1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Buzzards Bass - any SX users used?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassman03, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. bassman03


    May 19, 2008
    Sully, Iowa
    So i did a search for SX bass guitars on google, and one of the places that i ended up finding was this -> http://www.buzzardsbass.com/bass-guitars/sx.html and was wondering if anyone has used this before? Think it helped? What all does he do?
  2. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I'm actually getting my 3rd bass done with Brian over there right now. He does great work. The general things he does when you get a setup there is to give the whole bass a good cleaning and polishing, disassembles the tuners and adjusts/lubricates them, adjusts pickup heights, neck, bridge, etc. I highly recommend at least the fret job/setup which costs $150. Yeah it costs as much as the bass to do that, but there's no question the bass you get is going to be better than the typical MIM variety Fender (assuming you like the pickups as much). I'm talking playability wise, it's fantastic after he works on them. It takes the guesswork out of whether you get a good SX or a bad one. If it's flawed, he sends it back. If it just needs a little work, well that's what he does.

    You can also get a good idea of the types of things he does by looking at the workshop page under the current and completed projects. The pages are usually quite descriptive and with a lot of pictures. And the more stuff you want to get done, the better the prices usually get.
  3. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm sure it's a fair deal but I can't justify it.
    All I want is truss rod adjust and fret leveling / fret dressing.
    If he offered that for a set price of like $50 - 75 it would be a no brainer.

    For that matter, you would think Rondo would offer this service.
    I would think that if set up properly, a guy could set up a pile of the same instruments in one day. Would probably increase instrument sales as well.

    At $109 for a guitar & 119 for a bass, how much profit can their be on an SX?
  4. It probably cost's them like 30-50$ to make them each, due to mass production techniques, cheap materials and super cheap labor from Asia.
  5. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Not trying to knock the guy off or anything, but 150$ for performing a set-up, a fret job and menial tasks ? Does he change the strings (at least) ?

    I figure the badest of bad SX basses only need new strings, truss rod adjustement and some fret work (or a lot of it and I guess leveling 15 frets or something won't be included in the 150$). Lubricating the tuners and adjusting pikcup height are not exactly rocket science.

    For people who really don't know how to set-up anything, I guess it's alright, but set-ups are so personal and vary so much with time that shipping the bass somewhere to have them performed seems a bit counter-productive to me. Especially since the instrument can undergo climat changes or stress that can lead to a new set-up being needed after the bass is shipped to you.
  6. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Probably, but the manufacturer needs to make a profit, shipping, and then Rondo needs some profit.
    A 40% mark up (1.65 multiplier) is pretty standard for mail order

    So if the manufacturer & seller go with 40% and its $40 in raw costs, they need to ship it from China to Rondo's door for $10.

    Don't think we could paint a body here in the US for $120; Fender in CA has a spray booth that exhausts cleaner air than it intakes; not cause they're earthdogs, but because of OSHA, EPA, and CA law; which is a good thing in the big picture; the competition has no protection for the planet or human beings
  7. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I'm not familiar with Buzzards shop, but a decent fret leveling , crown and polish job by a good luthier is going to run you around $100. A baisc set up will be around $35-$50 not including strings. Doesn't sound like this guys out of the ball park at all.
  8. His pricing seems fair and he also seems to go the extra mile in making sure the Bass is fully checked out - you can see if you are a repeat customer he takes care of you as well. I have not used him - but asked him a few questions and he gave me the info I needed for a Bass Build - cool guy from what I can see.
  9. RedsFan75


    Apr 26, 2007
    He's a member here if I'm not mistaken. Lowtide is the handle I believe.
  10. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Yeah, he's not out of the ballpark, but I was just rambling on the line of : "give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, teach him how to fish, you'll feed him for life..." I guess I wouldn't pay 150$ for a setup on a bass that costs less, especially if I can do it myself. And who knows how you like your basses better than you ?

    The only thing I'll have a luthier do nowadays is major work (pickup routing, cracked fretboard, etc.) or work I'm not tooled for (fret dressing/crowning). I have my guy and he does fret work @ 75$ CAN a pop.

    Plus, everytime I've had a bass shipped or shipped to me, it always came to its destination all out of whack or with very a very definitive need for relief/intonation adjustements, so I tend to stay local for my bass needs. Maybe I'm just unlucky.
  11. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    I'm sure a LARGE part of the $150 goes toward the fret leveling, crown, work. I don't know anyone in thier right mind that would pay $150 for a truss rod adjust, intonation, and string hight basic set up. Those typicaly don't run more than $40ish.

    Personaly, I'd do the basic set up stuff myself, but that's not everyones bag, particularly if they are relatively new to bass.

    Not a bad thing to have a "pro" set it up if you aren't familiar.

    I'm almost tempted to order up a bass, and see if Buzzards is as good as "my luthier guy" with the fret work.
  12. Who's your guy if you don't mind - I am in the neighborhood - love the Compulsive F*ck Up T's by the way - have to snag one!
  13. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Chris Pearne in Portsmouth N.H.

    ... and thanks. :)
  14. Keep in mind, Buzzard's is close to us as well - Plymouth, MA. I've been tempted as well, I'm trying to hash out the diff between going with a cheapie cheap $89 SJB with setup vs the $180 LTD (hey, it's ALREADY got the "hand-filed frets", right??) - the wife likes the looks of the natural LTD way better, so that may just be the deciding factor...:cool:
  15. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    I would go as far as to ask any SX owner, to take their favorite stock SX and have the neck done, and then tell me you liked the bass better before the neck was done.

    A good fret job and set up takes a >$150 bass and makes it perform as good as a bass 3 times the price! I dare to put my SX necks that have been done ABOVE the quality of the neck on my VM Squier and any MIM I have ever played.

    I believe Brian does whatever fretwork you bass needs and a complete setup, including nut tweaks and pup height adjustments for that price. I think that is fair. And when yu get your 160 dollar SX back you still have about the same cost into it as a VM or CV Squier and you get a bass that plays as good or beter than any of them, or any of the MIM Fenders. And can you imagine the value if you bought one of the 89 dollar black Jazzies?!?!?!?
    (Hate away, it is what I believe based on my experience)

    I have not (yet) bought a bass through Brian, but have bought parts and a case, and as far as dealing with him, he is fantastic.
  16. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    I have not dealt with Buzzard on a bass, but I did have take my newest SX PJ bass to a local guy here in Houston and had a "pro" setup done on it, which included neck adjustment, bridge and nut adjustment and a complete fret leveling/clean up. Basically the same stuff that Buzzard does.

    Let me tell you, the bass played OK when I got it a did my own little setup. But after having the frets done and setup by a pro, its no contest. It went from good to great. So good in fact, i'm getting ready to take my acoustic over to have them work on it, and my take my new Galveston AM-Flag bass over and have the pro setup done on it as well.

    All 3 of my SX basses are easily as good or better than my MIM P bass and none have more than $250 invested in them (including the cost of the bass itself, not including strings)

    Including obligitory pic of SX bass being played live....

  17. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    my new Galveston AM-Flag bass

    You'll match your shirt and then the bass will be camouflaged!
    Seriously, I had a photo of one of them as my computer desktop for a long time....how do they play/sound?
  18. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    I did a review with pics here...


    yea, and I could add one of my American Flag straps and just be completely over the top with the red/white and blue...lol

    but alas, the flag bass is getting a simple, white leather strap.
  19. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ

    Only slightly ironic, given the loud-n-proud American flag shirt, playing a bass from communist China.

    Come on, you know it's funny.
  20. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.

    well, you do know that China is the worlds largest producer of American flags, right?

    It all makes sense then...

Share This Page