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Got My SX - The Good and the Bad!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Got my SX Jazz from a good fellow Tber (thanks NovusOrdo!). It is literally in new condition. Not a scratch or blemish. He said that he had only one hours playing time on it when he sold it to me and I believe him.

    Anyway, it's a lot of bass for the money.

    Feels nice in my hands
    Pickguard is a multi-ply one
    Looks great (from 3 + feet away)
    Sounds better than I thought it would
    Came with pretty decent strings

    Pots already feel like crap, one is scratchy
    Some of the gold trim on the bass already has some "spotting"
    Action has to be set high and truss needed to be set (relief) to eliminate buzzing
    You can see a seam line in the "quilt laminate" when up very close

    Neutral Items:
    Tuners are "ok", a bit rough feeling but seem to hold tune
    Dig the fake, stained on skunk stripe on the neck (nice try SX :D )
    Strap buttons are solid with felt underneath

    For the money, it's great. Maybe a pro setup would help. I tried to flatten the neck with the truss and raise the action, no dice. I then bowed it (truss) and raised the action and finally got rid of the buzz but damn is the action high in the upper fretts (frett 8 and higher). Damn shame! Again, I'll prob let a pro look at it but I don't think that they will be able to do much.

    Again, it sounded much better than I expected. Certainly worth the money they charge for these new (and I got mine for a fair amount less). Absolutely no comparison to my G&L L-2500 USA, but at 1/15th of the cost, what could I expect!

    Here is a pic of the model I got:
  2. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    I hate seam lines. I have a seam line on my old bass (sunburst) and it looks absolutely horrible. Solid colors for me from now on.
  3. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    When discussing the "Good and the Bad," you must also discuss the "Ugly." Not that your bass is ugly at all (on the contrary, I dig it), just seems more complete in honor of a great western. :p
  4. i jsut picked up my first sx on saturday, took the 2 hour drive to rondo and walked out of there happy. all in all i am very please with waht i got for 140, i got hte one that looks lie ka marcus miller rip off jazz. of course all those pick up covers came off right away. man that head stock is ugly and i don't dig the painted on parts. but i have to say that neck feels great, i've never been a fan of basic bridges though, i like my schallers what i can adjust anything, i see one in the future. and as you mentioned my pots are too scratchy but nothing a little work couldn't change. the thing sounds fantastic especially considering the price. i am very happy with my rather small invesment
  5. Quad, how have you determined the skunk stripe is stained? If you look at my dissection of an SX neck just like yours that I posted a couple of weeks ago, you'll see that, although the stripe IS cosmetic, it was real. I had the fretboard off and the trussord out and photographed for all to see.

    I don't understand the situation with your specimen! :confused:
  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I'll double check mine, but it appeared to be fake and stained because at the top of the stripe, the stain partially over flows onto the rest of the neck, almost like over spray on a cheap paint job on a car. I'll look again tonight, but that's what it looked like last night. It could be that the install the piece of wood back on the neck after installing the then stain it after it's installed. Don't know why the hell they would do that, but mine looks like it was stained while on the neck.
  7. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    That skunk stripe bleed seems to be a realtively common problem with the SX basses. It's almost like they put the wood piece in while it's still wet and then it bleeds over. Wierd ....

    I sure Hambone is right, the stripe is cosmetic, but real (not painted). And considering his skills with bass construction, I trust his opinion :cool:

    Overall, sounds like you have a typical SX ... they all seem to have the same good and bad points ....... mostly good :)
  8. I wouldn't doubt that they might try touching up the dark wood on the neck a little - that even sounds like something I might do! :rolleyes: I don't know exactly what wood is used - it's probably not walnut (north american wood) but rather an asian substitute but if that species had the characteristic light colored streaks like walnut has on it's outer edges, then they might have needed to stain it to match the rest.

    I also trust your observation skills Quad - I just wanted to hear about what you were seeing. It would have had to be a strong example to have made you think that.

    I just thought of something else - some of the oilier woods like rosewood and teak will leave a stain on adjacent lighter woods when you wipe them with a strong solvent. Maybe the solvents in the clearcoat or something in the wipedown before spraying, caused a little sappy bleed to slop over onto the maple before the clear went on.
  9. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've got the same SX (In the 3TS not red)

    But it still looks beautiful up close - perfect IMO, except for a little bit of buzzing - need copper tape!
  10. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    for the money you cant beat them, unless you find someone who's desperate for money and selling something good. Their fretting leaves something to be desired, but the overall tone is pretty decent for $139 plus shipping (although Quadzilla got a deal ;) ) If I wasn't at the stage in life that I am, it would be a keeper. But as a back up bass or a bass for a total beginner who may or may not continue to play, it's a no brainer IMO.
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I've got a set of pickups from a 1995 MIM Jazz Bass for sale cheap that would sound killer on that bass. :)
  12. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Damn, I literally just ordered new pickups (Mighty Might's w Alnico V magnets) an hour or so ago along with w new pearloid pickguard and a HEAVY DUTY bridge. Prob going to get a new wiring kit and pots too. Even with all that stuff, I'll still only have $200ish into it or so. Not bad if it looks and plays nice!
  13. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    The skunk stripe is real, but not walnut; it's some lighter wood stained walnut color.

    Also, I have the same set up problem on all 6 of my SX's regarding the need for high action. It seems to be a combination of two things: 1. Bad neck to body joint design ... needs to be shimmed; 2. Bad fret filing. Some have high spots only on portions of frets, meaning that it'll buzz on the A or D string, but not on any of the other strings ... rather strange, but consistent on SX's it seems.
  14. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Offbase, thanks for the response! Have you been able to remedy the high action situation?
  15. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    This is just a guess, but maybe a shim in the neck joint would help with your high action setup problem. After I removed the frets from my bolt-on, the action was really high. A shim in the neck joint angled the neck back a degree or so and pretty much solved the problem. Hopefully some of our TalkBass luthiers will chime in on this?

    Good luck!
  16. Sounds like they could have a problem with THEIR jig fixtures to cause this if it's that consistent.

    I, however, haven't ever had this particular prob. Granted, I don't take any SX neck at face value. When I get one in hand, I level and recrown the frets, then rework the ends - without question. I sort of consider the necks as "blanks" that need this type of attention. In that regard, I don't think it's any different than, say, changing the strings on the bass you just bring back from GC. We know they don't set them up right nor do they treat them right while on the floor, why take the chance? And I think that approach is perfectly appropriate for an entire instrument that runs in the $120-$300 range. They've actually spent their time and and resources elsewhere in production. So while Warmoth will take that amount of money and give me a silk purse neck that I could sleep with and probably really enjoy, I can live with an entire bass that requires a fret dressing for the same price.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I guess I got lucky with my SX.

    I did have some rough fret ends in the upper registers that had to be dressed, but the frets on mine are pretty darned level. Level enough that I have the action set 'stupid low'. It is so low that most people can't play it without a lot of buzzing. But with a light touch, it only buzzes when I want it to.
  18. Heh heh. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ "I meant to do that..." :ninja:
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


    Hey, there are occasions that call for a little fret buzz.
  20. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Quadzilla, i got my sx jazz particularly to play around with the setup (intonation, action, truss rod changes). keep at it man, you will get it eventually. if it was your G&L, then yeah man get a pro setup. the beauty of the cheap sx basses is you don't have to worry about losing heaps of cash if something goes wrong (not that it will ;) ).

    One more bad point with the sx:

    the pickup magnets are not the same height as the casing!!! i hate that so much :bawl: , i lowered the action heaps and then i had to lower the neck pickup a lot to stop the strings hitting the magnets!!! now only 1mm of the pickup casing is available to rest my thumb on!!!