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F bass or Sadowsky?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lamarjones, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    So, I am going to take the plunge on one of these guys. Just not sure which, as the sounds that I remember rock on both.

    Anyways, I need something that covers that slap bass in the vein of 'jazz bass on steroids', maybe near to the Marcus thing, but I don't really need it to nail his tone as to be just a crisp tight sound. Other than that, some good sounds that can fit some of these guys who are wanting me to carry some of the more traditional vibes out there are needed, more so on the jazz bass side than the P bass side, although the P-J from Sadowsky is a definite contender.

    I am pretty sure they both have wider spacing like I dig (right?), but any thoughts on which you guys prefer? Anything that I need to clarify, just let me know.

    Or hell, just put some teaser pics. Here are two first thoughts.......



    If this was available now........

  2. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    From the clips I've heard, the F-basses are more like 70's jazz basses, and the Sadowskys more like 60's. That excludes the Sad UV70s though. I'd bass your choice on whichever sound i wanted more. Have you played both of them?
  3. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    I'd recommend picking up a used one of each and seeing what you like better. My next F will have the maple FB though.
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Ive owned both and I preferred the F Bass...The Sadowsky was Killler but not as killin' as my F...
  5. ThumbyAche

    ThumbyAche Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pacific NW
    I have owned both and still have my F-Bass. I really love the Low "B" on it. It cuts through the mix very well and is probably the most comfortable bass I have ever played (Aside from my Bene SC5). The only thing for me is that I'm very used to playing slap with a pickguard and for me, the F-Bass is not as easy for me to slap on (too much space between the body and the strings)...
  6. I personally prefer the Fbass to the Sadowsky simply because of its preamp having a mid control. Both basses to me have their shortcomings though.
    The Fbass to me lacks in pickup out put or something along those lines. They just aren't very hot like the Sadowsky pickups, but aside from that, the Fbass is amazing.
    The downer for me on the Sadowsky is the lack of a mid control and not having a treble cut. The VTC is nice for warming up the tone, but it's still not the same as cutting the treble.
    For slap play, both should do fine, but I think the Sadowsky will get a better "aggressive" slap tone. If I could have my ideal "jazz bass," it would be a Fbass with Nordstrand pickups.
  7. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    I haven't played an F, but from clips they sound killer. They look incredible to boot!
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I've owned a BN5 and currently have a Sadowsky. First... I would consider neither the classic Jazz Bass on Steriods sort of thing. The Ultra Vintage Sadowsky gets close, since it has that ash body and 70's J Bass pickup placement. The Sadowsky Vintage does not, and IMO neither does the F. That DOES NOT mean they don't have a great slap sound... they do... but to me the Sadowsky Vintage and F Bass (in single coil mode) have a more 60's type J Bass slap vibe... which is very nice.

    The neck profiles are not that different, and both basses have beautiful playability and fit and finish. The FBass preamp is fabulous, and the most transparant of any I've ever used.... you virtually can't hear any difference between the passive setting and the active with all three tone controls set to 'flat' (all the way off... they are boost only). Also, the mid control on the FBass is amazing.... usable throughout it's whole range... never honky.

    The ONLY reason I sold my FBass is that I'm a relatively small guy, and that very large, unusually shaped body resulted in the bass hanging in a relatively uncomfortable position for me.

    Both great basses.... if you really are considering and want a Marcus sound.... the Celinder Ultra does that the best of any bass I've ever owned and played. I would think the Metro Sadowsky Ultra Vintage (not the NYC Ultra Vintage... that's a totally different thing) would work great for you... and save you about $1,000 over the NYC Vintage or the FBass.

    Good luck.... any decision you make will result in you having a great bass!
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, I have been fortunate to give both of them a go, on a couple of species. Since it was in the past, and I've had many basses pass through in similar fashion, I remember that the F bass had a slightly thicker neck, both played great, and both did have a nice versatile sound to it. I do remember a lot of controls on the F, but mostly that most of the tones were really nice.

    Thanks fellas for your feedback, you guys rock. I just have to try and control myself from making a rash decision. Then again, even if I did, I don't think I would be really out of luck....
  10. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Ask AJ Brown.

    He had a bass very much like the Sadowsky, and sold it in favor of an F-bass that was also similar to the one pictured.

    Nice dilemma to have, BTW. :D
  11. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Hey There,

    I did own a Sadowsky exactly like the one you're looking at... #4311 . When I ordered it, I already had my F-Bass BN6 on order. At the time, I thought I might be able to keep both, but it didn't work out financially. So, I put each through their paces sound-wise, and playability-wise, and the F-Bass won for me. It just felt better and had a better (and IMO more versatile) tone for my needs (from Jazz to Heavy Rock).

    I will most likely own another Sadowsky someday due to my permanent GAS, but it may be a Metro 24-5 next time. I still miss looking at the Sadowsky though.

    The Sadowsky :crying:

    My Beloved F-Bass
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Ive owned 3 F's and 14 Sadowskys. I prefer Sadowsky but F's are my second fave. I dont think you can wrong with either. My advice would be to try to play both and go from there. BTW, the spalted top Sadowsky 5 you posted is awesome. Just got back from NYC and I played it through the new Sadowsky TUBE amp!!!!! WOW. Yep, a Sadowsky amp. Awesome 5. Ebony board killed

  13. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey fellas, thanks again for your import. I went locally and sat with some of each (well, one metro, one NYC, and one F bass), and I truly do feel like I am not going to lose either way. I am kinda leaning towards the F in terms of where the tone can go, but its still kinda like a pocket pair versus two overcards.

    But.....if anyone knows where in the US one of the black ceruse bn5s with a macassar ebony board is, let a brother know!
  14. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I own an F bass and wouldnt sell it for anything, except maybe another F Bass and a Sadowsky....

    That said, I love Sadowsky. But, I feel that Sadowsky makes the best 4 string and F bass makes the best 5 string. Its really that simple for me...

    Sometimes I do find the F bass a bit hard to slap, but you get used to it...
  15. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Any particular reason? Just the strng height off the body?
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    AJ, your F Bass makes mine look like, well, not as nice as yours. In the future, please refrain from posting pics of it. :D :p Seriously, though, that thing is beautiful.

    I have only limited time on a Sadowsky, about 10 minutes to be exact, so I can't really comment as well as the people who actually own them, but I do own an F Bass BN6. I can dial in about any tone I want out of it, and the slap tone kills. My main complaint is that the output of it is very low compared to my Modulus Q6. Not that big of a deal, but it does annoy me sometimes. Plus, it has an extremely comfortable neck, especially for a 6er with 19mm spacing at the bridge. And it is lightweight and well-balanced. And the low B on it, IMHO, is better than that on my Modulus. Just sounds and feels perfect.
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Never had a problem slapping mine... it sounded great... not quite as aggressive as, for example, the Celinder Update... but I dont' think any bass (at least none I've played) is that aggressive!
  18. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I swear, I can't even look at AJ's old Sadowsky (#4311) without getting misty-eyed.
  19. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    I had:
    Ken Lawrence Brase 5
    MTD 535
    F-Bass BN-5

    When it came down to a choice of which two to keep, the F-Bass went and the MTD stayed. After buying a Sadowsky 5-24, if I had to make the same choice the Sadowsky would stay and the MTD would go. Thank God, that I can keep all of them! All three are just amazing.

    Dan K.
  20. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Me too, man. Me too.