Squire P-bass California Series

Discussion in 'The Squier Bass Place' started by Thesis, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    9206C361-2723-4D9A-B34E-F922F8014357.jpeg EE910924-8BA3-4000-87E0-4DA47C60610E.jpeg 9C67EED5-7746-411E-908C-514628744E4F.jpeg Recently acquired a Squire P - bass “California Series”. According to the serial number it was build in 2000 by AXL in China. What I do know that the California Series was sold in Australia, New Zealand, Phillipines and South America. Not 8n Europe or the USA. Don’t know how it ended up in Europe anyway. It has a light wood body ( no plywood), rosewood neck, classic style tuners and bridge. It is really light (3.8 kilo/ 8.3 lbs), neck is straight, intonation with GHS L7200 pressure wounds is ok. I would like to know if this bass is comparable with the Affinity series or is it lower/higher end quality wise? Fender flat barrel knobs and thumbrest were added by me. Any additional info about the California Series is highly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  2. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    Nobody?
     
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  3. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    36
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Most of us on this forum are from the US and won't have much experience with the California Series range of instruments. They were not a standard item here. If it's an AXL build like the SE strats, it is probably overall somewhere in between an Affinity and a Standard.
     
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  4. leekirkham

    leekirkham Squier-Meister

    320
    Feb 15, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    We know about as much as you do. There is almost no documentation concerning this model aside from country of origin and to what countries it was marketed. From the many photos I've seen of basses from this series, I would say that they are comparable to the Affinity series, if not a little lower quality than the Affinity's are. Definitely Low-end instruments as far as their construction.

    Now, with that said, there are always gems among the trash. By your photos, yours is definitely one of the better looking basses I've seen from this line, and I've seen quite a few photos. The only way one of these basses would have gotten outside of their target market would have been by some owner traveling to another country OR by international sales, such as eBay.

    We would love to get your opinion of the bass once you've had some time with it. As I've said, information is pretty scarce and we'd all love to hear your review.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  5. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-holic

    Apr 25, 2019
    Arequipa
    I'm from South America and I've seen a fair share of California Series guitars, mostly strats. I would put them in the Affinity / SE range.

    I haven't seen many basses, though. Can't give you more details on those.
     
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  6. That's the first California Series Bass seen, so I had no idea they where even made until now.
    They where never sold here, and the likelihood of seeing one for sale ... well, I'll just keep buying lottery tickets.
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
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  7. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    More info: neck relief is good, reacts fast to truss rod tension changes. Action can be adjusted real low without fret buzz. Pressure wounds a bit to bright to my liking, will use LaBella Low Tension flatwounds. Tks to complete (after market) copper shielding no hum. Plain chrome neck plate, no serial number. Replaced by an Aliexpress neckplate with Squier engraving with fancy black plastic holder. 500 k pots, no name pickup with very high measured 12.4 Kohm outpot. No sharp fret ends, very dry rosewood needed some lemon oil. Thick full size body (45mm/1.77 inch), 34 inch scale. 3-layer pickguard, simple Fender style bridge. Sustain is impressive, use a sponge for muting. Never heard of AXL as a musical instruments brand/factory. Bass is nicely made with a good tight fit of the neck in the body. No shims used. Replaced all the rusty pickguard an pickup screws by original chrome Fender screws. Looking forward to the flatwounds, don’t like the zingy tones of the GHS pressure wounds. The tone is more roundwound, they feel rougher than real flatwounds. The worst of both worlds in my case. Thinking also of a Wilkinson keramic pickup, alnico might be too bright. Any advise on an affordable P-bass pick up? Quarter pounders are nice but really expensive over here. 9F71AD28-5E0A-4460-9A6B-74813546BBB2.jpeg F5CA810F-D184-418E-8715-BCC26BA65C67.jpeg 2332C003-77BB-473F-8751-87E87CAAF278.jpeg C70D6FBE-3D4F-4EB0-9E08-DDE53E9015CA.jpeg AFF407A0-D318-4510-BF84-882AC742F255.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  8. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Squier-Meister

    I'm curious about the nut width. 1.5" or 1.625" (38.1 or 41.3 mm)?
     
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  9. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
  10. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    No black plastic insert in the truss rod hole.
     
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  11. leekirkham

    leekirkham Squier-Meister

    320
    Feb 15, 2012
    Gilbert, AZ
    How much is a standard Fender P-Bass pickup over there? They're about $80 here. That's the lower end for a decent pickup.

    Here is something you might consider doing as well. I used to own a 2001 Affinity P-Bass. I replaced all the electronics EXCEPT for the pickup and had pretty darn good results for a $25 investment.

    So, I bought new wiring, new pots, new capacitor, and new jack. Soldered everything together with the stock pickup and it was a night and day difference. Keep in mind, this still won't get you a top-tier pickup sound, but it will, in my experience, get you the best out of the stock pickup. The tone was nicer, the clarity was a little better and the output improved considerably. And all I did was buy a wiring kit and spend a little time installing it.
     
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  12. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    About the same over here. Together with flatwounds it would be about twice the purchase price!


    Nice, interesting!
     
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  13. Not the China made guitars in that era.
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
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  14. Shine

    Shine Squier-Nut

    728
    Nov 29, 2016
    Rings of Saturn
    Never seen a California Series Squier here in smoky California, so I can't help either. This is about as close as I think it gets:
    [​IMG]

    But I'm impressed with all the luthiery you have done on it already!
     
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  15. scotartt

    scotartt Squier Talker

    11
    Friday
    Australia
    I have a California series Telecaster I bought new in Australia 15 or 20 years ago. It plays nice but the sound was terrible. I recently fixed it by upgrading the pick ups. Now it sounds OK.

    In short I think it's the lowest of the low end. the cavity routing was as rough as guts.

    I was talking to the local guitar shop guy about whether it was worth upgrading it, or should I just buy a better Squire or say, a Player Series Fender. His advice was if I thought the guitar played ok, upgrade the hardware. After all if I ever buy even a Player Series the Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups I eventually got (or other custom pickup set) can be fitted to the new guitar and will still be an upgrade, despite costing half the amount of new Affinity.

    IMG_3982.JPG
     
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  16. Bassdude56

    Bassdude56 Squier Talker

    Age:
    59
    70
    Nov 14, 2017
    Texas
    Geez could you have found a better background than your laundry room..LOL
     
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  17. At least he can play guitar while the laundry gets done, but you're right. Cheers, Barrie.
     
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  18. Thesis

    Thesis Squier Talker

    Age:
    68
    10
    Aug 9, 2020
    Netherlands
    Tiny house>living room>dining room> laundry room> music room > all in one. Still, it’s (my) home, paid for in full and happy with it!
     
  19. Big tuna

    Big tuna Dr. Squier

    May 6, 2014
    east Tn
    Cool bass is that your bike and sidecar in the pic? if so ooh i really like that.
     
  20. Shine

    Shine Squier-Nut

    728
    Nov 29, 2016
    Rings of Saturn
    And BTW, whereabouts are you in NL? We had a wonderful time there a few years back on holiday. :)