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.


Alex said...

The Junior/Special copy looks pretty good. After you play it, you'll have to let me know how the pickups sound.

Lamerex said...

Dear Jamie:
(I just found your post while searching for info on the Univox Limited Ed.)

RE: "..I'll let you know if the Memphis was worth the chance."

I believe you got this guitar in April. Umm...It's now November.

Well? How is it then? Stay in tune?
Intonation ok up the neck?
Rawk n' Rool, dude?? Spill the gospel.

mitch, tucson, az

HolmBoyBass said...

I've never seen another Memphis model like that other than mine. I have a twin to yours. I those things. Mine is currently set up for slide. All I've done with it was change out the tuners.