Saturday, April 18, 2009

Squier Classic Vibe Duo Sonic

Story submitted by Jackson D. Green

This thing did not have a long life in my hands, but for the time I had it, I loved every minute.

I purchased this guitar on Craigslist a few months after it came out for a relatively cheap 165 USD (especially because these currently sell new for 330). Now, I know a bargain when I see it, and I love the Fender Mustang, so I snapped it up in a heart beat. The seller was nice enough to ship the guitar to my house for no extra charge. A few days later, it had arrived. I can't even describe the feeling I got pulling it out of the box. It was just such an amazing moment, and I knew that this guitar was truly a special instrument.

I can't think of one thing I DIDN'T like about the guitar, other than the toggle switch which broke during an especially rigorous practice session and was easily replaced.

The aesthetics were great, the neck rivaled that of an MIJ Mustang, and the pickups rang rich and jangly, with plenty of warmth coming from the basswood body. Unfortunately, she never saw a gig.

I needed money to pay off some friends, so it was either get rid of the Duo Sonic, or get rid of the Fender Cyclone, the first Fender I ever owned, a birthday present from my parents, and an all around great guitar. The choice was made, the Duo Sonic had to go. I sold it on Craigslist a few weeks later (I was sick the day I actually sold it, go figure) for $200. I have since recovered economically, and recently purchased a red Squier Affinity Series Duo Sonic from the '90s, which I'm hoping will fill the void of the great guitar I let slip away.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Squier Musicmaster Bass Vista Series Reissue

Damn, this one didn't last long. I just got this bass a couple of months ago from Craig's List in Orange County. It was actually listed once before and by the time I got around to contacting the guy, the ad was gone and it was sold. Or so I thought. Evidently ANOTHER case of Craig's List Flake-itis caused this one to come back up for sale a week later. This time I jumped on it.

I drove up to Orange County from San Diego...the guy was nice enough to meet me halfway...and met in the parking lot of a Guitar Center. It's always fun to do a transaction for a cool instrument within steps of a giant supermarket of a guitar store. I actually had a guy who wanted to meet me at a guitar store and then do the deal inside the store so he could try out the guitar through one of their amps. I drew the line there...just not kosher.

Anyway, so the guy meets me and he turns out to be a very cool guy with some great punk rock roots. He also knew a few musicians I knew and we ended up chatting about instruments and the weirdness of Craig's List for way too long. The bass was in excellent condition and we both had decided that anyone who is afraid of a classic shell pink Fender because it might mean they are gay is an idiot. This thing looks really cool and classic...yeah I know...I just used the word classic in the previous sentence. But it's true. Do not be afraid people.

I had the bass for a couple of months and really liked it. It's a short scale instrument and it was strung with flatwound strings, which I'd never had before. As my boss would say, "Me likey." Not sure why my boss says that. Even though the bridge is a pretty basic piece of hardware that was originally designed to be a budget student instrument back in the day, it stayed in tune just fine. Again, loved the instrument, but unfortunately I'm still in financial survival mode from the recent split with the wife, so it came down to Fender bass or refridgerator. I like my butter solid and my mayo unspoiled, so I went with...refridgerator! I have to say it was a good call too. I have enjoyed many a fine cool beverage out of the fridge but I really only used the bass once for a quick recording.

I sold the bass to a touring musician from L.A. who came down and practically did surgery on the thing right at my desk at work during my lunch hour. Maybe you'll see it out on the road somewhere.

I had loaned my nephew a '70s Memphis P-bass copy a couple of years ago, and I happen to know that he no longer plays it. So, I made the call and my sis is shipping it back to me as we speak. So, I will soon have a home recording bass that, if I remember correctly, actually sounded pretty decent for what it was. It was one of the made in Japan models from Memphis and they are pretty decent for super cheap.

In fact, just today, I took a chance and bought a Memphis Les Paul Junior copy off eBay. It's sort of a cross between a Junior and a's got the style of the Junior but with two P-90 dog-eared pickups. Sunburst with a tortoise guard. I've been wanting a Jr. since I became a fan of Keith Urban (the man can PLAY the guitar), but can't afford a real one right now. So I kept my eye out for either a Memphis (which are HARD to find) and were made in Japan in the Fujigen factory in the '70s, or an older Univox. The Univox Junior copies (the model is called the Limited's one on eBay) are supposed to be really nice too. I see them for sale somewhat regularly, but they are a little pricier. Still much cheaper than a real one. If you are looking for a budget Junior, be sure to scour eBay for a Univox or a Memphis. I'll let you know if the Memphis was worth the chance.