HELP!!! Johnson or Essex!!!!!????!!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by StartingLineBass, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. StartingLineBass


    Jul 24, 2002
    Hi, I'm new here at TalkBass and this is my very first post of many I hope!

    Anyway, I'm am ready to embark on my bass carreer and I have found two basses for the same price. They are the Essex BG-80 and the Johnson JP-800. They are $110.00 (w/o shipping) and since I'm only 13 and don't have a job that's my maximum budget. Since I'm ordering online I won't have a chance to hold it until it arrives. So I need your help on picking one so please RESPOND!!!!!!!!!

    Thank You,


    P.S. I included pics but I don't know if they worked!!!

    This is the Essex bass

    This is the Johnson bass...
  2. BillyBishop


    Feb 7, 2001
    I'd go with the essex, I've heard great things about them. And that picture of the Johnson has been edited, they have pointy triangular headstocks, like this -

  3. Good call Billy...Johnson headstocks look like someone's lost canoe paddle. Not inspired at all.

    Having played and setup an Essex P, I can say with complete certainty that it is 10 times the instrument I had when I started. You will love it's feel and the sound won't disappoint you at all.

    You should do yourself a favor though and consider one of the natural finishes offered on the Essex. They seem to have done a really great job of getting good ash grain and matching it up. They look great.
  4. StartingLineBass


    Jul 24, 2002
    I want to thank you guys for responding even so soon on a newbie post!!! I'm going to go with the Essex, I hope that's the wise decision! Now I just got to pick the color!!!:D :D
  5. BillyBishop


    Feb 7, 2001
    The sunburst looks pretty cool.
  6. I've never even held a Johnson so I can't say anything about it, except it would be kinda funny to ask a pretty girl if she would like to hold my "Johnson". :) (sorry, bad humor is irresistable to me)

    But I have purchased an Essex 5 string fretless bass and I can say that I'm pretty pleased with it. It's not a Modulus or a Zon, but for less than $200 it's definitely an excellent value. Definitely playable once I master fretless.

    Which might be a lot longer than I care to admit. :)
  7. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    The Johnson bass looks crappy. I can't deal with that headstock. hideous!
  8. slick519


    Aug 11, 2001
    Salem, Or
    well, welcome to talkbass, the best site the internet has to offer! and god choice w/ the essex, the johnson headstock, well, looks like a johnson!!;) :eek:

    well, welcome, and now that you are starting bass, welcome to the good life! chicks, money, cool cars, friends, and instant abs! :D


  9. how come i dont have any of that?? :( ;)
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Essex is the way to go, based on feedback from people who own them here at Talkbass.

    I will be getting a sunburst BG80 in a couple of months.
  11. Essex! Without a doubt the best quality bass for the money. Looks great, feels great, plays great.
  12. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    hi i'm also looking at essex after the things i have heard, and even have been looking at replacememnt pups and pup settings. but, what i haven't found out so far, and i have only recently started playing the last 4 months, is what is the attraction to a P over a J besides the neck? why have a bass with one P pup when you can have a bass with two J pick ups? i even heard on here that for a few dollars more you could get a new pick guard with a P placement and put it in the essex J at the neck b/c it has enough room. i say it's your first bass zayne and you aren't expecting the world man, but you do want as much as you can get in a first axe, and with being in this time you have so many options to choose from than what some of these guy had. i'm sure they will agree. i'd keep looking at the other models if you have enough for a low model like the P it wouldn't take you to long to get more money for a better model in the line. then again i say this cause i'm in love with that 150 they have. i don't think you can find a better instrument for 159.

    i just want to know why some like P's over J's and why do you want to settle for a P when you can get another bass in the line for a few dollars more that you could grow with because you would have more options to MOD later instead of buying a new bass?

    i'm sorry about the punctuation and the spelling, it's 7am and i'm in a hurry to run to class.
  13. StartingLineBass


    Jul 24, 2002
    I've been saving my money for quite some time now and I came up with $120.00 and the Essex P seemed to be the best bet. I did look at the J bass but I prefered the P for two reasons. 1. It's a little cheaper and 2.I like the P sound a little better. It's all just personal preference really. But I must say the J bass looks alot cooler then the P!:D :cool:
  14. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    actually it looks like the headstock that my ex-buddy has on his old vox violin bass. i know you can copy body styles, but isn't it illegal to copy headstock design. i'm just curious, and i know they copy fender's, but do they do that legally? just curious. and yes i am in class typing this. :p
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    As for why a P over a J, Zayne said it. Some people like the sound of a P better than a J. I'm not one of them, I like both equally. :p However, I think a P is better as a first instrument. There's enough different sounds available just with your fingers and what they're doing without having to learn about blending pickups, etc. Simplicity is better. Just my opinion of course.

    Plus Ps look better. :)
  16. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    well i have to say really that is the reason (that the j looks cooler) i was looking at the jazz bass and the 150 inparticular. but after i have seen one person talk about maybe putting a P in the neck spot on the J i have been thinking about going that rout. others are buying these things mostly to MOD them anyway. the P option in MODing seems really interesting. and because victor wooten uses that P+J config alot in his 4 strings.

    i don't i don't know j bass aint that much more away for you and after a while if you don't like that sound you can shove a P in there with a new pickguard and you have a thinner neck (at least i like that.)

    i believe i saw someone saying there was enough clearence for a P in the essex J. any if a P is what you are dead set on man. i don't see you going wrong here.

    these guys know more than i do, and if they are buying them, and more to the point LOVING TO PLAY THEM, then hey man you could do a hell of a lot worse. you could be buying a Harmony. lol now there is a log with strings.
  17. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    you have a valid points. finger technique adds tonal character and does indeed change sounds. simplicity is nice, and i'm not doubting the p is a good beginner. i'm just one of those guys that knows when he buys something, he's stuck with it. as such, when i'm already puting myself out there to try something i like to look at that next step i might go. i'm spoiled also. i started out a guitar player, i'm used to having more than one pickup for tonal character. i like more options available to me is all. as for the P looking better? it's nice, but Js are sooo curvy, almost sexy. :eek: LOL
  18. I was the one who was gonna do this, but there is not enough room in the neck pick up route. I will have to remove some more wood in order to fit the Precision pick up. And the new pickguard would have to be customized, and that will cost more than just a few dollars.

    People like the P bass because it has a different tone tha the Jazz bass. There are so many differences between the P and the J it's impossible to say one is better than the other. I happen to like both, but my overall preference is the P. The Essex jazz I have is getting a P neck, and a P neck pick up shortly. And FWIW, you can mod a P just as much as you can mod a J.

    I don't see it as "settleing" for a P bass if that is what you like better.
  19. haplo07

    haplo07 Guest

    Apr 13, 2002
    Tinley Park, IL
    thanks for jumping in Dude. it's info a few of us can use.

    i want to say "Zayne i'm sorry for anything i said that was misinforming.."

    ChaosGwar i'm glad you stepped in to give us both more detail. i know it is more than a few dollars for a new pick guard btw it was just a figure of speach. i meant that if he had the $$ for a P now it wouldn't take him so long to get that much for a pick guard to fit a P. they start at 20 bucks at . and the pick up i'm sure he can find one for a decent price. but now that you say it takes some woodwork. i strike what i said.

    Zayne i hope you enjoy the P man. if half of what i heard about essex is true, i have no doubt you will. let us now what you think of it when you get it dude.

    if you want color suggestions, the tobacco. at least you can tell because of the tranlucent stain you are getting a good slab of wood for a body.