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NBD: thoroughly modded Squier Matt Freeman P


Ricky Rioli
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This modded 2010 Matt Freeman was on sale here for a bit, and then got withdrawn, but when I asked nicely, @hooky_lowdown very kindly sold it to me anyway. I think these were built alongside the original Squier CVs — CIC, with a CGS serial number. 

 

20210721_093605-01.thumb.jpeg.c31f53f9eb48658adf04b24374801edb.jpeg

 

In transit, the jack had slightly rotated, which in the narrow cavity stopped its spring from allowing a lead to be plugged in — which tbh was good, because it made me get on with taking it to my local tech, Chris at Wintaura Guitars to be set up as I like it and have a Dimarzio pickup fitted. I got it back last night.

 

20210721_093745-01.thumb.jpeg.bc2a4c26aa8365bdb44d8e637bad284b.jpeg

 

The neck has developed a tiny bit of an S at the first fret, so we decided to give the bass a new nut as well, to give the strings the chance to get clear over the first fret easily. That means that, aside from the  neck and body, the tuners and jack are the only original parts left. 

 

So:
42mm / 1.65" Tusq nut
9.5" radius, 'modern C' profile
action 1.60mm - 1.90mm
Dimarzio Model P pickup
unknown pearloid pg & black knobs
@KiOgon loom
Wilkinson bridge
Fender 7250M 45-105 rounds
slightly over 9 lbs

 

20210721_094154-01-01.thumb.jpeg.dcdec513ff52584a2d01d75849004177.jpeg

 

I've been playing a BB424 the last six months. Relative to that, the P has a lighter body and a wider flatter neck. What struck me first though was the difference between the two split pickups. The BB split is slightly nearer the neck, and much less hot, making a soft dark tone, so that the stern, guttural sound of the P came as a complete contrast. 

 

With the TRBX I bought last summer out of the way, on sale at Bass Direct, I now have a pair of similar-but-different basses, both right for me but with characters that are clearly differentiated in feel, sound and looks. I feel very nicely set.

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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The number of times I nearly bought that one myself, they’re cracking basses, and a real amazement to my why Squier stopped them. Sure Matt Freeman may not be known too well outside of punk but these are amazingly good basses. Congrats.

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Posted (edited)
On 21/07/2021 at 11:41, Lozz196 said:

The number of times I nearly bought that one myself, they’re cracking basses, and a real amazement to my why Squier stopped them. Sure Matt Freeman may not be known too well outside of punk but these are amazingly good basses. Congrats.

 

Just out of curiosity, do you or @hooky_lowdown know how much of an upgrade (or not) the Wilkinson bridge and the KiOgon loom constitute? The specs say the stock is "4-Saddle HiMass Bridge with Brass Saddles".

 

On 21/07/2021 at 13:04, such said:

Very cool. Classy, understated, yet somewhat sinister. 

 

To be honest, I could happy live with normal shiny knobs and bridge, but I'm delighted to have a pearloid pg instead of the stock black :D And knobs and bridge do match the all-black pickups. Much better than half one way, half the other.

 

I've just remembered — you're having a Dimarzio Model P put into the P you're having built, aren't you? I'm really enjoying its tone — strong without changing the essence of the P sound.

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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The original bridge has a thicker base, making low action more difficult to achieve than the Wilkinson bridge, which has a lower profile base, and a more traditional look.

The bass was customised to play in a Ska band, hence the two tone look.

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KiOgon loom will be a good improvement, much better quality parts. That’s one area where Squier keep costs down, whereas the new loom will most likely be same parts as what go in US Fenders.

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Posted (edited)
On 21/07/2021 at 14:53, hooky_lowdown said:

The original bridge has a thicker base, making low action more difficult to achieve than the Wilkinson bridge, which has a lower profile base, and a more traditional look.

 

Definitely a good thing for me. I shall be sure to give the Wilkinson bridge the occasional grateful glance :)

 

On 21/07/2021 at 14:55, Lozz196 said:

KiOgon loom will be a good improvement, much better quality parts. That’s one area where Squier keep costs down, whereas the new loom will most likely be same parts as what go in US Fenders.

 

I thought I recalled reading a little grumble somewhere about the stock electronics being a weak spot.

 

Well, that's great pair of things to hear, thank you very much. I've not the experience to give a useful objective opinion about the bass, but I know that I'm happy with everything about it :) I don't know about a P being all the bass you could ever need, but right now this feels like all the P I'll ever want.

 

On Monday I got a Hotone Ampero multieffects unit. One of patches I had created is Xotic RC Booster + Alembic F-2B preamp + David Eden 4×10 — through that the bass is sounding effortlessly commanding.

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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3 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

 

I've just remembered — you're having a Dimarzio Model P put into the P you're having built, aren't you? I'm really enjoying its tone — strong without changing the essence of the P sound.

Indeed - it's ready now but won't be shipped for a few more days 😭

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, ped said:

Looks great - you deserve it after all your P bass luck over the last year or so! 

 

I believe the seller enjoyed being the person who would help my luck finally turn 😊

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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Posted (edited)

Having spent the day playing the new P, I'm delighted with it, and I'm also delighted to find that there's just no overlap in character between it and my BB — they've both got clear personalities and voices of their own.

 

20210721_110549(0)-01-01.thumb.jpeg.a34881b295be2ead2f0ea24b8d24d0e9.jpeg

 

Now, please can I stop throwing my money around? 😖

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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Yeah those Freeman Squier basses are fantastic value and really solid. The new loom will just add that extra reassurance of sound electronics and the Model P… well it’s just such a solid pick up in its own right. The original isn’t bad but when I had a Freeman p bass it had a Model P in it too. Great pairing! 

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Posted (edited)
On 22/07/2021 at 09:17, krispn said:

the Model P… well it’s just such a solid pick up in its own right

 

To be honest, I was shopping for a bass to put a Dimarzio Model P into .... essentially I've tried to create an impersonation of an early 80s Ibanez Blazer 🙃

 

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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These basses are on a par with the earlier Squier Classic Vibe range, and I must admit, I always quite fancied one in white.

I'm sure the DiMarzio pickup you've added will make a great bass even better. 

Happy NBD (belated)

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On 21/07/2021 at 10:45, Ricky Rioli said:

I now have a pair of similar-but-different basses, both right for me but with characters that are clearly differentiated in feel, sound and looks

 

A friend came round to see and hear the new Squier. We decided that with both basses their sounds match their looks, and that this pair of photos nicely illustrates the difference

 

Screenshot_20210728-131059_Gallery.jpg.d0c3d8e5bcb55f66ead4a3cfcb14a00b.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 21/07/2021 at 10:45, Ricky Rioli said:

action 1.75mm - 2.20mm

This is now 1.60 – 1.90 mm, and my weedy fingers are very pleased.

 

I've noticed that I find fretting on a glossy maple board more effortful than on a nice matte rosewood board. I've never read anyone saying anything like this before, so I'm hoping to have opened up a whole new seam of whining complaint.

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