Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V vs Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

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Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
Playability
75
Sound
75
Build
60
Value
80
Score
70
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Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
VS
Playability
72
Sound
81
Build
74
Value
66
Score
76
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Reasons to Get
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V over Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Narrow Tall vs Vintage Tall
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Bass C Shape vs Bass 1966 U
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Strings
5 vs 4
Allows you to play lower notes
Pickups
SH vs SS
Very bright bridge tone and a very warm neck pickup
Nut Width
1.875'' (47.6mm) vs 1.5'' (38.1mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Paint Finish
Poly vs Nitro
Resistant paint that ages well
Preamp
Active vs Passive
More versatile and customizable tonal palette than a Passive preamp
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 7.25'' (184.2mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
80 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass over Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
Type of Frets
Vintage Tall vs Narrow Tall
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Bass 1966 U vs Bass C Shape
Comfortable neck with more grip
Pickups Brand
Fender vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Nut Material
Bone vs Graphite
Good quality nut with rich tone
Strings
4 vs 5
Narrower neck and fewer strings to change
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Pickups
SS vs SH
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.5'' (38.1mm) vs 1.875'' (47.6mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Paint Finish
Nitro vs Poly
Thin finish that creates aging marks faster
Preamp
Passive vs Active
Doesn't require a battery, so it's more dependable
Fretboard Radius
7.25'' (184.2mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings
Avg. Weight
9.25lbs (4.2kgs) vs 9.75lbs (4.4kgs)
Tends to be lighter

Other Key Differences
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V vs Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker vs Fender Pure Vintage 66 Single-Coil Jazz Bass
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Poplar vs Alder
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Roasted Maple vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
4-1 vs 4
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Graphite vs Bone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V vs Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
0
Same pickups versatility
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Number of Frets
20
Same maximum octave
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
34'' (863.6mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Retainer Bar
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Prices

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Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Prices

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Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass is probably the better product overall with its final score of 76 compared to the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's 70 score, although not by a lot.

The Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass wins when it comes to sound, build quality. On the other hand, the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has the upper hand when it comes to playability, value for the money.

If you got small hands, you'll probably feel that the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V is easier to play.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

Both meet 3 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players. If you're looking for your first bass to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Overview

  • From Fender Squier's 2022 Contemporary series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 5 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Indian Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Squier SQR Split Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-Saddle Standard bridge
  • Bass C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Weight between 9.625lbs (4.4kgs) and 9.875lbs (4.5kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2022 American Vintage II series
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 7.25" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Bound Round-Laminated Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 66 Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • Pure Vintage 4-Saddle with Threaded Steel Saddles bridge
  • Bass 1966 U Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Vintage Tall frets
  • Pure Vintage ‘Lollipop’ tuners
  • Weight between 9.125lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.375lbs (4.3kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V

Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel
Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar

Roasted Maple is just maple without a finish. It's technically cheaper than regular maple, but it doesn't have any extra disadvantages because of this. The color is darker, and it's lighter weight and very stable even when there's a lot of humidity.

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

Poplar is a cheaper and heavier alternative to Alder wood. It terms of tone, it emphasizes the low-end and has cutting mids. It's relatively soft compared to most body woods. Find out more about Poplar.

Woods Used in the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones. Find out more about Rosewood.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Winner: Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has an SH configuration while the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass has SS pickups.

SH is a more versatile version of the classic telecaster (SS) configuration. The bridge pickup usually produces a bright and twangy tone, while the neck Humbucker gives you the warmer tone you'll need for more Jazzy/Bluish solos and chords.

On the other hand, SS is the classic Telecaster configuration. It's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion, and it's very popular for the country genre because of their brightness. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Pickups Quality

The Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass pickups from a more specialized brand than the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V. Its pickups should give you a fuller, richer sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Country and similar genres.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Preamp Circuit

A preamp in an electric bass functions as an electronic circuit that acts as an interface between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its main purpose is to amplify and customize the bass's initial signal before it reaches the amplifier, offering enhanced control over factors like tone, volume, and sound attributes. Preamps typically come equipped with tone adjustments, equalization options, and sometimes built-in effects, empowering bass players to fine-tune their sound to suit their personal preferences and the musical environment.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's preamp is Active while the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's is Passive.

Active: Unlike passive basses, which rely solely on passive pickups and tone controls, active preamps require a power source, typically a 9-volt battery, to operate. The active preamp offers several advantages, including the ability to boost or cut specific frequencies, resulting in a more versatile and customizable tonal palette. Active basses are favored in genres where precise tonal sculpting and extended tonal options are essential, such as jazz fusion or progressive rock. However, they do require occasional battery replacement or recharging to ensure optimal performance.

Passive: A bass with a passive preamp lacks an onboard electronic circuit for tone shaping and signal boosting. Instead, it relies solely on passive pickups and basic tone controls, typically consisting of volume and tone knobs. Passive preamps don't require an external power source like batteries, making them low-maintenance and dependable. While they offer a simpler and more straightforward tonal character, passive basses are appreciated for their warm and vintage sound, often favored in genres like classic rock, blues, and funk. They are an excellent choice for musicians who value the simplicity and timeless appeal of their instrument's tone without the need for active electronic components.

Winner: Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

In this case, both of them lack pickup selector.

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
Pickups 65
Sustain 85
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 75
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 77
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 81

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V compares to the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V is built in Indonesia while the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass is made in United States.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass

Nut Material

If you want your bass to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has a Graphite nut. It's a self-lubricating material that will allow the strings to slide over the nut without a lot of friction. It's a good type of nut if you want to have better tuning stability than with plastic, although it's not as resistant as Bone or Tusq.

On the other hand, the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass comes with a Bone nut. It's a type of nut found in high-quality instruments. They sound similar to Ivory since they give a lot of sustain and a bright sound (at least when striking open strings). The only problem they can run into is that you may get a bone piece that simply doesn't sound as well as others because that's just how natural materials are.

Winner: Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's are Vintage-Style while the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's are Pure Vintage ‘Lollipop’

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a bass is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

Both have a Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Tie.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
  • Active Preamp
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Active Preamp
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
Quality of materials 46
Features 70
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 60
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
Quality of materials 56
Features 70
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 74

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a bass might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a bass feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Nut Width
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Nut Width
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Nut Width
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has the wider nut with 47.6mm (1.875'') vs 38.1mm (1.5''). This is a 9.5mm (0.375'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V and Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's Scale Length
Both have the same scale length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

In this case, both have a scale length of 34".

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be higher. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Neck Profile
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's neck profile
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Neck Profile
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass, on the other hand, has a U neck. This is also referred to as ''baseball neck'' because of its shape. It's usually thick, which is why some people with big hands like it. However, they can also be thin, similar to a C shape, but with more shoulders for a better grip.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Fingerboard Radius
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's Fingerboard radius
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Fingerboard Radius
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's Fingerboard radius

Most bass fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a bass before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a bass favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass favors large hands more than the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V.

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Frets Size
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V's Frets Size
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass Frets Size
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's Frets Size

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V has Narrow Tall frets, which should be taller than the Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass's Vintage Tall frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75
Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 100
Solo Playability 50
Playability 72

Specs Side-by-Side

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V vs Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
General Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH V Fender American Vintage II 1966 Jazz Bass
Brand: Fender Squier Fender
Year: 2022 2022
Configuration: SH SS
Strings: 5 4
Made in: Indonesia United States
Series: Contemporary American Vintage II
Colors: Black White, Sunburst, Green
Left-Handed Version: No Yes
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar Alder
Bridge: 5-Saddle Standard Pure Vintage 4-Saddle with Threaded Steel Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style Pure Vintage ‘Lollipop’
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Bound Round-Laminated Rosewood
Neck Material: Roasted Maple Maple
Decoration: Pearloid Dot White Pearloid Dot 7mm
Scale Size: 34" 34"
Shape: Bass C Shape Bass 1966 U
Frets: 20 Narrow Tall Nickel Silver 20 Vintage Tall Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 7.25"
Nut: Graphite Bone
Nut Width: 47.6mm (1.875'') 38.1mm (1.5'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker / Active) Fender Pure Vintage 66 Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 66 Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Squier SQR Split Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 1