Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Review & Prices

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Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Review
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  • From Fender Squier's 2022 Contemporary series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 4-Saddle Standard bridge
  • Bass C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Weight between 9lbs (4.1kgs) and 10lbs (4.5kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 75
Build quality 60
Value for money 80
Overall Score 70
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH
  • 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

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $400, which means that the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH costs around 20% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 4 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Indonesia.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this bass say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH meets 3 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this bass—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH weighs between 9lbs (4.1kgs) and 10lbs (4.5kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's 34" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Scale Length Comparison
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale bass, and it's the most popular choice for several reasons. Even though it might be more difficult to play than short scale basses due to their increased string tension, their punchier low-end results in a clear and defined bass tone that can cut through in a mix, making them well-suited for genres like rock, metal, and funk.

Neck Profile

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Neck Profile
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.5'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.5'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.5'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.5'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
34'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.5'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Nut Width
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Nut Width

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH has a nut width of 38.1mm (1.5''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 4-string bass. This is what most players find as a balanced width for both playing chords and single notes across different strings. If you have an "average" hand size, or you're not sure what nut width you'd like, this is a safe bet.

Frets

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH has 20 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH Fret Size Comparison
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's frets are Narrow Tall size. These are similar to Jumbos, but they might be slightly shorter (or taller, depending on the maker), and they tend to have a narrower crown width. You'll be able to press the strings easily, but if you're not used to them, you might get the notes out of pitch if you press down too hard on the strings since their height won't let you feel the fretboard.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar Body
Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple Neck, Fretboard

Poplar Body: It's similar to Alder in terms of tone as it has a fat low-end with strong mids, but it's a lot cheaper and softer. It's a bit heavier so it's mostly used for tops.

Roasted Maple Neck and Fretboard: Similar to simple Maple, but even stronger, darker, and more stable to temperature changes. This is thanks to the treatment process that consists in using high temperatures to drain the water, sugar, and resins from the wood.

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are active pickups, so you can expect a lot of output with a highly compressed signal that will give your tones more distortion while retaining a clear, defined sound, which is what many Heavy Metal players need. However, they have the disadvantage of sometimes lacking a fully clean sound when playing without distortion.

Preamp

The preamp is an electronic circuit that serves as an intermediary between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its primary function is to boost and shape the bass's raw signal before it reaches the amplifier. This allows for greater control over the bass's tone, volume, and other sound characteristics. Preamps often include tone controls, equalization settings, and sometimes even onboard effects, enabling bassists to tailor their sound to their preferences and the musical context.

This bass has a Active preamp. 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.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

20 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Neck Pickup
20 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Split Single-Coil Neck Pickup
20 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Split Single-Coil Neck Pickup
20 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker Neck Pickup

Versatility

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 4 strings, Solid Body bass with HH configuration and Active pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any bass for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 65
Sustain 85
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 75

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH is made in Indonesia. Many people prefer the quality of an Indonesian guitar over a Chinese. Respectable brands like Epiphone, Ibanez and Schecter are building in this country because of the great quality and lower price. Some people like to compare them to the ones built in Japan during the 80s, when Japanese guitar makers made a name for themselves.

Bridge

4-Saddle Standard: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your bass. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH has a Graphite nut. This material is self-lubricating, which allows the strings to slide over the nut without too much friction. This helps to keep the guitar in tune when bending and using the tremolo. It's not as resistant and it doesn't sound as good as bone, but it is much better than a plastic nut.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the bass meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This bass has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 46
Features 70
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 60

All Specs

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH
General
Brand: Fender Squier
Year: 2022
Configuration: HH
Strings: 4
Made in: Indonesia
Series: Contemporary
Colors: Gold, Blue
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar
Bridge: 4-Saddle Standard
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style
Fretboard: Roasted Maple
Neck Material: Roasted Maple
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 34"
Shape: Bass C Shape
Frets: 20 Narrow Tall
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Graphite
Nut Width: 38.1mm (1.5'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker / Active)
Neck Pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker / Active)

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