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So, is the SX 6 string Jazz bass really good, or just "for the money"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Inconnu, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    Really... I mean compared to a MIM Fender Jazz, for example...
  2. heb9_28


    Jul 1, 2009
    I say yes. It is good. I just got one and I am seriously impressed.

    The "for the money" can be kind of relative though. Hypothetically, I could say that I think it could be fairly priced at somewhere around $400 (random figure) and so it is a good bass for the money. If you think $400 basses are crap, then it's not a "good" bass.

    SX gets tons of love around here and I am a big fan. I don't know that I would necessarily go as far as to say, hands down no questions asked, a $120 4 string SX jazz bass is exactly on par with Fender Jazz (though there are some here who would say that). But I assure you this, if Fender made a MIM 6 string jazz bass, you can bet your bottom it'd be priced at around $750 or (probably) a lot more.
  3. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    OK, it gives me an idea... thanks
  4. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    I say dont do it. I got one thinking it would be good based on reviews. Neck was warped, saddle height screw was broken, neck was shimmed with a chinese playing card, frets buzzed everywhere, headstock was dented and the finish was chipped off of he edges of the fretboard. I wasnt happy with it at all and sent it back
  5. heb9_28


    Jul 1, 2009
    One thing to note is that if you get an SX and there is anything wrong with it, you can return it in ten business days for a full refund, including return shipping. That is an incredible return policy. I say that because I got my SX 6 Jazz bass about 2 weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. The bass was set up great when I got it, just one or two saddle adjustments and it's set up perfect. No sharp fret edges, straight neck, flawless finish. The maple of the neck even has a nice quilted look to it.

    So, they do make great basses. Some lemons can get through but I've heard countless horror stories about Fenders arriving in terrible condition, there's even a recent thread about a Fender Geddy Lee jazz bass that was all kinds of messed up when it arrived to a guy who ordered it brand new. With Rondo's return policy, you really can't go wrong with at least checking one out.
  6. joe vegas

    joe vegas Supporting Member

    I have 2 older-model Rondo 6s and a fretless pre-lawsuit 4.
    All 3 arrived in great shape, all 3 sound and play great. I use the 6s a lot as my "better than beater" basses.
    Kurt is Rondo's contact guy, and he's very helpful if you need info etc.
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Do tell!:hyper:
  8. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Really. An SX 6 string simply blows a MIM Fender out of the water. Fender can't even BEGIN to compete with SX!

    Now is an SX 6er better than ANY Fender? Nope Fender has the quality, the tone, the looks, the fit and finish and EVERYTHING else!

    What I'm getting at, of course, is that Fender doesn't make a MIM 6 string. And they only sell one production 6er which is the Steve Bailey which tops the price list at $2500! So it had BETTER be good!

    For some time, I've had an interest in a passive jazz 6er thing but was NOT going to fork out for a Steve Bailey even though I'm SURE it's a great bass. Certainly not to just try it to see what I think. But $169 or whatever I paid for the old SX? You bet!

    But I'll tell you something I discovered that isn't so good. Originally I bought two SX 6ers with the plan to make them fretted and fretless. But once I had them strung flats and rounds, I decided to leave them that way. So I ordered a third SX sixer to convert to fretless from the second batch at Rondo. Somehow it just never sounded like the first ones. Pickups were low output and had quite a bit of single coil hum (even after shielding).

    And then I discovered it. The last bass has DIFFERENT pickups than the first basses! The first pickups were nicely potted with no magnets on the bottom while the last ones have this large ceramic magnet stuck across the bottom of the pickups that hangs below the case. I don't know what the internal differences are, but the ones WITHOUT the external magnets are MUCH better pickups than the last ones.

    I did look around for replacement pickups for the SZ 6er but I did not find anything that would work easily. I was especially interested in switching to some kind of hum-cancelling pickup. But have not yet found an answer.

    The problem is that there are apparently TWO different situations here and you have to be careful when you compare SX to other things. You have to determine WHICH SX you've got!
  9. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    In the interest of full disclosure, I am an SX fanboy rondo too. I have never played an American Fender 6er string J. But my SX lets me do what I wanna do, so I say Why pay more?


    My only caveat would be, if you want wide spacing, you would probably prefer something like a brice z6.

  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The fretless is gorgeous! I love the look of unlined fretless fingerboards!!
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Unfortunately, Fender doesn't make the Steve Bailey 6 any longer. And Steve now endorses Warwick.

    Did you defret the third one? I've thought about doing that. Of course I just bought the 6-string fretless ABG (that I posted a photo of a little earlier in this thread) so it's not like I "need" another 6-string fretless.

    If you did, are the lines light or dark? And, did you refinish the fingerboard? And, do you have any photos?
  12. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    It's "good for the money" IME... that, and the comparison is unfair. Fender 6ers (as others stated and from what I can remember) was the Steve Bailey signature. Never tried it and if you had over $2k to blow on a bass, I wouldn't even be looking at Fender for a proper 6er (and I adore Fender basses). Now, compared to OTHER 6ers from other manufacturers, the SX bass is still "good for the money". I'd rather shell out the extra for a LTD B-206, Schecter Stilleto, or Ibanez BTB (my fav of those 3 I've played and under $900). And for a passive 6er, the Peavey Grind is still a good choice for under $400.

    But as someone said, Rondo has a generous return policy. Buy and try, if you don't like it, send it back!
  13. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yes, yes, it is time. I do need a push! I've been putting off posting my NBD SX herd until I've got all mods done. And they are now done. So I've got to get the camera going!

    Basically the herd is as follows:

    1. First SX. "fishhook" 5er Ash natural, but wood doesn't match giving striped look. Headstock bandsawed into Fenderish shape. Great bar bass!

    2. Old headstock Alder fretless. SX factory lined. Burst. Rosewood board. Only cost under $100 ($99) when I bought it. Great sounding Fretless bass!

    3. Modern Ursa 5er. Ash. Nat. Wood perfect match! Bought an old style extra fretless neck for it. That was a disaster as blocks were wavey. So I ripped the whole fingerboard off and purchased a blank ebony fingerboard and glued it on. This is one AMAZING bass! It's pretty darn good with the fretted neck too! (there is a slight dead spot on the G string)

    4. My "I don't know what it is" $10 SX. It's NOT a jazz clone at all. Has a funny looking headstock. Is lined fretless with rosewood. Moded with Bart soapbars. Neck was chewed when I got it (whole bass was thrown in with barts for $10 when I bought them). Electronics a disaster. Sanded neck and wired with "Leo's last circuit" (like G&L but no preamp) An Amazing bass.

    5. First batch SX 6er in burst with rounds.

    6. First batch SX 6er in burst with flats.

    7. Second batch SX 6er in burst, with same ebony new blank fingerboard treatment as Ursa only for a 6. Looks/plays great but tone was lacking until I stuck some Neo magnets under the pickups. Pretty amazing now. But I still wish I could get some pickups like those in the first two 6ers for this one.

    Which anyone would have to admit that this is a LOT of bass for what I paid for just one of my "better" basses. (approximately a grand)

    But of course, no pictures...no SX basses!

    Oh wait! Here's a teaser:



    (pickguards are now different)
  14. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000

    How did you remove the fingerboards? I have a misfit SX 5 neck that was given to me. I want to remove the fretted Rosewood fingerboard and add an unlined fretless Maple board.
  15. ae86delgado


    Dec 27, 2011
    i have a candy red SX jazz six string(last shipment) and the only bad things are the low output pickups they do have dents on the headstock but that doesn't affect tone,sustain, or play ability. they come with awful strings and the nut is made for those strings so if you put new stings you need to file and setup again. they do have narrow spacing i like it some dont. i thinks its a good bass try to find a better 6 string for the same money.
  16. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    You just look up instructions on YouTube and follow them. Basically you take the fingerboard off by heating it with a steam iron and prying on it.

    The hardest part is getting it started. You have to drive single edged razor blades into the seam to get it going. Take your time. Be careful. If you go too fast you can shave wood off the underlying neck which is not good. Then slowly (did I say slowly?) you start at the end opposite the headstock gently working with chisels and putty knives to pry it off the neck. The old fingerboard is pretty much toast in the process.

    The videos are pretty clear on how to do it.

    You can get fingerboards already radiused (I like 12") here in many many woods:


    To make side markers, I first drew a line across the neck at the octave and carefully tuned and intonated to that line. Then having installed the strings I'm going to use on the bass (usually D'addario half rounds) using the edge of a credit card and a tuning meter I find the exact position of the notes I wish to mark. They vary a small amount from string to string so the marker is a bit of a compromise, but I found this system works better than the usual put the markers in the calculated theoretical positions method. I just drilled the side of the fingerboard with a small drill and filled the hole with white epoxy for markers. (for maple, I presume it'd be black epoxy) A blank plank fingerboard shows class SO much more than the usual SX lined fretless necks!

    Good luck!
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Thanks on all accounts! Ironically, they don't radius Maple because it doesn't play well with their shaper, but that's OK.
  18. kerrycares

    kerrycares Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006

    Got this yesterday $184.00. Sounds somewhat like a 70's jazz bass. Low output pickups. I added a set of GHS Boomers $30 and the bass came to life. I will be adding a Hipshot bridge $50 and getting a new nut cut to open up the spacing $50. I prefer this bass to others 10-20x more expensive. Now I'll have to see if I will really play a 6.
    Great Deal