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solo4652

NBD - SX short scale Precision.

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Got this a couple of days ago. I've been looking for a cheap 'n' cheerful short scale Precision for a while. Such things do seem to be rarer than Jazz's - don't know why. First impressions are pretty good. Solid Alder body is light, and nicely finished in metallic blue. Good tight neck pocket. Maple neck feels smooth. 39mm at the nut, so a little narrower than my Squier Vista Musicmaster, but on a par with my Lakland Hollowbody. Bass hangs well on ta strap with no obvious neck dive. Fingerboard is, I think Rosewood, but looks and feels a little cheap compared to the rest of the bass. Couple of small surface nicks around frets 5 and 12, but nothing serious, given the price. Tuners feel a bit flimsy. Controls work well enough, and I'm particularly impressed with the tone pot which does have a useful sweep of tones. Both pots and jack socket are quiet - no noises or crackling at all. Very thin gig bag.

Pickups:  Hmmmm. Too early to say, while I'm still experimenting with strings. They're not especially high output, but that's not a big issue. I'd describe the tone as balanced between mud-thump and modern hi-fi, perhaps lacking some low-down richness. I think I'll be changing them soon. I'll be looking for a fairly deep, rich tone but without any muddiness. I've had the Entwistle's before and they were loud, and a little in-your-face/"modern" for my tastes. So:

Wilkinson Anico V's for £23, or

Toneriders for £40, or

Kent Armstrong ceramics for £50 - worth the extra?

 

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Edited by solo4652
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Update, 19th October.

I spent some time trying different strings on this bass and was rather surprised at just how much they impacted on the overall tone. The effect seemed more marked than I remember on longer scale basses. On the SX, Labella tapes worked well, Fender flats were less successful, being too bright, and too high-tension for my personal tastes. Then I remembered I had some old Status halfwounds in my gig bag as my emergency spares. I put them on the SX, and bingo! - Clear, rich, deep tones, and smooth-feeling strings. So, they have found a new home on the SX, and I've ordered some more strings from Status.

The stock pickups sounded - OK, I suppose. I decided to try some Wilkinson Alnico's in there. A noticeable difference. Deeper, clearer lows, fewer "bark-y" mids, more overall volume. I'm now very pleased with the P-tones I'm getting from this inexpensive bass, and it will be the gig back-up to my Lakland hollowbody.

Couple of points about the ergonomics of the SX: It's a 30" scale P bass, but with a narrow 38mm J neck at the nut - so, not a traditional P neck width. Potential buyers need to be aware of this. If, like me, you have hulking great paws, you may find the ergonomics of the neck a little tight. Also, the body is downsized to suit the neck dimensions. It's noticeably smaller than either my Lakland or my Squier Vista Musicmaster. To my eyes, the SX headstock has not been downsized, and this makes the bass look a bit end-heavy. No neck dive, though. The SX is certainly lighter than my other basses, but looks almost toy-like/cute in comparison. This may or may not be a concern for some people.

All ends ups, I'm very pleased with the P-sound I'm getting from the bass, now it's equipped with Wilkinson Alnico P pickup, and played-in medium scale Status halfwound strings. Just the tone I was looking for. If you're a large person with large hands, you may find the neck a little cramped, and the bass may look almost comically small slung round your neck. 

Anyway - that's what I think so far. You want a cheap 'n' cheerful shortscale P-bass, you'll do an awful lot worse than this.

 

Edited by solo4652
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You forgot to mention the glossy neck, some people don't like them. Having owned the same bass, my thoughts are very similar to yours, except I have large hands and prefer at fat P bass neck, however I had no issues with the smaller neck in the SX, although I can switch between J and P necks without issue.

My current bass is set up with Wilkinson alnico pickups and half wounds, the two work together really well.

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Yep - the SX does have a high-gloss neck. On previous basses, I've found myself giving such gloss a light going-over with wire wool, but I haven't felt the need on the SX, interestingly.

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1 hour ago, solo4652 said:

Yep - the SX does have a high-gloss neck. On previous basses, I've found myself giving such gloss a light going-over with wire wool, but I haven't felt the need on the SX, interestingly.

Same with me. Not a fan of glossy necks, but no problem with the SX, think the slim nut helps.

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Sorry to dig up an old thread but I'm thinking about purchasing one of these bad boys and wondered if you'd changed anything else on it? 

I've seen one for sale for around £150 and was thinking of getting it routed for a PJ setup and just changing out the scratchplate and bridge. 

Love to hear your thoughts before I pull the trigger. 

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