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Essex Bass - Stepping up question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fong249, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Hi Fellas, I've been playing bass for three years now, playing a wide variety of music types from funk, rock, metal, and jazz. I currently play a Ibanez GSR205. (Just a 5 string GSR). I've been seeing alot about Essex basses. Would getting a Essex bass and throwing some modifications in be enough of a step up from my gsr205, or should i continue to save for something better, like a Spector, EBMM, or so on.

    I'd be willing to put a little money into the Essex bass... changing pickups to EMG or Basslines, and changing bridge. Maybe the tuners too, im not a fan of Fender tuners.

    Also, I have a squier that i got for 10 bucks at a garage sale... Its like a 99 or so. How do squiers compare to essexes?

  2. I think if your wanting a decent step up you should save some money and get a good bass ( my 2 cents, as you americans say :) )
  3. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    The Essex will have a more customized sound (as you have a good deal of choice in the p/ups and tonewoods [both fretboard and body]) that should fit you better, assuming you don't "like" the sound of your GSR.

    Essex basses are much better quality than Squiers. Essexes are, on average, roughly equal to (maybe better) than the average to above-average MIM Fender. As far as comparing it to your GSR, that depends. My GSR is better quality than any MIM Fender I've played - no issues whatsoever (except a messed up pot, which was because of misuse).
  4. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Yeah, my GSR205 has always had a full tone, and good growl. Also, the string spacing was good for slapping for me, and thus i learned on that. Im not saying the GSR is a bad bass, I like it and i've played a ton of nice basses before, but I think its time for me to move on and move up a little bit, because even though the GSR sound is good, theres better.
  5. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Go with the SX.

    Seriously, that + new pickups you will definately be happy. That and the stock pups aren't bad either, and I really like em, just aren't reverse wound so no noise cancelling (on mine anyways)
  6. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Whats the action like on the SX basses? I know pickups are commonly replaced but what about bridges?
  7. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    The SX will always be a customized low end bass. All the best parts dont make the best bass. My girlfriend said that to me in regards to my molested mim jazz and not terribly happy with, and she's right. Good parts are cool, but they will never make a bass "nice"
  8. big evil robot

    big evil robot Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Innovations Music - Retailer
    I don't know about that so much.

    I worked hard on bringing my MIM jazz to a point where I was happy with it, and it never got there. My SX has been a much easier process.
    Keep in mind, most likely, its going to take ALOT more than just new pickups to get the SX up to snuff.
    You'll want to change the neck plate to a 4 hole from 3, make sure that the screws holding the bridge on are good, you may well find many that are short, or broken, same goes with the neck.
    Change the pots, make sure the frets are level and smooth, and the nut is cut properly.
    Essentially, you're buying a pretty good body and neck, expect to do the rest yourself.
  9. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    If I'm not mistaken, the neck plates are only 3 bolts on the '75 copies because I checked the pictures and my 62QMD and they're 4 bolts...

    That and some people have found the necks to be a little sticky (I do when my hands are sweaty) and you can take some sandpaper to the neck...get it as fast as your Ibanez...

    Everythin else (except for maybe the pickups) Is very good in my opinion, but thats just me. I havn't played all too many basses, but it sounds better than my Ibanez (Even if my IObanez is 20+ years old...)
  10. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    If you still like the sound you're getting from your GSR, don't change. ;) As if GAS were that easy to conquer. The GSR feels comfortable in your hands, and that's most important. You also like the sound of the bass. It seems like you're upgrading just to say you have a better bass. Don't do that. If for nothing else, get a new bass as an alternative, and you can switch between them depending on what the situation calls for. If the GSR works, don't worry about the pricetag on it.

    The Essex is the best bass under $500, I feel, post-mods. Once you go above that mark, some good basses start popping up. There's the Geddy Lee Jazz, Lakland Skylines, G&L Tribute, etc. But for under $500, you aren't going to get anything that is really "custom" that sounds great.

    Essex allows you to get a solid P or J tone for under the $500 mark, and quite easily under, depending on how picky you are. With some work and money, it will be able to compete with the average $1,000 + American P or J bass with Fender's quality control.

    I've seen pictures of a 4-bolt neckplate on the back of the '75 bass from Essex. It was about about a month ago, so Kurt may just not have updated the website yet.