I acquired this Sonic Blue Precision Bass from Laurent Cokelaere last week, and it’s a great instrument. It’s from 2008, when Fender had just set up a new Squier factory in China (Squier is Fender’s economy brand), and apparently Fender had to tell the Chinese to back off the quality control a bit: the instruments were simply too good for the market segment they were aimed for. Whether this rumor is true remains uncertain, but there is definitely a lot of talk going around the net about the disproportionate quality of certain generations of Squier instruments, compared to their often ten times more expensive American counterparts, sold under the Fender brand. Obviously, labor cost is the central issue here, and from a geo-economical point of view, it’s a problematic matter. But labor quality is not the problem, and to discard these Chinese instruments as second rate would be a mistake. I can certainly testify to the quality of them. Now, I just need to spend a few more years on the bass to avoid having to rely on the Pro Tools bag of tricks to put a decent bass track together…

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