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Looking for opinion on Sadowsky pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TKing16, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. TKing16


    Jul 15, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Good morning,

    I’m taking a trip up to the Sadowsky shop today to have a setup done for my bass. It’s a NYC Vintage 5-21 with Ash/maple. Currently it has hum-cancelling pickups installed. I’m thinking about having the folks at Sadowsky install a set up single coils.

    Any thoughts or opinions on this?
    Has anyone tried both and have a preference? Any help/advice would be great!
    I love how it sounds right now but of course must wonder “what else can this thing do?”
  2. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Have fun with the folks at the shop. They are a GREAT crew!

    Roger has continued improving his hum cancelling pickups, trying to make them more like the single coils. They are very good. I find the hum cancelling pickups have a VERY smooth pizz tone that sits very well in the mix. But, my experience is that they tend to be a little less punctuated than single coils when slapping. And, they tend to be smoother vs the growl that the SC’s will produce.

    One down side to SC’s is that they can be problematic when panning if you are on a stage with old school lighting. Those are less and less as venues convert to LED’s; but, a big neon sign will really light you up with SC’s. Kind of depends what you can live with.

    The shop can give you either Nordstrand or Seymour Duncan single coils. The Nordys are extremely transparent beautiful pickups. The Duncan’s have way more growl and are more heavily voiced in the direction of an old school Jazz Bass. I personally prefer the Duncan’s.

    I’ve actually been using Delano JMVC’s in my Sadowsky basses, and am very pleased with those. They are humbucking; so avoid a lot of the lighting issues. And, they have a whole palette of useful tones. And, they yin yang really well with Roger’s outstanding preamp.

    The newer preamps have screw terminals for the pickup leads, which makes changing out pickups a lot simpler. If you don’t have that, you might consider asking Lisa to upgrade that pot for you.

    Good luck and have fun.
    murphy and Zoobiedood like this.
  3. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    Which duncans are you refering to?
    and are you talkin P or J or PJ array?
    thenx, p
  4. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    OP as referring to JJ; and those are the pickups I was referring to.

    Roger used SD for his single coil pickups for many years. They are a custom wind that produces a tone somewhere between the SJB1 and the SJB2. A year or two ago, they switched to Nordstrand; and those have been their stock single coils in recent builds. Except the players asked for the SD’ s; so, now the shop has both available, if you ask. I think the Nordstrand are still what goes in as default specification.
  5. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I switched my Sadowsky to single coils...must have been Duncans....loved them
  6. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Which Nords does sadowsky use? They have two models of humcancelling pickups. I've got thethey SVs and they sound pretty much like singles
  7. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I found out by accident that the Nordstrand NP4v is what the the Sadowsky P pickup is.
    Pbassmanca and MobileHolmes like this.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I did the same thing when I got my standard 5, going from HC to SC. The SC had more bite and mid punch compared to the HC set.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  9. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    I like Roger's humbucking J pickups... but even as great as they are, if I were making a move today, I'd definitely go with a pair of single-coils.

    Hum isn't that big of a deal and the upside is spectacular.
    Jefenator likes this.
  10. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    The HCs on my RV5 had a scoop and compression. They had deep lows and shiny highs. I replaced them with Duncan 70/74s that are much more old school. Great mid range. And the voicing of the Sadowsky preamp allows me to go hifi if I want too. I would have changed the HCs out sooner if I had known how much better the SCs are for my situation.
    Chris Breese likes this.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    How are the humcancelling pickups sounding these days?

    I haven't heard a set in about ten years, has the design changed since then?


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