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Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass review

With affordable low-end vintage tones, Squier's Classic Vibe Series is talking all that Jazz

Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass review
(Image: © Fender)

Our Verdict

Unbeatable value and awesome retro feel and tone make this one of the finest basses in recent years – headstock snobs be damned!

Pros

  • The playability is hard to beat.
  • And the price is impossible to beat.

Cons

  • Some minor finishing niggles.
  • No left-handed models.

What is it?

The Classic Vibe Series is a result of Fender's best and brightest R&D minds scanning through the archives for period-authentic spec and then applying them to the affordable Chinese-built Squier lineup.

It has been a winning formula for some time now, and when you take a look at this Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass you can see why. Our review model, finished in Daphne Blue with a 4-ply tortoiseshell pickguard is stunning, and for £331 it is arguably one of the best-value basses we have seen in recent years.

The Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass has a solid poplar body, a bolt-on maple neck with a 34-inch scale and Indian laurel fingerboard. There are two vintage-voiced and Fender-designed Alnico II singlecoil pickups, with individual volume controls for each and a master tone control. 

The body profile feels correct for the period, while the neck is a slim C-profile that is not going to intimidate beginners. The slim nut width and the standard 19mm spacing between the strings lends the Classic Vibe Jazz Bass a really accommodating feel that belies its price point. 

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(Image credit: Future)

Those Fender-designed Alnico II singlecoils help deliver all the vibrant, rich tone you'd expect from a Jazz Bass.

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(Image credit: Future)

Don't get snooty about the name on the headstock. This is yet another Squier that requires a double-take when you look at the price tag.

Performance and verdict

The Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass sounds great even before you plug it into the amplifier. It is resonant, there is heaps of sustain, and it has a voice that surprisingly authoritative whether you are playing with fingers or a pick.

But plug it into the amp and it sells itself with all of that thick but harmonically rich low-end that the Jazz Bass is known for. The Fender-designed pickups are exceptional, delivering a clarity and punch when playing lines across the lower register, and offering up a smidgeon of nasal honk when noodling up the top end. 

You will definitely want to noodle on this, too, for the neck absolutely encourages a peripatetic fretting hand.

While there is certainly no shortage of basses that riff on the Jazz design out there. Many are priced competitively, too. But Squier's Classic Vibe takes the cake in terms of value, and of delivering a sound and look that gets you in the same ballpark as those much sought-after vintage instruments even if, like the majority of us, you can't afford the ticket. 

MusicRadar verdict: Unbeatable value and awesome retro feel and tone make this one of the finest basses in recent years – headstock snobs be damned!

Hands-on demos

Empire Music

Specifications

  • Price: £331, €449, $399.99
  • Made in: Indonesia
  • Colour: Daphne blue gloss [as reviewed], Three-colour Sunburst, Black
  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple, 34” scale
  • Neck joint: Bolt-on, four-bolt attachment
  • Nut width: 38mm
  • Fingerboard: Indian laurel
  • Frets: 20
  • Pickups: Fender-designed Alnico single-coil pickups x 2
  • Electronics: Passive
  • Controls: Volume, volume, tone
  • Hardware: Chrome hardware, elephant-ear machine heads, standard bridge
  • Weight: 3.7kg / 8.2lbs
  • Case/gig bag included: No
  • Left-hand option available: No
  • Fender