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So I bought an SX P/J

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Growlmonkee, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    My new SX P/J (p body) came today. This is not a review, I'm just curious to see what feedback there is. It's alder body, 34", maple neck. I've been reading here about them, and I'm a tinkerer, so I bought one, with intent to make it better. It had 500k pots, I had 3 used, but working Alpha mini 250's, and an orange drop .047 cap, (sounded a bit brittle, so I changed it.) Set the truss rod, action (1/8" at the 12th fret), (lower than I play, but I wanted to see about fret buzz), set the intonation, and gave it a workout. The fret ends aren't manicured, and polished, but there was also nothing uncomfortable about them. I couldn't get it to buzz, not anywhere, even with action too low for me. I've changed pups in Fenders, in the past, some of which sounded bad enough to where I would never gig with the sound. I'm very taken with both the p and the j, after the pot change, I'm sure they are staying. Not to give the wrong idea, it's not as fine in the details as my Fenders, not as nice. I put a set of D'addario Chromes on it,(the stings were terrible, I did that before setup), (a broken in set). The tuners are smooth enough, they are staying. The only other thing I did was remove the bridge, and drill it out to fit larger diameter strings. I'm going to shield everything, it isn't really noisy in my home, it probably would be on a stage. Is it that I am very inarticulate, in thinking this is a really good bass, or do some of them come very ready to go like this?
    Aqualung60 and Laurie Bass like this.
  2. Congrats on your new toy! I have had SX basses in the past and generally they are decent basses and yes generally they are that good. I just wish that I could get them in Canada as cheap as you can in the States. By the time we pay for shipping/duty/taxes we might as well buy a Squier Vintage Modified or Classic vibe.
    shawshank72 and Growlmonkee like this.
  3. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    I wanted to see what these were about, the Squire VM, and CV are more polished, "better", I've played both, This SX sounds every bit as good as those imo. I'll be gigging it this week, I expected I would need to put some time in it first, the things I did took very little time, it's ready to go, a happy surprise.
  4. You know there is an unwritten rule here on T.B.....no pic means no bass...just saying.:whistle:
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Usually you do have to put in some time first on an SX. All SX seem to need a new set of strings. And most all need shielding (unless you play in very noise-free venues). The good news is that pickups usually sound great (I've never changed one yet) and the basses are made out of real tonewood like alder, swamp ash, etc.. This gives the bass LOTS of potential!

    The "luck" side of SX have to do with the neck and frets. Being lucky means you get a neck like the one you got. Not lucky can mean that the fret ends are a bit sharp (easily filed) or that a fret or two is high (causes buzzing on certain notes if you lower the action). A high fret is harder and more expensive to fix, but I bought a fret file and "fret rocker" from StewMac and that makes it not such a big deal. Even having a level and crown done by a luthier isn't THAT much cash considering you get a really nice bass in real tonewood when you are done. Having to drill bridge holes to fit fatter strings is not an uncommon fix as well.

    Other "luck" things involve tuners that are stiffish (you lucked out) or how the wood grain is matched on natural finish basses. The two things I always look for in an SX luck-out is a neck like yours and boutique level matching of wood grain on a natural body. But even if you don't luck out they usually are good enough that with a little filing and tweaking they are totally gigable.

    No pics. No bass!
    Growlmonkee likes this.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Pics! Pics!

    Also, do we still need to write "essex" for these? It used to be the search engine would ignore two-letter words. It would be good to edit the thread title.

    I've owned a couple of SX basses. Liked them both. Sold them at times when money was tight and the wife was giving me the why-do-you-need-so-many-basses raised eyebrow, but not because there was anything wrong with them.
    Ken J and Growlmonkee like this.
  7. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    I've owned a couple of good SX guitars and one SX P bass I got in 2006.

    One of my favorite necks.

    I'm eventually swapping out the pup and electronics but otherwise everything else is fully functional. It's a blast to play.

    Congrats on your score and getting a good one!
    Ken J and Growlmonkee like this.
  8. I have an SX given to me by a former TBer (nukes da bass, heck of a guy) and I'm sure he didn't do any mods to it prior to sending it my way. I don't know the model name or number. It's a five string natural finish J type.

    It sounds amazing. It plays amazing. In fact, it sounds better than my Classic '50s P.
    Growlmonkee likes this.
  9. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    IMG_0838.JPG Here's mine, I could not be more thrilled with, having had low expectations for the price. I would not have been upset if it needed pups, or some fretwork, but the sound, playability, and construction are not begging for any changes, other than the minor ones I've already made. It does sound way better to me with the 250k pots, it was too bright with the 500's
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    Laurie Bass and shawshank72 like this.
  10. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Nice! Yeah, I always adjust electronics to taste, but that's a personal thing. I do it because I'm not a fan of vol/vol on jazz basses and I love to add series/parallel switch as push-pull on the volume control. The pots etc. are not the best, but typically I don't change them unless they get noisy or I'm changing the circuit. But "as is" they aren't bad to use until they start to get scratchy if you like that setup.

    One more hint. The feel of the bass can be improved with threaded inserts in the neck joint or at least making sure the screw holes in the body have enough clearance for the screws. Often SX just drills pilot holes in body and neck and powers screws into it through both of them. Not the best. Does not pull the neck joint down tight the way it should.

    Oh, one more thing. I see it has the SX mushroom string tree. Those tend to be very bindy on the strings when tuning. A real fender top for it (like the bass on the left) is better and even better is a cheap roller tree like StewMac sells. (or your favorite string tree)

    Great SX Score!
    Growlmonkee likes this.
  11. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    Thanks Bassbenj, I will check the neck joint, guess I didn't mention it, but I took a dremel to the string tree, it's pretty smooth in those grooves now, I have a Fender button laying around somewhere, I'm gonna change it when I find the button, those grooves were a bad idea, even if smooth.
  12. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Congrats! Bassbenj has already said what I would have said. I'm a J man myself, but I do have an SX PJ (old headstock) and a J (also old headstock) both of which I left stock to serve as"control" instruments to help me gauge the mods on my players. I'm pretty much through buying basses (I have every SX model I want now) but I would have no problem playing even my stock ones out. They sound good and I have them set up like I like, the only issue would be noise since I didn't shield them like I did my players.

    I love SX! Why pay more?

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    Growlmonkee likes this.
  13. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Always smile when I read you guys like your SX's better than your Fenders :D
  14. for the price of those things, they are fun basses to learn how to fix basses and stuff.

    I have a friend who bought one, and even though I never had done it before, I helped him file the frets down, stuff some shielding in the cavity, etc.

    Only took about 2 hours right out of the box, and it sounded & played great !
  15. Thumper19605


    Jun 29, 2013
    Bought a p then a j , love them both.
    Both stock with flats.
  16. BigBobbyBass


    Jan 23, 2015
    I would very much like to try one of these.. Where can im get one in the states?
  17. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Well, my Fender is a highly tweaked MIM with SCN pickups that is pretty amazing (and unlike SX does not hum with bridge or neck pickup soloed). So it's a pretty amazing bass. SX does come in a close second, however and I can say without reservation that I really hate the profile on the Fender neck and LOVE the profile on all my SX necks. And add to that my 3 1/2 SX 6 string basses (avatar) and I can say without any reservation they blow Fenders away because Fender doesn't make any anymore.

    And the one thing an SX bass gives you that expensive basses can't is peace of mind when taken to a dive bar gig!

    PS. Don't ask Dabbler about his SX collection because he WILL show it to you (and us) (again!). :)
  18. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Rondo Music Home Page

    They are the sole distributor in the USA. (Team international has a rule of only one distributor in each country) You can find used SX basses in various places though.
    BigBobbyBass likes this.

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