*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*
As a guitarist with a ton of experience, I’ve played loads of bass guitars – but today, I’m super excited to talk about the Squier Sonic Bronco Bass. This bass stands out because it’s really affordable.
The big question is, does its low price mean low quality? I’m here to find out and share everything with you. So, let’s jump in and see what this bass has to offer!
About Squier Sonic Bronco Bass
The Squier Sonic Bronco Bass is a cool option for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a bass. It’s made by Squier, which is part of the famous Fender family, so they know a thing or two about making good instruments.
This bass is aimed at beginners, but even if you’ve been playing for a while, you might be surprised by what it offers. It’s simple, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Here’s how it sounds.
Body & Neck
The body and neck of the Squier Sonic Bronco Bass are pretty neat. The poplar body is light, so you won’t get tired holding it. It’s a solid choice for long practice sessions or gigs. The sound you get from poplar is really balanced, not too bassy or too trebly, just right.
The neck is made of maple, which is great for a couple of reasons. First, it’s super strong, so it can handle the tension of the strings without problems. Second, it gives a bright sound, which complements the warmer tone of the poplar body. The result? A bass that sounds good in a lot of different styles.
What’s important, this is a short-scale bass. It means that it has a scale length of 30″, so it’s a bit smaller guitar than a regular bass (that has 34″ scale length).
The Squier Sonic Bronco Bass keeps it simple with just one ceramic single-coil pickup. But don’t think that limits you – you can get a lot of different sounds out of this bass.
Whether you’re playing rock, jazz, or anything in between, you can find a tone that works. And with just a master volume and tone control, it’s super easy to dial in the sound you want.
Build Quality & Factory Setup
The build quality of this bass is pretty impressive, especially considering the price. It feels solid and well-made, like it’s going to last. When you first get it, the factory setup is decent. The action (how high the strings are from the fretboard) is comfortable, and there’s
minimal buzz from the strings. However, you might want to get it professionally set up to make it feel perfect for your style of playing.
Remember, even expensive basses can benefit from a custom setup, so it’s not a knock on this budget-friendly beast. The good news is, even with the cost of a setup, you’re still likely coming out ahead financially with the Bronco Bass.
Here’s a little table with all the detailed specs for all nerds who want to know absolutely everything (I don’t blame you, I’m just like you).
|Maple with Black Dot Inlays
|762 mm (30″)
|241 mm (9.5″)
|38.1 mm (1.5″)
|19 Narrow Tall
|Ceramic Single Coil
|Master Volume and Tone
Who Should Get It
- Beginners: If you’re just starting out, this bass is perfect. It’s easy to play, not too heavy, and won’t overwhelm you with complicated features.
- Players on a Budget: If you’ve got more experience but don’t want to spend a lot, this bass is a smart choice. It’s reliable for practice, recording, or even gigging.
- Traveling Musicians: Its lightweight and sturdy build make it great for taking on the road.
What I Don’t Like About This Bass
Alright, let’s be real for a second. The Squier Sonic Bronco Bass is great for its price, but it’s not perfect. The single pickup means you’re a bit limited in the range of sounds you can get.
If you’re into playing styles that need a more diverse range of tones, this might not be the bass for you. Also, while it’s solidly built, it doesn’t have the same premium feel as more expensive basses. But hey, for its price, it’s still a great deal.
If you want to read more about Squier bass guitars, here’s my article about some cool basses made by that famous brand.
Pros & Cons
When evaluating the famous Sonic Bronco, it’s important to weigh its pros and cons to understand its overall value and suitability for different types of players. Here’s a breakdown:
- Affordable Pricing: The most significant advantage of this bass is its affordability. It’s an excellent choice for those on a tight budget or beginners not ready to invest heavily.
- Solid Construction: Despite its low cost, the bass doesn’t compromise much on build quality. The use of poplar for the body and maple for the neck ensures durability.
- Comfortable Playability: With its 30″ scale length, the bass is comfortable to play, especially for those with smaller hands or transitioning from a guitar.
- Simple and Versatile Electronics: The single ceramic single-coil pickup, while basic, offers a surprisingly versatile range of tones, suitable for various music genres.
- Lightweight Design: The bass is relatively lightweight, making it a good option for long practice sessions or gigs.
- Limited Tonal Range: The single pickup configuration, while versatile, can’t match the tonal diversity of basses with multiple pickups. This might be a drawback for players looking for more sonic versatility.
- Basic Aesthetics: The design is quite basic and might not appeal to those who prefer a more sophisticated or unique look.
- Potential for Upgrades: While the factory setup is decent, some players may find the need to upgrade certain components (like the tuners or bridge) to enhance playability and stability.
Exploring budget-friendly bass guitars, I’ve played various models that stand out as great alternatives to the Squier Sonic Bronco Bass. Each offers unique features and caters to different playing styles:
- Squier Sonic Precision Bass:
- Known for its classic rock and blues vibe.
- Offers a punchy and defined sound, typical of the P-Bass design.
- A good fit for those seeking a traditional bass tone.
- Harley Benton JB-20:
- Inspired by the iconic Jazz Bass design.
- Features a slimmer neck for fast playing and intricate bass lines.
- Dual-pickup configuration allows for versatile tone adjustments.
- Ideal for players looking for flexibility and comfort.
- Ibanez Talman TMB-100:
- Stands out with its unique body shape and powerful sound.
- Equipped with an active EQ for extra tone control.
- A modern choice both in aesthetics and sound capabilities.
- Suitable for players who love to experiment with their sound.
Having had the opportunity to play each of these models, I find that they all have their own strengths. However, the Squier Sonic might just edge them out in terms of overall value.
Its blend of affordability, solid construction, and versatile sound makes it a strong contender for the title of the best budget-friendly bass guitar.
Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced player keeping an eye on the budget, the Squier Sonic deserves serious consideration.
My experience with Squiers is generally VERY positive. You can check out my YouTube channel to find out how many good Squiers I had throughout the years.
Q1: Are Squier bass guitars good for beginners?
A1: Absolutely! Squier bass guitars are renowned for their affordability and quality, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They offer a comfortable playing experience and are built to be durable, which is perfect for those just starting their musical journey.
Q2: How do Squier basses compare to Fender basses?
A2: Squier is a subsidiary of Fender, and its basses are generally considered as more budget-friendly alternatives to Fender’s. While Fender basses often use higher quality materials and have more premium features, Squier basses are well-regarded for their value for money, offering solid build quality and good sound at a lower price point.
Q3: What styles of music are Squier basses suited for?
A3: Squier basses are versatile and can be used for a wide range of music styles. From rock and pop to jazz and blues, they offer a good tonal range that can fit various musical genres. Some models may be more suited to specific styles, so it’s worth researching individual models based on your musical preferences.
Q4: Can I upgrade my Squier bass?
A4: Yes, Squier basses are very upgrade-friendly. Many players choose to upgrade components such as pickups, bridges, and tuners to enhance the sound and playability of their bass. These upgrades can significantly improve the instrument’s performance.
Q5: What is the difference between active and passive Squier basses?
A5: Active Squier basses have built-in preamps powered by a battery, offering more control over the sound, like boosting bass or treble frequencies. Passive basses, on the other hand, do not have this feature and typically have a more traditional, straightforward sound. The choice between active and passive depends on your sound preference and playing style.
Q6: How often should I maintain my Squier bass?
A6: Regular maintenance is key to keeping your Squier bass in good condition. This includes tasks like changing strings, cleaning the fretboard, and checking the intonation and action. Generally, a check-up every few months is a good practice, but this can vary depending on how often you play.
Would I recommend it?
The bass’s build quality is impressive, considering its price range. It’s sturdy, comfortable to play, and has a decent factory setup. While it may not offer the intricate features of higher-end models, its simplicity is part of its charm, offering everything a player needs without unnecessary complications.
One of the few drawbacks is the single pickup configuration, which, while versatile, might limit those seeking a broader tonal palette. However, for many players, the range it offers will be more than sufficient, especially when considering the price point.