-free beginner bass we can think of. The level of user complaints is lower than any other newbie instrument we tested and if there is one instrument you can always rely on delivering the expected sound quality, it’s this bad boy.
Also, beginners tend to be accidentally careless with their instruments, and this Jazz Bass can take just about all of it without a hitch.
The sound is a worthy replica of classic Fender Jazz Bass, which happens to be one of the finest instruments in the world. The bass gives a very nice purr with minimal buzz-related problems. Think of a vast array of folks who wielded a Fender Jazz Bass – which ranges from Geddy Lee of Rush to late great jazz titan Jaco Pastorius – well take that sound and strip it down of punchiness and smoothness.
You will still get a solid sonic attack that can even be at a pro level when plugged into a proper amp, but instead of a few thousand bucks you’ll pay around $400. So yes, this bass is pricier than some of the other beginner basses, but unlike most of those models, this is an instrument you can proudly take into your intermediate stage without a hitch.
To be more specific, the bass is very versatile and those control knobs really make a difference from smoothness to punchy roars. The lower end is packed with warmth and groove, while switching to the higher registry is seamless and results with extra punch without affecting the overall roundness of the attack. Good stuff!
You'll pay a few extra bucks, but you'll get a reliable instrument with a great sound. If you want to start with a proper sonic image of what bass guitar is capable of, this Squier is a great choice.
AudioRumble rating 95/100