Squier refreshes Contemporary Series with redesigned Active Jazzmaster, Starcaster and Jazz Bass, plus all-new Active Precision Bass

Squier Contemporary Series 2022
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has expanded its line of Squier Contemporary Series electric guitars and basses with three refreshed models, as well as an all-new bass guitar.

The Active Jazzmaster, Starcaster and Jazz Bass – originally launched over the course of 2018 and 2019 – have been brought in line with the rest of last year’s high-spec Contemporary Series, with the addition of roasted maple necks, sculpted neck heels and modern-voiced Squier SQR active pickups.

All-new for this year, however, is the Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH, available in four-string and five-string configurations.

Besides the playability and tonal tweaks, all models also now boast a neat aesthetic update in the form of chrome headstock logos. Mmm.

Let’s take a look at what’s new with each model…

Squier Contemporary Active Jazzmaster HH ($489)

Tearing up the Jazzmaster rulebook almost entirely, the Active HH takes its cues from Jim Root’s signature guitar, albeit with a few tweaks.

There are several significant changes from the 2018 ST model here, namely the replacement of the adjusto-matic bridge with a two-point Synchronized tremolo, as well as the roasted maple neck and sculpted heel, as opposed to the original’s plain maple and block neck joint. The laurel fingerboard returns.

The original’s Surf Pearl and Graphite Metallic finishes, meanwhile, have been switched out for Shell Pink Pearl and Sunset Metallic colorways, both with black hardware and black headstocks.

Otherwise, the poplar-bodied model features Squier SQR active ceramic humbuckers for fearsome output and contemporary sounds, although there’s no word on whether these differ from those found in the originals.

Squier Contemporary Active Starcaster ($479)

First launched as part of a trio of revived Starcaster designs in summer 2019, the Active Starcaster has now been brought in under the renewed Contemporary umbrella.

So, that means the roasted maple neck and sculpted heel now grace the spec sheet, but otherwise the guitar remains largely similar, with two Squier SQR active ceramic humbuckers, an adjusto-matic-style bridge and tailpiece, and a laminated maple body.

Finishes have, however, received a switch-up: Surf Pearl and Flat Black are out in favor of the rather more luxurious Shoreline Gold and Gunmetal Metallic. Just get a load of the matching ‘swoop’ on the Gunmetal model’s headstock. Phwoar.

Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH ($499-$529)

There haven’t been too many changes to this tricked-out Jazz: the Squier SQR ceramic humbuckers are present and correct, as are controls for volume, pickup blend, tone and bass/treble boost.

What has changed, however, is the body material – which is now poplar, rather than the original’s increasingly scarce ash – as well as the addition of that roasted maple neck and sculpted heel.

Finish-wise, it’s see ya later, Flat Black and Flat White; hello, Sky Burst Metallic and Shoreline Gold – oh, and Gunmetal Metallic is the sole option for the five-string model, which costs an additional $30 over the four-string’s asking price. You get a painted black headstock whatever finish you opt for.

Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH in Gunmetal Metallic

Squier Contemporary Active Jazz Bass HH in Gunmetal Metallic (Image credit: Fender)

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH ($499-$529)

The latest addition to the Contemporary range features an active P-Bass split neck single-coil, and adds a humbucking bridge pickup to the usual Precision arrangement.

Like the Jazz Bass, there are controls for volume, pickup blend and tone, plus stacked boost controls for bass and treble.

Other features include a hi-mass bridge, plus that ubiquitous roasted maple C-shape neck and black hardware.

Two finishes are available – Pearl White and Sunset Metallic – as is a five-string version, which is only available in Black, but comes with an anodized aluminum pickguard. A black painted headstock completes the look.

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH in Black

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH in Black (Image credit: Fender)

For more information on all the new models, head to Fender.com.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.