Cost: $399.99, new or find one cheaper on Reverb.com!
Overview and Final Score: 8.8
Squier’s FSR Classic Vibe ’70s P Bass got my attention within seconds of walking into my local guitar center. The surf green finish, black block inlays, and gloss polyester finish make this bass one of the best looking and feeling I’ve ever played, regardless of the price tag. The 34″ scale length instrument pairs a basswood body with a fast, comfy maple C shaped neck. The killer vintage looks and split coil pickup made Classic Vibe ’70s P Bass hard to resist and I haven’t put it down since. The pickup can be tweaked via master volume and tone knobs, right above the input. Other features to know include a modern 9.5″ radius, 20 frets, and a synthetic bone nut.
The split coil pickups are pretty effective at keeping hum and buzz low, and really sound great. The pickups are Fender designed, meaning they are essentially the same pickups you’d find on a low end Fender model, but made overseas. Potentially, they could have a few cheaper parts, but that is not likely going to lead to much a tone change at this scale.
The split coil is punchy, bright, and really cuts through the mix the way. It really sounds exactly like a pricier Fender P Bass for a fraction of the cost. The Classic Vibe ’70s even has excellent sustain, even though it drops off significantly as you roll off the volume and tone. There is a reason session legends across many genres have favored P Basses and it’s because of their stripped down, quality sound. I noticed very little fret buzz and the bass sounded equally great played fingerstyle, slap, or with a pick.
The neck on this Classic Vibe ’70s P bass feels like it should be on a bass that costs double. The vintage tint gloss looks and feels spectacular, the neck is so fast and smooth. It’s really a total joy to play and the bass has stayed in tune since I got it with no signs of slipping out anytime soon. The Hi-mass bridge certainly helps the playability and intonation, and is a feature you won’t find on many cheap basses. The brass “barrel” saddles are totally era-accurate and while it sucks that you have to unscrew the bridge cover to change strings, it just looks and sounds so damn good! All 20 frets were smooth and easy to access, especially with the fast neck.
Finish & Construction: 9
So far, I can’t find a single flaw on this bass guitar. Now certainly, the parts could be upgraded for name brand or Fender replacements, but the build quality of the finish, wiring, and binding is all superb. It’s not often that I can’t find a single issue with a product, but that’s how I feel here. It’s not a perfect 10 because c’mon, you could replace the hardware, neck, or wiring with Fender stuff that would definitely be at least a marginal upgrade. But guess what, there were no rough fret edges, barely any pickup buzz, it’s just well built.
The Squier FSR Classic Vibe ’70s Bass may be the best bass I’ve ever owned. That’s saying two things; it’s an awesome bass, and I can’t afford any nicer bass guitars lol…But in all seriousness, this bass is a hell of a value. It felt and played just as nice or nicer than all the Mexican Fender Basses I’ve ever played and it cost at least $100 less than the cheapest model. It’s further testament to how great these high end Squier models can be and every P Bass fan should definitely give it a try!