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seeking comments on the old SX/Essex "Traditional Series" basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gear_Junky, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    I am familiar with "Vintage Series" - that's the orange tint necks on SPB, SJB, SPJ and also guitars. I have a 2010 fretless SPB-57, which I really like. I also have 3 SJM guitars and like them a lot.

    Apparently there was also a non-tinted "Traditional Series", but they must've been around earlier (but we are NOT talking about the euro-headstock resembling a fish-hook).

    There's one in a local pawn shop (a P-Bass).

    I am wondering about quality compared to the latest SX - I remember reading that early SJM's were sketchy, so I wonder if the same goes for basses?

    I have no problem replacing pickups and hardware on a cheap bass, just wondering about frets, neck, overall resonance of the wood, etc. We are talking about a sub-$100 purchase, but I wanted to learn more before I drive all that way.

    Some even had matching color headstocks, was that original?

    Thanks for any input.

    FWIW: I know all about better budget basses out there, I really like Squier CV, etc. This is not about that - it's almost like collecting to me - I really like my SX instruments, but only because of how they play/sound/look. There's something about scoring a nice instrument on the cheap.

    examples I could find online (couldn't find a natural finish, like the one I found at the pawn shop):



  2. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    New day bump
  3. I believe the URSAs are a step-up in quality to the old SX basses (the ones with the headstocks everyone loves).

    I know everyone hates the headstocks on the URSAs, but they rival Squiers and MIM Fenders in quality (mine does, at least).

    Have you read Chunger's SX Batch Build Thread yet?
  4. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    actually the SX guitars and basses rivaled MIM Fenders too (IMHO) right before the change of headstock - I have 3 SJM guitars and a fretless SPB-57. I also ordered an SPJ-62 for a friend about 2 years ago. The headstock change itself was for legal reasons, so I don't think it affected quality.

    The "Traditional Series" predates the most recent "old headstock" series, so I was wondering about those :cool:
  5. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    Yes, I saw that too and I believe my question is about instruments from a series previous to that :)
  6. I don't think the headstock change itself affected quality, I think it's just that their QC in general has improved over time.

    Sorry I don't know anything about the series you're talking about. I'm still pretty new to SX.
  7. Gear_Junky


    Jul 11, 2000
    I am also new to SX - my first purchase was an SPJ-62 bass back in 2008 or so (it's a P/J config p-bass). I bought it as a gift for a beginner, but was impressed with the feel and quality. We took it to Sam Ash and compared to a couple of MIA Fenders - it felt that good. Good setup right out of the box (though string change is usually mandatory). With good pickups it would rock.

    But you're right, I've also read that in previous runs SX have been hit and miss (just like many Squiers before CV and VM). That is precisely what prompted my question - if this was a newer SX, I'd already know the answer :)

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