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How many gig with a Sadowsky but hesitate to record with one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brianh, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    This might sound silly...but I just gigged an active Sadowsky 4 tonight and it pretty much killed. This came as a suprise though because I have not been digging it so much at home practicing alone and the times I've used it in the studio it failed miserably to a passive Fender....way to brittle and processed sounding. But anyways, it destroyed my Fender live tonight...

    Somewhat expected, but still remarkable enough to post...
  2. From what I've read, Sadowsky's perform best in a mix but don't always sound as good played alone.

    I know the ones I've played didn't blow me away when played alone.
  3. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    You may want to give Will Lee a call.
  4. joereda

    joereda Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    It's almost the opposite for me. Every session I do reinforces my Sadowsky love. If it's ever too bright, I go passive and roll back the VTC. However, there's nothing wrong with a good passive Fender.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I disagree. Everyone that has recorded any of my basses thought they sounded amazing. Sounded great to tape. And kill live, of course

  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I play a Sadowsky live, most of the time. It's the bass that does the best job of projecting how I want to sound onstage and out in the crowd. For studio projects, a lot of producers, artists and engineers ask me to bring a Sadowsky and leave everything else home. This isn't an unusual case, as Sadowskys are common staples in the best studios in LA, NYC, Nashville, and Atlanta where major-label recordings are done.

    As much of a Sadowsky enthusiast as I am, I know that the classic Sadowsky sound is not always the end-all, be-all universal solution, especially while recording. Sometimes a project really does call for a P-Bass with flatwound strings, so I'll play that.
  7. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I'm not saying it's been unacceptable the times I've recorded with an active Sadowsky (or my Suhr). I'm just saying it really almost always seems to be better to just use a simple passive bass. I have done some records with my active Suhr that I've been very happy with but whenever I do a session on a passive Fender, I say...ahh that's the sound!

    What are some classic recordings done with Sadowsky basses (or any basic active J....)? I know Will uses them a lot and always sounds great live, but I'm sure he uses a Fender a lot....I know tons of his classic tracks are done with Fenders...
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Could it be that the sound engineer just didn't know how to mix it correctly?
  9. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    yeah, i loved my RV4 recorded... new nickle rounds, 20% bass boost, DI to the board. Don't give up on it!
  10. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    There were a thread about this not long ago:
    Sadowsky recordings
  11. I've was recently employed by a studio to record three tracks for an upcoming artist which I did with a fender jazz bass. I then recorded another track with my newly acquired sadowsky and the engineer phoned me the next day asking me to re-record the original three with the sadowsky bass. He liked it that much and it did work really well with the type of music.

    I do understand that there may be situations where a fender jazz or a fender P would be more suited and I'd happily use those basses but I doubt that there are any situations where the sadowsky would be an inappropriate bass to use (as opposed to a Gibson mudbucker bass for instance)
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I gig with my NYC P/J and record with it. The only instrument of mine that gets nearly as much studio time is my upright.

    The 4 engineers I have worked with all were very enthusiastic about the Sadowsky.
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i think it depends on the app and sound in your head that you're hunting after. if you want a passive sounding jazz sound, an active humbucker loaded sadowsky aint necessarily the answer.

    i was at a marcus miller clinic a little while back, where he mentioned during the time when he was doing all those classic '80s chaka khan, roberta flack, luther vandross sessions, engineers would marvel and love how his preamp loaded basses sounded great in the mix. course, this is keeping in mind that those were in large the glossy '80s, where that hyped up bass sound was and kinda is still all the rage.

    yet with that this said, i've used my sadowsky in a variety of environs from rock to pop to a little electronica, and whole lotta r&b, and its been great. got lots of complements on the tone, and an equal amount of dirty looks for my clams. :D

    but hey, you dont dig the sadowsky sound. all good. i cant stand the sound of ken smiths. no one's gonna revoke our TB memberships.

    i think.
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    A Sadowsky with new strings is too bright IMO to record with and often even to gig with.

    Eating a couple of pounds of chicken wings or ribs prior to playing usually takes care of the problem for me though.;):D
  15. Never had a problem with any of my Sadowskys live or to tape. (remember tape!) I get requests to bring the Sadowskys from some guys I work with.
    Of course if a trad Fender sound is what they want- only that will do.
  16. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I find this really interesting considering the price of Sadowskys. They should by the end-all, be-all, trusty guitars they're seen as...at least by me, but I've never played one, only read the rave reviews by the folks here on TB.

    I guess it just depends on the particular sound that you're going for, or that the project calls for.
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i brought my other bass that's a fine boutique take on the jb, and my bandmates were like, "why do you sound so small today?" :D
  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    are foderas the end all? are MTDs? are ken smiths? are roscoes? are laklands? moduluses? mike lulls?

    like you said, all depends on what floats your yacht.
  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    but the way you feel afterwards just aint kosher! :D

    seriously, that's why i went to sad nickels which are superb outta the box, as well as 9 auditions, 65 rehearsals, and 37 gigs down the road.
  20. I think the standard Sadowsky tone is a little too aggressive for something like a small, quiet blues group... and certainly a bit much for playing solo IMHO. Particularly one like mine with the maple neck and Ash body. But you can tame it easily enough with the VTC, roll off the treble boost, even bypass the preamp if you want, and it'll do the job fine.

    If you want to cut through a thick rock band and still project a great tone, there's nothing better.

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