Classic Vibe Bass Comparison

What?

A photographer doing a comparison of inexpensive Squire by Fender bass models …. yep.

Let’s start with the most important aspect of this comparison

SOUND

Here are two videos I just made:
The first is the modified TB. :https://youtu.be/P4_lKIUSF_4

The second is the 50’s style CV version. :https://youtu.be/m-BJAlu_OqE

Discussion: When I purchased the TB version I had found it at a local store and thought it sounded great. Then I played it in a performance setting and found it wanting considerably. Tremendous low end if that’s what you want but for me … too hollow sounding everywhere else on the neck. In the video, you can definitely here that hollow sound. Great if your into that classic sound.

My tech guy found the LPB (Lake Placid Blue) 50’s style in Nova Scotia and it definitely has a brighter attack. I prefer it in a performance setting as it cuts thru. With the right amp/pedal board, you can get some serious deep tones out of this bass.

Let’ s geek out on some spec’s:

Features of the TB version

  • Body: Basswood with Ash Veneer on Top and Back
  • Pickup: 1 Fender Designed™ TEB 101B Humbucking Pickup
  • Pickguard: 3-Ply Black/White/Black, (’70s Tele® Bass Style Pickguard)
  • Controls: Volume, Tone – Knurled Chrome Dome Control KnobsLarge Chrome Covered Tele® Bass Humbucking Pickup,
  • Bridge: Thru the body 2-Saddle Vintage Style Precision Bass Bridge with 2 Brass Saddles
  • Neck: 1-Piece Maple, Modern C-Shape,
  • Finish: Polyurethane Satin
  • Fingerboard: Maple, 9.5″ Radius (241 mm)
  • Frets: 20 Medium Jumbo
  • Scale Length: 34″ (864 mm)
  • Width at Nut: 1.6″ (40.5 mm)
  • Dot Position Inlays,
  • Machine Heads: Standard open-gear tuners
  • ’51 Headstock Shape, ’51 Slab Style Body Top with Sharp Radius, ’51 Style Control Plate, ’55 Style Front Arm Contour, ’55 Style Pickguard Shape,

Features of the CV version

  • Body: Contoured Pine
  • Pickup: Custom ‘Original’ Precision Bass single-coil (Alnico V)
  • Pickguard: 1-ply white pickguard with thumbrest
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: HiMass, 4-saddle bridge
  • Neck: 1-Piece Maple, Thick C-shaped
  • Finish: Glossy Polyester
  • Fingerboard: Maple, 9.5″ (241 mm)
  • Frets: 20, Vintage-style
  • Scale Length: 34″ (864 mm)
  • Width at Nut: 1.65″ (42 mm)
  • Dot Position Inlays,
  • Machine Heads: Tall Vintage open-gear tuners

Both basses are members of the Classic Vibe collection. There has been a lot written about the intent of this collection but I’ll just say, there simply throw backs without being actual re-issues. The precision bass went thru some changes in it’s first years most notably the pick up design. The original single coil was replaced with the humbucker in the neck position sometime in the early seventies and then went bye bye completely. The split single coil P bass we know today was born about this time and the Stratocaster headstock put the final death nail to the original telecaster bass. As I understand it, the original prototype basses that actually had the words “telecaster” label were not for public consumption so I doubt they’re available without it costing some crazy amount. No thanks.

How about some pictures?

Bottom line

So what is my preference?

  • I did not like the mudpucker and even after the rewiring in serial, I’m still not a huge fan of that old skool sound. I much prefer the single coil Alnico V.
  • The neck on the TB model is nicer. The finish is preferred (I always prefer a satin neck) and although the difference at the nut is minimal, it does seem “faster” and more solid. The difference in thickness around the neck seem negligible as far as I can tell.
  • The bridge on the CV is a better idea if you want to adjust each string independently, – and who doesn’t? I would be curious to know if a string thru the body set up gives better performance in sustain etc.
  • The pine is not very good. The resonance I feel from the basswood with ash veneers is way preferred. I originally purchased a white CV model and it looked extremely cheap. I’ve never seen the “blonde” model so can’t say how that finish looks.
  • The input on my TB just will NOT stay put. The CV input seems better?
  • A single-ply pick guard is cheap – nothing good about it.
  • Lastly I love the body contour on the CV model over the “block” but I think acoustically (not pugged in actually) that thick body gives some great tone.

Hopefully, this little write up will help you make an informed decision.

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