From Sadowsky to Atelier Z

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gruuv, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    Greetings all. . .

    Recently I sold my MS5 here on TB in order to further search for an ash body 5 string that fit the sound I was hearing in my head. I've owned many swamp/light ash basses from Sadowsky (several) to Fodera to Elrick, etc. . . I really loved that MS5, it played wonderfully and felt very comfortable but I've just never really felt at home with swamp ash. Whenever I heard heavy ash jazz basses I'd say, "That's the tone I'm talking about!" I e-mailed the Sadowsky boys a while back about building a heavy ash bodied bass but they were not keen on it, which I can understand. Part of the widespread appeal of Sadowsky is definitely the light weight of their basses.

    Anyway, I heard about Atelier Z and read some comments here and on similar forums. I was somewhat uneasy about taking the plunge, but hearing some sound clips provided to me by Carl Carter (thanks, Carl!) and getting his feedback on the basses helped push me over the edge. I used the cash from the Metro to buy a Z of heavy ash/maple combination. This is the 70's J bass tone! Some people disagree but to me heavy ash makes all the difference in the world in tone. This thing absolutely kills! It weighs about 3 lbs more than the Sadowsky did, but each note that comes out of it also weighs 3 lbs more. Playability and fit & finish are second to none as well. Oh, here's a picture:D :
  2. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Congrats! I spent 6 months in Tokyo, and I lived down the street from the Atelier Z shop. Great basses...and I agree that they are way better than Sadowsky's for that 70's jazz bass tone. Alot more a Sadowsky on steroids!
  3. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
    Nice one Gruvv! congrats. Are those priced as much as the Sadowsky UV70?

  4. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    How much does it weigh?
  5. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Sick! 34" scale? How's the B?
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I owned one for a little while. Really nice basses. I went into Jimmy's shop about a year ago or so and the ones he had hanging in the shop were 13-15lbs. I feel back pains just thinking about it. HAHA.

    Here is the one I used to own:
  7. +1 Many players don't realize that if the 'sound in their head' is a 70's style Jazz Bass, they are not going to be happy with a 60's style instrument like the Sadowsky Vintage line. I have heard very good things about the Atelier Z basses, and of course, feel the Celinder Update is the best of the bunch for that 70's thing. The Sadowsky Metro UV is also in the ballpark, but it really needs the optional VTC to tame it down when needed.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Did you think about the Sadowsky Tokyo basses ? , many of the 5 strings seemed to weigh in at 10 plus LBS. Nice bass , all the best with it :bassist:
  9. I love that bass! I'm sure it sounds great.
  10. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I can't jive with the weight, but I love the look. I'm an 8lbs. guy! However, I believe that the density of heavy ash adds that piano clarity to each note. I love the clear pickguard and control guard. Neat.
  11. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Exactly...Sadowsky has alot of that reputation as the ultimate 70's jazz, maybe because of the Marcus Miller connection. (And when most people think 70's jazz, they think Marcus.) But its really just the Sadowsky's with 70's jazz pickup placement that has that sound.

    I would love to see a shootout with Celinder vs. Atelier Z, Kjung's new Celinder blew me away last weekend!
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I could never do a gig standing with one of those basses (I stand 99% of the time anyway) but I've yet to hear a 70's style jazz that even comes close to the Atelier Z's (I havn't played a Celinder jazz though). The tone of the Atelier's is like a mac truck hitting you straght on.
  13. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    The newer ones aren't as heavy as that. Mas is using lighter (relative term) pieces of Ash when he builds them. This particular bass was pretty manageable in terms of weight. Not the lightest but definitely not the heaviest. I don't recall the exact weight of this one but I just sent one out this week that was just over 10 lbs.

  14. That's about the Celinder weight (10 pounds)... not too bad at all. However, per Nino's note 13-15 pounds!!!!! Wow! That I would not do!
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Always thought they looked great. The weight always prohibited me from any further interest, though. Good luck wit it. Looks awesome

  16. Joel,

    Does Mas specialize in the Ash/Maple combo or does he offer other wood combos as well? I think I've seen only ash bodied Z's.
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I've played the older one's and I can't imagine a better 5 string bass for studio work when you want that particular sound. Again, nothing I've heard comes close. If I had the dough I'd love to find one of the older heavy ones to have.
  18. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    Hey, thanks for the kind words guys. . . Let me try and get the questions in order:

    Basscon, I got this one brand new for under $2200 shipped (2-Day Air) and it came with a hardcase. I'm not sure what the UV70's basses cost new, but I'd say this bass was a steal!

    AJ, I was quoted a weight of about 10.5 lbs, but it feels closer to 11. That said, it is definitely under 11 lbs. As Nino said, for years they were pretty seriously heavy but Mas has been working hard to choose much lighter pieces of ash without sacrificing that nasty '70's J tone! Humorously, if it was 13 lbs it wouldn't bother me with this tone... I had a Fodera that was 13 lbs once that sounded fantastic.

    Pickles, to my surprise - amazement really - the B on this is fantastic. Truthfully it is much clearer and responds better than any of the Sadowsky's I've owned. It sounds awesome!

    Vision, that's cool that you lived so close to them. They really are great and absolutely nail the 70's thang. Ken, I agree about the pickup placement for certain, but I know the ash has something to do with it as well. Heavy ash just has a different character to it than swamp. I'd love to check out that Celinder of yours. Is it a 34 or 35 in scale?

    Major, I did actually think about the Tokyo series. I believe Mas built those as well. I searched around though and they're difficult to come by. Plus, at the price the Z's are new, it was too good to pass up!

    Oh and Wilby, I hear you on the 8 lbs, but the tone man, the tone!!! :D

    Wow, everyone beat me to it. . . thanks Rob. All this said, I'm still going to have Roger build me an alder/maple NYC some day.
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I got to play side by side an ash/maple and an ash/rosewood bass a few times. I've always prefered rosewood boards but in this case the ash/maple combo was all over the ash/rosewood combo.
  20. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    they do other combos, but i don't know if they are available in the states. check their website...its kinda hard to navigate because of the language difference but you can see some nice pics of mas's work: