Looking for a beginner-friendly bass guitar? Check out our Squier Bronco Bass review! Learn why it’s a great entry-level choice and start playing your favorite tunes.
Squier has always been known for its high-quality, affordable instruments. The Squire Bronco Bass is no exception! These cheap basses are perfect if you’re on a budget or just looking to try out some new sounds before deciding which one of the big-name brands suits your needs best – without sacrificing great sound quality in the process.
Squier’s Bronco Bass is the perfect instrument for students and smaller players looking to get their feet wet in bass guitar. These low-cost guitars offer quality sound without breaking your bank account so that you can take it as far as possible!
In this article, we will take you through everything important to know about Squier Affinity Bronco Bass.
At A Glance
- One of the best affordable bass guitars available for beginners
- Amazing value for the money with the solid built quality
- Thin C-shaped neck profile with compact size
- Perfect for all ages smaller or beginning players
- A popular model for modifying with lots of positive feedback
- Lightweight and super comfortable for long playing or practicing sessions
- Easy to adjust setup and vintage styling looks great
- Solid build quality, no quality control issues
- Great number of positive feedback
- Maybe some nicer tuners would suit best
- Small adjustments are needed for better results
- Not for players who like a heftier feel from their bass
- Agathis body wood can be a little more fragile than other tonewoods
History And Origin
Fender’s first electric bass, called the Precision Bass, was introduced in 1951. This innovative instrument set a standard for all future models, with its sleek design and powerful sound, which many other companies have since replicated over time!
The Squier Bronco Bass shares many features from this groundbreaking product while delivering an affordable package that can be enjoyed by beginners or professionals alike.
The Bronco is pretty much an updated version of the MusicMaster Bass, which means they have some really high-quality components that make them sound great for metal or rock music!
The MusicMaster Bass was originally designed as a student’s instrument, but many have since taken them up and used them in their professional life. These are hand-built American-made from the 70’s kind era!
The Bronco bass is the modern version of that made by Squier. It’s an affordable, beginner’s guitar but with the potential mileage to go even further than just being a student instrument.
In order to give you the full lowdown on this bass, we’ll go into detail about its specifications with elaborations. After that, we’ll include demo videos so that when it comes time for your purchase decision-making process, you have a better idea of what tone options are available and how they can sound in different genres or styles!
With no further ado, let’s go through the specs and talk about what makes this bass similar to MusicMaster Bass. You’ll be getting more insight into Bronco in just one second!
Body, Neck, And Fretboard
The body is made of lightweight Agathis, making it perfect for even smaller players. The dramatic weight savings has led to a very comfortable playing experience that will not tire your hands out or give you hand cramps during long sets.
The guitar features a synthetic bone nut and medium-jumbo frets-19 fret Bass to be specific in terms of the neck profile on this bass. It’s very similar to that original MusicMaster as both have fairly chunky necks (towards the nut), making them feel sturdy yet comfortable at once!
This jazz bass neck has a nice width of one and a half inches and feels good when you play it. The 12th fret narrows down nicely but still remains substantial enough to provide some weight in your playing style without being too light or thin, unlike some other short-scale instruments out there.
We feel that if it had a slim neck with a short-scale profile, it’s going to lose a lot of tones- making it a very fragile bass. So we think Fender keeps a nice balance on this with a solid neck profile.
However, we all know that it’s easy to get around on a short scale. It’s 30 inches from the nut to the bridge piece, which makes it easy to get around quickly. And, if you are buying this for a child or just want to start something relatively easy and quite compact, then this is a good choice.
This guitar is fairly light, weighing in at just under 4 kg and being made in Indonesia. It has an adjustable Truss Rod above the nut that can be adjusted by using an Allen keyhole on top of its neck – this design makes for easy adjustments while playing live or recording music!
Electronics And Hardware
While this bass may be small in stature, it has been able to keep a tune better than many much larger and more expensive instruments. The credit for its tunability goes mostly due to the Chrome Two-Saddle Bridge and chrome tuning pegs which are a great addition to this bass, as they help with keeping the tune better than other instruments of lesser quality.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, it is not an ideal scenario to stop and tune every 3 minutes again, and this is probably why the Bronco has such a broad appeal. While everything works right out of the box though, if you want to impress seriously, then upgrading your electronics could go a long way towards doing so!
Additionally, changing bass strings makes a massive difference in sound quality by reducing the fret buzz as well as will offer smoother playability which would make anyone’s jaw drop open at how good they’re. But, one thing to consider is thinner gauges cannot enter into stock tuning pegs because they were designed more conservatively.
We also think the hardware and the build quality are decent for the price, in fact, very good for the price, but we believe that the hardware is cheaper, and you might hear from many professionals that: “The first thing I’d probably do would be to change out the pickup.”
Overall, one thing is for sure, even without the mods, when compared to instruments that retail for 10x as much, this bass guitar is an incredible budget-friendly option.
It’s a satin finish on this affinity bass. We find that they pick up a lot of dirt very quickly, but it’s a field that you can’t go wrong with, especially when you’re first starting.
Why? This is particularly because you’re not going to get stuck from any aspect simply for having dirt. Here’s how you can get rid of dirt easily and more efficiently from your bass guitar.
This instrument has a black polyurethane finish and features a white three-ply pickguard, which gives it an awesome classic look. Geared up with a classic Fender shape and vintage styling, this bass is sure to turn heads, reminding us of the famous Mustang Bass.
The finish of this isn’t going to be unpleasant for sure. It’s just a piece of wood that feels really nice as well as it’s smooth and easy to navigate. And for many people, that’s all you’re going to need from a bass like this.
The pickup, which has been specially designed to be placed right in the sweet spot of the bass body, won’t give you that muddy sound often associated with short-scale instruments. In fact, it will produce a full clear tone without any loss or distortion, even at higher volumes!
The clear, warm tone of this instrument reminded us of an early 50s Precision Bass or the front Jazz pickup with a vintage growl and sweet but subdued high end.
We didn’t hear any humming or buzzing from its single-coil pickup as well, which may be due to shielding in some cases. It’s also possible that there is no interference at all because these types can produce very subtle sounds; when played correctly!
The pole pieces are covered, which can help reduce noise as well. Here’s a demo for your better understanding of the sound quality of the affinity bronco:
This is a typical Fender construction with a four-bar neck joint, and you’ll have a bent plate of the bridge with the two saddles. So you have to kind of bend them and work out how your intonation is going to work based on how the two saddles sit between the two strings.
So it’s a pair of strings per saddle. And then it has Squier tuners at the top, which are a bit more robust than those on the original MusicMaster basses. The knurled chrome knob on this guitar felt sturdy and turned nicely without feeling too loose.
You’ll find that the A and the D strings are going to be a lot punchier and rounder just because there are more poles there. The center of the pickup has four poles, whereas there are only two on each side.
So what we found was that the E-string on the bass with Strat pickup comes out quite low sounding, as there’s not enough output. The A and the D come out as punchy, round, and warm tones that we think sound great.
The G-string again comes across as a little bit flimsy, so it would probably be best if you could change out the pickup (More on this below. Keep reading!). The rest of this hardware on the bass could easily be changed too. And maybe that’s the joy of it.
Overall, we were really impressed by the build quality of this bass. It has die-cast lightweight closed-back tuning pegs that feel solid and won’t wiggle or slip, which is pretty good for such an inexpensive instrument!
This guitar is comfortable to play both sitting and standing. It will feel really good when you hold it because of its weight. However, we might prefer some contouring in the upper arm area.
We were impressed by the playability of this guitar. There was no fret buzz or choking when we played it through its full-length neck profile, and a little doable setup will help you to create an ideal soundscape with an optimum feel for yourself.
You can play this bass for hours without feeling fatigued due to its lightweight and thin neck profile. Playing it can become very addictive in no time.
With the Fender 5250 roundwound strings, we’re getting a bright sound that wasn’t too thumpy. But with a good set of flatwounds installed on this bass, it adds some extra vintage vibe!
The controls are simple and straightforward; just one tone and one volume control, just like the standard P-bass. Overall, it can do the job for sure.
Design & Looks
So this is the MusicMaster design that Squier has obviously renamed as the Bronco bass as it features the same body shape and hardware as the MusicMaster. This Bronco is just the cheaper Squier version.
While it might not take your breath away, it’s still a really cool-looking bass. Squier has done a great job with the overall design. You might have a little bit more difficulty as time progresses. But if you can enjoy the compact feeling nature of this bass, definitely give it a purchase.
We didn’t love how the tuners looked, though – vintage-style rounder tuners might be better suited depending on your taste in guitar looks.
The guitar is available in Black and Torino Red.
Squier Bronco Bass Upgrades And Mods
The truss rod is accessed at the headstock, which makes minor adjustments very easy. While it’s playable “out of the box,” we’d recommend a quick trip to your local music store for a small tuneup unless you’re comfortable with those small adjustments.
We would recommend putting it in something that isn’t a strat pickup for better results. We felt that the strat pickup bass always sounded a little bit unbalanced in the mid-range. It’s a Fender-style bass, and you can always find parts and do the upgrades you want to make. It’s the bass that you want.
Value For Money
We know there’s an avid group of people on Talk Bass that take Broncos and customize and mod them as they’re so cheap that doing so is worth it.
Ultimately, it’s a solid neck and a solid body. If you want to use this as a building platform, it definitely could be that for you. As we say, the build quality is good on this Bass.
There are a couple of places where it comes up short like the scratchplate is not quite screwed down properly, but the fretwork and everything are very good for the price and hard to beat.
Choose Squire Affinity Bronco Bass If
- You’re thinking of not spending too much money for your child to start learning or just having a basic instrument just to give it a go without losing quality.
- You’re thinking about the different tones because they can fit pretty well for all three styles: fingerstyle, solo, and slap style.
- You’re starting as a bass player, and you need something that can do everything you want. As it’s going to have that Fender style tone, it’s just going to fit whatever you’re going to do.
- You want to have a lot of fun with one of these basses with optimum quality and real value for the hard-earned bucks- all at once!
Don’t Choose Squire Affinity Bronco Bass If
- You’re a more experienced player or want a little bit more from your bass. In that case, we think this bass is going to start coming up short eventually.
- You’re into those kinds of people who want a proper vintage Bass, like amusing master people who want their heritage or something like that, or people who want a bass that will reserve touring or gigging regularly. You’ll need a short-scale bass for those purposes (More on this later in this article).
- Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
- Single-coil Bronco Bass pickup
- Short 30“ scale length
- Thin and lightweight body
- Satin neck finish
- Neck: GSRM 4 neck 28.6" neck
- Neck Type: GSRM4 28.6"
- Body: Mahogany body
- Frets: Medium frets
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Donner's classic bass pickup
- AAA Perilla fingerboard, AAA Canadian maple neck
- “Modern C”-shaped profile
- Through-body fixed "4-SADDLE BRIDGE"
- Open-Gear Tuning Machines
- Gig bag, guitar strap, and cable as gifts
Bonus Tip: Is This Guitar Good For Touring?
We would recommend something like the Mexican-made Mustang with the PJ setup or any Mexican or other Mustang Basses. We felt they would stand up to touring properly, whereas something like this- is well-built.
Though it’s a solid bass, we feel that the rigs of touring would take their toll on things like the tuners, which are not amazing. They do the job, but they are not exceptional as well as the other parts like the bridge saddles.
We want proper individual saddles if we’re about to tour with a short-scale bass. So for someone who wants more travel adventures with a bass on the shoulder, we suggest looking at the PJ Mustang Bass.
What is the Squier Bronco Bass?
The Squier Bronco Bass is a short-scale electric bass guitar designed for beginners. It is part of the Squier by Fender line of bass guitars, which offers affordable versions of Fender’s classic basses.
What makes the Squier Bronco Bass a good choice for beginners?
The Squier Bronco Bass is a great bass for beginners for several reasons. First, it has a short scale length, which makes it easier to play for those with smaller hands. Secondly, it is very affordable, making it accessible for those on a tight budget. Finally, it is a well-built and reliable instrument that is ready to play right out of the box.
How does the Squier Bronco Bass sound?
The Squier Bronco Bass has a classic bass sound, thanks in part to its single-coil pickup. The short-scale design gives it a slightly different tonal character compared to full-length bass guitars, but it still has plenty of low-end punch and clarity.
What are some of the key features of the Squier Bronco Bass?
The Squier Bronco Bass has a 30″ short scale length, a poplar body, a maple neck with a maple fingerboard, and a single-coil pickup. It also has one volume and one tone knob, along with standard tuning machines. It comes in several finishes, including Torino Red.
Is the Squier Bronco Bass a good bass to learn on?
Yes, the Squier Bronco Bass is a great bass to learn on. It is easy to play thanks to its short scale length, and it is also very forgiving for beginners who may not yet have developed the finger strength and dexterity needed to play a full-length bass guitar. The affordable price also makes it a low-risk investment for those who are just starting out.
How does the Squier Bronco Bass compare to other bass guitars for beginners?
The Squier Bronco Bass is one of the best bass guitars for beginners. It offers a great combination of affordability, playability, and quality. It is also a good option for those who are interested in playing a short-scale bass like the Fender Mustang.
What do customer reviews say about the Squier Bronco Bass?
Customer reviews of the Squier Bronco Bass are very impressive.
When it comes to bass guitars, the Fender Bronco is a great starter option. It’s also fun and easy enough that you can do some modifications on components if your creative juices start flowing!
Even if you expand your knowledge and upgrade to the latest gear, having a backup Bronco bass guitar is better than nothing.
Overall, we’d recommend this bass to anyone who’s just starting out. It’s hard to go wrong with this, and it’s nice to have a 30-inch scale bass which makes it a little bit easier for starters.
The only reservation will be if you’re considering a 34-inch scale bass (which is long scale)- the standard scale for a bass guitar.
So, those are our thoughts on the Squier Affinity Bronco Bass, and we just struggle not to recommend this bass.
Fred L. Robinson is a young man from Mansfield, TX. He has always had a great passion for music and bass guitars in particular. At the age of 28, he is an expert on bass guitars and their related equipment, materials, history, and origins. Fred works as an author and bass guitar expert at Instrument Insight, where he uses his vast knowledge to help people make informed decisions about their bass guitar purchases.