I haven't had a Sadowsky hybrid PJ but I did install the Sadowsky pickups and onboard preamp into an American Deluxe Fender PJ. I've also had a couple of Sadowsky J basses, a 4 and a 5. I now have a Lakland 44-64 p-bass with a Lindy Fralin and I use that with a Sadowsky outboard preamp.
I agree with ugly_bassplayer that the Sadowsky pre has a lot to do with the sound of Sadowsky basses. However, the split coil pickup Roger uses (I think made by DiMarzio to Roger's specs) is not intended to get a "vintage tone." It's hotter, and with more bass. I found it to be a great P-tone, but a more modern voicing. Sounded great recorded. Most of the time, I preferred running it passive. It had so much oomph I didn't feel the need to add more. Ultimately, I didn't like the Fender all that much so I returned it to its original condition and sold it. Sold the Sadowsky pickups and pre as well because I then purchased a Sadowsky bass.
Now, a couple of years later, I have a Lakland 44-64 fulfilling my p-bass needs. It came with the Neo Punch pickup which sounds great. It sparkles with rounds on it. But since I'm going for a more vintage sound (think Pink Floyd Animals, early Black Sabbath, Wilco, Queen, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, etc.), I decided to put in a Lindy Fralin pickup that I had laying around the house. The Lindy Fralin - IMO - nails the vintage tones I seek. I have Sadowsky flats on the bass, which are my favorite. (Although on previous basses with these pickups I've tried Chromes and LaBella Deep Talkin flats, GHS Pressure Wounds, Lakland flats, TI flats).
What I like about my current setup is that running the Lindy Fralin equipped Lakland passive gives me a pretty vintage kind of sound. So much tone comes from the fingers that it's really about getting in the ballpark I think. But if I want more oomph, or a more modern, hi-fi sound (I think of it kind of like the oomph you get from a big tube amp), I hit the Sadowsky preamp and there it is.
Hope this helps. One question I have is how much the J-shaped neck on a PJ effects the P-tone...
Lakland Club # (Joe Osborne 4, 44-64)
Sadowsky Club #333 (MV5)
Aguilar Club # (TH-500, DB112 x2)
Last edited by danclaro : 01-25-2013 at 12:32 PM.