Had a friend who gigged regularly with guitar. Didn’t want to take his expensive guitars to gigs where they could be damaged or stolen so he bought a Squire Strat and upgraded the P’up, pots, and tuning machines. At the time it was probably a $350 guitar. I notice Josh playing a Squire J-bass and wondering what, if anything, he has upgraded? Same for others out there who have a Squire bass. For gigging are they good enough stock or what upgrades are needed or just recommended at a later time? Just trying to plan for down the road. Don’t want to take my 96 Fender American Standard J-bass on the road if I don’t have to. Of course first I have to complete the course and practice, practice, practice!
I know for a fact that @JoshFossgreen upgraded the electronics in that bass because he didn’t like the original pots etc. that it came with. Most noticeably, it now has two stacked pots where the volume pots used to be, so it’s probably some kind of active preamp. I think he spoke about it briefly in one of the recent live streams. Can’t remember the exact details though.
If you like the American pro p bass you can just upgrade the squier with that pickup and it would sound exactly the same or almost the same.
You can pick one up from Stratosphere probably $200 for the American precision loaded pickguard. Just swap it and when you want to sell that squier the. Just put the old loaded pickguard back. Only a couple of a quick soldering spots.
It’s an Audere Audio.
It’s a good idea to call them and check the pickup before ordering. I ended up with a mismatch I wasn’t expecting.
Yep, I added one of these:
I like the bass a lot more now that it’s got that preamp, much more versatile and better starting tone. I normally like passive jazz basses just fine, but this one wasn’t doing it for me.
Honestly… I don’t know why everyone is so NUTS about the Squier VM series. It’s a solid bass, decent for the price range, but it doesn’t have any magical fairy dust on it. It’s just a chunky, working bass.
Also, my 2 cents, unless you’re playing really sketchy gigs there’s nothing wrong with just bringing your main axe to the gig! I know some pros bring an alt when their main axe is a crazy original '60s Fender or whatever, but personally I wouldn’t flinch about bringing a non-irreplaceable $1K-2K bass to a gig.
Literally, let’s hear, hear the finer bass.
Thanks for the info. Good to know. The idea for using a less expensive bass was just from my buddy who did it. Don’t know what he had at home, but he felt better bringing the Squire. Mine was bought new in 96 and has been sitting for the most part ever since, so at 27 years old it’s still brand new, and it was selected for me by Jason Orme, Alanis Morissette’s guitarist, so it’s a little cooler than if I just ran to GC and bought it.
PS are you using stock pickups?
I’m curious about the new pots on my good J bass!
Yep, the Squier has the stock pickups and everything else. They seem okay. If I was gonna go full crazy on that bass, I’d swap the tuners out for Hipshots, they’re a little cheap feeling. And then I’d shave about 2 pounds of weight off the body lol, it’s almost 10lb I think, pretty beastly!
You sound like friends who play Les Pauls! They complain how heavy they are. We’re spoiled by Strats. Thanks for the info. Now I have ideas for later.
Well, I mean, they are
Yeah, I know. I have two. Love the sound, but they are kind of heavy compared to my Strats. Back is shot so I have to sit to play the J-bass, so weight doesn’t bother me as much anymore. Only good thing about gettin old and fallin apart! (LOL)
@JoshFossgreen I was reading about the Audere preamp and web site had this…
The Z-Mode switch changes how the pickups electrically respond to string vibrations. The defaults are 1) Low Z - Deeper sound, 2) Mid Z - Passive sound, 3) High Z - Brighter sound applied to both pickups. Each Z-Mode switch position can be independently programmed into 1 of 9 Z-Mode configurations for more versatility.
Do you use the Z-Mode switch?
What do you think of it?
Have you tried an of the other 6 modes the switch is capable of?
I have the basic Audere on my FGN Jazz and I really like the sound. It’s on the bass with my Nordstrand 51J4s pickups.
Not a ton, but I think it’s a cool idea. I do sometimes run Low Z to get the bass sounding more vintage-y even with roundwounds, and very occasionally High Z if I want super trashy bright tone, but it’s usually off/in the middle.