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Rating and Reviews: Squier VM Jazz Bass V

Get the classic look and tone of a vintage Jazz Bass with the added versatility of a 5-string. This Squier bass includes a comfortable maple fretboard.

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The Wow Factor
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"Outstanding Bass" submitted April 11, 2013

By Jerry Thurston in Cypress, TX
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Musical Background: Semi-pro bass player, 28 years
Music Style: Country, classic rock, alternative rock, old metal and some acoustic guitar
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Sound: I've almost always been a Fender player, so this bass works well with my playing style, which I developed on a similar Squire. The action was low out of the box, no fret buzz, no additional noise, so I can say it responds perfectly to my playing. I've played it in country and rock bands and it covers the low end beautifully in the different settings. The pickups are a little hot for a passive bass, which in this case I actually like. Feature: The closest thing I have to a complaint is that the tone knob doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference: meaning, there's not a lot of variance between all the way up and all the way down. At least, not to my ears. Others have heard it and disagreed, so maybe it's just me. Ease of Use: Mine was perfect right out of the box. As far as playability goes, it's one of the best I've owned. Maybe a little heavy, but then it's a 5-string Jazz, so the weight is about standard. Quality: This thing is actually quite stout, as one would expect of a good Jazz bass. I can tune it up and leave in the car for a week between shows, and it'll still be in tune. I'm impressed with the quality of this bass, and others have been as well. I've had it almost a year (and have used it heavily) and it still looks and sounds new. I expect it to last for decades, at least. Value: The could have slapped a "Fender" logo on it and charged $600 more. It's that good. Manufacturer Support: No idea, as I've never had to call them. The Wow Factor: I was first attracted to it by the 70s styling (the maple fretboard with black inlays, in particular). Also loved the "natural" (although closer to a Butterscotch Blonde, in my opinion) finish. Just a good-looking instrument. Overall: Overall, I love this bass. I've been using mine as my primary gigging instrument for about 100 gigs now, with zero issues. And when you factor in the price, I'm astounded that every bass player in the world doesn't have one.
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Excellent option for the money!" submitted October 24, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Funk, Jazz, Gospel, Latin
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Sound: I'm not a Fender user however, I wanted to get one so that I could have a 2nd bass to use at gigs and for certain sound. I figured in getting this particular one because it has the Duncan pickups and it looks much better than the Squire I played 15 years or so ago.For the price this bass rocks!! I changed the strings lowered the action a little and it really plays well. I was very surprised. Feature: The hardware seems to be more than adequate for this bass and price point. It tunes well and it stays in tune. Ease of Use: For the price it is a great bass. For not being a Fender player I had to get used to it. Quality: For the money it is put together pretty well. The color is really nice. Value: This bass is excellent for the money. You can't go wrong! Manufacturer Support: Can't comment as I have not had to use customer service.
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The Fender Squier bass guitar is a great bass guitar for any playing style. It will make a very proud bassist." submitted October 17, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz
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Sound: I characterize the sound as great. I was state that the sound is another great feature of the instrument. The sound has a great blend to my particular style of performing. The sounds is expressive has been a part of the Fender instruments for quite awhile. The instruments sound very well along or with others.The sound of the instrument has a great feeling when played by itself and an even greater response when performed in a live recording.The response is great in all settings. I am using a portable amp at the moment (I am looking towards buying an amp when the order is paid in full) and the sound is coming across well. I really think this is an item that shouldn't be changed based on it being a Vintage model bass. Feature: There are no accessories accept picks and the adjustment tools. The most useful features are the tone controls. The least useful would probably be the volume control with the bridge pick up. I wish that it had a pre-amp installed (I will probably buy one when the bass is paid in full). There are no parts that are needed for this instrument itself. My own personal needs in a bass guitar is the ability to perform higher and lower and if I had the oportunity to fully arrange for added elements then I would a sixth string to the instrument (that is just something that I need in playing solos). I believe the components are great. Ease of Use: It is just a matter of turning up the neck pickup or turning it down of the bridge pick up sound. It is easy for me to modify the sound. It is very easy to use it with other instruments. There is a learning curve. The manual is clear. The instrument is playable with about any instrument. Quality: The product is made perfect. The finish is great and the fit is great. The factory quality control is great. There are no loose parts. The instrument is dependable (although it hasn't been used in a professional setting). I would like to have a backup bass guitar despite the instrument being reliable. I could use it on the road. There are no bad aspects for this instrument. I would figure that instrument would last out its years to a very great amount of years with no color change; however, the pickups and string would probably need changing after six or seven years in a professional setting. Value: The product is worth the price. Manufacturer Support: I have not dealt with them yet. However, I plan on contacting them about pickups and other parts. No repairs are need currently though. The Wow Factor: Great appeal. Overall: For years to come.
15 of 16 people (93.75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Very nice budget 5-string bass" submitted September 30, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: working bassist
Music Style: rock, country, funk, R&B, jazz
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Sound: Decent sound as the bass comes stock. Considering it is a $330 bass, the tone is great! I plan on changing the bridge and the pickups for my personal tonal liking, but that is going to be down the road. Stock tone is good for the time being. Feature: Inexpensive hardware shows why this bass is only $330. The stock pickups are... ...ok. They aren't great, but they're not bad either. I plan on changing them when I have the money to, but the stock pickups will work for now. Stock bridge is decent. I may or may not change it out. LOVE the binding and blocks on the neck! Classy... ;-) Ease of Use: Fender 5-string with "Squire" on the headstock. Pretty easy to use. Quality: Quality of construction and finish are well above this price-point. Clean electronics cavity under the faceplate. Good fretwork. Good finish. Quality of some hardware components are right in line with this price point. Still, the quality is much better than I expected when I ordered this bass. Value: You get more bass than you actually pay for with this one. Manufacturer Support: Never used Fender service, but heard they are easy to work with. The Wow Factor: I called zZounds and said, "Give it to me!" They did. I won. :-) Overall: You get more bass than you actually pay for with this one. I am a working musician on a budget, with many things going on in my life. Work, university, family, friends, etc. I'm not as young as I used to me, and I find myself getting tired more easily. I wanted a traditional feeling 5-string that was easy to play, sounded good, lightweight, and cut through the mix. This bass fit the bill, at a price tag less than what I was expecting to spend.
16 of 17 people (94.12%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Pleasantly surprised by a cheapo Squire :-)" submitted September 28, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Features
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Musical Background: Studio Session Bassist, Live Performances
Music Style: Anything and Everything
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Sound: I was really surprised at just how good this bass sounded. I thought to myself, "This tone is coming from a cheapo Squire?!" Indeed, it was. The entire bass is maple (soft maple body, maple neck, maple fingerboard), so the bass has a bright, long sustaining tone. Bottom end is lacking BECAUSE it is a fully maple constructed bass, but an inexpensive upgrade to active tone controls would solve that problem. Good midrange "bark" produced by the soft maple body. This bass would definitely cut through the mix. I used to own a 6-string Ibanez SR406 that had a soft maple body and maple neck, and the tone of this bass reminds me a lot of the tone of my old 6-er. Feature: As surprised as I was with the tone and performance of this bass when I gave it a test run, it is still a cheapo Fender Squire at the end of the day, as pertaining to the hardware. In particular, the bridge, pickups, and passive tone control. More about that in a minute... I was flabergasted at the black-bound fingerboard and the black block inlays in the fingerboard! Tre cool!! Very nice, elegent touch for this budget friendly bass. :-) I am in the school of thought that any more than 4 strings on a bass warrents an active tone preamp onboard, minimum 2-band (bass/treble). This bass is a little thin in the bottom end, but something as simple as upgrading the bridge would produce better tone. I would recommend the Babicz Full Contact Bridge; I have one of these on my vintage '78 Ibanez Silver Series jazz bass, and the tonal upgrade from just the bridge replacement was incredible! I would also replace the pickups on this bass to match my personal playing and tonal preferences. Not that these pickups are necessarily bad, they just aren't that great either. Nevertheless, with a bass in this price range, some shortcuts in the hardware to save a little money in production are to be expected. At the end of the day, if you're on a budget and you need a 5-string bass with decent tone, this bass will work while you're deciding what to do with the pickups and bridge. Ease of Use: Plays and feels nearly identical to a Fender Standard V Jazz Bass. Doesn't get much easier to use than that. Quality: The cheapo hardware aside, this bass has surprisingly good quality. Tight neck joint, good finish, good fretwork... Wowsers! Value: This bass is a killer value, especially if you take a moment to consider how much you are getting for this teeny, tiny price. So what if the headstock reads, "Squire," plug this baby in and see if your audience or bandmates think it sounds lame. The answer: NO. Great bass for working musician on a budget, or a musician with more financial resources available who wants a backup for on stage. Manufacturer Support: I've never dealt with Fender for support, but the people that I know who have needed support with a Fender instrument/amp have all had good experiences. The Wow Factor: The "I want it" factor for this bass is pretty high for me. I love this kind of bass because it affords me the opportunity to purchase a great bass to play, shop around for a few inexpensive hardware upgrades (bridge, pickups, etc.), and customize the instrument to exactly what I would like for it to be. Overall: Though I was surprised by the tone, I was not surprised by the hardware selection for this bass. Hardware aside, as it is in brand new condition, this is not a bad bass! This would be a super backup bass as it is, and it has the potential for being a great primary bass with a few inexpensive upgrades. For the price, you simply can't beat it! Awesome value, good tone, comfortable bass.
15 of 16 people (93.75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Solid inexpensive 5 string" submitted August 30, 2012

By Andy P in Cincinnati, OH
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Overall: Had been looking a for a decent inexpensive 5 string with 19mm bridge spacing for a while now and finally decided to pull the trigger on the Squier VM Jazz 5. I played a few in stores which were beat up but gave me an idea what to expect. A solid mod platform albeit on the heavy side. When mine arrived from zZounds (who are great to do business with btw) I opened it up and expected to have to do a complete setup right out of the box as is usual with most basses I receive. This was not the case! I tuned it up and it was ready to play no adjustment needed. Very impressive so far. Mine weighed 10 lbs on the dot which is about what I expected though I will say it balances very well and doesn't hurt or cause fatigue like a lot of basses do. But has a nice solid and even sound though more on the mellow side than I expected from an all maple bass. The fit and finish are very good and the neck is very nice. I did a fretjob on mine but it was very playable without one. To sum up for the money this bass is a steal. If fender didn't have the Squier logo and just had Fender they could easily sell this bass for twice as much.
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"Reservations" submitted September 16, 2013

By Jeff T in Greeneville, TN
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Musical Background: Touring Band
Music Style: Country/Rock
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Overall: I had been kicking around the idea of a Squire Bass for awhile but just couldn't seem to muster the courage to buy one. Big mistake on my part. This is truly a bass worthy of the name Fender. Sound, ease of play and the look of this bass is Fantastic. I own a Fender P-bass an Ibanez 5 string and an Epiphone T-bird Pro 5. The Squire out plays them all. Thank you Squire for delivering me from the stigma that the name on the stock should not be your motivation for buying anything!
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