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Essex '75 Jazz replica

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by flywheel, Nov 23, 2003.


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  1. flywheel

    flywheel

    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    [​IMG]

    Anybody know anything about these? I went to the Rondo music site to check out these SX basses after I heard they were using Alder bodies for their barely @ $100 basses!

    While I was there I found this beauty for $150 and the body is Ash which floored me. I don't know how they offer this at such an affordable price?! I've heard good things about the SX already but I really want this one... the Fender reissues of the 70's Jazz run $1000 plus and I've always liked the way they looked with the inlays.
     
  2. They use cheap parts to put the bass together, that's how they can sell it for $150.00.

    The neck joint is weak. The pups, are weak, the tunning pegs are cheap. The bridge is cheap.......:meh:

    I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, just being honest.

    The nice thing is, if the wood feels good, you can always upgrade the pups and the bridge later on without decreasing the value of the bass!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  3. flywheel

    flywheel

    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    Treena-

    I've always wanted a Jazz bass and a P bass but have never owned either b/c I don't like the bridges and I'm not spending a lot of money on a bass unless I like what I'm getting in the first place. Hopefully the neck on this bass is decent b/c I'll probably replace the bridge right away with a Gotoh 201. Then I'm most likely going to get Schaller tuning machines for it since that's what EB uses on my Stingrays and I like those machines.

    Then I'll have a Jazz bass w/ Ash body for a great deal.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  4. That sounds like a plan to me, as long as that body is a one piece Ash body and not three lams hidden under the burst.

    Are the neck inlays stickers or real inlays?

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  5. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Treena, how can you look at a picture and say that the neck joint is weak?

    I do not own that model, but have 2 SXs (in addition to other more expensive basses). They are a good value IMO. The neck joints are tight, very tight. They are attached w/ screws and a plate, just like Fenders. I agree that the parts are inexpensive, but they are certainly functional. Just as functional as any other budget bass.

    IMO, the inexpensive price comes from cheap Chinese labor and no advertising overhead more than it comes from skimping on parts.

    With regard to the body, I do think they are 3 pieces, but not laminated on top of each other like plywood, they are joined side to side like many many basses. I don't think there are many basses under $200 w/ a one piece body.
     
  6. flywheel

    flywheel

    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    From what I've read on the Rondo site, JonDog is right.

    Here's a quote:
    The inlays are real--probably real plastic, but nonetheless, real and not photo finished or painted. The body is ALL Ash and looks to be two pieces split down the center. No laminates. That's why the price surpises me so much. Even my Dillion, which sounds and looks great, is laminated with Ash but since it has a solid Maple body, its sustain is still great.
     
  7. Jon, I have students who have these basses and that is my experience with them. Nothing more and nothing less. I’ve seen some that are very well built, but as with any budget bass, it’s hit and miss, Squire is a perfect example.

    Yes, I believe it to be a combination of Chinese labor and skimping on parts.

    I’ve seen both, so I am not sure if this is common practice or not!

    Hey, I’m not trying to be argumentive, I just have high standards and expensive taste. I started on a Fender Mustang, and quickly moved to a 66 Jazz bass my father gave me, so budget basses have not been in my arsenol. I am very fortunate for this.

    I try to help younger players become educated about parts, wood and construction so they can make an educated purchase.

    Sorry if I seem judgemental, not my intentions at all.


    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  8. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    This thing should be called a two-bolt. Last time they had these out (for $99 then) I bought one and the third bolt in the middle does nothing but hold the neck plate on. I thought it was a fluke and asked Rondo to send me a replacement bolt since the one I had seemed to have quite a bit shorter than the rest and wasn't even long enough to reach the neck. They said they did not send replacement bolts and I did not want to pay return shipping for a $99 bass to fix a $2 part so I went and bought a screw from home depot that was the same size and length as the rest of them. I soon found out the reason the bolt was so short was the truss rod lies just beneath the surface and there is not enough wood between the neck and the truss rod for the screw to get a good grip. I then said the heck with the warranty, got a four bolt neck plate, and converted it to a four bolt set-up which solved the problem.

    The big kicker was a few months later I put some heavier gage strings on it and the neck cracked up near the nut. With the warranty voided (which was my fault) I'm kinda left out in the cold.

    So IMHO don't buy an Essex with a three bolt neck. On the other hand I do have an SJB-62, with a factory 4 bolt that I really like.


    GS
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I'm not trying to argue either. :)

    Rondo is a small operation, and IMO has much better quality control than Fender/Squier. I have 2 local music stores, Rondo and GC. I find I am much more likely to grab a good playing SX off the wall at Rondo than I am a Squier at GC. I'm lucky in that I can hand-pick my cheap Chinese basses. They do have a return policy for people doing mail order -- taking your new cheapo bass to your teacher or more experienced friend to be checked out is always good advice. Send it back if something isn't right. Both of mine needed setup, but once I tweaked them they're comparable to a good MIM Fender.

    The inlays are real (plastic) and to my knowledge there are no plywood SXs. My Squier telecaster is plywood, but I still like it!
     
  10. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Wow, bummer. You should tell them about the design flaw, I wouldn't think it would be that tough for them to drop the 3 bolt design. Kurt seems very responsive to design ideas from TBers.
     
  11. Hey Jon, is this you?

    [​IMG]

    Kewl website!


    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    i recently bought an sx fretless jazz, and for the money, it absolutely cannot be beat.

    i must also say that the machine heads work excellently. i owned a MIA fender P-deluxe, with the deluxe lightweight heads, and they were total crap. there was play in every single one of them, it took a while to get used to. also, when i took them to my local authorized fender repairperson to see if he could help, he showed me a box of snapped "deluxe" tuners he had. said they all have the same feel, and they often snap after being used for a while. that would be a great thing to happen during an important gig.

    i don't know what the deal is with people needing to replace machine heads. on guitars i can understand it cuz they constantly go out of tune, but if the heads work well for tuning and keep the bass in tune - what difference does it make???? just to be able to say I've got good heads on it??? i don't understand.

    i gotta say too that this bass feels more solid all around than my P-bass did. $900 more for the P and the only thing i think was better was the electronics.

    if you buy an essex they kick butt just as is. if you want to upgrade i think the pickups are all that need upgrading.

    that's my 2 1/2 cents. :)

    i am soooooooooooo happy with my purchase.
     
  13. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes that's me! I kinda look like a psycho in that pic. If you look in the back, you can see my old SX bg-205. I liked it, but traded it away when I got a more expensive 5er. You can also see my old akai hexacomp in my rack -- a power-surge fried it and I really miss it. :-( Download the demo tunes off of the songs page -- I'm much more proud of the recordings than I am of my pictures. www.sirsquid.com
     
  14. Dang dude, nice work, I really like Brian Setzer version - Jump Jive & Wail.

    My last cover band did a nice version of this song as well!

    You guys have a great sound! What bass are you using on the recordings.....the SX?

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  15. i was at rondo yesterday and they didnt have any of these basses in the store... they just put them on the site the other day
     
  16. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Treena,
    Have you ever played Essex basses? Mine had an extremely tight neck joint, nice, full sounding pickups, perfect tuners (they would keep in tune for days), and a solid bridge. The only reason why i got rid of it is because i sat on the neck, and when you are 250 lbs and you sit on a neck... let's just say not many basses can go through that...
     
  17. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Thanks, I'm not that great at a swing feel but the drummer helped me. I'm much more of a rock player. The bass on those recordings is my '86 Steinberger XL2.
     
  18. I have students who have these basses and that is my experience with them. Nothing more and nothing less. I’ve seen some that are very well built, but as with any budget bass, it’s hit and miss, Squire is a perfect example.

    Truthfully, why would I want to play an Essex , when I own some of the sweetest Vintage Fenders around?

    Let's not forget my Sadowsky either.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  19. I have a 75 RI w/ the 3 bolt neck. The reason for the short screw is because of the truss rod as stated. I figured that out by looking at it, makes sense if you think bout it I guess.

    And, I have my 3 bolt strung up w/ 130-65's for BEAD tuning. But I also made my own nut out of 6061 to help even out the pressure under the nut. The stock plastic one left tons to be desired.

    Now, 3 vs. 4 bolt neck. The front bolt/screws take all the load from bending due to string gage. The rear bolt is for bending twoards the rear of the instrument. Which is not a concern. So, a 4 bolt neck doesn't really matter. I'd model everything up and run it through ANSYS...but that'd be overkill. Just being an engineer and working w/ similar projects kinda gives me a feel for it.

    BTW, mine's cool. one of the $99 ones (B stock). New nut, mirror pickguard. I'd like to put a trem on it just for total amounts of fun lol.
     



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