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The updated stable (SX Content, a lot of it!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dave120, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Hello TB! This is a very long history of my SX basses and you might not want to read it all, so feel free to just look at the pictures! But every bass has a story and I just feel like writing at the moment so bear with me.

    I've been a member of the SX club since shortly after joining TB and hearing about them a lot of years ago. My very first one was a standard Black P bass that I bought just to see what the hype was about. Rondo didn't have any P/Js in that color at the time. I bought it for $99 and was quite impressed with it. Realizing I wanted a P/J when Rondo got them, I sold the P, which was stock aside from some Fender flat strings I put on it, for $75 on here (and people say SX has crappy resale, how many Fenders can be sold used for $20 under the new price? :) ) and then bought a black P/J. Now, keep in mind I've owned several Fenders around the same time I was playing with this SX. I had a MIM P, J, and my '85 Fender Jazz Special which has been one my favorite basses of all time. But I wanted to mod something and I spent too much money on the Fenders and didn't want to hack them up. So this was a perfect platform for that, as anyone who knows about SX's is already aware of.

    I pretty much got practice doing every basic mod to a bass, swapping out everything including getting an SX J style neck for since it came with a P style. I refinished the neck in black for a slick looking bass! You can view that thread from years ago showing all the mod steps HERE! Once I realized this was a usable, giggable bass I sold my 2 MIM Fenders, and kept my Jazz Special since it's more unique and was still my best bass. Unfortunately this bass met an untimely demise at a good sized bar gig where a drunk knocked it off a 4 ft stage between sets and broke the neck. And it sat that way for about a year and a half as my Fender Jazz Special became my main bass again and the SX wasn't that great since it was my own setup work and it hadn't had a fret crowning or anything.

    I eventually ended up getting a new neck for it that my brother bought me which I also refinished in black. It's a bound/blocked neck that Rondo sold a couple years ago and I only got to finally putting it together this year. After my first experience on the next SX on the list with Brian at Buzzard's Bass Shop, I sent this bass to him to get the frets worked over on the new neck and now it's an amazing bass! Here's the rundown of the mods on it:

    SX SPJ-62 BK:
    • Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups, Hot for P and Hot Stack J
    • OEM Deluxe Gotoh Style Bridge
    • Mighty Mite Black Fender style Tuners
    • CTS Pots, Switchcraft jack
    • All black hardware, knobs, screws, strap buttons, etc
    • Black SX Pickguard, with the edge painted solid black
    • Bone nut
    • Copper shielded cavities
    • SX bound/blocked rosewood J neck, painted black

    Yeah, not much of it is actually SX anymore besides the body and neck. But hey, I still have a couple hundred less in this thing than I paid for either MIM Fender I owned and this obviously kicks the pants off them.

    Here's a picture I made showing the evolution of this bass!

    It's been my main bass since I got it back, until today that is. We'll get to that a little later!


    So in between getting my SX P/J fixed I was reading these forums looking at some basses that some members had gotten done at Buzzard's, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about there. Seeing as I had 2 P/J basses and I had sold my MIM Jazz about a year earlier, I wanted another Jazz bass, since they sound a lot better for slapping, IMO, and I was starting to experiment with that more. SX basses were getting even more rave reviews at that point, so I ventured back to Rondo and found this SX J for $159 that caught my eye. I've never been a huge fan of maple/blocked necks or red basses, but for some reason I really wanted that bass. So I e-mailed Brian, got a price for a basic fret job and setup on it since I wanted to really see what SX basses were capable of with a little working over. His prices might startle you at first, but it's worth it! And his prices don't stay that way the next time you go back, that's for sure. I also opted for a bridge upgrade to try this style out, which I eventually got for my SX P/J bass above to replace a black vintage style when I had its fretwork done.

    Aside from the bridge this SX is bone stock, electronics and everything. Well, maybe some black screws and things as well. It plays GREAT, sounds great. Well worth the ~$300 I paid for everything. I now have a workable Jazz that does everything my Fender did, and better, for less money. This bass looks and feels much more expensive than it is. Sadly the J doesn't see too much gig time with my band since I'm a fan of the P/J for my sound there, but for practicing in my room this is all I use. After being worked over by Brian this bass is comparable to any sub $1500 Fender easily. Maybe I'll change the pots and things out if they ever go bad, but so far it's had no issues whatsoever. This bass does the J thing anytime I find myself needing it.

    She's a beauty. It's hard to see in pictures but the color is actually METALLIC red, rather than CAR.


    And this brings us to today. Rondo decided to tempt me yet again by offering $89 black Jazz basses (which they still have, go buy one!). Since Rondo didn't have the J necks in stock anymore, and because the SX J neck is so far my favorite neck profile of any bass I've ever played, I decided to pick one up just to have a spare neck around since Rondo is changing the headstock design soon :)crying:). I also noticed these new ones come with 2-way truss rods. I find that a nice feature to have in case you need it.

    Good ol' Brian tells me "send me your Jazz, pal, I'll make you some deals on upgrades." He wasn't lying, either. After exchanging a few e-mails with him, I decided I had a few extra bucks to throw at it. What have I wanted lately? A Fender Aerodyne Jazz bass! I love the all black look and the P/J configuration on a J body. Of course it also has body binding but that's not an option here. There are very few standard basses that come with this pickup configuration in a J body and the Aerodyne while looking awesome never did it for me sound wise and never wow'd me playability wise to justify the price. I ran it by him asking if it was possible to do a P/J conversion since I really didn't have too much use for another J bass at the moment.

    All in all, I got seriously hooked up on the work I had done and paid next to nothing for it besides parts cost. I paid for a fret job/setup and about $80 in parts, and $89 initial bass cost of course.

    All the body routing, cavity shielding, custom made pickguard, neck refinishing, etc was all done for no charge. And man did he do a number on the neck. The fretboard radius work, board edges, fret ends, fret leveling, nut replacement, etc is all boutique level of work. I thought my other SX's were done up nicely but it's no comparison to this one. The only thing not done to my perfect specifications/desires is that it's probably a 3-4 piece alder body instead of 1 or 2, but I nor anyone else could really tell the difference. The pickups I had him put in are a spare set of Fender Jazz Special pickups I bought on eBay a while back in case I needed them. They seem to be rather unique among pickups for some reason and I like them. This is my new bass, basically completely custom, and it's going to be my main player for a long time to come! You aren't going to show me a Fender under 3 grand better than this bass. You can see the extent of the work put into this bass here:
    SX Black P/J Conversion Bass

    He even gave me a free T-shirt!

    I don't care who thinks SX woods/basses suck, they're wrong. I refinished my MIM P at one point and it was *7* pieces of wood. That's quality in comparison for sure. I've been a Fender fan/player for a long time. I realize the history of it, that these knockoffs wouldn't exist without it, but I also feel ripped off by them lately. There's no justification for the prices you pay for them now when you can get things like this done that are so much better. Oh man, it doesn't say Fender, I'm not a serious or "real" bass player. I play my basses, I don't try and impress anyone with a logo. Honestly I only feel the need to justify myself on these boards. I have yet to experience any real-world snobbery in the years I've been gigging SX basses. My SX's get more attention than my Fenders ever did anyways. There's little excuse for the fact that I paid $500 each for 2 MIM basses that aren't any better than these $100 basses and needed the same level of work to be as good. Think what you want SX haters, I'm having just as much fun with this bass as you'll ever have with a Fender unless you're playing custom shop, and even then I don't like Fender neck profiles as much as these. That's why my Fender (which is the best playing Fender I've ever come across, MIJ is good stuff) is a backup right now, and will continue to be.

    So, if you actually read all that I apologize as it simply mirrors the opinions of many others here and has already been stated plenty of times. Here's a new family photo:


    And just the newest member. I fail at photographic black, but you get the idea!



    Special thanks to Brian at Buzzard's Bass Shop for making my SX experience quite a bit better! If any of you are wanting the most out of your SX, shoot him an e-mail.

    And of course, in the spirit of SX value: For all 3 of these basses combined with major work to 2 of them, I paid less than 1 MIA Fender costs :D

    Whew, my longest post ever done I think. Hope you enjoyed reading!
    Cheers! :bassist:
    Time to go rattle some windows with these toys
  2. Dude, looks like someone dumped some used motor oil on your lawn. ;)

    Looks 'slick'... no really, all kidding aside.
  3. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    Nice pics..I normally can't stand black basses {one reason I sold the jazz in my avatar}, but that last pic is sweet. Long live SX basses!
  4. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Wow, everything looks great!

    I'm looking at Brian's site right now and considering getting some work done on a new SX before the new headstocks come in…
  5. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Do it, you won't be sorry. He does great work.
  6. By-Tor1000RR


    Jul 17, 2008
    Stamford, CT
    Great post Dave. I've also become an SX believer. Insane bang for the buck and plenty of bucks left over for mods!

    Love the pics and how well your basses turned out.
  7. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    Dave, you just gave me a WOODIE~! I luv ya man . . .

    Lemme tell ya that black wet spot on the lawn took serious love and affection . . . all of which only comes natural. I'm not perfect either, but I strive to be. And let me also tell you, Dave has paid his dues. He has earned a lot of respect from me. Not just anybody will get the attention I spent on his basses. I do try to exceed what you may want. Correction; I try to exceeed what I have done. It's only due to great people like Dave and many others on TalkBass that has allowed me to do what I've been doing. I thank you all. But I'm also not the only one. There are SO many others that need recognition for the work they do too. And I wouldn't be where I am today without my following those I've followed here on TalkBass and elsewhere. I'm sure you get jived up seeing the potential of these basses, as well as seeing your own potential to produce your own. We are all here just feeding off one another, and I thank you all.

    And Dave, you have a custom coming . . . not for this post, but just b'cuz your heart is in the right place~!
    Thank you Dave, and everyone.

    PS: Dave, now I see where you like the lines on your knobs to be~! Hahahaha
    I'm always lookin'
  8. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    Don't be scared of the new headstocks. They're not that bad. But you better be quick with your requests for work on Fender style bases; at least for the warm months coming . . . I've got some customs and a LOAD of exotic lumber that needs to be looking like bass guitars. I've been servicing Fender style basses for a long time now but sometimes it just gets boring with the disassembly/reassembly game. I need to be making sawdust and shavings. That's what seperates the men from the boys. If you like my services, you'll love my customs.

    Time to dream guys . . .

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