Which Would You Choose (MIM Used Precision vs New SX Ursa 1)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Suburbandit, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Used MIM Precision Bass

  2. New SX Ursa 1

  1. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    First off, all of your input is very much appreciated. Lately I've been doing some home studio recording with an Ibanez GSR200, but I thought I'd up the production quality a bit (it's been noisy and pots are now scratchy) by investing in something a little better. I'm going for the P-Bass sound, and I pretty much had it narrowed down to a used MIM P Bass in the $250-$300 price category (specifically this one Fender Precision P Bass). I thought I might do a few minor upgrades (possibly put some 1962 fender original PUs in, refresh the pots/wiring, and add copper shielding). Then recently I learned about Rondo music and came to find this little guy SX Ursa 1 MN Ash NA - RondoMusic.com which seems like an incredible deal for the price. My question is, should I stick with the used MIM P-bass option from Craigslist or just get the new SX bass? Again, your input is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Personally I would go with the Fender. I didn't like the couple of SX basses I tried a few years back. I know a lot of people here like SX and Rondo's service in particular but I feel the Fender is a safer bet with a wide parts aftermarket especially when buying online.
  3. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Awesome, thanks for the input!
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I really like my SX J and have an SX P on the way.

    Dan makes a good point about parts for the Fender versus the SX, but I would hope that both the MIM and SX would be close enough dimension wise that parts would interchange between the two.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  5. Danomo

    Danomo Guest

    Apr 25, 2013
    The SX is a nice looking piece of Ash. My experience with SX basses, is usually the nut has been cut poorly, and the pups are just OK... but then the pups being "just OK" is also the opinion of many here on the MIM's.

    If it has not been on the shelf too long at Rondo, they'll have fairly fresh D'Addario strings on them, and are usually serviceable instruments. If you're going to upgrade the pups anyways, it kinda comes down to the name on the headstock. That nice ash body is much easier on the eyes than the dinged up Fender.

    But if you have to see that F...

    PS: I'd personally clean the pots on that Gio before buying anything. They are a decent value for the buck, and have a decent tonal range.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  6. Doctor Hugocat

    Doctor Hugocat Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Los Angeles
    I've owned both of these basses and still own the MIM. The SX is a decent deal for the price, but a MIM Fender is in another class in terms of build quality and sound quality IMHO. In both the SX basses I've had, there have been sharp fret ends, poor quality hardware and cheap electronics. Don't get me wrong: in a bass of that price this is OK, but the MIM is made to a different standard altogether, as you'd expect.

    The other thing is that if you buy used and don't pay over the odds, you have a reasonable expectation of getting back what you paid later on.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  7. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Thanks! Yeah the GSR pots are definitely due for a cleaning. I was also considering upgrading the GSR pickups to something like EMG Geezers or a SD QP set, but I've read that it's not worth upgrading the lower level GSR series. Either way, my GSR has a rosewood neck, so if I got the SX (with maple neck) I would have my P-Basses covered...so to speak. :D
  8. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Good to know about the build quality of the SX, and also good point as far as the resale value of the MIM. I figure if I can get it down into the ballpark of $250, I could definitely get my money back (even though it doesn't come with a case and has that nasty chip on it...assuming the neck is reasonably straight and truss rod is fully functional).
  9. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Yeah definitely a good point. I had just assumed that aftermarket parts for a MIM P-Bass would work with the SX, and you know what happens when you assume...
  10. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I'd stick with the Fender if it's from a more recent year. They've really improved those suckers, they're excellent.

    The SX is in a lower price bracket technically. A new Fender MIM would run you 550.

    SXs I've heard are great basses for the cash, but you can get something better in that Fender.
    Suburbandit and Doctor Hugocat like this.
  11. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Thanks for the input Antisyzygy. The ad says it's "around '04," which is not as new as I would like, but not terribly old either. My understanding is that around 2010 the quality of MIM P-Basses started going up considerably (also around the same time Squire products went up in quality - perhaps due to the advancement in automated assembly-line hardware used to manufacture them?). I would like to find a newer one, but they seem to be much harder to come by and rarely seem to fall below the $300 mark. Unless I get information dissuading me into acting otherwise, I could probably live with an '04.
  12. Doctor Hugocat

    Doctor Hugocat Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Los Angeles
    I have a 2002 which is of great quality if that helps.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  13. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    I would probably go with the fender as you could resell it easier if you didn't like it. All that being said I sold my Geddy lee neck off its body as it needed to be tweaked all the time and the neck had some dead spots (made a killing off the neck on the bay as everyone seems to want one). In comes the SX neck off a pro model. I had to do some modding and a level but it sounds and plays better then the original. The Pro model was really worth the money.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  14. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    Is this a trick question,.........
    TripleDouble likes this.
  15. rockinb


    Jan 26, 2013
    Irvine, CA
    I've played both and the Sx can be as good as the MIM, at least in terms of build, fit, finish and feel. Tone is entirely subjective, so you would have to hear both to decide which you like better.

    Ideally, if you could try out the basses before you purchase, then that would tell you which you like better. Buddy of mine has an older Sx that is awesome and equal to or better than MIM. But I've also played some Sx that were not as nice as MIM, so his may be an exception. Ordering directly from Rondo, you will not know if the Sx you get is average or exceptional until you get it.

    Regardless of whether you can try before you buy, the following will be true (assuming neither bass is defective or has warped neck, etc.).

    Used will retain value better than new.
    Used Fender will resell closer to your purchase price vs. new Sx (you can expect a 40-60% price hit if you resell the new Sx).
    Fender is easier to find parts that fit cleanly if you are thinking of upgrading pickups, pots, pickguards, necks, tuners, etc.
    Suburbandit likes this.
  16. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    It does, actually. Thanks!
  17. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
  18. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    Those are all good points. Again, I had just assumed the aftermarket fender P-bass parts would fit the SX. Apparently that isn't the case based on what some of you are saying. I'm definitely leaning toward the MIM fender. Based off of what I've gathered, the SX can be great quality (even better than MIM?), but the QC is hit and miss. Maybe I'll go with the MIM P this time and later on, when I'm flirting with the idea of a J-bass, I'll go for an SX.
  19. Suburbandit


    Oct 19, 2015
    After looking on the Rondo website, I noticed they don't even have any of the PRO series basses listed on their website. However, when I do a web search, I find one J-Bass but no P-Basses. I guess they aren't stocking them anymore?
  20. El Papa

    El Papa Guest

    Jan 12, 2015
    Fender all day everyday. I don't know why people think MIM is a cheap product. I own usa, custom shops and MIM and the MIM is just as good as the rest sometimes even better IME/IMHO

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