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Construction of an SX

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by draginon, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    Hey all, I am a happy SX owner of one of their 3TS P\J basses. The bass sounds...okay I guess. Sounds great with fresh strings and has good slap tone. One thing that bugs me is the construction, more particularly the pocket on the body where the neck slides in. It is rippled and doesnt fit perfectly and I feel uneasy because I am unsure whether it takes away from the tone of the instrument. Other than that, the construction is wonderful

    Anyway my question is:

    Other than minor blemishes how would you rate the construction of your SX?
  2. actualy i'd rate mine amazing, i guess i got a really good one. the eck poscket is perfect. the only thing in the frets needed to be dressed, but that's not big deal, i guess it could go for a new nut too, but those are real minor things, construstion and stuff it is wonderful, even has a great acoustic tone to it unplugged. if a bass dones't sound nice not plugged in i don't think its' going to sound great when it's plugged in. so this thing passes my test
  3. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I've heard some mixed reviews of the SX basses overall. My J-bass was pretty great out of the box. Specifically, the frets were dressed well and the neck was tight to the body. The real magic with the SX is what you can do with it. I ordered a roll of copper shielding tape and some 250K pots from Stewart-MacDonald and bought some solid core wire from the local Radio Shack and proceeded to pull out the existing controls and replace them. I also grounded that whole mess to a central ground (star grounding) and shielded the back of the pickguard and the control/pickup cavities.

    The bass went from "pretty good" to "very good" in a relatively quick, inexpensive operation. You could easily throw in some new pickups and put a new bridge/tuners after that to really customize it. Again, the magic comes when you add up the costs of upgrading v. a new MIM Fender. Take a look around the forums, do some searches for the shielding tutorial and the guy who recently upgraded his SX and start working!

    By the way; my beloved wife, who is not exactly supportive of me buying things just to take them apart in a month, said "Wow. That sounds great!" after the operation was over. That is the kind of endorsement I need!:)
  4. PatrickEdmonds


    Jan 3, 2006
    Pics of this bass? I was thinking of getting the same one
  5. I haven't had the neck off my SX Jazz to see what the inside of the pocket looks like, but the fit of the neck into the pocket is fine. The nut could certainly be better quality but it will do for now. I wasn't happy with the bridge or the way the outer strings didn't quite line up with the pickup poles. A $16.00 replacement bridge from AllParts, a pair of Carvin H50 pickups from my parts box, and an EMG BQC tone control have made the SX into an amazingly good sounding cheap axe. It survived it's first day in a cold car trunk just fine so it's doing everything I need it to do.

    Rick B.
  6. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    You won't know if the fit is fine until you take it apart. My neck looks like it fits fine until you take off the pickguard and take the neck out. It is not by any means loose and I think it resonates well but I'm no expert. The pocket where the neck goes is rippled looking something like this: ^^--^-^^. Looks like the surface of a Ruffles chip (no it isnt curve shaped like the chips). Take it apart and really take a look at it to see
  7. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I agree with what has been mentioned already. These basses are incredible for the price, and make great project basses.

    As of now, I only own one, the '75 J in 3TS with blocked and bound maple board. I recently yanked the neck off just to see how well the pocket was constructed. I was surpised to see a very clean, smooth neck pocket in which the neck fits extremely tightly. I could even pick up the bass by the neck before putting any of the bolts back in.

    The only problems I have with the bass is the cheap, buzzy nut and some uneven frets. There are some minor cosmetic issues, such as the binding being unevenly cut in some places, and strange black smudges under the finish on the fretboard, but these are all trivial things.

    The nut is soon to be replaced, and I plan on getting the tools to do my own fret leveling. I plan on doing what Cthulhu did, as well as upgrading to a BAII, Dimarzio UJs, and wiring in V/B/T with a mini-toggle for Ser/Par.

    Again, you can't beat the prices of these basses. I have extensive future plans for many different project basses. I can't wait until the MM model comes out, because then I can start on my SX "Sterling" project.:D
  8. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Three things that I learned the hard way with my upgrade:
    1. The stock nut is soft. Reaaallly soft. Be careful removing it - you'll want to take it slow and make sure to break any bonds between the nut and the fretboard or risk taking a chunk off of the fretboard (which is what I did).
    2. The pickguard edges are sharp. Plan on a few bad cuts (a la paper cuts) on your fingers.
    3. Most replacement pots are bigger in diameter than the stock pots. You'll have to be careful lining them up so that they'll fit properly in the control cavity. Also, you'll want to be pretty conservative with your wire lengths to minimize the clutter in the control cavity.

    I really am impressed with the basic "canvas" you get for the $$$. After the electronics, I put in a brass nut (pre-slotted and slighter smaller in width and height than the stock nut, but nothing that can't be easily fixed) and a Hipshot Type-A bridge on it. The stock pickups seem fine, but I like that single coil growl that I get so take that for what it's worth.
  9. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    The construction on my P/J is pretty good! I'm pretty much going to have replaced every single thing on this bass that can be replaced besides the neck and body. It really has turned out better than i expected, and the cost of my mods after everything is still almost $100 less than a new MIM Fender, and there's no comparison.

    My neck pocket is pretty tight and is nice and smooth. After ripping this thing apart down to a bare body, I wouln't have put the time and effort into something that wasn't solid enough to be worth it.

    See my thread here that includes a few common projects people do on SX basses, with many pics of before and after included

  10. Oxblood

    Oxblood Banned

    Apr 17, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    I would rate the quality of construction on both of my SX's a 7 out of 10. They are great basses construction wise in my opinion but with a few minor imperfections.
  11. bassksun


    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    I would rate mine an 9 out of 10. Outward appearances it looks solid and...dare I say beautiful :bag: But take off the pickguard and GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! Cavities look like they were done with an ice pick by a crackhead!

    Gonna change that as part of my next project.
  12. momo


    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I know what you mean about the pocket. I saw that and thought that was odd, but it doesn't seem to hurt it much. I have thught about sanding it flat just to see what it does.

    One might assume that if it were flat, it would have more surface area that connects with the neck, and therefore better vibration transfer, therefore, better tone. However, how much do you think this could REALLY matter.
  13. xbradx


    Oct 25, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm in the process of trying to sand the neck pocket of my '75c flat. I'd put alot of time into modding and upgrading it including full shielding, vintage Schaller tuners, and Fender US'75ri pickups. But despite also adding a GraphTech graphite nut, having the frets levelled and going through like 3 different bridges(including a vintage fender venture's bridge), the E string always sounded kinda dead. The other 3 sounded great, but for some reason, the E was always just kinda dead sounding, so i finally took off the neck and lo and behold the neck pocket looked like it was routed by a mentally defient monkey with an icepick since there were lots of gouges and a sizeable dip on the E string edge of the pocket so the neck had very little contact with the body under the E string.
    I've taken off the neck and slapped it onto a MIM fender J body while i sand down the pocket to "test" it and of course, the E sounds fine with the neck on the other body.
    I was thinking about selling it to fund a condenser mic purchase for my home studio, but depending on how well the neck pocket sanding goes, it may be staying after all!:hyper: :bassist:
  14. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    The control cavities in my SX aren't that bad, but the sheilding paint wasn't evenly applied, and it looks as though they didn't even sand before painting. The sides are pretty rough to the touch, which doesn't matter, but I would think that paint would stick better to a smooth surface.

    Also, after cracking open my SX for the first time, I had to sweep off some sawdust that fell out of the interior. Nothing big, but it was surprising.