Essex Fretless Fretboards - opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I am going to be getting another bass and I'm thinking Essex. I have a Jazz and was thinking one of their fretless Jazzes, but I don't want to get something that doesn't play well. I know it's only $120 but I'd still like a well sanded fretboard. How well do these things play?
  2. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i bought my Essex to "learn" fretless with. i like the way it plays. its smooth and straight. i have no complaints...especially for that price. its no PentaBuzz, but then...what is?
  3. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I bought one of the 5 string SX fretless jazz basses and found the finish work on the neck and fingerboard to be much better than I expected, for a bass in this price range. The back of the neck has a good quality vintage tinted lacquer finish. The finish work on the rosewood fingerboard and fretlines are good as well. The hardware (bridge, tuning keys) seems to be of slighly lower quality than you would find on the $500+ basses, but what do you expect at these prices? The SX basses are still a very good bang for your buck!

    After putting round wounds on this bass, I was able to get a very good mmwah style fretless tone.

    My only problem was the string spacing. It is much narrower than standard string spacing for 5 string basses. So, if you typically use the standard to wider string spacing, you'd better confirm the string spacing on these SXs before buying. Otherwise, I think this bass is a good bang for the buck, as previously mentioned. It's a great "starter" fretless bass.
  4. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah, the string spacing is pretty narrow. My 5 string Douglas MM/red ash thing has a string spacing around 15mm. A jazz 5 is usually around 17mm or more IIRC. Personally I like 15-16mm spacing, but it may be a bit weird to get used to for some.

    The price of a Rondo bass really isn't indicative of the quality. There are a few lemons to be sure, but usually a problem is with the individual instrument than something wrong w/ the product line.