Are these any good?
Fender Japan Exclusive Aerodyne Jazz Bass Medium Scale VWH Electric Bass | eBay
Also what about the Squires? Were some years better than others? I'm just looking for something that's good with the low end for thrash-power-grove style metal while trying to come in under $1000 and am not that savvy on basses. Thanks.
They are really nice basses but to be honest if I were you I'd grab something with a P/J pickup config. The P brings the grunt and the snarl and the growl, whilst the J brings the tightness and the mids.
LTD do a Frank Bello model which would be right up your street. A little more modern feeling than the Fender. Failing that, any MIM/MIJ P/J will do you just fine!