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Has anyone bought and NOT liked a Sadowsky??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by violetmind, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    There are thing's I like about Sadowskys but I will freely admit that the first time i played one I wasn't knocked out,for me it really depends on the wood combo along with the electronics. That said building your own Bass with part's of the same quality used in a Sadowsky build might cost you more than you think,my main bass is made of high quality parts including a sadowsky pre and was not much cheaper than a metro
  2. The NYC Moderns are interesting. They can be spec'd VERY lightweight... mine was really light... 8 pound or less. They have a VERY unique tone due to the tight placement of those big humbuckers close to the bridge. While they sound like they sound (i.e., they have a Sadowsky flavor), they are in the tone universe of the Ken Smith basses and the Peavey Cirrus models... very burpy, lots of space between the notes, and very low mid present and punchy, versus wide and smooth.

    With the neck pickup solo'd, they sound VERY much like a P Bass (that pickup must be similar inside to a P, and in pretty close to P position. With both pickups blended, it is almost the definition of 'Modern'... kind of 'Mark King Alembic' like in a way when slapped.

    Nice... but be careful what you wish for, that strong tone voicing made me tired after a while.
    bass nitro likes this.
  3. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    First, I don't get the point of threads decrying some piece of bass gear. What's up with THAT? If you don't dig the gear, move on and focus on something you do like. I mean, what really is the point?

    As far as Sadowsky instruments go, you really must get them in a stage mix to understand their desirability. Wanking on a Metro in a bass shop ain't gonna do it. Also, Roger builds basically custom instruments; and what I mean is that he will modify anything you want before it leaves the shop - and that includes Metros. I played a Metro 5 with single coils and the VTC circuit for a couple years. GREAT tone. The sound guys absolutely ate it up. Sadowsky is a quality shop and great example of a stand up business. We need more of them and not waste time ripping on their products without much data.

    IMO/E, GL to all.
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I had a ash / maple VJ5 for a couple of months that I could never really bond with and believe me, I tried. It's gone now.

    My Alder / RW PJ5? I haven't looked at another woman since she came into my life.
  5. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    I have built somewhere in the vicinity of 15-20 and modified a ton of them.

    I'm truly aware of what the prices are (I'm saying that in a postive manner)

    Sure you can go nuts with a build.

    I could build an ash body/ J syle bass 4 string between $900 to $1200. 5 String for not much more (American made parts as well) finished.
  6. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Not indefencible.....not at all.
    It's SOOOOOOOO subjective as to what is good sounding/feeling/looking.
    It IS very easy to defend though, a hand made bass to a machine made one.
    Again, subjective as to what is "better".

    I'd supply a link, but I'll just tell you, that you are wrong.
    Not "robot-made copy".
    Japan- Yes.
    Hand made like the NYC counterparts. Just limited options.

    As for $200 sound.......that's really constructive :rollno: and what would/could lead to a thread asking a question like the one here, being shut down.

    I'll add that when I first got a Sadowsky, I was like ***????
    I don't get it. Sounded OK at best IMO.
    Then I got it on the gig........

    There have been PLENTY of guys who just didn't like my Sadowsky.
    Not one ever complained about the build/construction- they are built as good as anything.
    It's just about tone.
    It's what YOU like.

    I have a friend of mine here in town, Michael Franks (not the singer) who builds uber high-end acoustice guitars.
    UBER high end.
    He knows Roger pretty good.
    He told me he was at some trade show or something for builders and Roger was going through wood, knocking on every piece setting ones aside and not taking others.
    There is more to just cutting up wood, slapping a finish on and tossing in some hardware and electronics.
  7. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    This will probably sound like an odd confession here on TB, but I've never played a Sadowsky bass

    ...however, I've played a Sadowsky guitar.

    Like the basses, it looked & felt like a fairly anonymous generic Fender (Strat)-type instrument. Shouldn't have been anything particularly "special" or "magical" about it based on the materials and the construction and the design. It seemed to sound exactly like what one would expect from a nicely-built Fender or Fender-copy.

    But you know what? In all seriousness -- when I played that Sadowsky guitar, I became a better guitarist. Something about that instrument made me play better. Not just my tone, but my phrasing, my note choices, my ability to put together a really cohesive part that just worked with the ensemble...it was uncanny. And repeatable.

    So if Roger's basses are anything like his guitars in this regard, I'd have no hesitation to say I understand the appeal, and I'd have no hesitation to spend whatever it costs to get one.
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
  9. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    I see you have "modulus" on your sig.... those are not overpriced?
  10. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    I tried a few 4 and 5 string Metros (jazz and P/Js) before I found one that knocked my socks off. They were great basses and played awesome and perfectly intonated, but until I picked up a modern 24-5string, I was not in possession of a keeper IMO.

    The wide spacing, flat neck profile, Nordy BS pickups, and drop dead awesome preamp cemented this bass in my lineup. It kills in any situation I put it in. It is by far the most comfortable 5 string bass I have ever played. It makes me play better.
  11. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    +1 (not the OP. He's just looking for info, but some people here on TB ......)
  12. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Then you add the expenses, insurance, bills, paychecks (if you add employee), your salary...

  13. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    I don't view the OP as just mindlessly "ripping" on a product. I've never played a Sadowsky either, and I wasn't really that aware of them until I started frequenting TB.

    So I've had essentially the same questions as the OP: Given the high price tag, are they REALLY all they're cracked up to be? Are they really worth two or three times as much as I typically pay (can afford) for a bass?

    I like reading the opinions, pro and con. Maybe next time I visit a great bass shop, I'll get to try one and judge for myself (shops with high-end bass gear are few and far between around here, so I'd need to make the trek, again, to Bass Central).

    But I'm kind of afraid to do so, because I don't want/need GAS for a bass I couldn't buy unless I sold all three of my $850 basses.

    YMMV, etc, etc.
  14. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    Well they offer something the majority of basses do not offer.

    Kind if nitch

    I like the tone and stability of graphite.

    To me they are worth the price.

    Is it the price of Modulus why you are playing Ambush over Modulus? (Graphite Vs Graphite)

    Are they any less expensive?
    Or do you just prefer them for your own reasons?
  15. I got an NYC Vintage PJ5 last September, and at first I wasn't so sure that I liked it better than my Fender. I've been playing Fenders for 32 years, so I'm used to what a Fender feels and sounds like. As far as my Sadowsky, Now I wouldn't want to play anything else. The feel is so awesome and I love the sound. It just sits in the mix so well. Also, it doesn't have any dead spots on the neck. My Fender has been under my bed in the case for the past few months.
  16. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    I'm just saying there are cheaper alternatives that play and sound just as good if not better.
  17. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Commercial User

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Not to me.... what gives?

    I don't like how Modulus necks feel. I don't like that they have a very bad customer service....
    Ambush basses are way less expensive, yes.

    (BTW, if we talk stability, I would not even compare a Sadowsky to a fender, here)
  18. slopeshoulder


    Nov 1, 2009
    I loved my Metro except that the wood wasn't resonant enough and it didn't sing.

    BTW, I think ALL Sadowsky's and most other high end basses are CNC cut by a third party provider of body and necks. Sadowsky specs, designs, assembles, and QC's a great bass. I don't think they build much. That's OK.

    EDIT: I read the other thread post from Roger, and it clears it up and makes perfect sense.
  19. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    well, as they say, "if you don't like it, don't buy it."

    To compare a Sadowsky to a mass produced instrument is silly unless you're just looking at pictures. If you actually play/own the basses, it isn't quite to clear-cut.

    Are Sadowskys expensive? Yes - even their "off-shore" bass is expensive compared to the competition. Is it worth it? Depends on the user. I have owned Sadowskys (unlike some on this thread) and currently own some other nice basses. My take fwiw:

    The construction and finish work on a Sadowsky is excellent and consistent. You can't say that about mass produced instruments. Sure, there are some nice Fenders, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

    The sound is familiar yet unique. A Fender won't sound like a Sadowsky, but a Sadowsky can sound like a Fender.

    The NYC examples are generally light weight, and that is desireable to some.

    Customer service is top notch.

    Now, do all those factors make the bass "worth the price"? That is up to the individual. But to decry a Sadowsky as a "parts bass" and to throw comments out about ability to do the same for 1/3 the price...then I suggest those people try and do just that. The market should be beating a path to your door.

    And fwiw I don't currently own a Sadowsky lest I be branded a "fanboi." But I understand why they are popular and command the price they do.
  20. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    The conundrum here is that if a bass doesn't sound good in the store, who's gonna shell out bonus bucks to find out if it changes personality once it gets on stage?

    To the original subject, I've tried Sadowsky basses and I've been very impressed with every one of them. The first time I played someone's Sadowsky (TB member Steve Burke's Metro) I really liked it, but not as much as the Music Man Bongo I owned at the time or TB member Vic's Roscoe that I played that same evening.

    The most recent times that I've tried Sadowsky basses, I've compared them to a pair of Music Man Sabres that I own. In terms of fit and finish, Sadowsky wins, no contest. Then again, the Sabres are 30+ years old and have been played. As far as weight, Sadowsky wins again. Playability......I slot the Sadowsky right between the two Sabres. Tone? Two different tonal pallettes, both very good. Let's call it a draw.

    If I didn't already have basses that I considered comparable on important measures, I would have been interested in acquiring a Sadowsky any of the times I've played them. But since I did, there was no real interest on my part.

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