SX Basses: What was the quality of yours? Less than MIM? MIM? MIJ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Less than MIM

    49 vote(s)
  2. MIM

    57 vote(s)
  3. MIJ

    13 vote(s)
  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm interested in possibly selling my current bass and getting a few SX basses. I've heard all kinds of good things about these bases, but the opinion of the quality is really varied! Some are saying they rival MIM Fenders while others are saying that they're lower or much lower than MIM's. I've even heard from one guy who says they're at MIJ or better quality. I'm thinking that everybody is right - it just depends on the individual SX you received; some great, some good, some poor.

    If you purchased an SX bass, how was the quality of yours?
  2. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I don't know much about the quality, but I would never get a jazz bass that had a precision neck (the neck profile on all SX basses are more p-like than j-like).
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I can see what you mean, but If you look at the description of the nut width you'll see that it's 1.5625 inches (1 9/16"). A Jazz nut is 1.553 inches and a Precision nut is 1.65. Essentially an SX Jazz nut is 1/16" wider than an actual Jazz nut. Not that big of a deal - to me anyway.
  4. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    yea.. there have been a lot of threads about this already... but I haven't gotten mine yet.. I have heard the only major problem is the frets need to be filed a bit... other than that nothing major that have been occuring often. Yea the neck of the Jazz bass isn't much different then the SX neck.
  5. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I've heard about the frets too, but I want to learn how to do my own fret dressing. My current bass has a 1.62" nut and I like it fine. I don't like a 1.5" nut that much - believe it or not it's too thin!
  6. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I would say higher than MIM, I've never played a MIJ or a MIA for long, but this is only of my favorite basses i've played, I'm happy with it.
  7. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Have you compared your SX with any MIM's? I tried out some MIM's today and I'm fine with that quality.
  8. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I've played roughly 10 or 15 MIM fenders, shoddy IMO
  9. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    My SX fretless jazz 62 was less than MIM quality, maby up there with a squire.

    Cons: For one, the neck is wider and chunkier feeling than a traditional jazz neck. Two, there was a blemish on the fretboard (SEE PIC), Three, there are dead spots on a good number of notes. Four, The 3 pieces of wood dont match well (SEE PIC), Five, The ashtray was installed un-level. Six, the E string hole on the bridge is too small to take standard strings, i had to drill it bigger. I might as well stop counting. I believe that the body might be a bit bigger than your standard jazz as well (im not 100% sure on this one, i dont have a fender jazz to compare it to, but for some reason it seems bigger than the jazz basses i have played in the past. And a kinda cheezy tortoise looking pickguard.

    Pros: Pickups actually sound ok. The skunk stripe was installed cleanly, as opposed to the strat copy i ordered from rondo a few years back. The neck has a nice vintage tint laquer on it. The bass plays well. And has a nice sunburst finish. It has P bass Jaco knobs. For the price, you cant expect to get a Fender MIM; BUT it is a good deal if you want a beater bass to learn fretless on.

    I know there were alot of cons, but i dont regret buying this bass, it was a cool way to get introduced to the fretless world.

    Attached Files:

  10. skewh


    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    I've got a fretless SX five-string, but it's been out of commission for awhile now. When in it's prime, however, it plays just as well as my MIM Fender Jazz. When you get it from the factory, it will most likely sound alright, but play like crap. Thus, I'd recommend setting it up, or if you're not comfortable doing that, take it to a guitar/bass tech you know.

    Overall, for $150 these basses play and sound extremely well (after a little elbow grease), and in my experience they're on the level with any MIM Fender I've played.
  11. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Hmmm.... I have played two and they were both great. Guess I got lucky.
  12. RSalvador


    Nov 19, 2005
    Springfield, MO
    I got an SX P Bass in yesterday, ordered a fretless but they sent a fretted so I has to send it back.

    The hardware and electronics are less than MIM. The bridge was so cheap and thin I'll have to replace along with the pots. The neck was much chunky'er than a Jazz bass but only a little wider. I'd say the finish was better than MIM. I hate the look of the bleached white maple necks fender puts out on the MIM. Fret dressing on this one was okay.

    The whole thing to me on the SX's is the wood and the price. I can do a lot of work to get it the way I want it, because it was cheap and the wood is there to work with. Even the high end $2K P and Jazz basses are esentially a solid wood ash or alder body with a solid wood maple neck with maple or rosewood fretboard. The rest is hardware electronics and a lot expert time by the pros.

    I don't trust what's under the paint job of a MIM. It may be alder, but it may be alder particle board for all I know. I think the wood is one of the places Fender separates their price lines.

    For a fretted P Bass, if I can find a deal on a used MIM with sunburst so I can see the wood, I may go that route instead of the SX. I think the main thing with MIM's besides the wood is setup. I think if I took it to a good bass tech and he worked the action over including releveling the frets I'd have a bass that rivaled MIA in feel and play-ability. It will have a 'Fender' P bass vibe.

    An SX is going to be its own vibe, but with upgrades and work, it will be a decent bass, and something I'll have fun upgrading myself without much worry of messing it up. If I replace the bridge can screw it up and have to fill holes and try it again what I learn will be worth more than whatever damage I do to it. It may be worth getting a fretted one just for that purpose.
  13. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Although I don't own (and never have owned) an SX, I have been involved with the selection and set up of at least 20 of these basses over the past 1 1/2 years. IMO, it's safe to say that the SX basses are generally on par with the MIM's, but definitely not generally on a par with MIJ's.

    Yes, you can get a real clunker of an SX, same goes for MIM's. And yes, you can also get an extremely nice SX, likewise with MIM's. But I don't believe that either of those basses would hold up against a middle of the road MIJ or MIA Fender.

    The big thing with the SX basses is in the set up. If not properly set up, the bass isn't very good. And the strings are usually not much better than chain link fence wire. With the MIM's, you have a much better chance of getting a bass that is playable right out of the box, and the string quality will definitely be higher.

    Seriously, it's a $120 +/- bass, so you can't realistically expect $1K quality. If you get a loser, pack it up and send it back .... the cool thing with Rondo is the incredible customer service and easy return policy ..... :cool:
  14. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Wow. Most people on the Essex Megathread swear that the SX's are on par with an MIM Fender, but 50% of the poll folks are saying below MIM.

    I should clarify a few things (wish I had done this to begin with). I don't care about the pickups, electronics, or hardware. All of that can be replaced. I don't care about fret ends sticking out - those can be filed. I'm concerned about the things I can't change: wood quality, body resonance, straight neck, weight.

    I know I'm not going to get perfection for $150, but I figure if I'm willing to work a little (or a lot) to polish this turd and spend some to upgrade a few things, I might have a very playable good sounding bass.

    So, everything else aside, would you consider the wood quality, body resonance, weight, and neck to be on par with MIM?
  15. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm not really concerned about being able to play right out of the box. Setting the thing up is half of the fun!

    So, if I get one that has flaws I could realisticly expect to have Kurt foot the bill to take it back and send me a new one? My biggest fear in this venture is getting a heavily flawed bass and having to pay to send it back only to get another bum.
  16. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I definitely would have sent that one back! Kurt would send you a better one, I'm sure.
  17. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works

    Here is Rondo's return policy .... as you can see, you can either have the bass replaced or the cost refunded, shipping costs are refundable as well ...... :cool:

    Return Policy

    If you received an incorrect item or items are received damaged, the item must be returned within five business days of receiving. Items may be returned for any other reason within 30 days of receiving. Customers that received the wrong item or damaged items may elect to have the item replaced or refunded. All shipping charges will be refunded to the customer as long as return shipping cost does not exceed shipping to customer’s location. If your you believe your return shipping charges will exceed the shipping charged to you, you may wish to select UPS/Fed Ex to pickup from you. Return shipping charges will be mailed back in the form of a check. Returns and exchanges will usually be processed within one week of receipt.

    Items that are being returned for other reasons will not have shipping charges refunded. These items must be returned in new condition.

    Any items that have been modified by the customer are not returnable. Sheet music, software, CD samples, or any instrument played with the mouth such as harmonicas, microphones, etc. are not returnable unless incorrect items are received or they are received damaged.

    We ship anywhere in 50 United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. We do on occasion ship to Western Europe: Buyer is reponsible for customs duty and ups brokerage changes, which will be added to your bill on all export sales and is due upon receipt of order. Customs duty and brokerage charges (for orders outside the US) are not refundable for any reason. Orders shipped outside of the US and Canada are not refundable.
  18. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I can't speak on the frets because I bought a fretless. Overall the quality is very good. The finish is amazing, stock pickups sound good, nice neck and overall a nice instrument. The only things that were wrong with it were the pots are scratchy and the fretboard wasn't completely smooth, there are some low spots which buzz.

    I would say the quality is equal to if not a little better than MIM.
  19. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Then the SX basses may be a perfect fit for you :D

    I personally like the SX's a lot, and I would absolutely buy an SX in place of a MIM Fender if I was in the market for a lower priced Fender-esque 4 or 5 ..... :cool:
  20. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    I bought an SX last year to see for myself, and I bought a Squire for my friends son. Comparitively, the squire was much better. Every single note on the Squire played, which I can't say for the SX. Other than that, kind of equal. So I vote lower than MIM.