Fender to Sadowsky smooth

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cygnus X-1, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Hey guys, Silly question coming up. Please humor me :) .

    Yesterday I got a chance to sit down and really dig into a Japanese made Sadowsky. The bass sells for over 2K and I'm not sure what model it is. I know it is a Jazz with 4 knobs in sunburst with a rosewood fret board. While I was playing I couldn't help but notice how smooth it played. I heard not even one fret buzz. The thought that popped into my head was "gee I wish that my '08 Jazz could play this smooth". Now don't get me wrong, I still love my American Jazz. I just want to figure out what makes a Sadowsky play without buzz or that tinny sound I sometimes get.

    Awhile back I saw a youtube interview that Roger did. I think I remember him saying that he was not a believer in jumbo frets. So, I considered the options. Personally, I don't think that my fender is a bad bass. On the contrary, it's a pretty nice bass. I would just like some insight on what I can do to make it more Sadowsky-like (and don't say buy a Sadowsky, you wiseguys, that's the obvious and easy way ;) )

    First off, I want to bring it down to my local guitar shop for a proper set up. Second, should I change the strings? It comes with Super Bass 8250M gauges: .045, .065, .085, .110TW (Taperwound E), but I've heard that these are actually good strings. Third, I want the frets checked to just see if they are fine. I feel them when I run my finger along the side of the fretboard, they are not sharp and appear to be even, but I do feel them. Unlike my other basses, that are completely smooth.

    Having said all of this, I would like to ask the other '08 jazz owners if they've experienced any issues with their basses? or am I just being a super anal and over paranoid?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    They make Sadowsky's in Japan too?!?
  3. Unless my old eyes were bugging out, I do recall seeing a made in Japan label. Maybe it was just the pick ups, I know that Japan fell into the mix in someway. I just have a real sucky memory :rollno:

    * Ah-ha!, I knew I wasn't seeing things

    The Metro Line represents all the basic models of Sadowsky NYC basses but are made by our staff at Sadowsky Tokyo. The Metro Line offers most of the same features as their NYC siblings including the same pickups, preamp and bridge.

    Prices range from $1990 to $2730 and will be available from a network of select Sadowsky dealers. The quality of the Metro Line is as high as our NYC instruments.
  4. Well, even if you weren't looking to make you're bass more sadowsky-like taking your bass to get professionally set up is ALWAYS worth the money, especially if (like me) you have somewhere that deals primarily in basses. A good set up will remove any fret buzz you may encounter and also get the intonation just right.

    Smoothness of playability in my experience has a lot to do with string height and action, I find that the lower my action the smoother I can play, my '08 Fender RH signature has very low action (I feel it's in between the great playing and fret buzz galore point) and from my experience with Sadowsky basses (albeit limited) is that the action is always spot on for smooth playing.

    As for the fret smoothness as long as it doesn't effect your playing it shouldn't be an issue, if you REALLY want you can take it down to a professional luthier and ask if he can sort it out for you, I did this with an old bass of mine and whilst it was made much smoother the difference in playability was minimal at best. Alternatively you can purchase a new neck, but that's an extreme action to take for something that probably doesn't even warrant that sort of attention.

    Hope I helped in some way, but I feel that someone with more Sadowsky experience may be able to expand on what I have written!

  5. Absolutely, When I first bought the bass it sounded fine. Since I don't get to play it that much I really didn't notice the buzz from the 12th-17th frets. I previously encountered this problem on my american deluxe P. It was quickly rectified when I brought it down to the shop and the owner (a hard core bass guy) tweeked the truss rod and presto. I got butta'

    Like my P bass before it's adjustment. The E string is almost at 1/4" off the fretboard. Any lower and I get a nasty tin buzz (like nails down a chalkboard). The neck however does not appear too concave.

    Not really, I think I'm just being anal on this one. I'll still have an expert check it though.

    Thanks for the input Matt.
  6. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    have it plek'd , & a total setup
  7. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    A good setup will bring it very near the same level of playability.
  8. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I have a two 70s Fender Jazz basses that have had pro set ups and no one has ever been able to get rid of the small ski jump.

    Haven't played an 08 Fender, but reading posts here, it sure sounds like Sadowsky, Lakland, Spector, and others have figured out how to make a narrow bass neck that will stay flat.

    I lve my 70's basses but would like to have something that can have low action.

  9. Amen! On some basses I don't mind a higher action. For me, it's good for plucking or just diggin' in deep. On others I prefer a lower action when I'm feeling a lighter touch is more appropriate.

    My teacher's Roscoe has a marvelous woody tone that is just so warm. As well as a Tobias I played the other day.
  10. N8116B

    N8116B Guest

    Jan 14, 2008
    That is where the Metros are made. At least according to their website.
  11. TheShreddingE

    TheShreddingE Guest

    May 4, 2008
    The sadowsky vs fender debate i find interesting.

    I find that they look and play similarly,

    A bass player to check is a chick called Tal Wilkenfeld. She played with miller and Jeff meck and stuff. She is currently doing fusion stuff with Wayne Krantz, which i saw live and it was great.

    She got sponsored to Sadowsky after playing 1 for 6 months only. A real treat.
  12. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    The current Metro's are made in Japan and there was a previous line called the "Tokyo" line made in Japan. I saw a great looking 6-string (they made 2).

    Dan K.
  13. T-MOST


    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    It was a Sadowsky Metro. I own a UV-705 and it is a superb jazz bass. I wouldn't get rid of it for the world.
  14. jonno1707

    jonno1707 Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    Nanuet N.Y.
    A major part of the great feeling and lack of fret buzz on Sadowsky's is the pure fact that Roger planes every fretboard by hand to perfection prior to fretting it...Than ofcoarse his world class fret jobs are the icing on the cake...
    You go Roger!
  15. Agreed, I reviewed his behind the notes interview and payed closer attention when he spoke about his method for setting up a neck properly, fret hight, neck radius etc. I can see why so many players not only love his work and respect him on a personal level. He seems to be a real stand up guy. He reminds me of what Leo originally stood for.

    By the way, I took my '08 jazz in for a set up. Let see what happens.

    Thanks guys.
  16. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    You could always have the neck planed and put in new frets.
  17. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass XBass Cables Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    I take my basses in for a pro setup and maintenance on a semi-annual basis. (about every 2 string changes). Can't say enough about the difference it makes in playability. Looking forward to your report after the setup.

    I haven't had the pleasure of playing a Sadowsky (yet), but one is at the top of my '09 GAS list. (P-J 5, '59 burst, Alder/Rosewood, VTC)... just gotta sell some stuff.
  18. Well, in all honesty, the same could be said for, say, a Ric...I recently purchased a nearly new 4003 that some kid had purchased, put the wrong gauge strings on her and had the neck looking like a canoe (fiddling with the truss rods). He sold it to me cheap - he was positive that Rics were "TOTAL CRAP!!!" (his words). I did a complete setup on her, put the proper gauge strings on her, adjusted the truss rods (correctly) and now have a bass that is to die for......go figure....:)

    Any instrument that is properly cared for "should" perform like a pro......:D
  19. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I don't think you can underestimate the value of a first class fret job in getting a bass to play great. As for Pleks---you can't compensate for a poorly trued fingerboard by grinding the frets. However, assuming your fingerboard and the fretjob itself is good, a great set-up is the place to start.

    But you need to understand that trueing a fingerboard and doing a first class fret job and set-up is about $500 worth of work. If someone tells you they can do it for $200, you should probably save your money. I can't tell you how many refrets I had to re-do over the years because someone thought they could save $100 by using a less expensive repair person.

  20. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Thanks for the advice.
    Now that 70's Fenders are considered "vintage" they're probably worth more as poor players, than having proper neck repairs especially with the issues associated with finish color and block inlays.