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OK,OK - I'm convinced !

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dark Horse, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I had a few extra $$$ and kind of wanted a "banger" bass to keep around here at the house that I didn't have to worry about. So, after reading 1,756,578 reviews on the SX (Essex) Basses, I clicked over to their website and bought the cheapest bass there, a $89 Jazz Bass copy in black. Shipping was less than $20, so for $110 I had a bass on its' way ! I ordered it Monday, and here it is Friday and I find it on my doorstep ! BIG kudos for prompt shipping and excellent service.

    Well, I took it inside, opened up the box, did a quick tune up and neck adjustment and gave it a play - WOW, this thing sounds really nice acoustically. Nice and lively. No dead spots on the neck anywhere. Me being the curious type, of course I had to look inside the control cavity - pretty much what I expected - cheap 16mm pots, a greenie cap, and an inexpensive jack. Those will have to go. The tuners feel fine, seem to hold tune ok, but my skeptical nature says "those might need to go" as well. Time will tell. I also took off the white pickguard and popped a black pickguard, a set of Fender bridge/pickup covers, and a thumbrest onto the bass - just some extra parts that have been sitting here for a year or two.

    So, I still haven't plugged it in, but a bass that plays this well and sounds this good acoustically - well, even if I don't like the pickups, a set of Toneriders, Duncan Vintage, etc are all about $100 or so, and they sound very, very good.

    So, for $110 I have a nice bass. If I soak an extra $100-$150 into it I'll have an excellent bass, certainly a "gigworthy" one.

    Color me convinced.
  2. kingpin2512


    Aug 9, 2008
    I have really been thinking about picking one of these up just because of the reviews and to help me learn to modify better.
  3. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    At this price you just can't go wrong. Honestly.
  4. Sweet! I used to have an old Ibanez Roadstar II, that I was keeping around to maybe give it a face-lift (or complete overhaul:cool:). But I recently donated it to my buddy's kid. Oh well, maybe one day I'll find a nice cheap-O and start a project...

    Got any pics?
  5. Sounds like an excellent investment. It gets me wondering why SX has a price range from under a hundred to $159. What do you get with an extra fifty or so bucks?
  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I snapped a couple quick photos for you. I didn't polish up the bass or anything, but you'll get the idea.


  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    All of them are alder or ash bodies with varying cosmetics and pickup configurations as far as I can tell.
  8. nice pics!! It's like instant vintage!:cool:

    Next is to add the juice!
  9. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Those $89 SX Jazz basses are the best deal around. They seem like they come with almost no setup from the factory, but for $30 off what they were selling for a couple months ago, who cares? It's not like SX factory setups were ever good, anyways.

    If I had any way to justify having 3 of the exact same bass I'd probably buy a couple more. I already have 1 SX Jazz, and the $89 black one I got is the ultimate platform for a custom bass I'm having done right now...It's going to be awesome, and for less than the cost of a Squier when it's all said and done!
  10. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008

    From what I understand, some of the higher-priced models have upgraded hardware (bridge & tuners mainly).
    I also notice that you pay more for burst finishes and the "faux" quilted maple on some of the J's.

    I have a white P-J with a black pickguard and mine cost my wife $115 including shipping. She got it for me for Christmas.
    My only complaint is the lack of shielding which can make this bass pretty noisy, but I plan on ordering copper foil from Stewmac so I can learn how to do a shielding job.

    I hope to get 2 Jazz models this year-a fretted and a lined fretless.

    These are terrific value for the money and I also understand the customer service is great if you get a bad one.
  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Where was the pickguard from??? US Fender? MIM? I heard Fender PG's dont fit...
  12. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    Honestly, I don't remember. I had to do a small amount of filing to get it to fit though. No big deal. IMO it looks a lot better than the white pickguard.

    Seriously, what a ridiculously good bass for the cash. I just plugged it in a few minutes ago, and even though I'll probably swap out the pickups for something beefier, the stock ones sound good. I could gig with them, no problem.
  13. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    Welcome to the club,Darkhorse!

    I didn't expect much out of my SX(lake placid blue jazz)when I ordered it.I just needed a backup.

    Mine needed an intonation setup & a little bit of fret filing on the sides &the upper register.It was good to go.I played it stock for the 1st half year.With the stock pickups it sounded acceptable.

    I put in DiMarzio Ultras just because I had them lying around.It sounds pro now.

    These are nice functional cheap basses.It's easy to see why they have a huge fan club.

    I'm probably going to spring for the $99.95 P bass soon.
  14. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I would be a lot less distraught if this bass was stolen at a gig than one of my other basses. I may just have to cough up a few $$$ and buy a white one or something. :D
  15. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    That there is the crux of the biscuit!

    I bought my Black SX Jazz when they were 119.00 and added the bound and blocked neck. I am going to change the pots and jack and pup and aside from the neck, I'd be a shade over the cost of a Squier VM or CV, with a bass that has the same electronics as the Geddy Lee! I have basically 350 tops into a bass that I cannot make sound any better than it's 1,200 dollar original!
  16. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    Not to mention,when the airlines lose or damage your instruments.

    They lost my favorite Fender Jazz two years ago!

    Oh,by the way,I mentioned this on another thread but my 1st bass(a real hunk of dogdirt!) cost $89.95 in 1960's dollars!
  17. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Yeah it's quite amazing what you can do. My SX J is actually going to be a P/J.

    SX P/J Bass

    You can see how it's coming along. I opted to have this one done for me rather than do it myself like I did with my SX P/J bass a couple years ago. Since I've been having Brian do a lot of work for me lately I'm basically paying hardly anything on labor. Like $150 worth of parts total and it's gonna be completely done. From reading all the work he's put into it, you're not gonna give me a MIA Fender that plays or sounds better. The SX's I had him work on for me previously play as well without all the extra attention. I should get it next week hopefully! :bassist:
  18. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Brian is tops too! Even though I can do pretty much anything I want to a bass, aside from fretwork (for now) I may have Brian fart about with the next SX I buy.
  19. afireinside


    Jan 3, 2008
    ya I bought a brand new Squier Classic Vibe white jazz and it was ok but I wanted to do a side by side comparo and ordered a LPB Jazz with maple neck, did a full set up with dadario chromes on the Squier, Did a minimal set up with chromes on the SX. The SX kills it in tone, the fit finish is the same and the SX was less then half in cost after shipping......... So the Squier is going back tomorrow! And I ordered the SX white jazz with white PG that was a ding/dent for 89.00 yesterday! Probably gonna make it a fretless.
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I wonder if that is true.... By the time you get it all setup, change out the electronics, shield the bass, change the pickguard, change the pickup.... in some ways these cheap basses can feel more like "your bass" than an expensive one can.

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