Essex- How good are they?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BillyBishop, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. BillyBishop


    Feb 7, 2001
    I'm wondering because I live in canada, and ordering one would end up costing me $320.74. (canadian) That's with shipping but not with any charges they may add at the border. For what I'd be paying I could get a used MIM Fender or a new squier or many other cheaper basses...So, how good are they? Would it be worth it or should I just get a MIM Fender?
  2. When you are talking about new, low-end Korean made instruments, there really isn't much functional difference between them at the same price point regardless of the headstock decal. Basically, if you pay $200 for a bass you are going to get a $200 bass. I am not saying they are bad, but the hardware and electronics are going to be inconsistent and you will be smart if you play as many as you can and be sure that the one you buy has fully functional tuners, bridge, pickups and pots. There are a lot of guys on this board who buy them and customize them to suit their needs by adding aftermarket tuners, bridges and pickups. Personally, I prefer to buy used instruments because you can get a lot more quality for your pristine Reverend Rumblefish XL set me back $360, shipped with a gig bag. It is a thoroughly professional instrument for the price of a starter bass.
  3. lonote, essex basses are MIA, not Korea.

    I bought the Essex jazz 62 RI copy, and it stood up to the MIM fender. I'd say they were just about equal in all aspects.

    The tuners are top notch, the pups are not bad, about the same as MIM fenders. The stock bridge is the exact same as MIMs.

    Essex basses are hand made in the USA, can you say the same about MIM Fenders?
  4. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
  5. I own one. I've spoken to Kurt personally.

    The parts are imported, and built in his shop.
  6. Common sense tells me that I'm not going to get a brand new MIA instrument in the $200 - $300 price range. The only time I ever played an Essex was used in a Music-Go-Round and I didn't notice a "Made in USA" sticker anywhere. Of course I didn't see anything on the bass noting the country of origin but people don't remove "made in USA" stickers while "made in Korea (or China or Indonesia)" stickers are often removed so I put 2 + 2 together...
  7. Oops, ChaosGwar...your post came up as I was finishing mine. I have a similar instrument. It is a D-Basses Precision clone assembled in Pittsburgh using imported parts. The necks available on D-Basses and those on the Essex instruments look identical. I like mine just fine, I might add. I ordered mine with a Fender Original '62 pickup. I find that mine is similar in quality to a MIM Fender with a little more attention to detail done during the assembly. It seems to me that most of the guys on this board use Essex basses as a starting point for modifications.
  8. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    You would think that if they were built in the USA then they would put that on the "learn more" page and would be proud of it. Don't get me wrong I think you probably got a heck of deal for less than $150. I'm even thinking about getting one of the jazz basses myself, just to have it.
  9. Um! Essex parts come from China or Korea.... Parts being: The Finished neck, the body, the tuners, the bridge pickups and whatnot,,,,,,this is how they are shipped and it is a very cost effective way of shipping guitars. Rondo then hires someone which my or my not be a american to assemble them.....When I go to Ikea and I buy something like a bed frame and the sum of all its parts were made in India ,I Then have to assemble it at my home ...This doesn't make my Indian bed frame Made in America ..... Essex are not made in the US of A. got it! They are only assembled in the US. Billybishop...If a MIM fender Jazz would cost you about the same I would get the Fender...the Fender will have better resale value.. if you decide you don't like it...I'm not saying that the Essex is bad but you mite find it harder to resell it if you don't like it..

  10. lakerkobe


    Jun 17, 2002
    Portland, OR
  11. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    "Made in America" means that said item was manufactured in America, using American labor. If it doesn't mean that, it damn well should!

    It doesn't matter to me where something is made. If it's a good product, I'm gonna buy it.
  12. slick519


    Aug 11, 2001
    Salem, Or
    just one question, where are you guys getting these basses?

  13. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002

    I think its made in America. The guy makes the basses in New Jersey. Never heard of New Jersey, Korea.

    Essex's rock. Cheap affordable copies. The money you save from not buying a Fender can be used for own personal parts. Seeing as how the Fender comes stock and for the same price you can get a custom bass at the same quality, I'd go with the Essex. I mean, don't you want your own tone and not some manufactured tone?

    Choose wisely son!
  14. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Essex basses are hand made? the body and neck are carved by hand??? what was I doing spending so much for my Elrick when I could have gotten an essex for less than $300.. :).. I'm not meaning any rudness ChaosGwar.. but are you pOsOtIv that essex basses are hand made? maybe assembled by hand?
  15. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    They're assembled by hand. Not MADE. But who cares, get one for the hell of it!
  16. sbasssman

    sbasssman Guest

    Jan 1, 2002
    I just bought an Essex J Bass clone, and it had a "Made in China" label. I love it, but it wasn't made in America. If Kurt is actually doing assembly here, he's doing himself an injustice not advertising that loudly. Me thinks they are assembled in China or Korea, but what do I know?
  17. i love my essex. i do believe they are assembled and setup here in the US of A, but yes, the parts are imported. they are pretty damn good, too.

    the headstock on mine says Custom Hand Made. maybe it was handmade where ever the parts came from?

    i dont think fender mim's have anything on essex's. they are just too great for the price, plus upgrading the pickups and maybe poppin' in a retro, and whoa.

    i just tung oiled the neck on mine and rubbed a tiny bit of wax on it, and now it plays amazingly fast.

    kurt is making a huge mistake by not selling these for more, but dont tell him that.
  18. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i had a team. which is there lowest line in basses.
    it was my first bass and i bought it for $40 off my played just about the same as a squire.
    i liked it. and it sayed custom hand made.

  19. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    We're all forgetting the fact he pays more for living in canada.
  20. Mine says "custom hand made on the headstock as well. And like I said in a previous post, the parts are built in 3rd world sweat shops, and imported to the shop in NJ where they are assembled by hand by people whose quality control is higher. The bodies, necks, etc where probably made with a CNC machine. I don't know how many mass produced basses aren't these days. They are assembled by hand by a team of pros in the USA. To me, that means MIA.

    However, for the thread started, if a MIM Fender and an Essex will cost you about the same, and you can play the Fender before you buy it, you'd probably be safer to get the Fender.

    Rondo Music does offer insurance (it's actually included in shipping costs) and are more than willing to replace a defective or damaged instrument.

    Like Hategear said, I don't care where it was made, if it sounds good I'll play it.

    Try decaf buddy :D