Guitar of the week #84 - Squier Vintage Modified '70s Jazz Bass (Natural Finish)
This is a model that might not be around for very much longer.
Arguably, the Fender Jazz Bass is the best bass a guitar player could own for basically one reason. It has the skinniest neck. Note that I didn't say thinnest neck. I said skinniest. As in a skinny nut width of 1.5 inches (compared to the Precision Bass which has a 1.625-inch nut width). This makes for a ridiculously easy-to-play bass.
There is also a second reason guitar players like the Jazz Bass. It has a "lean" in the body like the Jazzmaster does, so not only is the neck very easy on the fingers, but it's also a bass that plays very nicely in the seated or standing position. Chances are if you read my site, you're a guitar player, and when when you play bass, you do it sitting down, so the Jazz Bass would be the right choice.
The '70s Jazz Bass model from Squier shown above may not make it into 2017. I sincerely hope it does, but it might not.
This particular model is one of the best Jazz Basses Squier makes. Right weight, right tone, right everything. It is better than the Affinity version, no question about that.
If you record your own music at home (and you probably do), you need a real bass. Tuning down your guitar for a bass tone sounds awful. Using a pitch shift effect on your guitar for a bass tone also sounds awful. Using a keyboard sounds too fake. You need the real thing. I found this out myself and that's why I also own a bass.
The Jazz Bass will be the easiest on your fingers, easiest to play and yes, it has "that sound" with its two skinny single-coil pickups. You really can't go wrong with one.
Why do I recommend this particular model? Other than the fact it's a Jazz Bass, it's because of the maple fretboard. That's a sealed wood, meaning it's far easier to clean compared to rosewood. This means if you go a few months without playing it, no problem. Just detune, lift the strings, wipe down the board, retune and you're good to go.