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Anybody play an MTD Saratoga?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aspdevboy, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. I am VERY curious about how the Saratoga compares to the Czech-made Grendels. Anybody play one?

    I've heard a few references to them sounding 'thin.' I played a Grendel recently, and loved it. Since the Saratoga is made in Korea instead of the Czech Republic I wondered if there would be any difference.

    I currently play a Kingston 5 and am totally sold on MTD's build quality. I found an old thread where somebody said Fender's build quality was superior to MTD's. Of course, I laughed. Hard.

    My sub-$500 Kingston rivals everything I've seen and played under $1000 in fit, finish and build quality.

    Just wondering.
  2. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA

    I used to own two Saratoga 5's, each with different versions of the Bartolini Pickups inside. I actually really liked the way the bass sounded and played (in the upper positions), but what got to me and why I ultimately sold them was because I didn't like the feeling of the first position playing. The bass felt longer than most 35" scale basses. I even brought it up to another TBer (Chris) in SF and he agreed that the bass felt really long when playing standing. But the sound on the basses is incredible and the sound you can get while soloing is magnificient.
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    I've owned a Saratoga and 2 of my students have Grendels. Except for the finish colors, the basses are almost identical in terms of design and quality. If you dig the Kingston, you'll love the Saratoga

  4. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I currently own a Grendel 5 and a Beast 5 that I upgraded to include the two-band Bartolini preamp that comes stock in the Grendel. There is a difference. The Saratoga's body is made of basswood and the Grendel uses poplar. Both have the maple fretboard option but the Grendel also offered an option for a wenge fretboard. The Saratoga uses rosewood as it's option to maple.

    IMO the build quality of the Czech made instruments is better. I'm not saying the Korean made instruments have poor construction now but in the comparisons that I have done I would give the Grendel/Beast the slight edge. Little things, like the feel of the fretwork, just suited me more.

    It's strange that some felt that the 35" scale felt longer. I feel differently about that. My two feel more like 34" scale instruments to me when compared to other 35" scale basses like my Cirrus 5.

    Neither of my basses sounds thin to my ears. Although, I was not a fan of the stock MTD strings and changed them out pretty soon after purchasing them. If there was any thin sound, changing the strings cured it. Now I get good low end and still retain that great solo tone that Poon described. If I had my choice of instruments, Grendel or Saratoga, I would take the Grendel if all other things were equal.
  5. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I guess that would depend on the Fender line that you were referring to, right? :) ;) The build quality of my American Deluxe Jazz is better IMO than any of the Kingstons that I have touched.
  6. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Just curious, what strings did you install? I recently got a Kingston Active and want to replace the stock strings too. I was thinking nickels for a little more warmth.
  7. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    D'Addario Slowounds SW2000-5SL

    Good luck finding some of them. They have been discontinued. :scowl: I basically just purchased all that I could when I found out that they were going away. D'Addario says that the XLs are the same but I don't agree. On a 35" scale instrument you will need the super long sets if you go with D'Addario.
  8. I've got one of each, although the Saratoga is % string, fretles and rosewood FB as opposed ot maple.

    Both play and feel great
    Thin - if you don't have the settings right, otherwise its great
  9. churchpark


    Jun 21, 2007
    Would upgrading the electronics plus pickup make this bass sound even greater? I plan to purchase oneof the newer Saratogas soon. I'm looking for that high presence as of a Fender.

    Please respond.........:bassist:
  10. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I am on my second Grendel. Originally had a 5 in amber with maple but went back to 4 string and found an identical one. If it came with the original pups then I would have left it alone but someone had install Bart 9J's and I did not like the tone. Put in a set of Nordstrand NJ4's and the tone was just what I was looking for. The only problem that has arisen is the the single coil NJ4's don't play well with my new VT21 Bass Deluxe (humming and squeeling) I will be switching to NJ4SV's.
    I played a Saratoga in a store and thou I liked the tone the build quality on this one was not up to my Grendel.
  11. Showbiz93


    Aug 24, 2013
    Please, can anybody tell me the sound differences between a Saratoga and a Fender Jazz MIM? 'Cause I cannot find a Saratoga for a sound-test...I've seen some videos on youtube...but they're not enough for me! :D

    PS: it's my first post on talkbass...I'm from Italy and if I'll write something wrong with my bad english, please, forgive me :smug: I'll do my best! :cool:

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