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3 Leaf Enabler vs Sadowsky DI

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by UmamiBass, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. UmamiBass

    UmamiBass Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    Hey everyone, this is my first post. I know there are a lot of posts out there about preamp pedals/DI's, but I'm trying to compare these two boxes.

    I played a Sadowsky pedal for about 4 years, and really dug the sound of it, but I used it primarily with a different bass that I don't own now. I play a Lakland Darryl Jones model with a maple fingerboard and I've "upgraded" the stock Aero pickups with Nordstrand NJ4SE's. I use the term upgraded loosely, cause I do love good single coils, but always played clubs with bad power and got horrible hum. The Nordstrands are really nice and are really detailed in a different kind of way than the Aero's. They also don't sound a brittle as single coils do on my bass since it has a maple fingerboard. This was something I usually dialed out with the treble of the Sadowsky pedal. I wouldn't mind a little sheen on the top, but I'm not looking to get a super "active" sounding bass. I like that vintage meets modern kind of thing.

    That all being said, I'm looking for something to give me a bit of a boost so my bass sounds a bit bigger. I've been considering the 3 Leaf Enabler for a while now because it sounds super useful. I'm going into the studio again soon, and would love to just bring one piece of gear if I could.

    I know the Sadowsky has a bit of an inherent tone to it, but I think that tone worked for a long time for me. The only thing is, is that the Nordstrand get me close to the tone I tried to dial in passively and with my amp set flat. I don't try to use a ton of EQ, but I do want a thicker, bigger sounding bass.

    I'm on a waiting list of an FEA compressor/limiter so I'm not interested in getting a compressor. Does anyone have any suggestions, or can you possibly vouch for the Enabler if you currently are using one? I'm also open to other options as well. I'd love a Fodera, but they're hard to find. The John East STMP-01 sounded awesome too, but they're out of production. F Bass Big F Boosts are on back order, and I'm not really looking for a dirty pre like a Darkglass. Is the Tri-Logic 2 comparable at all to these other pedals?

    Thanks for your time guys.
  2. Kosko


    Dec 12, 2005
    I think the Sadowsky will get you closer to what you're looking for in this exact instance.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a huge 3Leaf supporter and think Spencer makes the best pedals in the world. But, it sounds like you want something that will color your tone a little. Something to give you a push (like attack and release on a compressor) but also make the sound faster and fatter. I think the Sadowsky DI will do that more than the Enabler will, at least in the short term. I believe the Enabler is more for when you need a tool, like a high quality knife in the kitchen. You need something you can use at home, and is comfortable out on the road. It would be better suited as a practice amp with an aux, a DI with a amp-out as well, and pre-amp that is transparent but allows for some shaping. That's my take on the difference between the two, for what it's worth I actually own nor have played either of the pedals; but I did sleep in Motel 6 last night.

    By the way, I play the same bass, but 5 string. I think I know the struggle you're feeling. The bass can almost seem muddy, especially in a live situation. So you strip down to a high-fi amp and boutique pedals, but something is still missing from that sound. I'm fighting it as well with the DJ, not sure exactly what it is, I'm not good at picking out great tones.

    My real advice, is if you're willing to get into Fodera money, you might want to get a Sadowsky bass, and the Enabler. Sell the DJ. That's actually my long term plan, but the DJ is still a beautiful bass so I'm not hurrying on it.
  3. UmamiBass

    UmamiBass Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    Thanks for the response. I don't feel as though the tone is anemic per se, but just needs a fuller attack. I always used to boost the bass on the Sadowsky and cut the treble a bit(roll my tone knob off and leave the treble flat on the pedal since it's boost only). The Nordstrands give me that sound almost right away and I can leave my tone knob wide open. I found that single coils with an ash/maple bass just get harsh after a while, or at least they did on the Lakland.

    Unfortunately I don't have the money to go for another bass, and besides, I do really love my Lakland. Nothing is wrong with the instrument itself. In fact, I would take it over many higher end basses due to the fact that I've played it for so long now, and have really developed a relationship with it. Maybe that sounds wierd, but it always feels good to pick it up after I've been playing other basses.

    I guess I just miss some of the presence that a preamp can give you. I would definitely use the extra features on the Enabler, but I just want to make sure that the enabler would give that effect. I would never mind going back to the Sadowsky, but I don't feel it will add anything special to my tone just because it is what it is. The Nordstrands make it so I don't have to EQ too much, so unlike when I has the Aero pickups in my Lakland, I'm not relying on the Sadowsky to shape my tone as much as I would be to make it bigger. Does that make sense? The hardest part about explaining bass tone is that it's so subjective!
  4. p0k

    p0k I play the bass and design things.

    Feb 6, 2007
    Brockton, MA
    With the "Deep" switch engaged, the Enabler can get very fat. Personally I really like having the mid controls and the Headphone options on the enabler, and that's why it won out for me.
  5. DinnerWithAGypsy

    DinnerWithAGypsy Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    Very informative thread and responses, as I'm also the owner of a Lakland DJ5 (but with Lakland/Hanson pickups) and have considered both the Sadowsky DI/preamp as well as The Enabler.