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What can a Fender do that my SX can't

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BryanM, Jan 6, 2013.


  1. BryanM

    BryanM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I played a local open mic the other night that has a slew of house equipment including a Fretless Japanese Jazz Bass. My primary bass is an SX SJB-62FL fretless jazz copy with the high mass bridge and vintage pickups. I love the sound, feel and weight of my bass but the Fender also felt very nice to play, very comfortable and a bit lighter. In the opinion of Talkbass, is there any benefit to having a Fender (probably Japanese or Mexican but definitely not American) over a Fender copy or would I essentially have two of the same tool in my shed?

    As an alternative, I've been considering this as a second bass:

    Agile Harm 1 Extended Scale

    though I primarily play fretless and this would mostly be a novelty to knock around with.
     
  2. Kenzy

    Kenzy

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    First, I'll start by responding solely to this thread's title:
    A Fender can make everyone on TB go crazy with excitement :p


    This is TB. The answer will be a loud unanimous "YES", I assure you. :D

    If only I could be helpful... :scowl:
     
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    This is gonna get good. Subb'd.
     
  4. mathewjg

    mathewjg

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    London
    In my opinion one of the best reasons for INVESTING in a proper USA Fender is exactly that - over many years it will increase in value (at least they have done up until now) so not only do you have the pleasure and prestige of owning one but if its anything like my 70's vintage reissue Jazz bass the value will increase more than if you had left the money in a saving account. I paid $1200 for the JB about 6 years ago and now the price is over $2000. I was told a story by an ex salesman at a big music store in London - Jimmy Hendrix was just playing around with a very cheap model that happened to look nice - there were people in the shop that actually decided to buy the guitar based on what they heard - but of course they would never get the same sound because we all attack the strings in different ways. SO if you can afford it then make an investment - if you cant then first of all take your bass to a good luthier and get the action set up with a new set of strings - plug it into a good quality amplifier and if you still dont like it then consider some new pickups. One other thing - The Sansamp is one thing that seems to transform any bass sound so maybe try one out - although it might cost more than the price of a new bass! But just re-reading your post - you are happy with your guitar so I doubt there would be any significant advantage on going for a budget Fender although there is the pleasure of getting a new one.....
     
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  6. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Downdashaw
  7. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Appreciate in value and keep its headstock. All the rest is subjective. :D
     
  8. BryanM

    BryanM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    While I appreciate that approach, I'm primarily a working musician. Whatever I get will be going with me to smoky, dirty bars and clubs between one and four nights a week, spend time in it's case in a van and probably be beat to hell. I have a 1992 Gibson Les Paul that I do the same with and it's not winning any beauty pageants, so I don't look at my basses as investments insofar as resale value as much as return from use.

    That said, I've disliked every American Fender I've ever played, but loved the feel of just about every Japanese Fender and a lot of the Mexican Fenders. I've just had it drummed into my head for a long time that $100-$200 instruments are backups and have no place on a pro stage and I can't for the life of me think of a reason why whenever I play my bass.
     
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Bryan, you are doing it right. Gig with the bass you like. My basses range in price from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. ALL of them are gig-worthy. As an example, I recently acquired three Thunderbirds. I really love my Gibson 'bird. I took the two Epiphones to a recent gig and left the Gibson home. The Epi's sell for $400 and $500. The Gibson sells for $1200. No one of them is really any better than the other. When I brought the Gibson to the next gig, the soundman commented how much he liked the Epiphones.
     
  10. SBassman

    SBassman

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Northeast, US
    Disclosures:
    PiccoBass Dealer
    The short answer for many will be - not much.

    However, depending on what you have and what you compare to, a Fender Could have:
    - Better tuners
    - Better pickups
    and for me, most important:
    - the possibility of a lighter body.

    While weights can flux even for an identical model bass, one thing I found about the SX's over the years is that they use woods that sometimes Can be heavier than woods used by higher end builders. It's possible to get a real back breaker with an SX. [but, again, it's also possible to get something that's a reasonable weight.]

    I get a kick out of the quote "weighs only 10 pounds" in some of the SX/Rondo descriptions. In my book, 10 pounds is Oppressive.
     
  11. jondog

    jondog

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2002
    Location:
    NYC metro area
    3 years ago I loaned my MIM P to a friend, he still has it. For 8 years I have gigged only w/ SXs. Last night a drunk guy told me my Sadowsky sounded fantastic. I showed him the Made In China sticker. :D
     
  12. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    That's gonna suck as a second bass. It's gonna sound like a guitar.
     
  13. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Dingdingdingdingding.
     
  14. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    It must be purely a regional thing. Here in North Carolina, Most bass players can be seen with a Copy in their hands. I see lots of Squiers, Ibanez. The occasional Fender I see is usually MIM. I prefer older American Fenders and Japan Fenders. I played a bunch of new ones too and they're great too. I use My Ric 4003 for most practices & Gigs. But I break out the MIJ Jaguar Now & then.
     
  15. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    +1

    The only place I intend to ever play a 10 pound bass again is in hell.
     
  16. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hey! Nice to see a fellow RA & The Cardinals fan.
     
  17. johnson79

    johnson79

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Location:
    East Petersburg PA
    I really enjoy my old SX. My brother bought it for his home studio and it toured with his last band. After I sold off my nice ASAT he gave it to me. It is just as nice as any MIM or Squier that I've played.
     
  18. Trayster2

    Trayster2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Palm Coast, FL
  19. Mike Sorr

    Mike Sorr Hack with nice gear. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Exit 82, NJ
    I'm probably going to get killed for this, but I realized a long time ago that basses are like wine. If your pricey wine has a famous name, but tastes like crap to your pallet, no amount of pats on the back from wine snobs is going to make it taste better. My signature says, "Now which one is the bass player?" That's something that was actually said to my wife when she told a friend I was in the band they were watching. To your average club goer, as long as they hear the low end in the mix they don't care if your bass costs $200 or $2000, or if your amp is powerful enough to melt rocks. Your average music appreciating bar fly doesn't know the difference between a Warwick bass, or a Walmart bass. If it sounds good, it is good. Just like wine. My uncle, a recovering wine snob, once said there are ony four kinds of wine, red you like and red you don't, and white you like and white you don't. But his collection always impressed his wine snob friends at parties. Play what you like, because they only other people likely to give a damn are other bass players, and you're not playing to impress them.
     
  20. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    suburban Chicago
    If your SX is doing every thing you need to do as well as you need it done then the only thing any (and I do mean any brand, any price) more expensive bass is going to do for you is give you a feeling of luxury. Most of us appreciate a bit of luxury now and then. It might also impress some people but any true music fan judges you by what they hear.

    The Agile extended scale guitar is essentially a bass VI. I can see the attraction, but then I would because I am also considering getting a bass VI or baritone guitar because I want to try chording more and I am hoping the shorter scale will help with that. Personally I am favoring the baritone approach because they tend to be around 27 inches whereas the 30 inch scale of a bass VI can be had on a 34 inch bass simply by ignoring the first two frets. I guess I really don't see the point of short and medium scale basses!! ;)

    Ken
     
  21. SquierJazz72

    SquierJazz72

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Location:
    Stratford,Ontario
    In the end, a bass is a bass.

    More expensive ones may have better fit and finish.
    Some will have more luxury and prestige.

    But if what you're using now is already Fender-like, plays good and sounds right to you, then a Fender won't necessarily DO more, in that sense. Except cost more to replace if something did happen.
     

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