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Sx fretless vs Fender MIJ fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr Illing, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Dr Illing

    Dr Illing

    Feb 4, 2008
    San Francisco
    Here is my dilemma, I was visiting the local music store today checking out some keyboards and recording equipment. I've been interested in the fretless sound. I tried out a couple of different fretless after I was through looking at recording equipment. I tried the MIA jazz, the MIM jazz, and the Rickenbacker. One of the employees said that they just got a used made in Japan Fender Jazz. I played it and it's a little bit worn, but still in good condition. They said I could take it home for $250. I wasn't planning on buying anything today so I put it on Layaway.

    I had been considering buying an Sx fretless which run about $130

    What are your opinions? Any insight would be nice.

    My main concern is that the Fender doesn't have a lined neck, and I think a lined fretboard would help me learn intonation and positioning.

    Should I save a couple bucks and go for the SX?
  2. Rowsdower


    Feb 14, 2007
    MIJ (CIJ)>SX>MIM is my opinion
    I have heard great things about Fender Japan and the beauty of that is not only does it seem like a good price, but you also have the luxury of trying it before you buy it.

    I have had a few SX's before and they really seem to be hit and miss and require a full set up when you get one, unless you know how to do that and have the tools, you would have to rake out more $$ on top of the regular SX price to get that done by a tech.
  3. MIJ for that cheap? That you already played and liked? How important is $120 to you? As for the lined neck, get some masking tape, some scissors, and a tuner and make your own lines if you need them.
  4. afinalfantasy

    afinalfantasy Banned

    Jan 11, 2006
    I'd take the Fender, easily
  5. I'm all for the SX basses, but you have to replace the electronics.

    If you're happy with how your MIJ sounds and feels, go for it, but don't line it. The side dots are located where the fretlines are supposed to be, so just put your fingers where the dots are to get the right intonation. Playing fretless REALLY helps develop your ear, and your fretted technique will become better as a result.

    This sounds pretty trite, but it's the Star Wars philosophy - "Use the Force, Luke." Trust your "feel" - it'll make you a better player.

  6. jakeox


    Feb 15, 2007
    What'd they want for the fretless Rick? And the MIJ fretless -- that sounds like an awesome price.
  7. Rota


    Jun 11, 2007
    Mesa, Arizona
    For that price on the MIJ, you could buy it, fix it up, and sell it for double the price and buy five SX's.

    I'd just get the MIJ though, they're amazing basses.
  8. crkempton


    May 30, 2006
    I'm a big fan of SX basses as well, but at that price..... take the CIJ
  9. Dr Illing

    Dr Illing

    Feb 4, 2008
    San Francisco
    Wow, okay an overwhelming response from everyone, thank you all so very much. I really appreciate all of your insight. It sounds like the consensus is the Japanese Fender. I know the SX basses get a lot of love around here, but the Fender is at a really great price point?

    I think I'm going to go for the Fender. I'll keep you all updated. I'll probably have enough money to pay for the rest of it by sometime next week. I'll post pictures and a review.

    Warpticon, that is a great idea putting masking tap with additional dots to help with the intonation. I hadn't even thought about that.

    Jakeox, I think they wanted $1499 for the fretless Rick. I love the vintage vibe those basses give. I can't give an accurate description of how it played because it had flats on it, and I'm not used to that feel, playing with flats on fretless felt so foreign.

    Thanks again for all of your replies.
  10. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    For the masking tape, there is a fret calculator somewhere online so you can get the measurements for 34" scale.
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The Fender will be a much better bass.
  12. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Owned a Fender Japan fretless. Loved it but let it go.
    Played a SX fretless for a session. Not a bad bass but nowhere near the quality and feel of the Fender.
  13. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    take the fender. plus, lines aren't for fretlesses. :ninja:
  14. MohawkHarry

    MohawkHarry Supporting Member

    May 21, 2000
    Hands down no contest take the MIJ and you will retain your money at resale if you decide fretless is not for you.
  15. Dr Illing

    Dr Illing

    Feb 4, 2008
    San Francisco
    Okay so it's a consensus Fender Japan!

    Thanks for all of your input. What are the advantages of flatwound strings vs. roundwounds on a fretless. I know that the flats wear the fretboard less. Is there anything else that I should consider?
  16. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    If you like flats, use flats. Like roundwounds? Use 'em. Even frets wear out.

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