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I'm new here and I need help! Between a Fender CS, a Sadowsky, and a Lakland.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alex000, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Alex000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Endorsing Artist (I back..): Sadowsky, Fender, Aguilar Amplification.
    I'm new to talk bass but I come here I read a whole lot! I enjoy it. I recently signed up because I wanted to get in on the action. If anyone could please help, I would be forever grateful.

    So here's my dilemma. I'm getting into session work out here where I live. I've been playing bass for over 8 years, touring for 3 years, and touring with a national band for the last year. I'm at the point now where I want to step it up a notch or two. I own two basses: a Fender American Vintage RI '62 Precision bass and a 2007 Rickenbacker 4003. The Fender is great, but the quality of it's awful. It sounds great, but I feel the neck is holding me back from playing risky stuff. The paint chipped on the back near the heel of the neck. Tuners = instant arthritis. But in the end it sounds great. But it's not a "player," nor is the build quality great, which are two things I need in the studio as a session dude. The rick sounds half as good as it looks. The rick plays well, tension is a little tough, sustain is great, quality of it is great, but in the end it doesn't sound great in my opinion. I feel the same way about ernie balls. I own two basses that are each other's opposites!

    So I've been doing a lot of reading and searching. I need a bass of superb quality, craftmanship, playability, but in the end...sounds amazing! I need accuracy when it comes to fretwork, and anything else you could imagine (neck pocket, nut, etc). I feel like I'm at the point where I deserve something a little better than a Fender off a conveyor belt. This is what I've been looking at..

    a Sadowsky Metro RV4
    a Fender CS 1970 Jazz or a Fender CS 1964 Jazz
    a Lakland Joe Osborn 4 String

    I'm looking for a badass Jazz bass because it can do a little more than a p bass in my opinion. My main playing style is finger style, I do play with a pick a little bit, and I'm all about slap, as well as other techniques, but it's kinda hard to learn on a Fender P Bass. So this will push me in the right direction. I'll be doing studio work, as well as playing live while I'm off tour. Styles would be Jazz, R&B/Hip-Hop, Blues, Soul, Country, and of course Rock (which is what I doing while on the road).

    I'm not able to play really any of these except the Fender CS 64. No one around here carries the other two I'm totally scatter-brained. But I think I painted a pretty ok picture. My price range is from 1500-2500. I can get a Fender substantial cheaper. I just wonder if it's worth the extra 700 or so bucks to get a Sadowsky. Lakland USA models are pretty expensive, hopefully I can talk someone down a bit. Money plays a factor.

    I hope I was able to clarify myself pretty well! and I hope someone can help haha.

  2. dezspet


    Mar 21, 2007
    Great dilemma! I had something similar a month ago and I ended up with a 62 RI Jazz. You are right, the quality is awfull, but the sound (and the look) ...
    I think you will not make any mistake if you chose any of the three types. However, soundwise the Sadowsky is a bit different in my opinion: it's the most modern sound out of the three, in passive mode it does not shine, but if you like that modern Jazz sound it's probably the best choice for you. Lakland has two options: Joe Osborn signature is a great alternative of Fender, it has the baddest vintage Jazz sound, with the best built quality possible. And it's passive, just like Darryl Jones sig., which is a more modern sound again (still passive), with great versatility. Playability of all the three mentioned (Laklands and Sadowsky) are a dream!
    And at the end of the day, you can buy the CS. It's a great sound, great look, definitely better playability than you 62RI P, but as far as I learned quality is not coherent, so make sure, you try and play the one you buy.
    I hope this helped. As always, the best case is when you make it possible for yourself to travel somewhere and play all of them. It's definitely worth it when you want to spend that much!
  3. Hey Alex, welcome to talkbass.
    You clarified yourself just fine and you're in the right place for sure.

    I'm selling my Sadowsky RV4 Metro in the classifieds here on TB but before you go over there to check it out, I'll tell you IMHO why you ought buy a Sadowsky.

    Sadowsky's feel awesome in your hands. They're really well made and really comfortable. The fret dressing and the fretboard "feel" is way, way better than my MIA Fender Jazz. There's no comparison there and MIA Jazz is a bad mother that can hold its own. Overall, the Sadowsky is just smooth to the touch. So easy to play.

    The setup, fit and finish of Sadowskys are second to none. Just do a search here and you'll find everyone saying the same about their Sadowsky basses. Top notch in every aspect.

    They record so well. Really fat and deep in the mix. You WILL BE HEARD. The electronics are excellent. The pre amp and the pickups are SWEEEET!!

    Sadowskys are expensive for a reason. The best available wood and parts built by the best staff. Clearly, Roger employs some of the best and it shows. They care for and assemble these basses so well. You really get what you pay for.

    In reference to your needs in your post, a Sadowsky can cover all your needs really, really well.
    Most importantly, you'll walk in to any session with total confidence that you're gonna get great tone from you bass.

    I hope I helped a little bit.
  4. Without a doubt, a Sadowsky Metro would fit the bill perfectly. Just to echo the above comments, Sadowsky basses cut through. With a VTC installed, you could also cop a real nice passive tone. IMO, VTC is a must. More than half the time I play out, I typically cut some of the highs from the VTC, boost the lows a bit and there you have it.

    Lakland basses are great (I've owned a DJ and a 55-02) but their Jazz style basses are way different from the Sadowsky sound. Lakland's cop awesome vintage tones.

    What it comes down to is if you want a modern or vintage sounding bass. Either way, you can't go wrong.

    Unless you get a stock American Fender ;)
  5. Alex000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Endorsing Artist (I back..): Sadowsky, Fender, Aguilar Amplification.

    I'll have to check that out! I really really love the RV4 in the sonic blue finish. It's amazing. And I pray it sounds as good as it looks! I'm heading to florida next month, so I'll probably swing by bass central and play a few. I just need a bass that's a "player" as well as a work of art. My only worry is the temptation to bring it on tour and it being dinged up somehow, which will definitely happen. I might just use it for flyout shows and in the studio, and in live situations where the singer isn't twerling around his microphone.
  6. Alex000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Endorsing Artist (I back..): Sadowsky, Fender, Aguilar Amplification.
    I think that if I want a Fender and 100% vintage tone I need to invest in a vintage fender jazz or p. probably a jazz thought. A late 70's one. And that's a whole different ballgame compared to the sadowsky. I think going the modern round would give me more of a "utility" bass, rather than a bass that nails one particular tone. And from what I read, the sadowsky probably does a few things REALLY well. I think the sadowsky plus an actually 70's fender jazz would be two great basses to aquire for studio work. The P bass I have no won't hurt, nor will a nice fretless and a nice acoustic bass. But those will be compiled when it's a little more practical (I'll spend more of my time using a freted electric instrument at the moment).
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Used to own a Lakland USA JO. One of my pals plays out with a '64 Jazz and told me my JO was the closest he had heard a recent built bass compare with his '64. It was REAL close, he said. Great playing and sounding bass. If you want a vintage tone from a newer bass, try a USA JO.
  8. Of the 3, although they are a bit overpriced, Sadowsky.

    Bass central has a used Lull which IMHO is a right up your alley also. Those have great tone and the "player feel" you want for cheaper than Sadowsky. Plus they are generally a good light weight compared to other jazzes.

    Modulus vintage jazzes are great. They feel very solid and have good elecronics.
  9. Also, check out NASH basses. Bill makes killer vintage Fender-type basses (all passive electronics) that really nail the vintage Fender vibe/tone, etc. on par with the Fender's Custom shop but much more affordable. I have a NASH '57 P bass and it's unreal how baddass it is.
    Check em out!
  10. Alex000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Endorsing Artist (I back..): Sadowsky, Fender, Aguilar Amplification.
    Thanks for all your help, dudes! Yeah I'm way unsure. I'm unsure, squared. I'm trying to ride this out as long as possible so that I make the right decision, not based on impulse! Haha...don't need that. I was thinking about selling my Ric 4003 in amber fireglo. I can't have everything, so I may as well have something that I'll wanna play because it sounds great. Sadly I can probably sell the 4003 for more than I paid for it back in september. That would almost fund an RV4, or more than pay for a Fender CS. Or pay for a Lakland. From what I gather here, Laklands are fenders, but made way better and have a vintage tone comparable to an old school 60's fender. Sadowskys are similar to fenders, but are in their own league as far as sounds because they're just different. From what I read, what they do, they do amazing. I can only do 16th notes consistantly up to 142bpms, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact I'm playing on a 62 reissue P. The neck isn't exactly fast, and the strings just don't "give" (they only wanna take!)
  11. +1 for Nash basses! They look great!

    also if you want some variety for sound clips go to basstasters.com
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    You can't go wrong with any one of those three. IMHO, it is not
    possible for ANYONE to give you useful advice on which to buy,
    because the sound, look and feel of each individual instrument
    AND your personal tastes are unknowable to us.

    That said, my advice is to go to a couple big bass shops that have
    candidates you'd like to consider. Play them all a lot through the
    same rig. Buy one with an OK for a return in a few days/weeks.

    I own a great Sadowsky 4 P/J, a lakland skyline deluxe 5, and a
    couple of vintage P basses. I used to gig the '55 (several years)
    and then switched to fretless '71 P, and then fretted 71 P.

    I still love those instruments, but the Sadowsky and Lakland are better
    FOR ME than a good fender for a wider range of styles, different
    playing techniques, and the demands of the studio, IMHO. :bassist:

    Sad truth: You need a couple of good basses. :bag:

    Then again, there is Valenti...make that three!
  13. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Those are all great basses. If you really want not only an upgrade in fretwork and tone, but also a major ergonomic improvement (IMHO of course), look at an Elrick New Jazz Standard. The shape is jazz, but the body contouring, light weight/balance are amazing (routinely around 7lbs). 35" is his default, but you can order a 34". Just my .02
  14. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    This is what it really comes down to. If you are looking for a vintage Jazz bass sound, then I'd go with a Lakland JO, or possibly a custom shop Fender. If you want a more modern and flexible tone, then look to Sadowsky, which typically come with humcancelling pickups and that wonderful preamp. The HC pickups don't sound like the classic single coils -- that's either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes vintage or modern. On the one hand, they can't nail that vintage single coil tone. OTOH, they sound great in their own right, cut through the mix really well, and provide a lot of tonal range. The preamp provides a fair amount of versatility as well.

    Personally, I like the sound of single coils, but I really love the Sadowsky build/feel and the preamp, so I went with a Sadowsky with the optional single coils. For me, it gives me the best of both worlds -- I love the growl of the single coils in passive mode, but it's also nice to engage the preamp (which is pretty neutral when it's flat) and dial in a little bass boost from time to time. Later I added a NYC PJ, which is an amazing and versatile bass but doesn't give a classic Jazz tone due to the pickup configuration. Together though they cover a LOT of sonic territory.
  15. Alex, I think everyone's posts are excellent advice for you and anyone in your situation. you can't go wrong with any of these fine basses but in hte end it's up to your ears and what you personally like.

    I just want to add, that I was in your exact same shoes just two years ago....a nice problem to have (which $2000 bass should I buy?). haha. :)

    So, yeah, I played the Laklands, Celinders, Fender Custom Shops (that I could find), Sadowskys and a few Real Fender 1960s era Jazz Basses at the GC in Hollywood and some mom and pop shops around Los Angeles. All of the basses I played were killer but the Sadowsky's versatility of tones and fit and finish is what did it for me.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide on.
  16. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    For session work I say a Sadowsky w VTC would do the job.
  17. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    All good choices. The Sadowsky wont really cop a vintage tone like the other two. The preamp has a unique voice to it. Sadowsky's sound amazing in a band setting and to tape. Isnt that what we really want as players? Sit in the mix great, strong tight bottom, etc. The Lakland will emulate a vintage Fender almost perfectly but without messy frets, crappy tuners, etc. The Fender is a Fender. If you find a nice one, grab it.

    Im a Sadowsky artist and of course you know what I would recommend. I have 5 of them including a fretless and a 5 string

  18. Alex000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Endorsing Artist (I back..): Sadowsky, Fender, Aguilar Amplification.
    You guys have all been awesome! I think I may get a 4 string Sadowsky rv4 in the sonic blue and a lakland skyland 5 stringer. I wanna start doing hip-hop/r&b stuff and a 5 string is a must! In my opinion. But yeah, Fender will always be there. I feel more comfortable buying a new bass verses one from the 70's right now. But I see myself aquiring a good handful of basses in the next 6 months.
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Good luck. The Skylines are quite nice for the money. Probobly the best bass for the money out there. Used metros go for about $1500 in a 4 string. You can also find used NYC's in the low $2k range. Have fun.

  20. Alex,

    Coming to TB and asking this question is like going to Jerusalem and asking if you should worship Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed. There will be strong opinions and arguments for each and no doubt it has the potential to develop into one tsunami of a sh-t storm.

    For the killer J-bass I worship Sadowsky.
    Others will concur and others will not. The latter are wrong. ;)

    Good luck on your quest!

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 7, 2021

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