One Day with a Squier VM Bass VI

Discussion in 'Squier Vintage Modified models' started by radiotech, May 8, 2014.

  1. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-holic

    Apr 23, 2014
    Really had GAS (or would that be BAS) for one. Was able to spend a day with one.
    Thoughts, first the bad:
    Terribly cut nut, all the slots were round, and the soft grey nut material was squished between the strings.
    Bridge: the screws for the saddles are angled, so you have to remove the string to make it easier to access the saddle screw (and to allow it to move).
    Being a vibrato, with the bridge in the center position, there is not enough throw on the saddle screws to properly intonate the low E and A strings without either shimming the neck, or reversing the bridge (again, because of the angled screws).
    Strings: floppy E, probably needs heavier or flatwounds to fix this, which will further add to the intonation problem.

    The good:
    The bound neck is beautiful, while it has the VM dipped in poly treatment, the fretwork and binding are amazing, the block inlays were perfectly flush with the rosewood, and it's some of the nicest rosewood I've seen on any Squier (or Fender for that matter). It may just be the binding and inlays that make it seem that way, but the grain and feel are better than my MIM Fenders.
    The Pups: I don't see how anyone could complain. I like this closer to classic setup better the the Pawn Shop versions. The neck pup alone would let this "bass" be used as a real bass for 80% of classic rock. My fav was the neck and middle together, has a very clear and bright "P"'sound that even sounded good with the strangle engaged.
    Fit & finish: Phenomenal on the neck (except for the nut) good on the body, but how hard is it to get black right?

    I decided to pass on it, if you're expecting the typical Squier experience of it being pretty livable out of the box, you'll be disappointed.

    Expect to: Replace the nut (no pre-made available for this duck, you'll need to pay to have one made, or cut it yourself).
    Shim the neck angle or flip the bridge (to properly intonate the two largest strings)
    Replace the strings (larger strings are available from Ernie Ball and LaBella (expensive))

    Lastly, before you buy, justify: This "could" be gigged with as a bass, but don't expect it to be even as useful as a baritone for guitar. Chords are possible, but are muddy if they include the low E or A string. It's a hybrid, the neck is narrow enough to play the low E string with your left thumb and play 3 & 4 note chords on the upper strings (that's where this instrument shines), and even get some vibrato in.
    Oh... and use a BASS amp.
  2. JohnVI

    JohnVI New Member

    May 15, 2014
    Just received my 3t SB yesterday. My first Squier and my first bass, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm very impressed so far. A couple turns on the truss to flatten the neck a bit and replaced the low E with a .095 as the stock .084 is ridiculously floppy. May also try a .090 to see if that will do the trick as well. Can't find anything else wrong with it. Intonation (after changing the low E) is fine and playability and sound is great. For $279 it's a helluva guitar.
    radiotech likes this.
  3. garedot

    garedot Squier Talker

    Apr 8, 2012
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  4. -MKR-

    -MKR- Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    interesting. i think the nut may have been a one off and isn't really indicative of the norm. I only say that as i too have experienced poorly cut and bad nuts on squiers (my current VM jag in particular), but i know this isn't usually the case.

    I have always wanted a bass VI and have been GASsing for one since forever. I ended up picking a VM precision bass which is a fine instrument, so i can't see myself acting on my bass VI GAS any time, but they do look amazing and would probably be great basses for primarily guitar players.
    radiotech likes this.
  5. Nevets

    Nevets Squier Talker

    Oct 23, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I have a black VM VI and the nut is terrible. Roughly cut, shavings off the plastic on the edges, the material is kind of 'squished' around the strings like -MKR- noted. Seems like a common complaint, I've read and seen pics of a few other bad ones. My low E is also a .84. I think the switch to .95 is recent?

    Otherwise I love the thing.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    radiotech likes this.
  6. gardens_guitar

    gardens_guitar Squier Talker

    Nov 24, 2013
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    That is what the web site states now but I cannot find that set listed on the Fender strings page.

    The page used to list a different set. The product number for the older set is 250B6 #0730250413. Note the B6 (Bass VI?) in the product number. This set is still sold by Fender and the gauges are: 0.024 0.031 0.044 0.056 0.072 0.084
    radiotech likes this.
  7. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Meister

    Sep 6, 2014
    I love my bass VI but the first thing I did was have a nice bone nut cut for it. Great and cheap upgrade, which also made the string spacing a lot better.

    Otherwise it's a great, great guitar. I love the amazing variety of sounds. They should make a 25.5 scale version.
    radiotech likes this.
  8. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    My Mistake ,.... :eek:
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  9. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Meister

    Sep 6, 2014
    Me? Squier VM Bass VI, like the thread topic.
    radiotech likes this.
  10. ratdog472

    ratdog472 Squier-holic

    Jun 17, 2010
    Springfield MO
    I am jonesing for one of these as well but I am also caught in the dilemma of too many in the house now. I have a baritone that I have kicked around the idea of converting into a 27" scale bass VI instead.

    I wonder how one of the Squier VI's would do with a set of hot rails in it?
  11. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-holic

    Apr 23, 2014
    Wow, I was surprised to see activity on this thread as it has been dead since May. I never followed up on it.

    I had purchased the Bass VI from Chicago Music Exchange, and disovered their policy on new in-store purchases is exchange only :eek:, so when I took it back, I ended up trading up for a NOS Jack Casady bass in black. I've enjoyed the Epi JC more than I would have the Squier VI.

    I've had the jonze for a Bass VI a couple times since then, and looked at a couple on sale in stores (best price found $319 on a slightly beat up display model), but still... Every one has the squishy poorly cut nut. I also looked at some on CL, one had a new nut... It was worse than the stock (obviously a precut installed by the owner).

    I've had the Fender Modern player one in my hands multiple times since then, and what strikes me is that I wouldn't HAVE to do anything to it in order for it to play well, or be intonated, as the bridge angle is different than the Squier edition (as well as the vibrato is locking).
    Here's what irks me about the Fender version: I don't like the pickups as well as the Squier's (the Squier is MUCH closer to the original Fender Bass VI than the Modern Player one), and of course the price.

    The build on the Squier is incredible... except for the glaringly bad nut, and poorly placed bridge. The neck is every bit as nice as the Fender badged version.
    I'd still like one, but until I can find a used one in the low $200's that justifies the new nut, bridge, and strings cost... I'll hold off.

    On the hot rails in one: As the low strings are already so muddy (an artifact of construction, not pickups, even the original and Modern player versions have the issue), I can't imagine a set of hot rails would help much.
  12. garedot

    garedot Squier Talker

    Apr 8, 2012

    I found those strings guages: