Jackson X Series Spectra Bass Sbx V

4/5, 4 from 1 review
5-string, neck-though 35" scale bass with active electronics
  1. taketwo
    Great features, but some details lacking
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 5, 2022
    Build Quality:
    • + Very versatile tone from pickups and electronics
    • + Solid and stable neck
    • - Some build details can be lacking
    • - No shielding
    The technical specs appealed to me, and did not disappoint.
    The neck is thin, solid, and stable, especially after a year of seasonal adjustment.
    There is no neck dive. The frets are level, without sprout even in winter.
    Only one dead spot on the 6th fret of the G string.

    It's not mentioned, but the truss rod is double action (can pull the neck to forward or back bow, as needed). Even with relief, the neck stays dead straight after the 7th fret, likely because of the graphite rods. I currently have 250 lbs of string tension on the neck and the truss rod has no problems compensating.

    The pickups are loud, fairly bright, and can produce a variety of tones. Neck pickup solo in humbucker mode is like a very boomy P-Bass (but see EQ below...). Both pickups in split coil mode is a good, scooped J-Bass sound (my favourite configuration). Bridge pickup solo in humbucker mode sounds similar to a Rickenbacker. There is no shielding, so solo split-coil use isn't usable for me.

    The active preamp is clean and flat. The tone is the same with it on or off, with only volume as a change. Turning down the bass EQ knob a bit controls the boominess of the humbuckers and makes for a lively tone. The battery is easy to replace and lasts for many months at least.

    The stock strings were disappointing, but easily replaced. Up to a .148 B string will fit through the bridge, though you may then need to shim up the B saddle to have enough range to set the action.

    The bass itself is very well built, but the details can lack. Mine came with poorly assembled tuners which make tuning harder than needed, but since the bass holds tuning very well, this is a minor problem. The stock nut was soft plastic which made the strings bind and made tuning very tedious. However, GraphTec makes an exact replacement. A little sanding, and the new nut fit perfectly and fixed that tuning issue.

    Another instance of this bass I tried had perfectly smooth tuners and a hard composite nut, and tuning was easy, but some pots were wobbly and not installed well. Again, this would have been easy to fix after purchase.

    Overall, I don't regret this purchase and I expect it to be my main instrument for a very long time.
    Price Paid:
    700 CAD