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I 62'ed my Sadowsky Will Lee!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PlayTheBass, Oct 9, 2019.


  1. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    So, this is probably going to seem a little crazy, but I thought I’d share the project… I removed all the electronics from my Sadowsky Will Lee and installed a ’62-style control assembly (from BestBassGear). It was a cosmetic choice on ’62 vs. traditional Jazz, as I ended up taking the tone control on the bridge pickup out of the circuit, and rewiring it with the neck pickup tone control for both pickups. So it looks like a ’62, but functions like a regular J (with one useless half of a concentric knob).

    In the process, I also swapped out the tone cap for a .047uf 200V Orange Drop. I was pleasantly surprised how useful the tonal range is for a passive control. I usually bounce between full on or full off for PTC, but I’m finding more of a useful range now. It’s early, so maybe it's a psychological effect now and I’ll have to see how I end up using it in the long run, but either way I’m digging it so far.

    While I had the bass apart, I decided to go for a nitro refin, so I sent the body and neck to MJT and asked for a seafoam green, on the minty side, no relic. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results, as the look, and the satin feel, are just perfect to me.

    Why did I do all this? I absolutely love this bass. It’s my go-to for so many uses, especially on two- and three-set gigs, as it’s so light and easy to play. It seems to have this thing where the notes just kind of jump out of it, if that makes sense. It feels almost effortless to play, which for an older guy like me can really make a difference on a long gig. When I bought it I thought the Will Lee circuit would give me the ultimate flexibility in tone to handle any gig, but I really never used it, and even the venerable Sadowsky pre I would leave flat. Finally one time the battery went dead and I just left the bass in passive mode for almost two years, during which time it never sounded anything but awesome. And I love the ’62 look, so I figured I’d take the plunge. I’m really happy I did!!

    As for the color, it was originally black pearl + tort, but in going ’62 I wanted to really go for an overall vintage look. Kudos to MJT for nailing that minty seafoam, and thank you to Lisa at Sadowsky for finding an “original” style gold Sadowsky decal for the headstock. :)

    Sadowsky Will Lee 6726 - Seafoam Green refin + 62 control plate (5).JPG Sadowsky Will Lee 6726 - Seafoam Green refin + 62 control plate (1).JPG Sadowsky Will Lee 6726 - Seafoam Green refin + 62 control plate (3).JPG
     
  2. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    I bought some ¼” chrome plugs and was originally planning on plugging the output jack on the control plate, and wiring the original socket jack in. But when I was testing the new controls I kept it simple and left the output to the control plate jack. So for now I plugged the socket on the side, even though all else being equal I kind of prefer side jacks. But in this case it might be nicer looking to not have the plug on the front, so I'm probably going to leave it as is.

    Sadowsky Will Lee 6726 - Seafoam Green refin + 62 control plate (6).JPG
     
    wyleeboxer and Spidey2112 like this.
  3. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi PlayTheBass :)

    I just told someone that a Squier makes a great modding platform. :laugh:

    I know that! My active basses haven' t seen a battery the last ten years!

    Not because I don' t like the active sound. Just because they sound so good in passive mode! :D

    Certainly looks better without a plug on the control panel. :thumbsup:

    Or you can add a series/ parallel switch on the controlplate and use the side jack. :hyper::hyper::hyper:


    thx for sharing!

    greetings

    Wise(b)ass
     
  4. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    lol You are wise indeed!
     
    lowdownthump and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. Laklandfan

    Laklandfan Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    That’s a cool story, especially the end part where you gave me the bass and I lived happily ever after.
     
    DJ Bebop, downunder, teh-slb and 10 others like this.
  6. I think there would be many Sadowsky Club members who would take umbrage with what you have done. But guess what? It's your Sadowsky and you should do to it whatever makes you happy with it, especially if the work you do to it is reversible. Even if it isn't, it's still your bass and if you want to hack off the horns and brush paint it with Benjamin Moore ceiling white, that's your prerogative too. Cheers!
     
    TonyP-, jmlee and PlayTheBass like this.
  7. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    :D Damn, I knew I should've read the WHOLE story first... it's just that the beginning was so cool!


    I sort of get the umbrage, but in the end all I've done is change electronics... body and neck are the same, logo is the same, pickups the same... and it is easily reversible. I'm confident calling it a Sadowsky still. (A '62 Sadowsky, maybe? Nah, that might upset even more Sadowsky Club members! :))

    You think Sadowsky purists would object to the refinish?
     
    Glenn Johnson and Spidey2112 like this.
  8. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    Not a purist, just know a good thing when I see it... looks great!

    Going to be hard to convince Pokey he didn't get shafted on the deal, though...

    p364183b_2x.
     
    TonyP-, Wisebass, LBS-bass and 2 others like this.
  9. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    lol Thank you, Spidey! It's hard to convince Pokey of anything sometimes... he complains about anything that isn't grass.
     
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have been checking out the Sadowsky site a lot lately. Will Lee models are currently running in the $5-$6K range. If you spend that much money on a bass, you can do whatever the hell you want with it!:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  11. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Damn, that's getting up there... glad I got mine when I did, though it was still at the bottom end of that scale I think. Oh dear, what have I done?!?! :p
     
    Wisebass and Dr. Cheese like this.
  12. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump

    Jul 17, 2004
    True. But if I spend that much on a bass it better be absolutely perfect needing no changes whatsoever.
     
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    My $1,500 basses better be on the money!:laugh:
     
    HD007, PlayTheBass and lowdownthump like this.
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    That's really cool. I'd rock that. One thing I don't like about Sadowskys is that they all seem to be active. This looks awesome
     
    PlayTheBass likes this.
  15. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Thank you, Smooth! I'm with ya.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Who cares if they do? It's your bass and they can take a flying leap. But I wouldn't call a refin "easily reversible." :D
     
  17. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Good point! But a modern poly finish isn't anything sacred to me, so how about "easily replaceable?" :) Easily reversible??
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  18. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I pretty much did the same thing to my Fender Elite, I bought a black oval football plate and a black plastic plug.. I like the inconspicuous look of the off chrome black!
    C8DBAA3A-71CF-4BB9-B61F-0FC59846BBC1.
     
    mikecd1, lowdownthump and PlayTheBass like this.
  19. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Ooh, yeah, great idea!! Looks good!
     
  20. Rogatien

    Rogatien

    Mar 18, 2019
    Canada
    It's gorgeous. I'd rock that in a split second.
     
    lowdownthump and PlayTheBass like this.

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