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Rating and Reviews: Squier Jaguar Special SS

A great choice for beginner bassists, this short-scale Squier delivers tons of versatile tones with a Fender P Bass middle pickup and J Bass bridge pickup.

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"A Good Choice" submitted January 25, 2015

By Tom Rudd in San Antonio, TX
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Musical Background: Playing 42 yrs, professionally and for fun.
Music Style: Little of it all.
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Overall: It's hard to make a decision, based on a photo. But I am glad about this decision.I will try to describe the most important features of the Jaguar SS.I bought the Red one for my 10yr old daughter.It has a bright, attractive finish that is very tough and will stand abuse. It is as pretty as the pictures. The maple neck is very nice with a Rosewood stripe on the back.It is a slim "C" shape and satin-like finished that is super comfortable. The Dark Rosewood fretboard is beautiful. I hate the ones that are pale and ugly or have sharp fret edges. This is the total opposite of those and the action is low and smooth. The pickups are not bad at all. I usually change out pickups on most of my instruments but these are not going to be changed. They are balanced, loud and distinct. Great "P" bass and "JAZZ" bass sound.This is a great student bass. It's body shape is perfect and has the forearm and tummy contours, easy access to the high frets and just fits your body well.These are the things that make a person want to play it. I do recommend this bass over any others in this catagory.
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"Review of Package: Squier ss Jaguar Bass and Fender Rumble 100" submitted January 17, 2018

By Andrew W in Laurel, MD
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Musical Background: 15 years playing guitar and just getting started on bass
Music Style: Rock genres of the past 50 years, Folk, Acoustic Blues, Fingerstyle Acoustic
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Overall: I ordered the Jaguar ss bass in Black packaged with a Fender Rumble 100. It was offered at a great sale price and I quickly pulled the trigger on it. I’m glad I did as it sold out the next day. I’ve had it now for four months and I’ve had more than enough time on it to write a useful review. First, my ratings are based exclusively on the bass and amp I received. I’ll comment on customer service, but the rating is restricted to the product. I placed my order on a Saturday night/Sunday morning at 2:00 am with free two day delivery. The bass and amp arrived together at 10:00 am or so Monday morning. It was shocking how fast my order left the warehouse and shipped on a Sunday. Outstanding. Couldn’t be more pleased.Onto the gear: The Squier ss Jaguar bass was playable out of the box. No fit and finish issues. Really clean. Electronics worked, neck was straight, no dead spots on the fretboard and surprisingly no buzz to speak of. Fret ends did not require any filing. I’ve played guitar for 15 years and do my own setups and minor repairs. This is the second Bass I’ve owned. I have a Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass for a few months ten years ago. Anyway, I have an experienced eye. Intonation was good and required no bridge adjustment (I checked with a BossTU-80 electronic tuner). This is the first guitar I’ve owned with an unfinished neck. It has a nice rosewood fretboard, but the back has no finish, gloss, satin or otherwise. Many will like this. I find it to be quite comfortable. No sanding required for people who do that sort of thing.Tuning stability is good. I know this tends to be the case on bass guitars, comparatively. One tuner (D string) has too much play in it. There is more than a quarter turn in one spot where the gear is not turning. It holds perfectly well upon tuning, but I will still replace the tuner at some point going forward. I’m constantly reminded that I have a defective tuner. I’ve owned about ten guitars ranging from a MIM tele to a Gibson Les Paul Standard. I’m familiar with stock tuners at A range of price points and have installed aftermarket tuners on electric and acoustic guitars. These tuners on the ss Jaguar are adequate. It does the job, but I want higher ratio tuners.Pickups: P pickups sound great with no adjustment. I’ll never feel the need to upgrade. The J pickup was a different story. I was dissatisfied with the low output from the start. The pickup was installed too low. I raised it as much as I could, but it was weak beyond the point at which the pickup was too high and causing new sound problems associated with magnets being too close to the string. I replaced the pickup a month ago with a SD Quarter Pound bridge J pickup (SJB-3B). It a high output passive pickup with large alnico 5 magnets. I did the installation myself and was impressed with how clean the wiring and routed cavity is. They’re doing a good job In Indonesia. I love the result. It blends well with the P pickup and I can use the J pickup on its own and be fully satisfied. The neck dive on my Jaguar ss Bass is severe enough that I find it worth mentioning. It interferes with my playing positioning at times, despite my constant use of a strap. It is a problem standing or sitting. Neck dive isn’t going into my rating. Each bass is different. That’s how it goes with wood. Some dive more than others. I’ve thought about trying a high mass bridge and/or installing hipshot ultralight tuners. I’m leaning toward not spending the money. I’m satisfied with this guitar. It’s a great value which of course would somewhat diminish with extensive modding. I ordered the package, so I also got a Fender Rumble 100. It’s the third generation, but this is my first bass amp, so I don’t have a historic frame of reference. This amp can produce a surprisingly full sound even at low volume. The gain is highly adjustable and there is a gain control separate from the gain on the drive channel. The amp is incredibly lightweight. It’s really hard to believe. I think this amp weighs about 26lbs. It’s lighter than any guitar amp I’ve ever owned. The other amp I had considered was also a 1x12 combo, a used Ampeg that weighed 80 lbs and had casters. The difference in weight speaks for itself. Transporting a 65 lbs Super Reverb was a pain. Weight matters. The cabinet on the Rumble doesn’t buzz. I’m in a single family house, so I can and do turn it up at times. No problems. I’m accustomed to tube guitar amps, but I am satisfied with the features, build and tone of this amp.The Rumble 100 has an easy to reach aux input on the back along with an 1/8 inch headphone jack, and it has direct output to connect directly to an external device (PA or computer interface). I use everything except for the direct out. No problems. I’m pleased with all of it after several months of regular daily use. Both the bass and Rumble 100 are items that I can highly recommend. I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years and am fairly advanced as a player. This gear is in reasonable range for beginners. Lucky them! One last thing to keep in mind, the Rumble 100 cannot be connected to an external cabinet. This is a feature of the larger two amps in the Rumble line. My ratings fully consider the gear in light of its price range. Quality gets a four because of the defective tuner. I hesitate to mark it down one, but a kid fiddling with this tuner would be annoyed, so I’m not going to overlook it. The weak stock J pickup is neither here nor there. It’s fully function and adequate. Hope all of this helps. I regularly read reviews, so I’m glad to give this some time in the hope that it will be of some use to others.
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"Great Bass" submitted March 27, 2017

By Jerry Mcmackin in Sikeston, MO
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Musical Background: 5 years experience
Music Style: Christian
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Overall: Can't find much I don't like about it! This thing plays great, easiest playing bass I've ever owned. Has a lot of growl from the P pickup while the J pickup is a little on the weak side. Also own the regular scale squier jaguar that I really like, but believe I like this one even more, it's just that easy to play. Intonation is even dead on and the thing looks great as well. Will probably change the j pickup, but will be the only mod I'll make. Love it!
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"This is actually a professional bass" submitted February 20, 2018

By Mark Brummer in Yuma, AZ
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Musical Background: Electric, Acoustic and Bass played 46 years
Music Style: Rock, country, folk and praise
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Overall: While Fender and websites describe this bass as a beginner or starter bass it is far from that. This has a 30 inch scale and is called a short neck but I would call it a light neck. I consider the short scale of 28'6 inch neck a short scale. this is in the middle of a long scale and a short scale. The only thing that matters to me in a bass or guitar is how good it sounds and how much resonance it has. I could care less what wood is used for the body or the neck as long as it sounds and plays good. This Jaguar has incredible resonance and is wonderful to play. About the pickups... the P pickup is strong and warm as it should be and yes the J pickup does not match the P volume wise. Is this a problem? Not to my ears. I use the J pickup to tame the P pickup and give it more breadth than power. I really like the neck but it is heavy compared to the body and that is due to where the top strap button is on this guitar. if it had a P bass body that would not happen. I am going to use an acoustic strap and tie it at the headstock so the weight is evened out. I have been playing for 48 years and this sounds as good as any real P bass I have owned. This bass just feels right and the tone it produces is wonderful. Forget thinking this is a beginner bass,,,, I find it to be so well made, all details are correct and the tuners work fine on mine. Buy it instead of an overpriced Precision and you will thank your self for it. I need to give a big shout out to zZounds. They have sent me instruments that were not damaged or with bad setups. I have taken advantage of their no credit check payment plans and I thank them heartily for offering them.
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"Great first Bass" submitted September 8, 2014

By Bryan W in San Diego, CA
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Musical Background: Have played piano for over 50 years, currently learning 5-string banjo.
Music Style: piano- ragtime, boogie-woogie, blues, classical. Banjo - bluegrass, melodic, classical
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Overall: After reading numerous on-line reviews, the trigger was pulled and 3 days later a new bass arrived. Finish was very good, and overall, the quality exceeded expectations. This bass guitar is intended as a beginner's instrument, but will surely be a keeper as skill level increases. No remorse at all.
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"Great Inexpensive Bass" submitted March 28, 2013

By Mustang Mike in Phoenix, AZ
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Musical Background: Hobbyist and band member for 40+ years
Music Style: Classic Rock
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Overall: Great SS bass for us guitar players. I use it mainly to record. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. Some fret buzz out of the box, but a 15 minute set up fixed this problem.
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"Great Bass for the Price" submitted June 7, 2015

By Wes B in Columbia, SC
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Musical Background: 15+ years
Music Style: Alternative Rock
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Overall: I purchased this bass for a multitude of reasons. I own a Washburn Taurus T-24, but the guitar plays like a log, and you may as well forget about tone. The type of music I create doesn't fit well with bottom end mush so I went on the prowl for something that I would get me close to the sound I desired. I am not normally a Fender guy, but most bassists I admire champion their tone and playability. The short scale Jaguar caught my eye because of the look, the price, and the classic tone of Fender guitars. For the price, you won't find a better starter bass. I am mostly pleased with this purchase. The bass definitely plays loose! For me, that is a good thing. I like the tone to be a little more trailer trashy anyway. My only gripe is the quality of the pickups, but that is something that I will gladly upgrade myself in the future. The sensitivity is sky-high, resulting in a lot of unwanted pops. Perhaps with a proper set-up it would be resolved. In the meantime I've adjusted my playing style to compensate. It would be nice to be able to dig in every now and then without fear of unpleasant noises, though. If you're in search of a budget bass with good tone and price, this is your guitar. zZounds is, as always, a spectacular model of business.
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"Wonderful" submitted March 31, 2014

By Jaco P in Boston, MA
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Musical Background: 25 years as a guitarist
Music Style: Jazz, blues, rock
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Overall: Bought for my 10year old who plays double bass. Along with a Fender Rumble 150 it is beautiful little instrument. There is a vibrant community of advocates for this bass and they've thoroughly discussed the virtues of this bass. Mostly, glowing reviews with the weakest spot being the J bass pickup which I'll eventually upgrade. Everything else is just perfect for a young bassist. I play jazz guitar and also have an EJ Strat so I figured there would be no way that a bass for this price could be a solid instrument -- I was wrong. I find myself playing it as much as my son. Beautiful neck and plenty of options to upgrade down the road. A steal of an instrument! Well done Fender... and thank you to Zzounds who got the bass to me in Boston in a day!
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"After 7 months here are some thoughts....." submitted April 11, 2018

By Smurf E in Freeport, OH
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Musical Background: Retired 40 year musician
Music Style: 60-mid 80's Rock & Country, New Wave, Smooth Jazz, Stoner / Sludge Rock
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Overall: I have had this bass for 7 months now, and could not be happier. Played great out of the box, holds it's tuning well. No dead spots or slippage on the tuners. No sharp fret ends. Intonation spot on. The big problem is the Jazz PU. With both wide open, no problem. Adjusting between the 2 to around 75% of there travel towards full no problem. But the last 25% of the travel to Full Volume I am getting some serious phase issues & notch filtering happening. When you hit Full Volume there is NO problem, and that seems to be where I like the PU anyway, either / or Full On or Full Off. But that Jazz PU WILL have to go at some point. CAR Finish is flawless, and the bass looks outstanding. The Short Scale combined with a set of Light Flat Wounds is a Tone made in Heaven to my ears, both Live and Recorded. Is it worth the $$? You Bet!
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"Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special SS Electric Bass" submitted January 1, 2015

By Darrel Wray in Lake Ozark, MO
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Musical Background: Been playing for over 40yrs. I play bass and rythym guitar. Have played professionally in years past.
Music Style: Classic Rock, Classic Country(is there any other kind).
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Overall: Bought this for my 12yr old son for Christmas.. Being a bass player for 40yrs I was very impressed with this guitar. It plays well and the sound is awesome. Great for a beginner or even a seasoned musician that is looking for a bass with a shorter scale..
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"Good Starter bass." submitted February 24, 2014

By Luther E in Las Vegas, NV
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Musical Background: I'm a student.
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Overall: I purchased this bass for curiosity reasons. Surprisingly this Chinese made instrument prove to be quite a good purchase. Features I like are the precision pickups and the bridge pickup. The sound on this instrument is very good. The quality is also good how ever I had to tighten and adjust the pickups after I opened the package. This was a minor inconvenience. I intend to purchase a Chinese fretless fretless jazz bass next.
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