Both every guitarist and bassist needs one By: RobW
This Bass VI is its own animal, different than anything else, and the Squier version is actually closer to the originals than the discontinued "Pawn Shop" Fender versions. The Bass VI is basically a Fender Jaguar turned into a short-scale 6 string bass tuned standard E to E guitar tuning except a full octave down. Combined, that makes it unlike a baritone guitar that normally doesn't go that low, and unlike 6 string basses designed as a 4 string bass with an additional high and low string to extend the range. The Bass VI plays like a normal guitar and even has the typical Jaguar bridge for subtle vibrato. You can play chords like a normal guitar, and bend strings (somewhat, with effort). Unlike a couple of other 6-string basses that tune one octave down, it has the full tonal flexibility of the Jaguar design, where each of the three pickups can be turned on or off individually. So you can do the typical Strat combinations, but also combine the bridge and neck pickups like a Tele or even turn on all three pickups at once. If you enable the bass "strangle" switch, it cuts the low end frequencies, making it more like a normal guitar than a bass and being more compatible with normal guitar amps and effects.So what would you do with it? This afternoon I was playing "Attention" by Charlie Puth, where I played both the muted guitar part on the higher frets, then dropped to the lower strings for when the bass kicks in. (I made this work by tuning the low E bass string down to C#. You're not going to make that work on a baritone.) But you could also play really de-tuned Djent style music on this too, and it sounds epic. Combined with a Big Muff or a bright fuzz, it's just insane. Of course, there's the songs actually written with it, like "Back in the Saddle" by Aerosmith, but I don't use it for that.Downsides? I don't know whether Fender/Squier did the set up or whether it was Chicago Music Exchange, but the action was amazingly low and playable. It was better than many 6-string electric guitars...EXCEPT for the low E string. It was playable out-of-the-box, but I'm picky about intonation. I use a decent tuner and got most strings intonated so that chords sounded good all along the neck. But the low E string was intonated too high. With the Jaguar bridge design, I ran out of room backing up the bridge saddle. Also, I couldn't raise the saddle high enough to prevent buzzing without the saddle screw angling up and touching the string, causing it to rattle. That's not Squier's fault, since that's a known design flaw with Jaguars/Jazzmasters. My solution was to Dremel the screw shorter and cut a couple loops off the spring, which allowed me to intonate it and raise the saddle high enough. It's a cheaper solution than an aftermarket bridge, and it worked. As far as the quality of the bass itself, Squier did a good job. It looks great and I don't see any flaws or blemishes. There was a little untidy flash at the nut I shaved off with an Exacto, but that was it. It was otherwise perfect. The Bass VI also needs strings designed for it, since baritone strings are too short and a lot of bass strings are too thick. But D'addario and a few others make strings for it, so this isn't a problem. The new ones use Laurel instead of Rosewood fretboards (due to the CITES Rosewood ban). It doesn't make much of a difference, but I find it interesting since I've never used this wood before. It kind of looks like Walnut.Overall, this is now one of my favorite guitars. It's tonally very flexible, and it's fascinating and fun to play whether you are a bassist or a guitarist, since it bridges both worlds. Seriously, everyone should have one.