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My SX Ursa 5-string rant

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by t4turbo, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. t4turbo


    Mar 9, 2004
    I ordered my SX right before christmas of last year and was a little worried about getting it in a timely fashion since christmas usually makes shipping anything more complicated, and there were warnings on rondo music about the deadline. Anyway! i got the bass on time and WOW! out of the box i was amazed at the finish, the packaging, the sturdiness of it.
    My bass came wrapped in plastic and taped and also had the strings from the nut to the bridge wrapped neatly in brown paper, again wow!
    maybe its just me, but when i ordered my rockbass streamer, it was not packed as neatly and was no where near as stunning to see the first time. maybe its not a good comparison, but for a bass cost less than 200 shipped, i was impressed!

    Then i plugged it in and played a few riffs, and again WOW!
    with no kind of setup at all it played very smooth and fluidly but still firm enough while slapping and digging in.
    On top of that the tone was amazing, even with the stock strings which i will replace soon, it sounded really good. very jazz bassishy.
    very full thick sound and growled when i dug in and slapped, but had very good manners when playing palm muffled or lightly with fingers.
    and did i mention that it is no louder than any passive fender jbass ive ever played? obviously its not silent, but its certainly more on the quiet side

    back to the finish again i was amazed, its a sharp bass! the fretboard is nice and glossy the binding and blocks are gorgeous and the wood is beautiful!

    well ok there you have it, thats my rant on my SX Ursa, if your thinking about getting and wonder if all the hype is for real, Believe it!

    here are some pictures and theres a link for one of the songs ive made so you can hear its tone in a mix.

    Go Here to listen to the song -> T4TURBO's Music | Ultimate-Guitar.Com

  2. AgIdoc


    Nov 17, 2008
    Huntsville, TX
    sweet looking! love natural basses with maple fingerboards!
  3. When you said rant I was expecting a negative review. Good on ya though! I have 2 SXs (Essexes?) and the first was amazing out of the box. The second needs a few tweaks but for the price it's pretty impressive.
  4. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Sounds like you got a nice bass! You might want to change your thread title as a rant is generally considered a bad thing.
  5. Sweet looking bass, but that tight string spacing would just kill me. :scowl:
  6. This is not a rant, more like "on your knees praising the bass gods for your good fortune" :hyper::bassist:

    When (and if) I'm in a position to order an SX, and it arrives in the condition you got yours in, I'll do the same thing. :)

    Nice bass, BTW. :D
  7. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    The looks of that bass would make me want to lay down some serious 70's funk.

  8. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    The woodgrain on the body is beautiful. Very nice matching.
    Glad you like it - congrats
  9. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    I personally like the set up with the word "Rant" in the title, leading into a positive review. Manipulative? Sure, but it pulls you in.
  10. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I thought the same thing.
  11. The only potential problem I see there is the E, A, and D saddles are a little crooked, but I doubt that's a big deal at all. Nice bass.
  12. It almost seems that the individual saddles are just slightly too wide and interfering with each other a little. It's causing the saddles to twist and the strings to have to cross from one side of the channel to the other on a given saddle.If they are stainless vs plated, you might consider sanding the ends of the saddle pieces. My guess though is that they are plated and the saddle pieces are wide by the thickness of the plating.
  13. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I've had the same experience with 3 basses from Rondo. Beautifully packed, timely delivery. I got an Ursa 6 string from this last run, and the only issues I've found are:

    Two pickguard screws are a little crooked, only noticeable from player's perspective.

    One of the side dot markers is slightly smudged.

    One of the truss rod access holes (two rods on this one) is ever so slightly off. Maybe 1mm. Took me a week to notice it.

    The pots are of the "all or nothing" variety. There's a big change from 0-1, and from 9-10. In between, not so much. Not a big deal, as this is just intended to be a backup, and I'm planning to drop an Audere preamp in at some point anyway.

    Not too bad for $160. I've seen American Fenders that had more issues. I have yet to hear any hum either, even with one pickup soloed. Can't really explain that one.

    My only real complaint is that the day after mine arrived in sunburst finish they got in a shipment of candy apple red, which would have been my first choice :)
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    This is a rave not a rant. :mad:

    Gosh darn it, I was hoping to read all sorts of awful things about how this was one poorly constructed awful sounding baby-killer of a bass, and you had to go and ruin it with all those kind words.

  15. If it makes you feel any better, ever since I took delivery of my '75 reissue Ursa, things have come up "missing" around the house and the liquor cabinet is surprisingly light. Apparently not all of them are good eggs.
  16. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    I have the same exact bass. I love it. I keep waiting to find something to make me not love it, but I haven't. The string spacing is a bit narrow, but I have smaller hands and that works better for me. The only issues with it are minor cosmetic things, nothing very noticeable.
  17. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    That is a standard thing with SX basses. Personally I've never fixed it, but all it takes is one of these:

    Bass Parts Resource* ::*Music Man Bass Bridges

    I actually have a sack full of them, but haven't used any yet because they are too wide to fit under my ashtrays. So I just sort of pry around on the saddles as needed. No biggie.

    Even though the latest SX basses are pretty quiet, I still suggest a copper shield job. Makes it go from totally useable to dead quiet. I love it. And of course I'm no fan of vol/vol/tone and am a big fan of series/parallel. So my standard "boutiquization" of an SX is to get a blend and push-pull volume control from Stewmac. Your tastes may differ.

    It's not by chance that I own 6 of these things. And it cost me about what I paid for my ONE used GNL! I feel like a bass pig!
  18. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Hey, did they increase the string spacing on those? The last SX Jazz V I had, one with the old headstock, had like 15.5mm spacing. Reason I'm asking is that looking at your pickups, it looks as though the pole-pairs (one pair per string) hace more scpace between them. On the one I had, the pairs had no extra space so that they lined up with the narrow spacing. If they are wider, I may investigate buying another one...
  19. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Sure. But hey, *I* have a rant! How come this guy gets an SX 5er with wood grain that is positively BOOTEEK and my original "vintage" headstock SX 5er has got these three pieces of wood with nice grain, but somehow the wood COLOR varies between the pieces? Sure, I just bought it to be a "bar bass" not to worry about. And yes, it plays and sounds like a positive dream for even less cash than they go for now. But still. What is with the "Zebra" bass look? Why can't I ask for TOTAL LUCK? <end rant>

    PS. My second URSA 5er SX DOES have to die for wood grain. :hyper:
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I have owned 6 SX basses in the last 10 years.

    The necks always need fret work.
    The tuners are cheap.
    The electronics are mediocre.
    The wood is often harsh sounding.

    But I have one that is a keeper after I replaced the neck and preamp.


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