Classic simplicity for a bargain
Shamefully, perhaps, I've always harbored petty prejudices about the Fender instruments manufactured outside the USA. Generally, my opinions have fallen into the quotidian hierarchy that claims the US-made gear is superior, the Japanese-manufactured instruments can be just as good in some instances, and the Mexican guitars are okay. This bass makes it clear that Fender/Squier gear, no matter where it comes from (Indonesia, in this instance), represents some of the best value and quality available to music makers on a budge.
What really sold me on this bass was the materials used in its construction. Basswood body and maple neck basses are standbys in Fender manufacture. Add to this fact the really cool variation of the Telecaster body style and headstock, along with the lone single-coil pickup, and this bass was one I simply had to have.
Aside from exhibiting the brilliant, out-of-the-box playability shared by all instruments shipped from Sweetwater--the guitar was even in tune!--what really stood out to me was how comfortable this bass was. The 32 inch scale neck is ideal for players who prefer a shorter neck, but feel that the Mustang scale compromises tone and intonation. The maple neck is incredibly playable and comfortable, and the instrument's modest weight (around 10 pounds) is adequately distributed.
Once plugged in, this bass's electronics proved to be revelatory. I'd seen the demo video highlighting how the 3-way switch allowed players to tailor their tone to certain musical styles, but to hear it for oneself is to believe. I was surprised to discover that the tone knob allows players to adjust the tone only when using the middle position of the 3-way switch. The other positions lock down the tone, but it should be added that these non-adjustable, customized tones are fantastic.
All in all, this bass exceeds expectations. The fit and finish of the instrument are exceptional, and the neck and electronics are top-notch. The fretwork, especially, is very clean. I'd recommend this bass to anyone, and like it so much, I'm considering getting the companion model with two pickups. At this price, and shipped with the Sweetwater 55-point inspection, this bass is a hoss ideal for practice or gigging.
Tom Maxwell, my Sweetwater Sound Engineer, deserves a truckload of thanks for his help over the years. Once again, he's helped make the Sweetwater experience absolutely awesome.