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Essex and Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by four_stringer04, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. I was wondering, are Essex Jazz-Basses the same quality as Fender Jazz-bass
  2. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    You will get some responses that say yes and some that will say no. It will be very subjective. Based on my personal experiences with the both I would say that overall the MIM Fender has a better build quality than the Essex. I also think that the Fenders sound better. With the American Fenders it is no contest, they are flat out better basses. However, there is no doubt that the Essex is an excellent value for the price.

  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think that the Essex is as good as a MIM Fender, better if you switch the pups with something better.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I own(ed) an Essex Jazz bass, and currently own one Mexican Jazz and one American P. I can give a qualified "no." Only after some neck work and nice Fender pickups did it get up in the realm of a MIM Fender.

    The Essex wasn't a _bad_ bass by any means, but it didn't reach the quality of the other basses.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    i'm begining to believe i may have purchased a fender lemon. i owned an american p-bass deluxe that i've ranted about many times here. don't even want to get into it again. had i paid a couple of hundred bucks for it i wouldn't have minded, but i paid over a thousand and the bass flat out sucked, for many, many reasons - workmanship and quality being my biggest peaves. even the paint job was horrible. and yes, it was a Fender, bought new at guitar center, warantied and all....

    anyhow, i bought an essex jazz bass for a little over a hundred a couple of months ago and the bass feels way more solid than the P bass. i swear to you it seems much more care was put into the production, there are no problems with it at all, it sounds ok with the stock pickups - the only thing the p bass had on this were the electrocics, and even those were shoddy on the p. the center detents were worn away, and the mid knob never worked right, crackled and did all kinds of weird crap.

    i am becoming a firm believer than fender is ONLY surviing on it's name and reputaion. and it's not even a reputation that the current company developed.

    sx basses are are about 1/4 the price of fenders, and in my opinion a whole lot better.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I own a 1993 Fender MIM jazz bass, and rarely play it anymore. It was my first bass, and i was satisfied until i tried better basses. The saddle sucks, the strings continually fal lower and lower each day until it starts to buzz and i need to raise it again. the G string is too close to the edge of the fretboard and it comes off easily when i do quick pull offs. The mids are rather weak. the E and G strings drown the others out. (the opposite is the case on my Hohner). The essex has equally strong and bitey strings, for all of them. The action stays where i put it. THe fingerboard on the MIM fender was a thin little piece, but its thicker on the Essex. SO as you can tell, i like the Essex better, but i have played Fenders which i loved, so i think the quality varies in Fenders, more so then in Essex.
  7. hibeam


    Oct 16, 2002
    I have owned a few Fenders, including both MIM and MIA products. In my experiences, I have found that the Fenders are of better quality. I have played many, many made in Mexico Fenders, and I have seen consistently higher quality in those intruments over Essexs I have seen and played. In SX basses, I have seen lower quality pickup routes, worse out-of-the-factory action, worse side dot inlays, and strings that are laughably bad (even though they are D'Addarios).
    Fenders, on the other hand, are about 3x times the price. I have reccommended Essexs to many begginers, and as long as you can play several, you can easily find a good one (much in the same way one might pick out a MIM Fender). As previous replies have clearly shown, there are some lemon Fenders, but just as there are vocal people whom have negative experiences with Fenders, there are people with good experiences.
  8. Absolutely NOT.

    Anyone saying they are is fooling themselves.

  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    i couldn't agree more. sx basses are way more worth the money.

    why do some people state their opinions as if they were fact without anything to back it up? how about sharing your experience as opposed to blanket statements that are completely false according to someone else's experience???
  10. Well Joe, I have stated my position on this topic at least a dozen times. Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel . Obviously you don't know me!

    If I read right, he asked about Fender Jazz bass compared to Essex Jazz bass..... you gave an example of a P bass, so obviously you do not read well either.

  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    ok. i had a fretless fender jazz bass in my possesion for about 2 weeks. the pickups buzzed like crazy, the knobs (electronics) were screwed up, buzzes all over the neck, and it felt like complete, total garbage to me. the guy who gave it to me wanted to sell it for $100 with the case. it wasn't abused or anything, it was just a horrible bass. the essex I bought new for $139 is light years away in quality from that fretless jazz.

    the P-bass i compared the sx to was an american made deluxe, costing 10X as much. if i felt the craftsmanship on that wasn't as good as on my SX i think that would be a good reason for the statements i made. i can read very well thanks.

    you have wonderful smileys.

    P.S. would you like me to list all of the problems i had with the fender deluxe????
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Go for it. :cool:
  13. I'd like to see this thread swing back on topic and hear from others that have experience with BOTH Essex and Fender MIM JAZZ basses. :meh:
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Problems I've had with my MIA P-bass Deluxe:

    1. machine heads had play in them. when i took them to an authorized repair person to have them replaced as i was sure they were defective, he assured me they were all like that. showed me a box full of broken ones he had saying the heads often snap off also.

    2. midrange knob had a center detent so weak you couldn't tell what the center was. in order for the pot to work correctly you had to pull it up a little and then turn it. pot crackled and had something weird wrong with it. repair person told me it was a grounding thing and replacing the pot wouldn't help.

    3. the little metal peices that you thread the strings through in the back fell out.

    4. both strap pegs came out. screws stripped right out of the wood. had to jam them with toothpicks and elmers glue.

    5. paint job was really thin, had little lumps in places, and had that really thin spider web like crackling all over it in only about a years time.

    6. the humbucker in the bridge position sounded thinner than any jazz pickup i ever played.

    7. when taken on several gigs with a dan electro hodad, the hodad CLEARLY had more bottom, punch and clarity than the P-bass. it too cost me about an eight of what the P-bas did.

    8. when i bought the bass the people in guitar center told me i had to take the neck off in order to adjust it because it was impossible to get to the truss rod with a conventional wrench. when i called fender they told me the same. when i went back to guitar center to their experienced tech, he showed me the proper wrench to do it with(a t-shaped wrench). the tech at fender didn't even know about their own basses.

    Problems I've had with my Essex:


    Problems I've had with my Music Man:


    Problems I've had with my DanElectro:


    Problems I've had with my Warwick:

    1. Straplock slipped and had to be replace.

    2. Volume pot needed to be replaced after 2 years.
  15. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    my apologies. i'm done with my fender rant. i felt it applied as it is the manufacturer you're questioning.
  16. I own a Essex 62 J copy and I LOVE it!
    All I did was swap the pups and electronics and I had a bass that I felt was better than a MIA Jazz. The 62 Essex has a thick slab fingerboard with perfect frets, no fret buzz or dead spots on the neck. I played a new MIA Jazz and I wasn't impressed. It's amazing what you can do with $65.00 in pickups (DiMarzios), 3 500K pots and a $129.00 bass.

    It's simple....

    - Michael

  17. ilikepie


    Jul 23, 2003
    Just buy a fender MIJ vintage reissue. For less than what a MIM costs (where I live anyway) you will have a bass that is equivalent, if not better than a MIA and absolutely superior to essex.
  18. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Say you take an Essex P, and a MIM P, send it to a luthier for a set up, same string height, same type of strings, etc... and then do a blind test of the bass... You will probably find that the MIM sounds better and feels better.

    Essex basses are great for the value, but they are not fender quality. They are just better-than-normal cheap asian labor quality.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well the "sounds better" bit is easy enough to test.

    Here's an MP3 clip posted by another TB'er. It was one of those "guess what type of bass this is" threads and it turned ut to be a Fender Jazz. I can't remember if it was MIM or MIA.
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Now here's me trying to knock out the same riff on my Essex Jazz copy when it had the standard pickups in it.

    I realise there's a million variables at play here, but for a cheap bass, that's comparable......

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