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Fender or Sandberg?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChromeTsunami, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. ChromeTsunami


    Aug 7, 2018
    So considering adding another quality bass to my stable...

    I typically like Fenders, owning an olympic white American Performer Precision, which is currently my goto bass of choice and a couple of Squier's too (Classic Vibe '70s precision in black MN & Classic Vibe '70s Jazz in Natural MN). My biggest problem is I prefer a maple fingerboard, and white or black body generally, but my American Performer has a rosewood fingerboard. I did once consider buying a blue body American Performer (which has maple fingerboard), and swapping the necks, but both guitars would then be non-original and I'd have to spend a lot on a second guitar that I'd not play, but would still find difficult to part with.

    So now I'm considering; a Player Precision in Black (or white) with Maple fingerboard, or possibly a Sandberg.

    But here's where I need a little help... I've never had a Sandberg, so would like some opinions on their passive models... I know there are some that I like which are designated 'made in Germany' like the California TM or VS which I presume are the better models, and others 'designed in Germany' such as the Electra II VS4 (so I imagine they're like the equivalent of Squiers?). Anyone own these and can recommend? I like the P bass style over Js.

    TIA, Steve
    BasEd likes this.
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sandberg. I won't touch a Fender. Much better builds and better QC. I've never actually owned one but I've done enough research and have never heard or seen a bad review. I wish I had more info for you.
  3. _Obra_


    Feb 22, 2011
    Both :)

    You can found a lots of info on TB Sandberg Club
  4. For ~ $200 more I'd give the import Electra VS4 a spin. It has a preamp and a nicer bridge, for starters. The basswood body wouldn't bother me. I wouldn't expect it to have the same feel and attention to detail as a German Sandberg, but I would expect it to be very nice. The Butter Cream/maple looks nice, too. Good luck.
  5. loSbabbaro


    Nov 11, 2018
    Agree you shouldn’t touch a Fender. A friend of mine touched one by mistake and his head exploded. He should have known better than touching anything with the evil logo on it!

    i cannot recommend one or the other, they are both great instruments with pros and cons but why not just buying a maple neck? You can sell yours or keep it to have options


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Based on a Sandberg i played a few months ago (Assembled in Korea from German parts) i haven't played an equivalent Fender that even comes close. My 10 shillings worth.
    scuzzy likes this.
  7. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have a Sandberg VS P style. About $850
    Also have a MIM P and a real 60' and 72'P.

    The Sandberg neck is similar to a 70's J neck. About 1 1 /2" at the nut but a little bit chunky.
    I don't find it difficult going from the MIM or 70's P.
    My Sandberg plays perfectly. Unbelievable fret work and high quality hardware.
    Mine does not have a passive option.
    With the EQ flat it does not sound exactly like a Fender; it is brighter.
    It gets closer with the treble rolled back and I like a tiny bit of bass boost.

    If the Player's series is like my Standard series, the Sandberg is MUCH better made instrument.
    filler83 and UNICORN BASS like this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Thanks JimC that's what i meant to say, cabin fever is having an effect.
    Jim C likes this.
  9. ChromeTsunami


    Aug 7, 2018
    Thanks for all your advice guys. Here is what I managed to get hold of... OMG it's gorgeous, and one of a kind due to some individual customizations that the dealer had Sandberg make...

    Sandberg-VM4-black-chrome-ebony14.jpg Sandberg-VM4-black-chrome-ebony15.jpg
  10. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    In a word... :drool::drool::drool::drool::drool:

    Get ready for an extended honeymoon, right? I was going to chime in just because I was eyeballing some of the the Sandbergs out there and finally decided to jump on a sale about a month ago. I got an Electra Jazz (TT perhaps?) which was apparently made about six years ago, but it came to me in new condition.

    I was expecting the Electra I bought to have the same dimensions as the ones currently listed on Sandberg's website. The new ones include a nut/zero fret width of 1 9/16". The one I picked up turned out to have the more traditional 1 1/2" width - disappointing considering that I'm trending away from skinny necks. But I dialed in the action, dropped some of my favorite strings on there, and hubba-hubba - it plays easy and sounds yummy. This Electra is also two pounds lighter than my old Jazz - no worries about hanging it on my shoulder for a full gig.

    One of these months I hope to play this bass with the band, but for now I can say that I'm impressed. This is a more affordable import - imported pieces put together in Germany - but it's a VERY good build. Hard to believe that your new addition won't have you stuck in perma-grin for a while. I was dreaming about one of the 4-string Ken Taylor models at first, but that VM4 looks like a true do-it-all player. Congratulations and feel free to tell us ALL about it :thumbsup:
    ChromeTsunami and Shlabotnik like this.
  11. Boomer1965


    Oct 12, 2018
    Ely, UK
    I bought my first Sandberg 5 months ago. What a revelation. I thought I was a Stingray guy but this has completely turned that around. And its passive. My only issue is the really quick wear in the finish (satin black woodgrained) where I rest my thumb next to the bridge pub. Really shouldn't happen.
  12. MRV


    May 9, 2020
    That's a beautiful instrument Steve, congrats! But... whatever happened to wanting a maple fretboard? :D
    ChromeTsunami likes this.
  13. ChromeTsunami


    Aug 7, 2018
    Well when I saw it I just fell in love and if I'd wanted the same one with maple I might have had to wait many months as non in stock with the block inlays. So I've plumped for my second favourite fretboard wood. But have to say I've never played a bass as well finished and expressive as far as available tones too... I made a great choice...
  14. BasEd


    Jun 27, 2017
    Replaced my US Fenders with Sandbergs. Fantastic basses.
    Shlabotnik likes this.
  15. OllyW


    Oct 10, 2017
    Stourbridge, UK
    Is that the one from Classic & Cool Guitars?
    ChromeTsunami likes this.
  16. ChromeTsunami


    Aug 7, 2018
    OllyW likes this.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 15, 2021

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