SX Ursa with no mods - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chico16, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    After I upgrade my amp head, the next item on my list is a passive bass: MIM Fender Jazz. I constantly find posts praising the SX basses, so now I've been waiting for a 5 string Ursa with rosewood fretboard to become available on Rondo to purchase it instead of waiting for enough money to get a Fender. I'm not interested in modding it though, so I was wondering if it would be worth it to buy a 5 string SX and keep it stock. What do you guys think?
  2. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Personally, I’d go for a Squier. From what I’ve read, they’ve even upped their game on the Affinities, one of which I have (a few years old), and it needed no upgrading at all.
  3. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Just ask yourself one question: Do you feel lucky? Well do ya?

    Point is that if you are lucky an out of the box SX is an amazing instrument. Good looks. Decent tonewood. Hardware that works well enough to gig if not perfect. Quite a few TBers do the out of the box no mods thing.

    BUT... First off plan on installing new strings. Factory strings are really bad. Also you may want shielding. Depends what your hum iritation threshold is. Personally I always get out the copper foil as a first job.
    I also recommend you spend the extra bucks for the "PRO" models as they have slighty better hardware with tuners that aren't stcky and a decent bridge. It's worth the bucks if you want to avoid serious mods.

    And then there's the last part. Sometimes these basses have necks that are postively boutique and other times you'll find high frets that force you to raise the action way up if you don't want to pay for a fret leveling or do it yourself. Personally I level the frets myself so It doesn't bother me and even before I started doing that I like a high action anyway so I never had one that I found I MUST get worked on to play. But if you like really low action then you MAY need some fretwork to tweak it all in. It's all about your luck.

    The good news is Kurt has a great return policy so if you find yours is just too far out for your taste you can send it back for another or just try something else.

    But just for persective, let me say that I also own a MIM Fender. And it wasn't perfect either. I had to copper foil sheild it to get rid of the last bit of hum and even worse I never liked the pickups on it and so ended up buying a set of Fender SCN pickups which I just love (now discontinued) that cost me as much as an entire SX. Just saying.
  4. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    i agree, the affinity jazz 5 is an amazing bass for the price. In some ways I prefer it over the Fender Jazz 5 I have now. It is lighter and other than the finish is not as thick I could hardly tell the difference after I installed a series/parallel switch and upgraded te pots, the pups were fine, had good bridge and tuners and like I said the body was lighter and more comfortable to hold. I wish I never got rid of it, but I was going through a phase of being embarrassed with the Squier name.
  5. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    I always switch out strings, that was already part of the picture. From what I had read it seemed like the popular opinion was that a MIM jazz was a hit or miss, while the SX was simply great. I guess I'll take SX out of the picture (modding isn't for me) I didn't like the headstock that much anyways lol
  6. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    I'm actually going through the same thing. For some Time I wanted a Squier vintage modified, but was afraid people would see the headstock. :/
  7. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    The only thing one should be embarrassed about is if you have an expensive bass and can't play for s***.
    Don't be scared about what other think if you own a cheap bass, anyone who would mock you for it is an idiot and their opinions can be safely ignored.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I kind of take the opposite perspective. If you can make a $300 bass sound good then you must be a pretty good player. But if you're really embarrassed here's a tip: the Squier decal is applied on top of the finish, and will scrub off with steel wool. Buddy of mine has 4, and he did that with all of them. Does the back of the neck too, gives it a nice satin feel.
  9. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Makes sense. I'm looking at some affinity series basses on amazon and they actually look really nice. I had never paid attention to them. The guitarist of the band I'm in has an affinity lying around his garage. I'm gonna try it out, and if I like it I'll purchase one!
  10. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Ok I'm not THAT embarrassed lol I always enjoy being the underdog anyways so I think owning the stage with a "cheap" bass will be fun :D
  11. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    X 1000!!!!
  12. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Not sure why bassbenj said you needed to get an SX pro to avoid "serious mods" but remember, he had to shield the MIM too. The worst thing about the standard SX hardware is that, if you are heavy-handed, the saddles can walk ( I'm not, so I don't change the bridges anymore and I have no pros). Anyways, I think he painted an accurate picture, and about the only thing I want to add is this: If you like chunky necks, you might want to check one out.
  13. Another thing we should probably add is that the finishes on the SX basses are excellent. Yeah, it's poly, but it's very well done. My last SX was bought with the intention of modding like crazy, but so far I've only changed the strings, leveled a few high frets, and installed ashtrays. Oh, and I ran a strip of electrical tape over the tops of the pickups to keep the strings from hitting the poles on the pickups (I play pretty heavy-handed).

    I gigged it the first weekend I had it, with no mods. It held its own against my other basses, and now that I've leveled the frets nicely, it gets more play than my real Fender.
  14. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    I have an Ursa 5-string, and the only thing I replaced was the strings. I also did a truss rod adjustment because the neck was too straight. That's it. It's loud, great tone, no hum, no problems with the hardware or electronics so far. Has fewer dead spots than my MIA Fender Jazz, only one spot really and not even a bad one. Good sustain. Can't get the action quite as low as I'd like without fret buzz, but it's playable and for $180 new, it was a steal.

    The only caveat is that I have not played it in a live band situation yet, because I am no longer in a live band. :)

    Sometimes an instrument sounds OK solo, but disappears when you play with a band. My gut and my ears tell me it would hold its own.
  15. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    I'm gonna settle for an affinity series after all. I would get a MIM fender but since the jazz would most likely just be a back up, I might as well settle for an affinity! They're just about in the same price range as SX so it should be fine
  16. Douglas JJ / Tobias basses. It cost me about $230, and i changed strings and the preamp. All it needed was a tweak of the truss rod. It does what I want, and nobody looks down on me because I don't have a pricy instrument.

    I used to have a very old single coil P Bass, a 52, IIRC, and the SX basses have better build quality.
  17. I gig this stock SX fiver:


    Last time I gigged it a friend of mine said it sounded better than his Sadowsky. I called shenanigans on that but it does sound good.

    Disclaimer: I did have the frets dressed but other than that it's bone stock.
  18. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    You're worried about other's opinions of the Squier logo, but are planning on purchasing a Rondo/SX??? :rollno:
  19. Well fewer people know the SX brand so maybe it's easier to pass off as a non-cheapie than a Squier? I remember Savit posted here that people thought is SX P-bass was some sort of boutique.
  20. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    A lot of people (especially in my town) think that the only bass that exists is Fender. Squier is the cheap version so it's looked down on. SX is different. Not that I want to try saying that an SX is a boutique bass or anything like that, but it will at least be different to what everyone else has.