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Calling all Sadowsky experts (and anyone else)!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jazz5757, Aug 28, 2004.


  1. Ok, well I just picked up a Sadowsky 4 that was supposed to have been made in 1998 - turns out it was made in 1988 instead, serial#561, black w/maple neck and board. While I'm somewhat
    upset about the age issue, I can't complain too much at a price of $1500. Considering it's true age it's in remarkable condition ... not a ding on her, and even though I'm sure it hasn't been set up in ages it plays wonderfully (never played a Fender jazz or even a Lakland J.O. that I could play intricate passages on as well---it's just a heck of a lot of fun!) :hyper: Now on to the questions...

    1) Are the older Sadowsky's considered less desirable, and if so why?

    2) What changes have taken place since '88 (i.e., electronics) that affect the tonal characteristics of this bass in comparison to their newer bretheren?

    3) I want this bass to be in it's most optimal playing condition and I don't have a great deal of faith in the local guys I use to get that done...so....I'm thinking of sending it to Roger for a setup and whatever else he might think it would need (?)....I think it would be money well spent - would you agree?

    4) This is almost a non-question because it's so much more subjective, but I'm curious as to what strings you guys use on your Sad's? The strings that are on mine are ancient - the owner (supposedly) gave up playing some time ago - heck, there wasn't even a battery in it when I got it.

    I'd better stop there (for now!). I appreciate your advice guys! :)
     
  2. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    Congrats on the score! Sounds like a nice bass. Regarding your questions ....

    1) I don't think they're less desirable, but they don't seem to pull the bigger bucks that later basses do. Having said that, the early basses are all quite simple - plain finish, etc - compared to the quilt tops and vintage styles of the later basses, so that may influence the value as well.

    2) Has your's got EMGs or Sadowsky pickups? That'll obviously effect the tone. I believe the preamp they use now is the same they've used for years. Just back to the pickups, I've just tried a Sad with EMGs, and compared to my own basses, which have both got Sadowsky HB Jazz pickups, I far prefer the sound of the Sadowsky pickups. But that's me - others may think differently. The EMGs sounded good, but they seemed to impart a real generic quality on the tone. Still a great sound, just not the sound I want from a Sadowsky.

    3) I can only go by what the guys on here say, and I'd say your suggestion is a good one. I've just had a great tech up in London set up one of my Sadowskys, and the difference in playability was mind blowing. I'd also experimented with some local guys, who were all appalling, so I'd say sending it to Roger, or any decent tech, would be money well spent.

    4) I've tried a lot of strings. Roger suggests you go with 45-105, but after trying those, I reverted back to my usual 40-100. Regarding brands, I tried quite a few - Sadowsky, Labella HRS, LaBella Slappers, Elites, Warwicks, Elixirs. None of them made me very happy. Then I got turned on to DR Hi Beams, and I swear, I'll never string my Sadowskys with anything else ever again! To my ears, they're perfect for my basses and for the way I play.

    For what it's worth, I wouldn't worry too much about the age. I own two of his more recent instruments (one from 1997, the other 2002), and I'm now looking around for an earlier bass, just because I'd like to own an early piece from him. Do I need it? Hell no!! But I really appreciate Roger's work, his basses are great, and I just like owning his basses.
     
  3. Bassaussie--Thanks for your thoughts. The pickups on the bass are Sadowsky's and they do sound amazing. I was under the impression that the preamp had changed significantly in that 10 year period and that I might be missing out on something even better. I any event, I DO plan on sending the bass to him. I hear that his setups are fantastic and I just want to see the bass in its top form although I'm certainly not complaining now. I haven't tried the DR Hibeams yet but i might just give that a go. Thanks. :hyper:
     
  4. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    I've never heard that about the preamp, but as I should've pointed out before, I'm certainly not a Sadowsky expert!!! I'm just someone lucky enough to own some of his basses!! :D For what it's worth, both my basses just have the bass and treble boost preamp - that's his standard preamp. Actually, that's his only preamp (!!), as far as NYC basses go. It's simple, but effective. My later bass also has the passive tone control option, which is purely a treble bleed just like an old Fender Jazz or Precision has.

    Another thing is this - if they're the original pickups, they're most likely single coils, not humbuckers. I spoke to Roger at length about this when I ordered my first bass from him, and he said he'd spent a lot of time getting the humbuckers as close to the sound of the single coil pickups as possible. So, apart from any hum you might get (which should be minimised by the awesome shielding job that the bass most likely has), I'd say the sound would be very close.

    As for DR strings, all I can say is, do it, and do it now!! :D They're superb strings, and they sound so good on my basses, I can't tell you what an improvement they've made. They're expensive, but the extra bucks are worth it.
     
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI!

    I use Sadowsky, DR's, or Fodera strings on my 3 Sadowsky's. I think the pre is the same. Call or email Roger. He can give you all the info www.sadowsky.com

    Rob
     
  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    +1

    Call the "man" himself and he would answer all your questions.
    I've tried DR HB, best "regular" strings, but right now I'm using Dean Markley SR2000, I like them better.

    Mo'
     
  7. Excellent advice.....might as well go to the guy who knows best! ;)
     
  8. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    Hi there,
    it would be great to be "the guy who knows what's best", but it's too subjective and I've omitted something very important in my previous post:
    "IMO"!

    Sorry!

    Mo'
     
  9. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i think the DR strings are the worst i've used.

    just go with the sadowsky's. they're the best nickel strings, and the best strings in general for the sadowsky sound. smooth and warm, but with enough articulation for the detail.

    and congrats on the score!
     
  10. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    I think he's referring to Roger!! ;)
     
  11. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    :rolleyes: :bag: oooooopppssssss!!!

    Mo'
     
  12. If I'm going to send the Sad to Roger for a setup, etc., I'll most definitely use his strings the first time out - from your description they'd be perfect :)

    It sure feels like a "score" to be. I just sent back a new F bass BN4 - it was a great bass but the Sadowsky practically plays itself - it just feels tight in MY hands - in fact, no other bass I've ever owned has felt this comfortable to me (whether it was an MTD, a Fodera VW or an Elrick to name a few). :hyper: I think that speaks volumes for Roger's basses - I don't know what he does but really weaves some magic to create his basses - WOW is all I can say! :bassist:
     
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI!

    I agree. Took me a long time to elavate to his gear. Once I did, I dont think about looking to basses to buy anymore. Well, except for more Sadowsky's!!!!!

    Rob