First off, when reading any review about a cheap product there has to be a lot to write off because most reviewers are beginners. I am Not! I have played bass guitar for over 24 years and my baby is a German made Warwick Streamer. I have played just about any bass you could think of and to be honest have never been much of a fan of Fender throughout my years of playing. Anyways, I was in the market for a 30" scale bass just to toy around with...I've toyed around with some at local guitar stores but thought they were just toys and and sounded awful. So, I come across Sweatwater here and read the reviews and it got me intrigued. I went ahead and bought the Squire Vintage modified jaguar short scale ( it almost makes me laugh when I think that I actually bought a Squire!!)
Ok, So here is my take on the bass:
People raved about the neck and commented on how good it was....Well, It is! Very Nice for the money! Granted it's not an ovankol with an adjustable nut like a Warwick but for a Maple neck and rosewood, it is quite nice....you would normally expect the frets to cut into your hand on a bass this cheap, but hey...the other reviewers were right...Nice job Squire! I tend to like my action a little higher than what some people choose because an extremely low action seems to lack a little punch for me...if I wanted the action extremely low I would have to shim the neck a bit....I lowered the action to see how low I could get it and it wasn't much lower than the stock action as it was shipped, although the stock action works great for me. So if you like super low action you may need to shim the neck to get it. Overall the neck has true tone on each note and every fret....I've had some basses that were cheaper over the years and had considerable dead spots....this one is very , very good for the price....you wont be disappointed....in fact you will be awed!
The body Finish was superb, I can not find a flaw anywhere....and you normally would expect that in this price range.
Of course the bridge and tuners are not the highest quality out there but for the price are suitable and do what they are supposed to do.
The only downfall on this bass is....just what others have said...the bridge pick up or "J" pick up in other words is quite lacking. There is definitely an output difference between the P and J pickups.
The P pickup does sound good. I actually expected this from the other reviews and am going to put a set of Dimarzios in and cant wait to do that!
I have yet to play this in a band situation as of yet and look forward to see how this bass comes through in the mix.
One thing I want to add is that I play bass with a pick...started on guitar for a couple of years and in fact I like the edge that I get playing with a pick.
This bass does carry the low end nicely as others have stated and I was a bit skeptical about that, in fact it might be a touch too much! Will have to see in a band situation how it plays out.
If you are a beginner...buy it! Very much worth the price!
If you are an experienced musician like I am ...it is up to you. I bought this primarily because I wanted a 30" scale to mess around with and expecting to replace the pick ups but may only replace the J at first because the P sounds pretty good. I also expect to replace the bridge to give it a bit more mass...and BTW , it does have a little neck dive, it's not horrible...kinda wants to sit at about 2 to 3 O'Clock when held....but since it is a 30" scale it doesn't really bother me much.
So, overall I gotta give out the kudos to Squire!...although I never liked them before, I am considering getting the 34" scale version next. Oh and ordered the bass and received it in two days! Got tthe box candy from Sweatwater and had to LOL! Real Candy! Nice touch Sweetwater....will do business with again!