#2
SX makes cheapo instruments that get the job done. Last time I checked the word around was that they are excellent modding platforms.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#3
Yeah I know they are great for modding. The thing is, it's for my friend. Influenced by me, he started playing bass, and his birthday is close, so I was thinking that maybe I can buy him a bass.
#4
Rondos can be a bit hit and miss with QA but overall they are good basses for the price. I have a Brice 6 string that did have some fret issues upon arrival, but they were great about returning the bass and sending out a new one.

I'll be modding mine with new electronics but overall I was pretty happy with what I got for the price.
#5
Its a good beginner's bass, but I think I'd go with Squier. Seems like they have a better QC going on.
Purple string dampener scrunchy.
#6
Not a big fan of Rondo. I had a really crap experience with them. I used to have a SX bass and in my opinion the sound was nothing special.

I recently bought a black Hofner violin bass for about $325 from MF. Depending on your friend's style, I would definitely recommend a Hofner violin bass. This baby gets low and is so expressive, plus I can dial up great tones with the tone controls, ranging from Rush to Dead Kennedys to The Who in just a couple of seconds flat. This bass looks so classy too, black with white pickguard.

So yeah. That's my recommendation.