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Has anyone bought and NOT liked a Sadowsky??

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

  1. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Sound better is a matter of opinion, not a fact!

    but here we go again with the overpriced items in the market.... what's overpriced? A '65 piece of pre-cbs falling apart for 10k?... a fodera for 7k?...

    I built lots of "parts" basses for long and liked them, some more some less.
    I owned 3 Sadowsky and, I'm sorry but there is a reason why lots of pro players use them.....
    I'm not saying they are not expensive, but when I read some of the pointless and ignorant reply here on TB (I'm talking in general, right now), I feel sorry for this business market!
  2. I played a metro J and didnt like it, felt ok but sounded to modern hifi for me...
  3. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I was at the NAMM winter show of '09, and checked out Roger's booth. I was really excited to actually try a Sadowsky for the first time. But, I was pretty disappointed. When you figure you've heard nothing but great things about these instruments, and then you try one, and especially show pieces from the man himself that are supposed to be the cream of the crop of SADOWSKY and they don't knock you out...that's not good.

    The things I remember were that the B string wasn't that great...floppy, actually. The tone controls were limited (why no mid?) and honestly kind of sterile to me (the tone can be preference, though). The setup wasn't great, and for trying to impress vendors and the world in general at one of the premier conventions of the music world, imho, MTD BLEW SADOWSKY AWAY, as did Mike Lull and Warrior. I personally think these guys crushed Roger in all aspects...setup, tone, and looks (even though the latter is preference, too). The playability was unreal on all of them.

    All in all, I really don't think Sadowsky's are all that. Put your cash down on one of the makers I listed above. You cannot lose with them, and Warrior is a VERY friendly company to deal with, as I landed an artist deal with them at the time.

    Choose wisely!
  4. 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
    The neck feel I cannot speak on...(I like it...but that just me).

    I personally have had nothing but a positive experiences dealing with them and I have been dealing with them for about 15 years.
    If you had a bad experience I would love to hear about it (no joke).

    I don't know the prices of Abush basses.
    I'll take your word on that.

    Is Steven making his necks?

    If you want we can continue this of this thread to keep the thread focused.
    Just to get back into the thread itself just not wowed and its the price I don't dig for what the product offers.
  5. I'm not liking this thread.
  6. 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
    Yes I'm saying in my opinion also I'm with you on the parts basses (some are hit or 'slight miss' but I never had one that was poor just not as good)

    So what is this reason that pro use them then.

    How far can your vary this formula ? (this is in general terms)

    Maple or Rosewood
    well made pickups and pre amp
    The same hardware that all the companies are using.

    If you can explain the mojo outside this formula then please explain.
  7. Anthbass


    Jul 24, 2006
    My (admittedly very limited) experience with a Sadowsky came in the form of an hour's worth of noodling on a 5-string p/j Metro in a music store. If I am recalling correctly, it had an ash body and maple fretboard. I'm not particularly familiar with the Fender sound, so no comment there. It was nice (chunky neck), not spectacular, and the B-string left me a bit cold. That said, I'd love to try other Sadowskys at Roger's shop. He comes across as both knowledgeable and passionate about his product.
  8. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    A great post from someone who sat with one and tried it.

    But, every one of those things you pointed out are subjective.
    Floppy B string? Well, maybe not subjective, but it was NAMM. On the 7+ I've owned none have been floppy. But It can be the case for sure.
    Set-up......Play my bass, play one of yours, play your buddies....all different......
    Tone controls...Roger explains that, but I kinda agree, I'd like to have a mid control sometimes too. I mostly run the bass flat, but every now and then it would be nice to have it.
    The Will Lee has a mid boost, but I don't think that pre is offered yet out of the sig bass.
    Looks??? Besides the body shape, you can get pretty much ANYTHING you would like.
    And IMO a Lull is exactly like a Sadowsky in that regard.

    Now, the MTD does have a pretty classy "non" Fender body shape.
    One of the better looking one's IMO.

    Warrior's neck thru (apples to donuts to a "Jazz" style bass like Lull or Sadowsky really) is pretty stinkin' comfy.
    The few I played have been OUTSTANDING in pretty much every aspect.
    I could see where one could just fall into one and play it forever.
    Their take on the MM/J (as opposed to the J/MM ala' Lakland) is sweet.
    But, it's a completely different type of bass, as is the MTD really.
    (I'd love to try their Adam Nitti 6....)

    The opposite of this question by the OP is you ever try a bass you thought would be horrible and it was polar opposite?
    I wanted to dislike Ritter in every way.
    Hate the way they look.....just me, but HATE that Carl Thompson type of look.
    Then I met Jens and he handed me one to try........still hate the way they look.....
  9. Quite different from a pure parts bass IMO. Pickups and preamp voiced to work with each other. Relatively small batch assembled... neck pockets hand cut, expert fretwork, etc.

    The main thing, just like MTD, Fodera, etc., the electronics and pickups are designed (for the most part) to work together, the bridge is proprietary, and the fit and finish and attention to detail is very good, neck profile is unique, body is downsided and in some cases routed to reduce weight, et.c, etc. Top notch finishes, unique nitro neck finish, ability to customize, etc.

    Again, they sound like Sadowsky basses... a quite modern take on a J Bass format (or P... again, the Modern is quite different).

    No issue in 'not liking them'. I greatly dislike Roscoe basses, for example, but find them very well made and great for what they are. I feel Fodera's are greatly overpriced for what they are, so I haven't bought one in many years. Doesn't mean they aren't 'worth it'... just not to me (plus, I like J basses!).

    No harm no foul. However, per the OP's request, there are no fit and finish or quality issues that I've ever seen with any Sadowsky (Metro or NYC) that I've experienced.

    Just like MTD, Fodera, Modulus, etc., many will love them and also greatly dislike them.
  10. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Stability, consistency, sound IN THE MIX, customer service. Not everybody can build, or work on their own tools!
    I wish there was a easy explanation, but we see it every day, same wood combo, even same electronics and than again it sounds different, different construction, different size, different manufacture process.....
    I had fender, warmoth and Sadowsky, all ash/maple, all same electronics, different sounds, go figure!
  11. Again, I played a couple of MTD's for years and moved to Sadowsky. Those basses are VERY different sounding and feeling, and it is not surprising that you would prefer one over the other. The Sadowsky pre is a literally perfect pre for me (I have a demo of that pre up on my youtube channel if you are interested)... just fatness with hardly any knob twisting, mid controls, etc.

    As many have said, PURE IMO.... better or worse to me is purely fit and finish. Tone is subjective, and yes, these basses have a unique tone different from any other (just like the MTD) that you either love or 'not so much':)
  12. 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

    Let me just say that I'm not talking about overpriced items in the market.

    Anything in this world is worth what someone is willing to pay for it...Pierod (that concept of that worth will vary from person to person and I'm not knocking anyone for what their own personal concept is of that worth)

    This thread was about Sadowsky no other companies or luither "on the market"

    Let stay on topic

    There are other companies with that basic formula that I have suited me more, You should know that since you worked on my own bass.
  13. A friend of mine owns 4-5 Sadowskys, I played one and was not entirely blown away yet they are very nice basses. I think the price factor has a lot to do with it with many people. On another note, the same friend has a new, very pricey Sadowsky bass head that, umm, sounds like dirt to say the least (sorry). Gimme a few used Fenders for the price of 1 Sadowsky and an old Peavey Mark IV any day.
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    And just to further prove the point - I'm currently infatuated with Roscoe, having picked up a Century 5 fretted and have a Century 5 fretless on order. I'm selling my Lull, and sold my Sadowskys awhile back. Did I do that because Lull/Sadowsky suck or aren't worth the money? No...I just finally realized that I had different tone goals that a "Fenderish" instrument (on steroids or not) won't fulfill. I can see why you wouldn't dig a Roscoe though - about as far as you can get from your AC/Sadowsky/Nordy. In my case I've gone yin(Rob Allen)/yang(Roscoe). But I don't have to cop anything like a J or P tone, and I've never been a J fan. There is a reason there are so many different brands...and frankly there are dozens of them that totally do not suck.

  15. +1 Different is not typically an indication of 'better or worse'.
  16. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    Sadowsky are great basses.
    His sound is based on his pre-amp.
    There is a reason Sadowsky does not do passive basses.
    Yes, they are inspired from a Fender.
    But are not a clone.
    Roger is great at marketing his product.
    He is a great assembler, but to me, not a true builder.
    His body, and necks are done by someone.
    Someone else does his pickups.
    And someone else does finish work.
    And oh yes, the hardware is by someone else.
    Then they a assembled at his shop.
    Would I love to have one, yes.
    Would I pay $4500.00-$5000.00 for one no.
    To me they are over-priced.
    To me they should be in the Lull, Lakland, price range.
    If you like them, buy them.
  17. maurilio

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

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    You said that for what you pay a sadowsky you can build 2-3 instrument. I read this as "overpriced" or too expensive...

    Anyway, someone here has to come up with bread for the family and not "spend" too much time here...

    Sorry, I'm out.
  18. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I've owned quite a few very "high end" basses.
    EVERY time I walked on stage, be it in front of 10 or 10,000+ people (yes, 10,000+) with a Sadowsky, it worked.
    I've owned MTD, Smith, Spector, Warwick etc......besides my old Jazz and one or two other basses (companies atcually) I've owned, I've never had to think twice if it was one of my Sadowsky's.
    The others, NEVER had that luck. Maybe 95% of the time yes.
    And it's that last 5% that IMO/IME is the hardest to capture and what can make or break you as a side man.
    If you're not "on" 100% of the time......

    Now, are there others I have owned/own that are on that level???
    Yes. Oh HELLS yes!!!!
    I had this old Smith, no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to sound bad. And trust me, I tried! LOL!!!
    My old Fender.....same way. Just "works".
    Dunno why. But it does.

    Now, are all ash/maple equal?????
  19. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Yes and No.

    After looking around here and hearing about all these botique basses, and discovering that I had a shop in my own back yard that sells them, I figured I'd go try them out. The shop is a little place that carries Sadowsky, Zon, Dingwall, etc.... nice stuff. So I went in completely open to the idea of playing some nice basses. I found that all of these brands make great gear. I thought the Dingwall fanned frets would be trouble but it was actually very comfortable to play. All of these basses sounded good, played good, and looked good.

    So yes I did like them, however I didn't find anything that made me regret buying my Carvin instead of a Sadowsky or any of the other "top end" brands. I'm not saying one is better than the other, and in fact I think they are quite similar overall. You will however have much better street/industry cred if you show up with a Sadowsky instead of a Carvin. If you're a session guy this may be something to consider since too many engineers "hear" with their eyes.

    If what you want is a Sadowsky, I say go for it and get what you really want. While it's true they are essentially an expensive Jazz Bass, even their imports seem to have a build quality that's much higher and more consistant than Fender. If Sadowsky does offer a 7 day return policy (I've never checked this) then you're good to go. I say DOOOO IIIT!

    Have fun and enjoy the new toy.
  20. 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
    For what Sadowsky bring to the table for me...(I'm not speaking for anyone else but me or any other bass manufacture for that matter).

    So YES I would rather build 2-3 other instruments as compared to Sadowsky.

    I used to use 2 Modulus Q5s as my main basses for years. I of course could build 2-3 parts basses for the price of 1 Q5 and I'm not saying that is overpriced or that any bass over 3K is, just the Sadowsky my firend...(Again just to me)

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