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Upgraded Squier Affinity P-Bass vs Classic Vibe P-Bass
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Upgraded Squier Affinity P-Bass vs Classic Vibe P-Bass

Hello everyone,

I currently have an Squier Affinity P-Bass with upgraded Fender Vintage Pickup. I'm willing to change the pots and get some 250k CTS, as well as the bridge and get a Fender Vintage-Style Bridge.

These days I'm GASing for a Classic Vibe 60s or 70s P-Bass, but I was wondering whether the upgrades mentioned above will get me close to the CV sound.

I've already searched on Fender site for more info regarding the CV specs and especially the pickup they're using, but I can't figure out whether it's the same with the Fender Vintage Pickup or the Custom Shop '62 Pickup.

So, I'd like to read your thoughts and your experiences about that:
To upgrade the Affinity P-Bass or to get a new CV?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Is there something you don’t like about the bass you already have? If you like the bass as is, keep it, if not...I probably wouldn’t put any more money in it. Either way, unless there’s something inherently wrong with the components you intend to replace, i probably would leave it alone. I would expect those changes to be comparatively subtle to a pickup swap (which you’ve already done).

The marketing material I see suggests the classic vibe 60s p bass includes a “fender designed” pickup which I would interpret as whatever cheap p bass pickup they had lying around, nothing fancy...otherwise they would say as much. It’s a $350 instrument, so I’m sure they still aren’t putting their best into it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Is there something you don’t like about the bass you already have?
I don't have so much experience (I'm a guitarist), so I'd say that I've used to it somehow all these years. But the other day I was playing with an original 70s Precision (all stock) and I thought I was going to cry... The tone was stunning. It blew my bass anytime.

So judging from the reviews of the CV series ("there's no reason to spend more money to get the Precision sound" etc), I got into the GAS game thinking it would be an upgrade.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tenant View Post
I don't have so much experience (I'm a guitarist), so I'd say that I've used to it somehow all these years. But the other day I was playing with an original 70s Precision (all stock) and I thought I was going to cry... The tone was stunning. It blew my bass anytime.

So judging from the reviews of the CV series ("there's no reason to spend more money to get the Precision sound" etc), I got into the GAS game thinking it would be an upgrade.
Well but that’s going from a squier to a vintage fender. My friends got a 70s p bass in his studio...it’s pretty great.

Comparing two squier basses though I would be surprised if you gained a lot by going to the next model up.

My suggestion would be to hold off the gas for something higher tier, vs buying something that doesn’t really cut it for you and keep throwing upgrades at it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

The quality of the Fender builds are all over the map. instead of designing new instruments they pump out endless versions of the same models in Bullet, Squire, Fender and Custom Fender. You would think that the higher cost basses would be superior builds but that doesn't always hold true and you have to take the year it was built into consideration. A Squire built today is not the same instrument as one built 30 years ago.

Allot of it comes down to the quality of the materials and the attention to detail. Back around 1990 I bought a Squire II Precision bass that was virtually new. The kid that bought it decided he didn't want to play so I took it off his hands. The quality of the build was dam near as good as any Fender Precision I had played. Weighs a ton however. The vintage Precisions had a very light ash body. Many imports like Squire obviously use all maple or rosewood necks but finding what kind of body wood is being used is like pulling teeth. The specs only say "Body: Solid Hardwood" If its plywood you don't even get that. The hard woods can be from just about any country and any type.

For the most part the Squire basses still sound like Fenders but they don't match up to your better builds made with high quality woods.
You can mess with the electronics of course and try to get the most from the electronics but there's more to playing bass or guitar for that matter then what comes out of a speaker. When you have a high quality build, it doesn't matter if its plugged in or not. You "Feel" the vibrations in your hand and chest when playing. Cheaper grades of wood simply don't feel the same and are less inspiring to play. That's purely my opinion however. I've had so many years of playing large numbers of high quality and vintage instruments, my standards are allot higher them most and when I play a "Toy Instrument" I'm quite frank about its quality compared to others.

As far as the OP goes, Going from an affinity to a Classic vibe might be a step up. The Affinity is your bargain basement build. They aren't bad with some fixing up but things like frets can be poorly finished. If you get a pro to touch it up and tweak its setup thay can be decent players. The pickups aren't all that bad either, surely good enough for recording purposes.

Where you can make a big improvement is with the strings. I been recommending those GHS balanced Nickels. They sound fantastic on a Fender bass.
The ability to intonate them properly is incredible too. They have a video on this site you'll want to check out.

https://www.ghsstrings.com/products?...lanced-nickels
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you both for your suggestions. I totally agree about the feeling you get just from the vibrations of the instrument itself. That was the case with the vintage bass I mentioned above. The downside was its weight. It was considerably heavy.

Apart from that, and as far as upgrading is concerned, I've surely noticed a big difference when I swapped the pickup (I've made some recordings before and after), then when I played with the height of the pickup, there was also an improvement. And of course when I changed gauges. Right now I'm with roundwounds, but I'd like to check a set of flatwounds.

Right now I'm sceptical regarding changing pots (although the cost isn't so high) and the bridge.

So, the initial question was whether all these differences between those basses (wood, pickup, electrics, bridge etc) would justify the cost. I think playing with a classic vibe would give me the answer, but unfortunately I can't find a dealer with one of them in stock.

Anyone else's opinion with experience in these basses?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

I've been playing for decades, and I've owned nice and cheap guitars. If the Affinity could do everything I needed it to do, I wouldn't replace it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
I've been playing for decades, and I've owned nice and cheap guitars. If the Affinity could do everything I needed it to do, I wouldn't replace it.
I agree. There are some times when my Affinity doesn't cut it, that's why I was thinking about upgrading.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
I've been playing for decades, and I've owned nice and cheap guitars. If the Affinity could do everything I needed it to do, I wouldn't replace it.
Agree. I've got a $120 Squire Strat that is a killer, one I changed the tuners. They totally sucked. Everything else is quite nice, including the pickups. No, they are not CTS pots and all that, but it sounds and plays great. Only way to describe it is light and fast.

I've got a house full of vintage guitars, and I often whip out that Squire for a gig. It's one of two already loaded in the car for a gig tonight.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tenant View Post
I agree. There are some times when my Affinity doesn't cut it, that's why I was thinking about upgrading.
How does it not cut it?

The big trade-offs with a cheap guitar are bad frets and poor adjustment. For example, I have a Epiphone EB0 that is truly a piece of crap. I got it for under $100 because I sold my nice bass to pay for a drum set and needed something. It had terrible action but I thought I could beat it into shape.

I changed the strings, adjusted the truss rod, shimmed the neck, then adjusted the action and it is now very playable and sounds huge. It does have some pretty pronounced dead spots in the neck, and the fret job is not good (I've seen worse), and the intonation isn't perfect, but I've had it for years now and haven't felt the need to replace it. I record with it regularly and it does what I need it to.

It's on this recording:
Searching High and Low
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Those who know about the classic vibe series know, those who don’t blabber one about the same old tired Squier bashing...

Go to the local guitar center and try out the classic vibe bass... I played one and a 70s fender back to back here at a local shop and I’d have picked up the squire if I was buying a bass

The CV tell I have is a gorgeous gtr
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Those who know about the classic vibe series know, those who don’t blabber one about the same old tired Squier bashing...

Go to the local guitar center and try out the classic vibe bass... I played one and a 70s fender back to back here at a local shop and I’d have picked up the squire if I was buying a bass

The CV tell I have is a gorgeous gtr
I certainly agree with this. I'd buy a CV before I bought a recent manufacture US Fender.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
How does it not cut it?

[...]

It's on this recording:
Searching High and Low
Thanks for the sample. I'll give it a listen on my monitors tomorrow and I'll try to send a sample of my bass to give you an idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Those who know about the classic vibe series know, those who don’t blabber one about the same old tired Squier bashing...

Go to the local guitar center and try out the classic vibe bass... I played one and a 70s fender back to back here at a local shop and I’d have picked up the squire if I was buying a bass

The CV tell I have is a gorgeous gtr
Posts like that made me think that a CV bass would be a serious upgrade. Hmmm
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tenant View Post
Thanks for the sample. I'll give it a listen on my monitors tomorrow and I'll try to send a sample of my bass to give you an idea.



Posts like that made me think that a CV bass would be a serious upgrade. Hmmm
The difference between the Affinity and CV will be significant. I like Affinity guitars for what they are, but ultimately a CV with be nicer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
The difference between the Affinity and CV will be significant. I like Affinity guitars for what they are, but ultimately a CV with be nicer.
I'm pretty sure of that, as I've already swapped the stock pickup with a Fender Vintage and noticed big difference in the sound.

My dilemma is whether a CV would still be better than an upgraded (see my first posts for details on that) affinity bass.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tenant View Post
I'm pretty sure of that, as I've already swapped the stock pickup with a Fender Vintage and noticed big difference in the sound.

My dilemma is whether a CV would still be better than an upgraded (see my first posts for details on that) affinity bass.
The electronics, finish, wood, and fret job will be better on the CV.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
The difference between the Affinity and CV will be significant. I like Affinity guitars for what they are, but ultimately a CV with be nicer.
Yeah. There's no doubt that when you pick up an Affinity, and then switch to an upgrade model, even a cheaper MIM, you understand that you are holding something more substantial made of better materials. It's significantly different.

But what I like about the Affinity series is that they have that "cheap vintage guitar" vibe, like a nice old Dano, Kay, Harmony or Silvertone. They bring a sense of casualness to the party; like anything goes. Less formal vibe. There's value in that for me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yeah. There's no doubt that when you pick up an Affinity, and then switch to an upgrade model, even a cheaper MIM, you understand that you are holding something more substantial made of better materials. It's significantly different.

But what I like about the Affinity series is that they have that "cheap vintage guitar" vibe, like a nice old Dano, Kay, Harmony or Silvertone. They bring a sense of casualness to the party; like anything goes. Less formal vibe. There's value in that for me.
I agree. I also like the short scale neck on my Affinity strat. I go thru phases where it's my primary guitar.
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