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A few questions to SX short scale J owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shy Guy, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Shy Guy

    Shy Guy

    Sep 23, 2008
    Templeton, MA
    So I plan on making the switch to short scale and was wondering a few things about SX. First of all, when replacing the pickups are the stock routed dimensions equal to those of regular J basses. For the control plate; are the interchangeable with any regularly sized J control plates? Also how is the string tightness on the SX short scales? What basses would those who modded an SX short scale recommend?
  2. wideyes


    May 9, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    First off, if you've never owned an SX before, you should know that Rondo and Kurt have an excellent return policy, and that more than likely as an SX owner you WILL have to ship something back on account of it being too poorly put together.

    The routing for the j pickups seems to have somewhat standard dimensions, though perhaps on the tight/small side. Tall ones like Model J's might pose a problem if you like your action low. When I replaced the pups in mine to very standard-sized Vintage Vibes, I had to do some shaving on the pickguard to get the neck pup in. You should know that there is no real 'standard spec' on these instruments - each one is its own kettle of fish. They are "custom handmade" in China by monkeys. I found string tightness to be a definite issue: I put a set of .45-.105 DR HiBeams on there and found no way to make them anything but floppy noodles. Tension with D'Addario Chromes is pretty good for me, so if you're going roundwound you might be looking to the higher gauge/tension end of the spectrum.

    I've had mine for about 6 months now and to be honest, I'm thinking of selling it. Short scale instruments are harder to make sound good from the factory, and with SX's low QC, I think you're more than likely to get an instrument that you feel ambivalent about. YMMV, and some folks on here love theirs. I'm looking elsewhere for my SS fix.
  3. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
    To give another perspective, I have several SX SS J's. I agree with wideyes that QC can vary, the ones I've gotten have been very good for the $100 I paid. Indeed, they need work and if you are not handy with doing you own mods you might get frustrated. I did had to take a dremel sander to the pickguard to get aftermarket pickups to fit for the neck pup. The bridge went in without any problems. The control plates are NOT interchangeable. They are smaller.

    I have two basses that I have modded that are now my main gigging basses. I have done several comparison threads here on TB and many people cannot tell the difference between clips of short scales and long scales. Some people thought my SX with Nordstrands sounded better than my Lakland.

    Just keep things in perspective. It's a $100 bass. It's not a Birdsong or a Landing. But if you're good at modding, you can find a diamond in the rough and make it shine.
  4. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
  5. I loved my short scale SX but so did my brother in law who didn't have a shortie so I gave him mine. It was a diamond in the rough... worth more than the $100 I paid out of the box but worth 6X as much once I did some fret work. I didn't bother replacing anything since it all worked well and sounded great.

    Here's a nice vid that may help in illustrating an SX shortie J's potential:

    Also... I use Guitar Research strings (.045-.100) on my shorties and they feel firm and sound really nice.
  6. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
    I've always loved the tone on that clip, Diogenes. Thanks for reposting that.

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