I love my Sadowsky's but I'd like to try a new 5!!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bikeplate, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Most of you know that I am a huge! Sadowsky fan and advocate. I love them and always have a couple in my stable. They are what I gig with and record with. Lately I have been thinking about getting a new or used 5 string. I already have a Sadowsky JJ5, and Pensa JJ5. I'm definately keeping the Sad and selling the Pensa. I'd like to get something completely opposite of these two basses. Something non-Fender like. Something with a narrow string spacing, different shape, tone, etc. I've owned Spectors, MTD, Fodera(still have a Vic Wooten), Zon, F basses, Celinders, you name it! What are you guys liking that aren't of the Fender vibe?
    I want to stay away from this type because the Sadowsky's nail it, IMO. No Laklands, Celinders, F's, etc. They are all wonderful but I want to try something completely different.

    Take some time and let me know what you think. I'd appreciate hearing your comments and recommendations. Price isn't too much of an issue. I'm thinking around 2K. I don't want to spend too much more than that. Thanx

  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Inactive

    Jun 10, 2001
    I would go for a used Ken Smith, preferrably neckthrough with walnut core if you can find it. Neck-through because I find his bolt-on's lack something in the lows. I normally don't like neckthrough but Ken got it right. Also, they definitely don't have the Fender sound and have narrower spacing. Good luck!
  3. Yo Rob!


    Here's a thought: An Elrick Bolt-On 5 with humbuckers instead of the single coils. If you get that without at fancy top (the standard ash bodied ones look really classy! :D), with either a wenge neck & fingerboard or maple & bubinga (my favorite combination), you'd be in the right price range. Great B string, they play like a dream, and sound huge.

    Another really cool bass that is kinda non-Fender-y is a Roscoe. You'd have to go used, but I know where a REALLY nice one is right now...

  4. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Inactive

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mike Lull Artist
    Perhaps a Nordstrand or a Yancey?
  5. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    What about (i) MusicMan, or (ii) G&L L-2500? These are the 2 fretted fives I play, and neither one is similar to a Sadowsky/Fender Jazz bass in tone. My main bass overall is a '71 Jazz with an Aguilar pre, FYI.

    Both also have narrower string spacing. The G&L has some serious growl to it tone... I've compared it on a couple of occasions to an MTD and Roscoe and preferred the G&L, though th Roscoe also had a low-mid type growl which is superb in certain situations.

    And the MusicMan... well, it's a Stingray. I'm going to replace the pickup with a Basslines alnico version soon, hoping that it gets closer to the Stingray 4 sound that I love (the Ray 5's have ceramic pups, the Ray 4's have alnico pups).

  6. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Thanx so far. The Smith is the only one I had thought of before I posted. Great suggestions!
    An Elrick, Gard? Wow. Never would have thought of that one. I've never tried one. I've had 4 Roscoes. Nice basses. Maybe I'll try one again. Keep the suggestions coming. I truly appreciate the replies

  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    A Modulus Q5! I know a guy that's trying to trade his for a jazz type 5! ;) :D
  8. dragonbass


    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    I highly recommend checking out

    Elrick...( I own 2) Best basses I have played!


    Nordstrand....Carey makes some amazing basses...My next bass is going to be one(just as soon as I have the money)
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    as an Elrick player who's since gone Sadowsky, why not give one a try? my neck thru's somewhat funky Fodera vibe is a great companion to my Sad PJ. and, yes, Rob E. does a mean bolt-on Fender stylie 5. ;)

    and speaking of which, why not a Fodera? cant get anymore far removed than that. a nice Emperor to stay near a Fender-ish vibe, or an Imperial 5 for a real Fodera experience.
  10. These non-Fender 5 strings come to my mind, but some of these are over the $2K range:
    Status Graphite

    Have fun with your search.
  11. Look around for some alembics. I still have mine, because it really fills the gap, where my jazz lacks. You can get a used piece for a reasonable price (Excel, Epic, Orion). Even the new ones are in your price range.

  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    My MTD535 is pretty much the opposite of any of my Fenders and of course my beloved Sadowsky. But I seem to remember that you and I share an issue with 35" scale basses.

    So another suggestion is a Zon Custom. I wasn't real impressed with the first one that I tried out but there was a 6 string at BassNW for quite a while that I though just killed. I should have snagged that bass (stupid me :bawl:). It was a very beautiful claro walnut. Even my girlfriend commented on great that bass sounded.
  13. Daytona


    Apr 26, 2003
    How about a Dingwall. That 37" scale on the B is pretty cool, and those fanned frets are so easy. The workmanship is top notch, the woods are beautiful, and the price is around $2100. Here is a pic of my Afterburner II.
  14. Very nice bass, but well out of his target price range - and, BNW has that listed as an "E-volution" model, and it is most certainly a "Classic" single cut.
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    You guys are awesome as always. Lots of good ideas. I've had a couple Emperors. I thought they were way too heavy to play extensively! Beautiful basses, though. The Ken Smith thing sounds exciting along with the Elricks. I need to find a place to sample a couple for myself. I'm not a big Warwick fan but respect the brand. The Zon I had was a 4 string and I've had an Alembic Spoiler for 20 years. MTD's are great but I didn't care for the one I had. It was wenge/wenge for the neck and it was much too bright and clacky for my taste. I put new strings on it once, took it too a gig and it was offensive. I was running the treble rolled all the way back! Should I try again with a maple neck? Maple or rosewood board? I liked it, played awesome. The only big issue I had was the 35" scale. Funny because I had an old Tobias which was completely opposite-34" scale, 2 octave, and neck through. Go figure. Mike knows what he's doing but they had nothing in common. Hopefully I can figure what I'd like to do soon

    Thanx to everyone

  16. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I would say Smith. I've owned a couple and they are fantasic basses.

    You can probably pick up a used NT in the 2k area.

    You can get a jazz bass tone out of it but the bass in active mode sounds only like a Smith.

    you know how nothing sounds like a Wal ? Smith basses are in that same unique category.

  17. dragonbass


    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................

    Elricks come standard with a 35" scale. Options are either 34" or 36".

    Both of my Elricks (deluxe 4 bolt-on, Classic 4 bolt-on)have a 34" scale.
    I picked up both at great prices.

    Check some on-line retailers....(not to many stores seem to carry Elricks)

    Or since you live in upstate N.Y...

    Take a drive to visit Ken Smith.
  18. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
  19. Why don't you go take a look at Kinal's basses some of them are fenderish but you can get whatever you want(string spacing, pickups...)through his different models.
    I found in love with the SK5-B on the websiteKinal
    Moreover the price is quite cheap for custom handmade basses;)