Looking for feedback on fender player and vintera series

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for some advices to change my first beginner bass, which is a Squier Affinity PJ, so I’ve got a lot a newbie questions.

The reason I’m willing to change is because I think it sounds bad. I’ve got a lot of fret buzz also. It’s currently at a shop for a setup because it appears that my one year old strings are done, and more important, that the neck is curved and needs to be flatten. It’s concerning because another shop was supposed to fix that a year ago, but I didn’t noticed a big improvement when I get the bass back, so I thought It was due to my lack of practice/technique (and it’s possible that it’s still a part of the problem), but maybe they just did an incomplete job, or there is an issue with the bass itself.

So I’ll wait to have it back to see if it’s better, but in the meantime I had a chat with a friend who said that’s maybe it’s time to change for a better one cause it seems to be a fact, entry level basses have some limitations.

That’s why in the meantime I’m currently looking for a “better” one, especially fender because a lot of bass players from bands I like are playing on these basses, probably for good reasons.

I’m interested in the player series, also I heard that japanese ones are great and in my budget, but it seems to be possible to buy them second hand only which can be scary especially cause I know nothing about gears in general.

Well, I’m looking for some feedbacks about them, Vintera series also. What are the main difference between these and the American ones ?

(of course, I’ll try them in the near future in store but with my lack of experience I’m affraid to make a mistake)

Thank you very much


You can buy new Japan Fenders direct from stores in Japan. Here’s a guide I wrote.

MIJ is a big step up from the Made in Mexico Fenders, basically close to (and sometimes exceeding) Made in America Fenders.

I would say your best and easiest bet is probably with Ikebe Gakki in that thread, I can totally vouch for them, bought from them locally many times. Others on the forum had good experiences with them when ordering from the US as well.

Now. All that said - there is nothing wrong with Made in Mexico Fenders. You can get excellent instruments that way too, but I would advise trying them in person, as they are less consistent than MIJ or MIA.


Just as @howard said, try them, I sold my affinity p/j and bought a MIM player P bass .
Was not blown away by the difference, maybe I had a very good affinity or maybe I now own a “so so “ MIM P


Wow, the exchange rate really opens up some arbitrage opportunities here doesn’t it. This is like 50% off domestic pricing:


Wow this alone is a lot of questions and fixes.

If your strings are dead, then change the strings. It’s relatively cheap.

If it’s not twisted then it can be adjusted. In fact, it’s quite common to have to adjust your neck relief several times a year depending on where you live and how much temperature and moisture swing through out the year.

It’s unlikely that you’d be selling this bass as you won’t get much for it, so make this on a practice bass to do the maintenance. Learn how to setup, change strings, and even change pickups.

Japanese made or MIJ(made in Japan) is great. There are no dispute about build qualities.

Well that’s not true in your situations. Every basses you’d get, you’d have the same problems one time or another.

Vintera - Vintage Era are the classic, this may not suits you right now. For one the neck relief adjust is at the neck heel and requires you to remove the neck to make adjustment a la vintage/ classic style. They are made in Mexico and the American ones are assembled in my neighborhood, SoCal USA.

Well this is the easy fix, sounds is the cheapest upgrades on a bass. A few of my favorite basses are cheap basses that I worked on and modded.

Your problem with the MIM-Made in Mexico Fender basses would be the build qualities during the Covid era. They have some issues that even spread to made in USA one as well. However the Squier Classic Vibe series had no issues and the build qualities are just superb.

I definitely recommend buying another bass every time, :joy: but there are a few things you’d need to learn and do before giving up on your Affinity bass.

You may need to get a few tools like Allen wrench to make adjustments, string cutter, or pliers. They are not expensive and can make your life easier.

Change the strings.

Adjust neck relief. If it’s curved/ or having bowl shape then just tighten (turn to the right) to straighten the neck. However, from what you said, it has fret buzz so you so it’s a Dome shape curve then you need to loosen or relief the neck you’d need to turn to the left. This will give you the height spacing from string to the frets. You can also adjust the bridge saddle to give a proper height.

If needed you can also change the pickups. If you are intimidated or not familiar with soldering you can get EMG pickups. If you decide to do that post the questions here, I’ll help you.


@howard Thanks, good to know there are still possibility to buy cheaper directly from japan. The fact is I’m in France, so the shipping policy is probably different than for US people. However I know someone that did it this way 10 years ago, maybe I’ll ask him how it goes. Great topic tutorial, I’ll have a look, and thanks for the feedback about the MIM and MIJ.

@qenden : Thanks for the feedback, I’ll definitely try them if available at my local retailler.

@Al1885 wow thanks for this detailled answer, that’s very interesting. Yeah I know, it’s a lot of things to answer, the fact is i’m a beginner so have a lot of questions. That’s kind that you took this time to answer them. As I said, my bass is currently in the waiting list at a local shop to be setup (new strings, neck adjustment, electronic check) by a professionnal who have great feedbacks, I really hope It will sound better, but just in case I’ll be disapointed I’m looking for alternative. But your proposal is actually great, I’d really like to be able to do this myself in the future, so the idea to use my current bass an a practice/experimental one is really good. This way I’ll be able to understand how this works and be able to fix/setup it myself. However I think I’ll need to have another one that I’ll untouched for now, as a “primary” bass. So, you said that it’s currently worth buying a Squier CV that a Fender MIM ? I just saw a youtube review that seems to agree with your opinion. CV seems to be better qualities than other squier, and close to MIM depending on the built era.


I will offer my opinion based on my experiences. I have in my collection MIJ, MIM, and Squire CV stuff.

First I will go against the prevailing wind and say there is nothing wrong with MIM. They are good quality and if anything lets them down, it is the pickups, which are very safe and middle of the road in their voicings, okay at any style but not standout in any category. My main bass, Herbie the Love Bass, was MIM and it is perfect in build quality.

I also have a Fender Player Mustang, and once I swapped the pickups I have no complaints. I also have a Squier CV 60s Mustang. Is the player Mustang better than the CV? Yes. Hundreds of dollars better? No.

Are the CVs better than the Affinitys? Yes, quite a bit. Definite upgrade.

Squier also a Paranormal line of basses, a little out of the ordinary, but some of their best in quality.

Vintera, @Al1885 is almost right, I have a Vintera Tele bass with the truss rod by the headstock, only model in the Vintera line that does this I believe. The quality of this bass is top notch, along with Herbie better than any bass I have owned, including Sires. The truss in the base of the neck would be a showstopper for me though.

MIJ is fantastic too, and you can get Fender MIJ or a good alternative is FGN (Fujigen) (who subcontracts for Fender too). It’s really easy to find a jazz, and easy to ship. Hassle free, if I was looking for a jazz I would go Fujigen. The orange bass in my photo is my FGN. Other setups are not always in stock, as jazz seem very popular in Japan right now.

If I could find the bass I want, I would go FGN, then Squier CV, then Fender Player in that order. I would probably look for an FGN J/MM actually :slight_smile: Shipping is expensive but after all is said and done a MIJ will cost about as much as a Player to the bottom line


Let me know if I can help. I would still look in to it if I were you as:

…with the weak Yen it’s just insane right now. If I lived in the US I would be seriously considering an import side business :rofl:

Yen is weak against the Euro too. What I do not know is what shipping to France and import duties would look like, but I am guessing you would still be doing very well.

And there’s a lot of Japanese basses much higher quality than Fenders… that even look just like Fenders :slight_smile:

(that one is $3k but it’s a handmade boutique top shelf instrument from a local maker, just as an example)

Or a Momose, or a Vellmor, or an Atelier Z, or…

I’d personally probably go Momose, not that I want a Jazz :rofl:

Or, you know, MIJ Fender. Inexpensive and solid even if not quite up with the (other) locals.


I did think about it long enough to decide I think the margins are too slim to be worth the risk for guitars/bass. I’m not sure the pandemic hardgoods bubble has totally worked out yet and I think there are still a lot of people trying to delay and pray they can sell inventory high enough to make money. I’m sure there’s opportunity, I just don’t know what it is.


I think there’s actually gonna be a huge selloff and we will see a buyer’s bonanza on the used market.


I’m not sure about used, but my read is that there are probably some big sales ahead yeah. It sounds like Sam Ash inventory is mostly being sold off through bankruptcy to other wholesalers so I’m sure that will hit in a few months at distressed prices.

Edit: bikes have been / are going through this and private sale prices are insane still. People just won’t accept that they missed selling at the peak and the new from store 3 model years updated version of their bike can be had for less than they’re trying to sell for. I don’t see why the psychology would be any different for basses.


Wow yet another can of worm here, :joy:

First thing first, if I’m in your position and consider a used from Japan my top 2 choices is very easy. The Marcus Miller Mij and the ‘75 reissues jazz bass natural finish.

I own an American reissue jazz bass 2001 neck and ‘76 body Fralin pickup and preamp. Also own a Mij Marcus
Miller with John East Marcus retro preamp.

Both basses have rare 3 bolt neck plate and wide pickups position very unique to the year. Both models are fantastic and highly sought after. They are compared in the same light as the American counterparts.

On the other end of the spectrum, lies the Squier. The classic vibe series are so fabulous. I also love the 40th anniversary with the gold hardwares. The build and the tone are just awesome. The Special runs like the paranormal jazz, the 51 and the rascals are super cool.

If you are after quality and tone then you are not missing anything from the CV. That said I can say this till I’m blue in the face, but until you own a “Fender” you’ll still think that you are missing something. If that’s your case get one and get it out of your system, but know this most pros are gigging with CV or MiM and not American.

If you are seeking only how it sounds then it’s easy like I mentioned. That’s a cheap upgrade.

Here’s the Marcus Miller and the ‘75 jazz. The ‘51 P bass is also MIJ.

Here’s the 40th anniversary P bass and what it sounds like. I literally just did a quick once over and started recording. The tag is still hanging.

Lemme know if you have any questions. I’d love to get my hands on @Wombat-metal Herbie mustang.


The vintera tele bass has the three bolt neck plate and bullet truss out of the 70s. The profile seems unique and it is a fabulous neck.

Herbie sounds much better


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The hard thing about MIJ for Jazz basses is there’s so many brand choices for the Jazz body style, many of them extremely high quality instruments, at varying price points. I would absolutely look first to one of the smaller makers before Fender if I wanted to spend more than the stock MIJ Fender Jazz (which is probably a Fujugen anyway - which is a very good thing, will be an excellent instrument).

The same is true for P-basses here but to a lesser extent.

Small Japanese makers have been eating Fender’s lunch for their own styles since the '70s, it’s just that after the lawsuits they are only sold outside the US. Still going strong here.

For a reasonable price point while still being a step (or two) up, I’d check out Deviser’s brands, and particularly Momose. But there’s many, many others. Sky is kind of the limit there.

But really, factoring in price, and particularly Fujigen quality, the standard Fender MIJ instruments are great. I’ve owned two and they were both awesome.


I’d probably just stick with Fender. Other high quality boutique brands need higher level of appreciation and knowledge about them. I’m a fan of Atelier myself.

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I still love that Squier, and I think I’m going to say so every time you show it off.


Yeah Atelier Z is awesome




@Al1885 @Wombat-metal @howard Thank you very much for all your inputs. I’ll first consider CV series, will try them at a local store if available, and MIM if by chance both are available there. It’s probably enough for my current skills and knowledge. It’s not like I can’t resell it later to upgrade to fender. :slight_smile:

However I’ll definitely ask the guy I know who own a fender MIJ to try it (I already did it 2 years ago very briefly but was unable to compare at this point of my training …). It’s probably too early for me for such a range, unless I fall for it during the test.

Thank you again for all your offers to help in the future. Such a great community.


Happy to help! The Squier CV ‘70s P -bass is really pretty decent, or at least the one I tried was , if that helps. Would definitely be a good buy.