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Squier updates Contemporary series with new Jazzmaster, Starcaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass additions

Following on the (freshly re-designed) heels of Squier's 2021 Contemporary series revamp, Squier has announced six more updates to its Contemporary range, including two six-string electric guitars, two four-string and two five-string Jazz and Precision bass models, bringing the new guitars and basses in-line with the already-updated Strat, Tele and Jaguar models.

You might recall, the Contemporary range was given an overhaul last year, delivering even greater value thanks to "a growing market abuzz with new players inspired in part by the 2020 Fender Play Through initiative”. 

This saw the introduction of roasted maple necks, a sculpted neck heel, and painted headstocks featuring chrome-coloured logos. 

Squier has now added these features to the Contemporary Jazzmaster Active HH, Starcaster Active HH, Jazz Bass HH and Precision Bass HH, while also outfitting the five-string V bass models with the same specs. Let’s delve a little deeper.


Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ($489)

This HH Jazzmaster takes a cue from the Jim Root school of JM design, doing away with the additional circuitry and instead offering two SQR Active humbuckers, a three-way switch master volume and tone controls. 

It’s set to shred, with the inclusion of a two-point vibrato too, and thanks to that new heel contour and the wide-open JM shape, we think you’ll be venturing towards the sharp end of the neck more than ever. It's offered in Shell pink Pearl and Sunset Metallic.

  • Squier SQR™ active ceramic humbucking pickups
  • Modern 2-point tremolo bridge with block saddles
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted headstock with chrome logos

Squier Contemporary Active Starcaster ($479)

As with the previous Contemporary versions of the Starcaster, there’s no F-holes here. But the Starcaster is a sealed semi-hollow design, meaning that you’ll still get that tonality, response and weight relief, but with some sharp modern looks and potentially less unwanted feedback. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Starcaster without Fender’s most radical headstock design, here subtly painted along the lip. 

  • Squier SQR™ active ceramic humbucking pickups
  • Adjustable bridge with stop tailpiece
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted contoured headstock with chrome logos


Contemporary Active Jazz Bass®HH ($499)

Fans of the iconic Jazz Bass tapered neck will be pleased to hear that this model has been given an update for 2022. Squier are offering it as a four-string in the rather fetching Sky Burst metallic as well as Shoreline Gold. The fingerboards are maple in both finish options, with the look completed by the black headstock, black hardware and black scratchplate. Electronically, the active ceramic SQR pickups are powered by a 9-volt battery, and there’s a four-control preamp system on-board for easy, yet-precise shaping of your tone thanks to volume, blend, tone and bass/treble boost knobs.

  • Squier SQR™ ceramic humbucking pickups
  • Active 9-volt preamp with volume, blend, tone and bass/treble boost
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted headstock with chrome logos

Contemporary Active Jazz Bass®HH V ($529)

Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH in Gunmetal Metallic

Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH in Gunmetal Metallic (Image credit: Fender)

What if you want to play limbo? Well, there’s a five-string version too. It features all of the same specs as its four string counterpart - active SQR pickups, 34-inch scale length, roasted maple neck, maple ’board, that heel contour, but you know, with one more string. The Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH V is offered in Gunmetal Metallic only, with a very reasonable $30 price increase on the regular version.

  • Squier SQR™ ceramic humbucking pickups
  • Active 9-volt preamp with volume, blend, tone and bass/treble boost
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted headstock with chrome logos

Contemporary Active Precision Bass®PH ($499)

What does PH stand for? That would be the blend of familiar P-Bass split single coils and the bridge humbucker, giving you a versatile range of tones. As with the Jazz, you get the four-control preamp circuit with the same tone-shaping options. 

It’s available in the please-everyone Pearl White and a modern take on a cherry sunburst with Sunset metallic, both with Indian Laurel fingerboards.

  • Squier SQR™ ceramic split single-coil and humbucking bridge pickups
  • Active 9-volt preamp with volume, blend, tone and bass/treble boost
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted headstock with chrome logos

Contemporary Active Precision Bass®PH V ($529)

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V in Black

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V in Black (Image credit: Fender)

Not to be outdone, the P-Bass is also going one lower with a five-string offering via the Contemporary Precision Bass PH V. By now, you can see what Squier is thinking, and the V version of the Contemporary P Bass follows suite. The roasted maple neck, 34” scale-length, active preamp, contoured heel and painted headstock are all present. This one goes to B, and it’s available in gloss black.

  • Squier SQR™ ceramic split single-coil and humbucking bridge pickups
  • Active 9-volt preamp with volume, blend, tone and bass/treble boost
  • Roasted maple neck
  • Sculpted neck heel
  • Painted headstock with chrome logos

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.