Also Fender's line of inexpensive bass guitar
s. Important to not that frequently "almost as good" just doesn't cut it. My Fender Squier bass (parts: Korea; assembled: Mexico) has a number of problems contributing to its inherent crappiness.
- Really crappy pickups; really muddy.
- Bolt-on neck not well bolted-on, providing a real dead sound and no sustain*.
- The neck was not quite true and the frets were horribly uneven in height, providing lots of annoying string buzz in places.
*Thankfully there's ta cool solution to this one, stolen from Billy Sheehan
: cut a plastic pick in half, wedge the two halves in between the neck and the body. Remove the strings and place the bass face-down on the ground. Climb onto the bass, pushing the whole weight of your body through your knees down onto the body, and tighten the screws on the bolt-on as tight as you possibly can. The neck won't wobble any more, and the instrument will feel more solid and (most importantly)sound better.
Save up. Hit the pawn shops. Check the classifieds. Do what you have to do to avoid the Squier and step up to a real Fender (Jazz bass, Telecaster, ... whatever your preference).