Essex= Johnson?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dryheatbob, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. Anybody know if these things are made in the same factory? I'm looking to pick up a MIM jazz bass(used) or a good clone and really like what I've read here about Essex, but I really want to play one to see if I like it. Just about every music shop here carries Johnson jazz clones and they look almost identical to the Essex. In fact, the ones I've seen have a headstock that isn't so, uh, Johnson-like;) .

    Reason I ask is the Rondo web site says many different companies use the same factory they do to make their guitars. Since both guitars come from China, I figure they may come from the same factory. And it would be nice to play it before I bought it.

    If not,looks like I'm back in the market for that evasive $200 MIM jazz that everyone but me keeps finding!
  2. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    if you got 200.00$ wait a bit and save up another 50.00-75.00$(you mite not even need it)and get a japanese made fender. they go for around the same as a mexican but are 100% better ! they are made better and sound a whole lot more like the real deal,they hold there re-sale value and are easy to get parts for.i paid 300.00 $ for my 87 P/J SPECIAL and i coud'nt ask for a more depenable higher quality bass for the money. check a few out then let me know if you still want a mexican :D
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Most imported brands whether Essex or Squier work pretty much the same way. The US importer looks for factories that can build to his specs (including PRICE).

    Fender has used MANY overseas suppliers over the years; I have even seen two Chinese Squiers hanging next to each other in a GC that were obviously from different factories (different headstock shape, different hardware) yet had the same stock number.

    Chasing down the factory doesn't help much because even if the factory is the same for two brands it doesn't mean they are built to the same spec. Some sales guys in music stores will try to tell you this anyway (i.e. "buy the Samick instead of the Epiphone because Samick makes all the Epiphones for Gibson anyway").

    So you can't say Essex=Johnson even if both brands do come from the same factory (I have no idea if they do).
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Can you post a pic?

    I say just play it and buy it if you like it. I played a Squier P made in Indonesia a few months ago and it was great. Imports, from lots of places, seem to be getting cheaper and better.
  5. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    100% better = the same :p :D ;)
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    if you improve something by 100% wouldn't you be doubling the original?

    as in:
    100better 2(the same)
  7. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Doubling would be 200% :p

    100% ~~> 1.00, anything times 1 = same thing :bassist:

    For example, 100% of a soda = a full soda. To have more soda (or comparably something 'better' in this thread) you would have to have something greater than 100%.

    But really.. this has nothing to do with the point of the thread..

    *hides in fear of being labeled 'one of those..'* :cool: :bawl:
  8. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I see where you guys are coming from but you are wrong none the less.

    100% more is doubling because it is ADDING 100% which is the total of the original.

    If an item is $100 then marked up 100% it is then $200.

    100% better is twice as good!!

    : )
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    :cool: that's what I said
  10. Uh thanks. No, really! I can't remember the last time I was inclined to dig out my junior high math books while trying to figure out if the name on the headstock of a low priced bass was just badge engineering!;)

    Mebbe I should dig out my college philosophy book while I'm at it.

    Is a glass that's half full 50% empty? Does it matter at all if what's in it is too warm to drink?

    What the hell was I asking about?

    Oh yeah. Now I remember.

    Brian, your point about "identical" Squiers being very different is a good point. After reading the Essex megathread, I doubt they would make changes to their axes without first posting it to their site. Johnson? Who knows. It's about impossible to find out anything them directly. Only info I've seen is through dealers on Ebay. Since i can't get my hands on a Essex, I'd sure like to find a dealer here local that stocks Fender MIMs and Johnsons and play them side-by-side.

    Sorry, jondog, I can't post a picture. If you go to or their Ebay store you can find pictures/descriptions of the jazz and precision clones Johnson makes. They seem to have the most info ive found on Johnson bases.

    What I should have said in the original post was:

    If Essex and Johnson are virtually identical in terms of quality and hardware, all things then being equal I'd lean towards ordering one of those nice looking quilted maple top jazz clones from Essex. That is if after playing a Johnson and a Fender MIM side by side I didn't find a appreciable difference between them.

    Man all this talk about quality and math is starting to get Zen and the Art of Bass Maintainence deep.

    Hell with it. Time to shut up and play. :bassist: