Considering a small project - SX necks?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cdlynch, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. I'm tempted by SX neck prices, of course. The only mention I've seen in recent history is from @FerruleCat - a vote in favor. Anyone else use them with confidence? Any bad experiences? I ask 'cause I have one of these:


    It's a Teisco/Kawai Zen-On/Audition. I saved it from neglect from a horrible pawn shop, and it was rotting there so they let me have it for $30. I can sell the gold foil pickups and partially fund a budget shortscale build. I love the body and pickguard, which I'd likely trace and make a custom knockoff. I think if the measurements work out, it'd make a cool short scale with this SX neck (after neck pocket routing) and some Hipshot ultralite tuners. I have a bridge and pickup I can use unless the project goes off the rails, as projects do...

    I'd love to hear thoughts or words of warning. Thanks!
    BamaBird likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have a couple of SX necks I haven't used yet, so I can't say much, the necks on the SX basses I have are all good though. And that is one funky monstrosity! If you pull it off, be sure to post it in the Weird Basses thread! :thumbsup:
    cdlynch likes this.
  3. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I've used a fretless neck from them and a blocked and bound neck both were high quality.
    cdlynch likes this.
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I bought an unmounted and unused SX neck out of the classifieds and it was dramatically twisted. I still have it hanging on a wall as a decoration. To say that I hated every single aspect of this neck would be the understatement of the year.
  5. Was it sold to you in that condition, or did the twist develop over time? I've heard great things about Rondo's return policy, so that never should have happened! So QC might be bad, but returns aren't a problem. Really awful that you got sold a dud from a middleman. :mad:
    Aqualung60 and Will_White like this.
  6. Wafl


    Sep 29, 2015
    I used one of the 49 dollar Rondo necks this year. The one with the Fender-like/ bottle-opener head stock. Rose/maple. It was nicely finished in thick gloss poly, although its color was a bit dark, like roasted maple The heel was a little wide for the neck pocket in a Mighty Mite jazz body, and required sanding. It played well after leveling and had good tone. But I found it uncomfortable, as it had a maybe 16" radius and a 1 11/16" nut. So if you want a jazz bass feel, this ain't it. Stratosphere sells unfinished Allparts jazz necks at 100 for maple and 133 for rose/maple.
    cdlynch and Will_White like this.
  7. never used just the neck but have onwwed several SX guitars.....and they where all great gear for the $$
    cdlynch likes this.
  8. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I bought it second-hand and when it arrived, I was not happy with the look, the feel, or the finish, so I hit it with a scotchbrite pad to tone it down and it wasn't until I drilled and mounted it that the twist became apparent. As stated elsewhere, Fender licensed necks are available for $100-ish new and even cheaper used, so I cannot imagine any scenario where I would experiment with SX again. The finish looked cheap, the volute was hideous.
    cdlynch likes this.
  9. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Guest

    Mar 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Considering that you're looking for a short-scale neck, and that this is a funky project, I think the Rondo SS neck is just the ticket (though I'd look for a rosewood board). My replacement SX rosewood Ursa 1 neck is doing fine and feels really nice, but it would benefit from a fret level. Since then, I've done two 34" builds; I used a Warmoth Jazz neck on one, and a Fender MIM P neck on the other. Any other builds will probably get Fender MIM necks for good value (though I am toying with the idea of a Mighty Mite ebonol fretless build.)

    Good luck with the project; be sure to keep us posted!
    cdlynch likes this.
  10. Thanks everyone, for all the feedback! The negatives are especially helpful, so I can decide between saving money or saving time. I've never done fret work before, so assuming my time is worth something, I might be better off buying something more expensive. On the other hand, the rest of the instrument might not be worthy of the better neck!

    If I do this, I'll certainly post the results, or anything interesting along the way.
  11. Please do post up! I for one love the weird old Japanese guitars, and anything creative that makes/keeps one playable is good in my book :)

    cdlynch likes this.
  12. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Yeah these necks don't really correspond to either fender bass style profile wise, however I actually really the profile it's maybe a little tight at the nut but i like the little extra thickness front to back combined with a flatter board (14") and I like the ursa 1 head stock too, I'm probably going to use a reversed and tweaked version of it on my build.
  13. I'm having trouble finding a good neck source, in part because I have no idea what's good and reasonable quality. I considered Warmoth because I've heard good things, but they come with pre-drilled neck heels, and screw holes for a specific tuner, which is a bummer. Plus they're on the pricey side. They charge $15 MORE for NO neck heel holes!

    I'm not super interested in a Fender-style headstock, so something like this unfinished paddle headstock Eden is pretty reasonable if the quality is good, but I don't know anything about them, and I'm not sold on making that much more work for myself:

    EDEN 30" Short Scale Paddle Bass Neck Maple/Rosewood Right/Lefty Dot Inlay

    @Wafl - I checked, but if any of those non-Squier necks are 30" scale, they don't say in the specs.

    There's only one SX 30" scale neck with a rosewood board and it's fantastically cheap, but the @bolophonic twist story scares me! There's no way to test the neck without drilling and mounting, so it's a tough gamble.
  14. jcanderson

    jcanderson Guest

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    cdlynch likes this.
  15. I'm probably doing weird electronics for this. No volume, no knobs, lots of options.

    View is looking at the top of the pickguard - I'll have to flip the schematic to wire it so I don't screw it up. :)


    * either coil as single coil
    * series or parallel humbucking
    * series or parallel out of phase
    * tone switch: no load, min, and max settings
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  16. The saga continues here.
  17. The story picks up here after the knobless circuit revision thread, which ended with the purchase of a 30" scale SX neck.

    Before destroying a semi-collectable 60's classic, I'm going to try to put the SX neck on a now sacrificial Squier Strat, which is currently a worthless guitar scale bass. The neck plates are different sizes, but the bigger Strat plate can be made to fit the Teisco as long as I plug and re-drill the existing holes. I love to complicate everything, so I got threaded inserts for the neck.

    Now I have to find some way to get this neck to fit both bodies perfectly BEFORE I chop up the Teisco. The Strat is mostly for checking pickup placement and wiring, and to make sure that the existing Bartolini is what I really want in the Teisco.

    Question: Does anyone know if SX bass neck heels fit Fender neck pocket routing templates? If not, I'm WIDE open to suggestions!
  18. I'm getting this for widening neck pockets with my dremel. There isn't much material to remove, so I'm just going to make a paper template and go slooooooow with rotary sander bits.

    I wanted to test on the Squier body first, but it's too complicated to get the holes and threaded inserts in the right place for two bodies, because I need to get things placed experimentally. Even just doing the Teisco will be a difficult. I'm worried about getting the neck holes accurate. I'll have to come up with some way to clamp the neck in straight, and use a drill press through the body holes to make sure the alignment is good. I think I'm going to have to come up with a funky jig.

    I'm also going to skip the Bartolini PU for now. I was going to sell the Teisco gold foil pickups, but once the scale length changes, they're going to be placed nearly in Ric 4001/3 positions, and they're quiet for single coils, so wth. Since they mount on the surface, if I change the positions slightly for exact placement, no routing, just a couple new holes in the PG.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You are much better off making a template out of MDF and using a full size router with a pattern bit. It will be very difficult to get a straight line with a rotary tool and sanding wheel. In fact you would be better off going at it with a small sanding block and some 60 or 80 grit sand paper.
  20. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I had a Rondo SS and it was a great, inexpensive little bass. Super straight neck. I wasn't happy w/ the nuclear orange glo, super-gloss finish, so I decided to try and remove it. Litterally hundreds of sheets of sandpaper later, I had removed the gloss, but not the orange, so I tried hitting it w/ orange stripper. It had absolutely zero effect(other than getting gloopy orange stripper stuck in all the fret-slots and screw holes)
    Unfortunately, at that point, I decided to move and needed to lighten the load and that was a project that I wasn't going to keep on.

    Lesson: If you're OK w/ the finish, they can be great. But that Orange laquer is the hardest substance known to man.