Difference between VM and CV basses

Discussion in 'The Squier Bass Place' started by Hammertime, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Hammertime

    Hammertime Squier Talker

    Age:
    82
    15
    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Kinda new to Squier, but I'd like to know just what the title says...what's the difference? Is one preferable to the other, which was more expensive, and which one is more popular with players? Thanks..Bob
     
    65refinyellow likes this.
  2. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Freedonia
    All the CV’s have glossy necks, and nicer finishing details, and I think all have Alnico pickups.

    Some of the VM’s (Like The VM precision special) have semi-gloss poly necks, but many are that barely finished satin that looks very white. The VM’s have a mix of pickups, most of the Jag VM’s have ceramic, but then the aforementioned VM PJ special has Alnico. If you want something you’re going to replace parts on anyways, go with a VM, if not, go with a CV.
     
    drewcp and grizzlewulf like this.
  3. Hammertime

    Hammertime Squier Talker

    Age:
    82
    15
    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Thanks..how can you tell if the pickups are Alnico? I took a set of pickups out of a 2015(?) PJ body and replaced them with EMG's, but the pickups I took out have no markings on them, so I can't tell if the're Alnico or not.
     
  4. leekirkham

    leekirkham Squier-Meister

    362
    Feb 15, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    If you are speaking new basses, the Vintage Modified line no longer exists. Though they were fine basses, they never really gained much following compared to the Classic Vibe line. The current alternate to the Classic Vibe series is the Contemporary, which seems to have garnered much more of a following than the Vintage Modified ever did.

    As far as differences between the Vintage Modified (standard, not the later PJ version) and the Classic Vibes series, here are the biggest ones:

    Classic Vibe has had a much wider choice of available colors.
    Vintage Modified had two.

    Classic Vibes have "custom" Squier pickups with Alnico magnets.
    Vintage Modified had Duncan-designed pickups with Alnico 5 magnets.

    Classic Vibe has vintage-tinted, glossy finishes on the neck.
    Vintage Modified necks were satin-finished, no tint.

    Classic Vibe bodies were made from Basswood, now they are made from Poplar.
    Vintage Modified bodies were made from Agathis.
     
    Thundertips likes this.
  5. Hammertime

    Hammertime Squier Talker

    Age:
    82
    15
    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Thanks. Any idea what these pickups that I took out are? Like I said, there are no markings of any kind on them. Thanks..I think the body...I bought it from a guy in NJ after he ruined the neck..is around a 2015, according to him. It was in perfect shape.
     
  6. Thundertips

    Thundertips Squier Talker

    37
    Apr 13, 2021
    Ontario, Canada
    Ceramic pickup have rings, like a tree trunk on top of the poles and are made with stainless steel. Alnicos are flat on the top. No rings. Ceramics also have magnetic strips glued to the bottom of the pickup.
     
  7. Hammertime

    Hammertime Squier Talker

    Age:
    82
    15
    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Thanks..these appear to be Alnico....no rings I can see. Which are preferable?
     
  8. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Freedonia
    Preference is subjective. Some folks like ceramics just fine (DiMarzio’s super distortions are ceramic). All that matters is that if you like it as it is, don’t mess with it.

    Fenders original pickups were Alnico, and that’s what guitar purists prefer.
     
    65refinyellow likes this.
  9. 65refinyellow

    65refinyellow Squier-Nut

    941
    Jun 29, 2015
    norcal
    For harder rock purposes, usually ceramic is a slightly better option.

    For vintage retro sounds, the alnicos are slightly better as in retro surf music. But if you are playing Buddy Holly or Beatles tunes, it doesn’t matter which type of pickup.

    Both could easily do well playing the same types of music.
     
    radiotech likes this.
  10. Hammertime

    Hammertime Squier Talker

    Age:
    82
    15
    Jan 8, 2019
    Milford De
    Thanks for the help, guys...
     
  11. leekirkham

    leekirkham Squier-Meister

    362
    Feb 15, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    Here's a quick run-down on magnet types for you.

    Ceramic:
    These magnets have a stronger magnetic field, and therefore will usually have higher output. Their tone tends to be more high-end and can border on being considered "harsh" or "brittle" sounding.

    Alnico:
    These magnets have a weaker magnetic field, so their output is less. Because of this, their tone is warmer and softer.

    Alnico by the numbers:
    You will undoubtedly come across Alnico magnets with numbers beside them, the more common being II (2) and V (5). These numbers refer to the ratio of aluminum to nickel to cobalt, the metals that make up these magnets. Different ratios yield magnets of varying strength. Alnico II is the weakest and favored by many jazz players. Alnico II magnets are said to have a soft and articulate sound with smooth highs. As you move through the numbers toward Alnico V, the magnets become progressively stronger, producing more gain and adding more midrange “bite” to the tone of the guitar. Many metal guitarists favor Alnico V magnets for their high output and aggressive tones.
     
    Kinnon09 likes this.