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I found my sound, Sadowsky outboard preamp

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by sb69coupe, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    I just played my first gig with a new (to me) Sadowsky outboard preamp. See http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192853 All I can say is "WOW!!!!". This is the sound I've been searching for. Tight lows, punchy mids, clean highs. I ran my stock passive Signature Jazz basses through the Sadowsky pre, then took the DI from the pre into a dbx compressor then straight to the board. Also used the line out of the Sadowsky into my little GK combo for stage sound.

    Everyone in the band commented on the quality of the sound. The drummer said that he's never been able to hear me as well as he did that night. Sound out front from the PA was clear and tight as well, even though we weren't using any subs, just two BR15 Yamaha mains.

    Thanks to SMASH for selling me this gem of a preamp. It's finally solved my neverending search for "my sound".
  2. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    I used to own a Sadowsky pre and wish I never sold it. As much as I like the Sans amp, the Sadowsky was a way better problem solver. There is not a passive Fender made that wouldn't benefit from this pre. The same can be said for those who like the output and noiselessness of EMG's, but find them too brittle. This pre differs from others I have tried, especially in the bottom end. Instead of adding this huge puffey low end, the Sadowsky tightens up the low end and at the same time adds a buttery/smoothness to it. The guy I sold it to 10 yrs ago still owns it and swears if his p-bass is plugged in, it's plugged into the Sadowsky! Now that I think about it, maybe I should aquire another. :D
  3. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Man Jerry, I could not agree more. I've been away from playing bass for about 15 years before I picked back up last year. Even "back in the day" I was searching from my sound, and couldn't find it. Once I picked back up last year I became a Fender Jazz convert, but that was primarily for the feel of the neck and the style of player I am. I was still searching for "my sound" even with my Geddy Lee Jazz and the other jazzes I bought/built. Once I got the Sadowsky pre it was a real epiphany.

    The growl is still there in the mids, but the highs are crisper and the lows are tighter. Not artificial sounding, still warm but very tight and focused. I am so in love with this thing, I cannot believe it took this long to find the magic key to the sound I was searching for. I'm totally at peace playing thru this pre and taking the DI out for FOH sound.

  4. Welcome to the club. I have been using one of Roger's preamps since 1998. I still use the old belt clip model. But I use it for the same reasons you do , tight, mudless, clear, warm and hearable sound.

  5. I use both. More accurately I sometimes use the sansamp, I always use the Sadowsky. They do different things. The Sansamp makes the sound different, adding effect, but the Sadowsky just makes it better.
  6. I just picked up my Sadowsky Outboard as well!!!!

    He, how much bass/treble does everyone dial in on this unit.

    like...... what "o'clock"

    I tend to boost teh bass just a smidgin, maybe 8'oclock tops. Just a tad. same w/ treble

    what about you guys?
  7. bump anyone? your settings?
  8. I run it flat.

    And it makes a hell of a difference.
  9. Yes, flat does bump everything a little if you playing w/ an all passive bass. I boost bass/treble just a tad. 8o'clock tops.

    quick question though, why would you have such an expensive unit to just run flat.

    running it flat, your basically just getting a little volume boost. Why not spend $60.00 and use something like a Boss GEB7 EQ pedal, set it flat, and boost the volume a little?? Get the active sound that way, and the boost?

    almost a waist of a Sadowsky Pre set completely flat..... ??
  10. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    I would think that just by being plugged into the Sadowsky Pre, your sound would be tightened up simply because you are running through the circuitry. Now, whether or not you choose to increase the bass response of the circuit and allow more bass or more treble, or add more gain to the signal is up to the individual.
  11. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Sorry, I just saw your post. Been away for a while. My settings are a bit more aggressive than yours, and I actually have to tweak them a little depending on which bass I'm playing. For my Geddy Lee Jazz I run the bass at around 1:00 and the treble about 12:00. For my Signature Jazzes I run both bass and treble at 12:00. Keep in mind that I'm using it as my feed to the PA for FOH sound and that may make a difference when comparing my settings to yours. If you're running inline and sending the output to your amp, the effect is likely much different.

  12. I built my own gain-only preamp for this, for about $10...it doesn't colour the sound at all. Just gives it that slightly-boosted (active sound), and it's dead quiet.
  13. It's voodoo. I've given up trying to defend it. It works. As I said before, I cut through the mix better at a lower volume. And the sound has a quality it does not have with my sansamp alone.


  14. enough said. - I hate sansamp!
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Because it sounds good :D

    Active and Passive modes on a sadowsky (which is the same issue more or less) sound quite different, its not just a change in levels. You can attribute this to the preamp buffering the passive elements of the circuit from the effects of the cabling and input impedence of the amp, or to a basic pre-shape built in to the circuit, or you can just plug it in and play all night with a smile on your face.

    There are many products out there in the bass world that sound great flat, and many of them have very high price tags. You're not paying for bass boost, you are paying for sound quality.

    I leave my Sad flat and active 90% of the time, I occasionally add no more than a 10% bass boost, and only if I really want to cut add 10-20% high boost.
  16. echo008

    echo008 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    I have had mine for about a year and I always use it with my passive P bass .... I just picked up a 78 Ric 4001 and the Sadowsky definitely shines with that as well... great unit.
    I normally run it around 1:00 on the treble and 10-11:00 on the bass side.

    - Tom
  17. Thats bassically how I run it, MORE of the 10% thing on bass though. I will boost 10% TOPS on Bass, and 5-10% TOPS on treble.

    I guess your right about the impededance/pickup load ect...ect...

    But for some reason I can't just leave it flat, I MUST boost at least 10%, not only so I feel that I didn't waste my money, but just for the tone. My amp only boost bass at 80Hz, not exactly the Lowest of the Lows... so I use the SAD for that.
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Another piece of the puzzle is that I run multiple basses, including a passive P-bass, so my amp already has its boosts all dialed in. You're right, if I only played the sad I'd be tempted to drop out the bass boost I have at the amp and do it at the bass instead. That bass control sounds FAT.
  19. I also used to own a Sadowsky outboard pre and wish I still had it. But I sold it to fund my Benavente pickups and pre so it went to a good cause :D

    Someday I'll get another one though - they do sound great!!!
  20. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I bought my Sadowsky pre in 02'...

    I just started using again cause I have been using my Brice 5 Jazz (just installed some humbucking J pups and don't want to spend money on an on-board)....well, my band mates really love my sound now...they say i'm not muddy and really cut through....

    I'm starting to really like my pedal again...makes my $150 bass sound like a million bucks - can't argue with that!!