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Tribute JB-2 or Essex Jazz. Help me decide.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by harlon, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. harlon


    Jul 13, 2007
    I'm wanting to buy a Jazz copy for my home studio. I'm leaning towards a Tribute JB-2 and will likely choose that. But I've watched a lot of SX Jazz videos and they really don't sound bad to my ears. Plus I could save three hundred dollars. It's just a hobby, and the bass will probably only get used 4 or 5 times a year. I'm really not a bassist, I'm a guitarist who can fake his way through a bass track well enough to make it work. So playability is not a huge issue to me, as long as it's decent. And the bass will likely never leave my studio. No live playing. So based on my purposes, would I be just as happy with an SX Jazz copy vs a G&L Tribby JB-2? I'm sure the Tribby is a better bass. But would my bass track sound much different between the 2? I know it's all subjective. But I can't play the 2 first, so I was hoping for some opinions before I order. Thanks.
  2. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    SXes will probably come with pretty good wood, so i would upgrade the hardware and pickups on that, and still come out a fair amount under a Tribby. Just my $.02
  3. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I'm a huge G&L fan, but it sounds like the SX suits your needs quite well.
  4. redhed


    Oct 25, 2009
  5. The SX basses are a great bass for the money. I have two SX jazz basses that I gig with regularly. For your needs an SX will do just fine. Just put on some good strings and give it a set up and your ready to go.

    Really not necessary. The stock pickups sound quite good and the hardware is decent. The only hardware I usually change is the bridge and that is partially for cosmetic reasons.
  6. harlon


    Jul 13, 2007

    Thanks to all for the replies. Gjbassist - which SX models do you own?? Just wondering if the low end Ursa's are as good as say, the Andromeda or Pro models.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I always recommend the pro models and if you are into 4 strings the Andromeda is the ultimate boutique starter kit. The better hardware is worth the few extra bucks to me, unless you really plan to change it all anyway.

    I own about 7 or 8 SX and I'll say that you must not be afraid of working on an instrument to get one. They almost all need shielding, strings, setup, and perhaps a few other mods like a new nut or bridge. pickups are usually just fine though single coil which hum when soloed. But the advantage is you have great tone wood in a decent Fender clone copy. I love my SX!

    But that said, let me ALSO say that my main axes are my G&L L2500 basses. I've got a fretted and fretless USA plus a fretted Tribute bar bass version. They are just different basses than old school SX Fender clones. They do what I want without me saying please!

    However, I wouldn't get a tribute that had a basswood body. They just don't have the tone in my opinion. Ash is my favorite wood and alder is good too though more mellow.

    The quality of a G&L Tribute will be superb. It's more money but wrth it. The SX on the other hand is a monster deal. BUT they are variable. It is possible to get a dog with high frets, sprouted frets, bad fit, and other issues. Luckily Kurt at Rondo has great return policy so it can be fixed easily, but you see the importance of having some instrument experience here.
  8. didnt read anything but the title of the thread - that said I would take the G&L every single time
  9. johndde


    Sep 9, 2013
    Use to have a g&l when I first started some 15 years ago loved it. Started having kids and sold it 10 years ago and now back playing 3 years ago. Can't afford one anymore. I have now squire p bass, Sterling sub 4 and sx Ursa 2 jazz. My sx blows them out of the water. All I did was change strings. Great tone, great fret work, good electronics. My p bass I even put in Seymour Duncan Steve Harris and the sx still sounds way better
  10. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    I'm a G&L guy all the way. I would surf ebay and look for a used one. Also I've seen tribby SB2s for undrer 400 new on sale.
    Don't jump search and find a G&L that you don't have to rework before you can play it.
  11. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    You will never be sorry and it will hold more value
  12. The two Jazz basses I have are models that are no longer on the the Rondo site. I have also owned a couple of SX P basses and my son has one of the SX Pro Jazz basses. I would spend the extra on the Pro or Andromeda model as they will need nothing other than new strings. Honestly though I have never had an SX bass that needed any mods to make it a good playing or sounding bass. I just like to do the mods to make them my own personal instrument and because I find it fun to do. The nice thing about Rondo is that if you do get one your not happy with Kurt is very good to work with and will exchange it for you.

    Well then you are making an uninformed statement IMO. The OP is a guitarist looking for a bass that will only be used a few times a year. Why spend the money on a G&L that will sit unplayed most of the time?
  13. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    I have a G&L L2500 Tribute and love it. I have owned several SX basses and liked them all--even the one with boat load of headstock dive. All of them sounded great and needed nearly nothing done to be playable. Got rid them for a variety of reasons--mostly to fund a couple of G&L purchases. I also get discovered the older Peavey basses--USA-made with excellent hardware, tone and playability. Liked them better than the SX line, but I'd happily own another SX. Nothing bad to say about them.

    You can easily find Peavey's from the '80's and '90's for the same money on craigslist or in pawnshops-maybe even less. I have two, a precision style and a jazz version, with less than $200 invested. Spotted an early-to-mid '90's Peavey Foundation at a pawnshop yesterday with almost no marks on it for $149.00. I'd buy that first.

    Money well spent for your needs. Look for a Foundation with SuperFerrite pickups.
  14. personally I'll take a higher quality instrument over a budget one regardless of how much use it will see. He might not want that but in reality a G&L Tribute is generally going to be a much better and more inspiring instrument than an SX is going to be
  15. johndde


    Sep 9, 2013
    The tributes are junk. Probably made in the same factory as sx. Now the L -2000 is a different breed all its own
  16. harlon


    Jul 13, 2007
    Interesting. I haven't played either US or Trib, but most have said there's little difference tone-wise. I'll certainly keep that in mind.

    I had not considered that. I used to have a Fury (P clone) that was really nice. Do the Foundations actually have a Jazz like sound, or are they a beast all of their own??

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Some good points. I'm all about saving a few $$ if I can, but at the same time while I'm only grabbing the bass several times a year, I still want it to sound good when I need it. If I have to edit the daylights out of the track every time to make it sound good, I'd just as soon save a few more $$ and get something more dependable. Then again choosing which craft beer to order at the local pub is a tough decision for me. So you can imagine deciding on a new bass! Lol
  17. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    For the record, the Tribute series is made in Indonesia, not China. About the only difference from the U.S. G&L is the finish and the lack of neck options. (Can't get the smaller size neck on the Tribute series.) Exactly the same electronics as the U.S. version. Junk? Hardly. Worth every penny G&L is asking. Here's a better review than I can do. As I understand it...he bought one after reviewing it.

    The Foundation can do anything a jazz bass is expected to do and the SuperFerrite pickups can give a real snap and snarl when you want it. Haven't played the version without the SuperFerrites, but there are some that prefer it.
  18. harlon


    Jul 13, 2007
    Ok - update. I found a really cool 80's Peavey Fury in great shape. About to buy that for $175. Now I have options:

    A great condition 80's Foundation - $275

    Used JB-2 - $350

    SX Andromeda - $265

    If it were your money, which would compliment the Fury the best? I can use the Fury for big, rock tunes. But I also want something that will cut a little better, for more melodic style basslines (for lighter rock/ country/ worship songs, for example.)
  19. johndde


    Sep 9, 2013
    Old rookie that's a review of the L2000 not the jb2. Andromeda all the way. YouTube it
  20. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Eastwood Guitars, CHC Guitars, GHS strings
    The old Peavey stuff is made exceedingly well. I just picked up a Foundation, and it absolutely kills ...and I have many "higher end" basses....

    However, that said, you can hardly go wrong with any of your choices...each has merit. I might lean toward the Foundation as a matter of personal taste, but any way you choose, you'll be well served.

    Best of luck to you !