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Fender Precision vs. SX

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kingurth, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. I'm a beginner bassist (only been playing for four months) and I just got my first bass in January. It's an SX VPB57 (at least, I think...most of the SX basses look the same) and I realized that it looks identical to the Fender Precision bass in every way, except for the position of the screws on the pickguard.

    So what I want to know is which came first, why is one an exact copy of the other, how I can tell the difference between SX guitars, which one is the better bass, etc.

    From what I could gather, the SX is both cheaper and has a higher customer satisfaction rate.
  2. Cowboy Pope

    Cowboy Pope

    Nov 17, 2005
    The Fender P has been around for many decades. It came long first, and is generally regarded as being higher quality. I personally cannot stand them, but they are the industry standard in many ways, and remain the most copied basses ever.

    SX took the design and built a knockoff for whatever reason it is that people build knockoffs. Not to say that that's a bad thing, SX is a very good company for beginners.

    As far as telling them apart, look at the headstock. One will say Fender, one will not. You'd be getting something better in the Fender (usually), but you'd be paying many times more for it. An SX is a great place to start.

    Welcome to the boards, and bassing in general!
  3. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    SX Guitars
    62 model - Rosewood fingerboard, alder body
    57 - maple fingerboard, alder body (I think)
    75 - maple fingerboard, ash body (can be heavy, also the only ones they have that have a natural finish in)

    The SX is cheaper and has a greater price:quality ratio - thats why people are so happy with them. I mean, to buy the neck and body alone would cost more than the bass, and some people have been lucky enough to get stuff like insane birdseye on their necks, which they would probably pay a lot for for say, Warmoth.
  4. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Yea Minger is exactly right, IMHO... If you cannot afford a MIJ (or CIJ) Fender... get the SX. In my experiance, and very humble opinion (even tho I'm still going to get flamed).. I wouldn't pay $450 for a MIM when I could pay $150 for an SX... it just doesn't make sense.
  5. Bo_H


    Jul 2, 2004
    I have a friend with an SX Jazz bass and he loves it. He replaced the stock pickups with Seymours and he says it really does well. Actually, he's ordered a fretless neck from SX and he's sending me the orginal neck for my Frankenbass P-bass.

  6. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    My thoughts exactly:

    -$150 for the SX
    -$50 on a good P pickup replacement
    -$50 on a high-mass/quality bridge
    -$15 on new pots, capacitor, shielding, etc.
    -$20-$30 on a killer set of strings.

    You'll have a bass with better quality wood, hardware, and electronics for more than $150 less than an MIM. Also, that $150 would be able to fund the next SX project......:ninja:
  7. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    agreed EXCEPT to make it perfectly honest.

    $139 for the SX
    $50 for Pickups
    $10 MIM bridge on ebay!
    $0-honestly, I really dig the pots and overall electronics of my SX.
    $25 for Knucklehead Fatty Strings.

    That's $224

    For a bass that (on paper) is better than an MIM. by "on paper" I mean the specs sound better.. but every bass is different some MIM's are amazing and some SX's are too... but 9 times out of 10 this will give you a bass better than an MIM.

    I'll never own an MIM... CIJ Now that's different! ;) I love my Geddy
  8. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    If you were thinking of getting a Mexican Fender do yourself a favor and save $300.00, get the SX.
  9. giglawyer

    giglawyer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    I may only have a few posts here, but I have been lurking for quite a while. This is a great place to get advice on all aspects of bass, from gear to technique. That said, it easy to get overwhelmed with all of the awesome basses you will see and read about here. Every day I scroll through here and beginto second guess my own equipment (do I need a new bass/bridge/neck/pickups/amp/preamp/effects...). Don't get hung up on all of that just yet. Learn to play on the equipment you have. You will know when you are ready to take the next step to bigger and better stuff.
  10. slickhare


    Feb 2, 2005
    SX's are amazing quality for the price. there aren't many lemons as with most production basses. and they just plain play great. you can't go wrong, unless you're comparing it to an MIA, in which case things might swing the other way.
  11. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    I'd even go so far as to say the SX is BETTER than the average MIA P basses. Have you played a new one latley? Garbage. Fender should be embarassed with what they're putting out these days. I've played a bunch, and they really don't compare to the SX.
  12. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I have a USA Fender Precision, sunburst with rosewood fingerboard (with S-1, which I don't care about at all). I also have an SX Precision copy, sunburst with maple fingerboard. It's the same model, a '57 something or other. I also have a black/white MIM Fender Precision. Since the SX is a "57 RI", I can't really say I'm comparing apples to apples, but the Fenders are not surprisingly about 10 times better. But the important thing for me is: I could not gig with the SX and be happy at all. It's too heavy and the neck feels like a tree trunk. I think a beginner, more than a veteran player, needs a decent instrument to keep them motivated. To be fair, I really don't know if I dislike the SX because it's a '57 "thing" or not. It's a beautiful bass, I just hate the weight and the feel.

  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I have to say, you just went to far.

    SX is equal to Squier. MIM is step up from either one. CIJ is a step up from MIM, and MIA is a step up from that. If you got a hold of a poorly set up or damaged MIA in a local store (GC?) it does not mean that MIA is crap.

    I own two SX basses and they are playable (if you don't require the bass to be grounded) but, that's it - they're playable. They are chocked full of visual and construction flaws. Have you taken an SX apart and found all of the surprises that come with a $99 bass? I'll avoid listing the flaws mine (and probably most) have unless someone asks - but they are not "every bit as good as a Fender MIM" as people so often try to say here. Don't get me wrong, they are playable and a fantastic value - but some sort of band wagon / mob mentality here are TB has got these things WAY over hyped. I'm ready to be flamed, but I'll stand by every word in this post.
  14. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    "I'd even go so far as to say the SX is BETTER than the average MIA P basses. Have you played a new one latley? Garbage. Fender should be embarassed with what they're putting out these days. I've played a bunch, and they really don't compare to the SX."

    Personally I have never played an SX that even remotely comes near to the sound and feel of any MIA P bass I have ever played.
  15. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    IF you plan on reselling it and moving up soon, get the MIM. It will move much easier. I you are going to keep it, a modded SX. You can find excellent MIMs if you can try them out locally. you can sometimes find a real jewel this way.
  16. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    A fantastic value? I think they are a waste of $99.00 and a waste of time. Anybody that wants a precision bass, you can buy a MIM for nothing on eBay and have a bass you can play for the rest of your life.

  17. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    Well, I was trying to be nice. We do have a huge pro Essex crowd here and I didn't want to offend. I have tried in the past to be frank and honest about the quality of Essex basses, and without fail I get flamed and 20 people come along to say that they are every bit as good if not better than a MIM and 3 more people come along and say they are every bit as good if not better than a MIA.

    As I mentioned, I have bought two Essex basses. (both when I was down on my luck financially, and before owning a fender) One is a short scale that gets loaned out to kids in the family who see my basses and get interested, and want to play with a bass - it's handed to non players who don't know the difference between an instrument and a toy. It's a toy. The other Essex I own, is under my bed zipped up in a gig bag only to be removed if something horrible ever happens to my Fender and I need something to play while my baby is in the shop. I hope I never see it out of the bag again, I doubt I ever will.

    You know my kids would tell you that a McDonalds cheeseburger is every bit as good, if not better than, that yucky fillet mignon that mom and dad made us have for dinner last week… maybe if that's how they feel, for them it is a fact.
  18. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hmmm. I could see keeping one under my bed to hit a burglar with. Glad a lot of people like them...I think they look very nice, and are pieces of total ****.

  19. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005

    I'm sorry than you must have a lemon for an SX. I love mine. Does it compare to my '73 Precision or my Geddy Lee? Not in anyway. But I would choose my SX over 70% of the MIM's that I have played.
    Now my turned to be flamed. MIM's are CRAP basses for the money. IMHO I think it is stupid to pay $450 for a MIM when u can get an excellent SX for $139 or an awesome CIJ for ~$700 I guess we can all agree to disagree. But I will never own an MIM. I bought two and returned them both. The first one was returned because the truss rod was broken from the factory. It spent 4 hours in the shop (special order) so it was not due to abuse by customers, and I'm close with the guys in the shop, not to mention the bass was still in the box. And the box was not damaged so it wasn't due to shipping. Second one was returned because the bass stopped working after 3 weeks. I do not play it hard at all. I baby all my gear. Yet I'd plug it in and you would hear the NASTIEST sound come from the cabinet. I will not accept others opinions.. I appreciate them, but will not accept them. Basses must prove themselves to me. The SX Played GREAT right after a new setup and a new set of strings. Both MIM's were unplayable. The SX has proven itself.
  20. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005

    No way is the SX near the quality of an MIA. The only Fender that I have played and enjoyed more than an MIA is the Geddys. That is just completely due to the fact that the Geddy tone is EXACTLY what I have been looking for.
    the MIA's feel like they were custom molded to your body and sound amazing. Maybe this SX loyalty is getting carried away. SX Is a great gigging/jamming bass. I wouldn't go into the studio with one.