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Calling all Essex / SX owners.....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ephminus, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I don't usually ask for help picking out basses, in fact I think it's kind of silly in a way, but I'm getting ready to slap some cash down on an SX bass.
    This is hard for me to do since I NEVER buy anything unless I can hold it in my hands first.

    I want a bass to match up with my Fender "Geddy Lee" Jazz.
    The "Geddy" is the only bass I've been playing out of my other basses lately, mainly because I've just rediscovered passive pickups. How sweet it is!

    This SX bass is most likely going to become my workhorse bass for traveling back and forth to practice and as a second bass on stage for drop D tuning.

    I've narrowed it down to this bass that has a P/J pickup configuration, I'm really digging the white body and black pickguard as well as the maple neck.
    No need for any aethestic mods in my opinion, it's perfect.


    How would this P-Bass match up output wise compared to a Fender Jazz.

    Would I need to replace the pickups?

    Is there anything about this bass I should know in advance regarding the color of the neck or body?

    Am I better off with another Jazz or will this P-Bass work just as well?
    I wouldn't mind some type of tone variation.

    Are all of the SX basses fairly the same in quality compared to each other or are some models lacking a bit?

    The only other models I might consider are.....




    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. lowend1


    Feb 15, 2005
    If you're used to a Geddy, the biggest issue for you will be with the neck. The SX P-style necks are substantially fatter than that of a Fender Jazz Bass. I have two SXs - a Jag and a P-Bass - with another in the near future. The differences are about what you'd expect from the two styles, tone-wise. The Jag sounds like a J-bass - snappy and funky. The P has a classic 70s tone - big and rockin'. The P/J setup gives you the best of both worlds. Color-wise, the Vintage White is not a pure white, but an off-white. The maple necks typically have an orange-y cast (doesn't bother me). As to the build quality, the LTD Jazz models are supposed to be a step up, but I haven't played one to compare. I've not been disappointed in the quality of anything I've bought from Rondo, but their return policy is more than fair.
  3. I just got my 6th and 7th SXs last week and I'm pleased to say that my lucky streak is still on. I did a little fretwork (leveling) on them since a couple on each bass where a few thou high but other than that just a setup was needed and they're good to go. Six out of the seven SXs I bought were j-basses and all of them had good strong pickups that ranged between 8.5 and 9.7 ohm impedance. My last purchase finally included a deluxe type p-bass, essentially the one you're looking at, so I got to finally hear the quality of SX's split-coil pickup. I'm very pleased with it to say the least. SX pickups are fairly hot so they have some meat to their tone and they're coupled with 500K pots so they retain a little more treble than if 250K pots were used... I find this combination to work very well indeed. I see no need to replace the stock pups unless you are after a certain tone that only a particular make/model would offer.

    I understand your stance on not buying a bass that you haven't gotten to play first, it only makes sense. But all 7 of my SXs have been worth more than their asking price and feel/sound good. That's far better odds compared to all the times I went into a guitar shop to check out the latest and greatest from bigger and more expensive brand names but left the shop empty handed and disappointed in what they had to offer at the prices they were asking.
  4. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    I have the white/black/maple PJ


    While I cannot make a direct comparison to a Geddy jazz, i can say the pickups are hotter than the stockers in my Epi T-bird.

    About the color. The body is actually vintage white but looks almost like arctic white in pics. here is a shot with a piece of typing paper for comparison.


    The neck will be chunkier than the Geddy neck, and has the orange vintage tint. Some people don't like it. It does not bother me.

    Mine is completely stock. It was playable out of the box with a basic setup, but I went ahead and had a pro setup done on it and installed new strings. Its definitely a player now. NO need to change anything else (bridge/tuners/pickups) I may shield it at some point, but its fine for now.

    On any of the SX basses, i would upgrade the pots before upgrading the pickups. I usually wait for a pot to fail, and then replace them all.

    This one will be in regular rotation along with my 2 other SX's
  5. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    oh, and "workhorse" is a great description for the SX basses, they certainly are.
  6. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    One thing I'm not concerned about is the neck profile.

    I own an EB Musicman Stingray, Fender "Geddy Lee" Jazz, Schecter Devil/Tribal, Ibanez SR800, ESP/LTD Viper 400, & Dean Rhapsody 12-String.
    All of which I can adjust to easily.

    Thanks for that advice though.
  7. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    If you want something JUST like your Geddy,

    Get a Jazz. Mine feels really close to a Geddy neck (okay, I haven't played a Geddy in a while so that might just be me) but its really thin and perfect in every way, no joke, its a godsend for me.

    Or, get the P bass so you have some contrast.
  8. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    Thanks for the replys thus far!

    Justice.....that bass looks sweet!
    I'm glad you responded!
    The color of the neck looks fine to me!
    I've read some complaints about that issue before, but if that's what the complaints are about I'm not concerned at all.
    It closely matches my Stingray's neck.
    I'm a smoker and I've never cleaned my neck, ever. lol
    I should take some picks of that bass, you'd all scream in horror lol.

    I'm kind of brutal on my basses, do they hold up well to pounding?
    Will I need to upgrade the hardware?
  9. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    The only negative I've heard about an SX is that some are a bit on the heavy side.
    My SX Jazz has a straighter neck than either of my 70's Fenders and is heavier than both; not terrible but heavier.
  10. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    I've been gigging one for about 4 years now, and it's held up very well.

    After 3 years I upgraded the jack, because it was getting a little worn.

    Tuners are stock, and function perfectly.

    The bridge is no different than your standard vintage Fender type, so if you can get by with one of those, you'll be fine.

    Mine hasn't lead a particularly easy life, and it's still going strong. I doubt you'd be able to hurt the thing.
  11. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I would say that's probalby true of Ash models, but I've found the Alder ones to be of comparable, if not a little lighter than their Alder Fender counterparts.
  12. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I actually prefer heavier basses, they seem to feel more solid when I'm playing them.

    Like I said, I'm kind of brutal on my gear.

    I was just concerned that they might cut corners on the hardware.
    I mean come on, the prices are so low that they have to make up for the price somewhere right?

    This might be the night that I finally order myself an SX.
    My guitar player is going to crap his pants when I show up with an SX.
    He's a Fender-phile so he will give me every reason in the book why I shouldn't have gotten an SX.
    I hope to prove him wrong.
  13. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    The tuners on mine are squeaky and the pg is a bit rough around the neck pocket. That's it. That is the extent of the "corner cutting".

    Fair enough in my book. And the p pickup is pretty hot in the precision models. I guess they use the same one for p/j ?
  14. I went for the Geddy look on my 4+1 Jazz and I have no regrets buying through Rondo without playing it first. My next Bass will probably be a Brice from Rondo. If you go with the quilted finished bass, be warned that the quilting is not the grain but a picture of grain under the finish. Stick with the Jazz bass if that's what you're used to.
  15. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I gave my tuners a good oiling when I first got it about 4 years ago. Never had to touch them again.

    Yeah, the pickguards aren't the nicest out there.

    The pots, and jack aren't the highest quality either, but they ARE perfectly functional, and if they ever give you trouble, they're cheap and easy to replace.

    As I said before, I went 3 years of regular gigging before I even had to think about replacing the jack. $3.50 and 10 minutes worth of my time got me a Switchcraft jack that should outlast me. ;)

    I played Vintage Fenders as in Not re issues, but genuine Vintage Fenders for years, and now I play an SX most of the time, and use my new American Standard Fender as my back up. :) If they were junk, I wouldn't own one, let alone use one as my primary "workhorse", and would still be playing my Fenders. :bassist:

    Not sure what your definition of "brutal" is, but mines been thrown in and out of trucks with all kinds of gear , in nothing but a gig bag. Dragged in and out of countless clubs in at least 6 states. Had stuff stacked on top of it. Played hard and put away wet (litteraly dripping with sweat). and it's still going strong after 4 years.
  16. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I found the SX basses, even the Js have a fairly thick neck. Much moreso than my geddy neck with is one of the thinnest I've seen on a 34" bass.
  17. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Pretty much anything thicker than a broomstick is going to seem big if you're using the Geddy as the benchmark. (exeption granted for old Peavey's)
  18. ironrat


    Sep 24, 2008
    I have the Pbass neck on my Frankie.....I have a big nahd (6' 1" tall) and I feel it very comfortable! I WILL buy the PJ one as my birthday gift!
  19. Savit...you think this one may be a good one for me? I don't want to upgrade anything. The bridge looks pretty nice. I still wish they would make just a "P" in this model. Btw, how would this neck compare to a Fender Precision?
    I'm not "stealing" the thread, I just wanted to ask Savit while he's on here. Thanks.
  20. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    LOL, no worries.

    I'm not one of those people that aren't willing to share "their" thread.

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