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Help my Sadowsky M5-24 sound, well, less modern

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bthrem, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. bthrem

    bthrem

    Dec 4, 2005
    Cincinnati, OH
    I love the playability, weight and looks of my Sadowsky M5-24. However, I play largely rock music and find the tone of the stock Sadowsky electronics (has the VTC) a bit “smooth and scooped” for this genre of music. Any thoughts out there on how add some grindy, mid-rage girth and “dirty up” the bass’s tone a bit?
     
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Roger calls that model 'Modern' for a reason!!! If you like the playability and feel of the Modern, and want a more traditional tone, IMO, get a Vintage model with single coils.

    The pickup placement of the Moderns has such an overwhelming impact on tone that there isn't much you can do to vary it. Roger does offer Nordtrand Big Singles for that model, and that will move that bass 10% toward a different vibe, but IMO would not be worth it if you really were looking for a more traditional, less burpy mid present tone. However, that would be IMO the only way to keep the bass and at least change the tone a little bit toward the direction you describe.

    The preamp has very little to do with this, IMO.
     
  3. bthrem

    bthrem

    Dec 4, 2005
    Cincinnati, OH
    Yep, I know I'm likely using the bass for the wrong application, but I'm not ready to give up on her just yet :)
     
  4. My M5-24 has no shortage of mid-range. I find that I almost always chisel a little of it out whether I'm playing live or recording. If I'm playing in a pop/rock setting, I find that favoring the neck pickup works very well if you need a "Fender-bass" vibe on a particular tune.
     
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Per the post above, I will agree that the Modern is smooth, but is probably the least scooped bass on the planet. It is a midrange (primarily lower mid range) punch machine. I always describe it as a 'lot of space between the notes'... a sort of burpy 'bap bap bap' type tone.

    One thing you DO NOT want to do with the Sadowsky pre is boost those bass and treble controls. I typically set my SAdowsky pre flat, with MAYBE a 10% boost in the low end, and never any treble boost unless I'm playing out of an old school cab with no tweeter, or a very dark sounding head.

    If you crank that bass control to even half, IMO those basses become a boomy mess.
     
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
  7. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    I have a Metro M5-24. I had the same issue, and replaced the pickups with Nordstrand Big Splits (not big Singles). The difference is day and night. The tone with Big Splits is now very close to vintage if I want to. I usually solo neck pickup, boost bass a bit, treble flat, VTC %25 rolled of; not %100 P bass tone but in the ballpark.

    Sound samples available upon request.

    BTW, I purchased "Sadowsky-size" BSp from www.bestbassgear.com at no additional charge.
     
    Burwabit likes this.
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Good post and I should clarify mine, since I come from a J Bass world. I agree, the Modern when soloing the neck pickup (even with the stock Sadowsky soapbars, and I assume even more so with the Nordstrands) can do a pretty darn good imitation of a PBass.

    A J Bass... not so much:)
     
    phillipkregg and babaseen like this.
  9. bthrem

    bthrem

    Dec 4, 2005
    Cincinnati, OH
    PM sent for sound clips!
     
  10. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    E-mail sent!
     
  11. PM sent!
     
  12. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    Sent!
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    what strings are you using now? you'd be surprised.

    and what amp are you using? EQ of course can play a huge role. even the random stompbox can do wonders. for one group, i use a sansamp paradriver, and it takes my sadowsky into a grindy queens of the stone age wonderland.
     
  14. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I agree the neck pickup on the modern is pretty bad-ass for rock. Supercharged P type tone that cuts like a knife. If I add some fur with my Mesa Titan and play with a pick, its an awesome sound. Still definitely not for everything and ultimately I think I'd like this bass better with JJ pickups. So far I've kept the bass because it is a perfect one. Light weight, ultra even top to bottom, and probably the best B string I've ever heard. It kindof has everything I like about warwicks rolled up into a more trad overall package.

    I do wonder what the EMGs would sound like ...
     
  15. bthrem

    bthrem

    Dec 4, 2005
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'm going to try just playing with neck pickup only. If that doesn't get me where I want to be, I may take the plung on the Nordy Big Splits, I really like the sound samples sent to me!
     
  16. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    hmm....something doesn't add up.....for me anyway.

    I looked at your profile. With the Mesa amp, you should be able to get a great rock tone with that bass.

    Can you describe some tone attributes you're looking for more of?- Growl, bite, sit in the mix etc?

    By any chance, are you using the DBX that is listed in your profile?

    Sorry for the questions....trying to help.

    Strings- are you using stainless?
     
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hey Roger,

    If you aren't familiar with the Sadowsky Modern, its a unique voicing. With those big soapbars both positioned very close to the bridge, it has a very, well, modern tone profile. It reminds me a lot of Mark King's early Alembic tone (especially if you have a Modern with an Ebony board... it's 'mega ping'!)... lot's of super hi fi top end, and a low end response that is very, very tight. The bass generates no growl or grind whatsover to my ear. If you solo the neck pickup, it does a pretty good 'modern P Bass tone' that reminds me a lot of the Modulus Sweet Spot bass with the EMG soapbar.

    I hate the concept of getting my grind from an amp, and much prefer the more natural grind and growl coming from the bass itself and then being amplified relatively accurately.

    Anyway, it's that unusual tight to the bridge pickup placement (the Tommy Kennedy Fodera model thing) that results in a LOT of modern burp and sizzle. Of course, if you are distorting a tube amp or tube preamp, you can cover some of that up, but that's rarely successful IMO.

    Edit: Putting it in terms of your MTD, the inherent tone of the Sadowsky Modern with the stock Seymour soapbars is somewhat similar to the bridge pickup only MTD sound with the mids CRANKED at 250.
     
    babaseen likes this.
  18. bthrem

    bthrem

    Dec 4, 2005
    Cincinnati, OH
    Yes, my main rig is the Mesa M-Pulse 600 thru a Schroeder 210212L. No DBX in the rig, compressor turned off on the head. I typically use D'addarrio strings.

    My main 4-stringer is an '08 MIA P-bass, so I trade off between it and the Sadowsky when I perfom. Maybe when I said I find the bass "smooth and scooped", I should left out the scooped part as it typically refers to somewhere around the 400 Hz range. I sould more appropraitely say I find the bass lacking a certain "roundness and warmth" that I love about the P-bass. The Sadowsky does have excellent note defininition, they just feel "compressed" compared to the warm bloom of the P. In the sound samples sent to me, I heard more of this vide, particularly as the pattern went up the neck.
     
  19. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution

    Thanks KJ. I'm a bit familiar with one....owned one for a few months. I do appreciate and agree with your insight that it is inherently a "modern" tone.
     
  20. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Got it. Agreed .....it won't have that "roundness" and the amp won't make that much of a difference. I thought that maybe, if you were looking for some bite or growl, we might have been able to work on that via eq'ing.

    That compressed thing though, is tough to get away from with that bass. I have the same "issue" with my USA Lakland....whatever model has the bucker in the rear.

    I used to be frustrated with that bass ...trying to make it sound like something else. Finally, I really started enjoying it when I stopped trying to make it sound like a Fender or a Ray. :oops:
     
    Burwabit likes this.

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