SX (Essex) Guitars, the story behind one of the best value instruments on the market
Kevin Hague is a true Australian success story. From humble beginning selling pitch pipes on the streets, to in 1978, at the age of 26, established Australasian Music Supplies (AMS) which is now the largest volume music supplier in the country with over 16,000 product lines. Amongst retailers the company is known for its friendly culture and integrity. Everyone in the industry knows Kev and the AMS staff and have a story or two to go along with it.
As part of AMS’s growth in 90's they partnered up with Team International. Team International has its roots in guitar manufacturing. With a history that dates back to the 1960’s, they have built instruments for many branded products over the years. Teaming up with AMS marked the first western and only western partner within the group.
Like many companies that manufacture Team International took the logical step in 1998 of creating their own brand for their line of guitars. Kev and the AMS team were assigned the job of developing a brand name for the western market. So the crew from down under had a voting session and decided on the name Essex. All systems go! But as all good stories have a twist the Essex name in the international market had at the same time been taken by Steinway Pianos, who released their “Essex” models.
I guess they could have dropped the first few letters of the name but that may have caused a few issues. So, phonetics kicked in and the name was abbreviated to SX.
Today the SX brand sells in over 70 countries! Not bad for a boy selling pitch pipes on the street.
So why did we decide to write a blog on the humble SX guitar?
In store we all agree that one of the best bang for your buck guitars are the SX VES62/57. First thing that strikes you is the vintage style colours and consistency of the finishes. When you pick these guitars up for a strum you notice the neck profiles have an uncanny similarity to brand name vintage style models that are 3 times the price. Their “rockwood” (rosewood style) fingerboards on the 62 models have a look and feel that resembles rosewood far more than other rosewood replacements. All in all they are a great guitar to start on and a perfect instrument to get as a mods guitar.
These guitars have sold not only to beginners but guitarists that own guitars that are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Why? Because they picked one up and loved the feel, look and sound. Let’s face it worst case scenario if it gets damaged or stolen at a gig, he can just grab a new one.