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MTD 535 -vs- Sadowsky

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, May 6, 2003.


  1. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    MTD 535 -vs- Sadowsky

    - Any comparison in sound and quality?

    - Your preference?
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Other than quality I don't think they have anything in common. Different sound, different feel, different look, different vibe. The Sadowsky is IMO "the" uber Jazz, the MTD 535 is an MTD;)

    I have a 635 and love it... I have nothing else that sounds like it.
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I agree with Brad. In my case, however, I have a fretless 535 and a fretted Standard 5. IMO, the MTD is more of a piano wire tone, plenty punchy while glassy. The Sadowsky very punchy with a nice tight sound, and even with frets, not as glassy in the highs. Discaimer: the Sad has Barts.

    Quality is sixes. I think the Sadowsky neck is a little easier to get used to, but you can get around just fine on the MTD neck as well. Maybe a little more tonal options available on the MTD. I think Sadowsky's tend to be a little lighter. You can't go wrong either way.

    My preference, too soon to say.
     
  4. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Totally apples vs oranges here. Yeah, their both basses, but they feel and sound completely different. I own one of each, the sadowsky being a RJ5 and my 535 is not quite a standard wood combo (mahogany w/ maple neck, ebony fingerboard). Which would I pick? Right now I'd pick the Sadowsky, but that is because it works best in my band situation and it's newer. However, I can't ever see me selling my MTD.
     
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Hi!

    Two different animals. The MTD I owned was 35" scale, Bartolini's, heavier, more tonal variaties, oil finished, wide neck. The Sadowsky's I own are lighter, 34" scale, in house pickups, gloss finished, more comfortable neck. Sadowsky are "Fender vibe" all the way. Superior detail, fretwork, etc. Mike's basses are more "handmade" upon inspection. Crazier woods, newer ideas. I prefer Sadowsky but MTD's are quite nice. Depends on what music you play. MTD's are more versatile tone wise but Sadowsky nails the one tone we all know and love. Try 'em both and see for yourself

    Rob
     
  6. 1. Sound: no comparison [as above].
    2. Quality: both superb.
    3. My preference: Sadowsky
     
  7. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Sean Baumann, What is this wood combination like?
     
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    My myrtle/tulipwood 535 is the lightest bass I own (roughly 8.5 pounds). It also has perfect playability for me, and tone is amazing. I must say that I love having the active mid control... love that 250Hz growl. I also like the fact that it doesn't sound exactly like a Fender Jazz bass. If you're a Fender Jazz person, the Sadowsky would be a better bet.
     
  9. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    I own and love both. As others said, they are two different beasts. The Sadowsky is more "cleaner", both in construction, design and sound. The MTD is really well constructed also, but it feels more handmade, and has more character. For slapping, nothing can beat the 535 IMHO. Surprisingly, the B string sounds better on my Sadowsky, despite the 34" scale.

    Ari
     
  10. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Yeah, that surprised me a little as well, my 535 B (1 piece ash body, maple neck, ebony board) is great, the B on the Sadowsky is also very, very good (swamp ash body, maple cap, morado board), but not better. Impressive though because my standard for B's (Roscoe) and the MTD are 35" scales.
     
  11. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    I have been using Labella HRS stainless (tapered B), D'addario XL nickel (untapered B) and Sadowsky stainless (tapered B) on the 535. No matter which strings I use, the B lacks clarity compared to the one on my Sadowskys. Perhaps I am not a fan of 35" B after all. Anyway despite this, my 535 sounds awesome. I got it in a trade... but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

    Ari
     
  12. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    I have to add that my 535 has a wenge neck+fingerboard and a tulipwood/myrtle burl top. My Sadowsky has a maple neck+fingerboard and a swamp ash body. I remember reading on the Sadowsky site that maple fingerboards produce a tighter B string.

    Ari
     
  13. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Hey Ari, you'll soon be able to compare your JP B string with your Sadowsky and MTD :D

    I just glued the neck to the body yesterday so it's getting closer...

    BTW, I've tried both Ari's MTD and sadowsky and prefered the Sadowsky B too...

    Peace, JP
     
  14. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    And you didn't try the B of my fretted 24F which sounds even better to my ears.

    I can't wait to receive the new Plume... I'm sure it will play and sound great!

    Ari
     
  15. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Well, this is my second MTD and it definitely sounds different than my first. The first was maple burl top, tulipwood body, wenge neck/fingerboard. I liked that wood combo, but it was a little too aggressive for my band situation. My current MTD 535 is mahogany body w/ maple burl top, maple neck, ebony fingerboard. It sounds good, much more mellow and open. Not too much growl unless I mess with the pre-amp. I got this combo of woods based on a friends bass, but to me it sounds quite different from his. If I did it again, I probably would have gone with an Alder or Ash body because mine is not the "slap machine" I wish it was. It sounds great for slap for a couple of hours with new strings, but once the sizzle is gone, not much there. The B on my MTD is not as good as my Sadowsky. The B on my sadowsky is slapable! The MTD B is slightly less output than the rest of the strings and does not sustain quite as well. Of course, this could be a setup issue, I'm not a pro at setup and there are no dealers in my area (the buzz feiten tuning system keeps my from taking it to the local guys). If you are interested I can see about recording some sound clips. Oh, the song in my signature was recorded with this MTD....that may help.
     
  16. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    I'd be interested in hearing how this wood combo sounds like. I can record some soundclips of my 535 for comparison.

    Ari
     
  17. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I've been told, repeatedly, that the MTD sounds the best with Mike's strings. I still haven't had a chance to order a set, from Adrian Garcia, to confirm that but I will be doing that very soon.

    I love my 535(a VERY incredible bass) but I just love my Sadowsky more. The 34" scale really seems to make life easier for me and the EQ just seems a bit easier for me.
     
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI!

    I agree with Jerry J. 34" scale is for me. If fact, I will be putting my Celinder 5 on the market for the same reason. Sadowsky's B is great. Mtd also had a great B but in no way head and shoulders better than comparable maker's basses. BTW, I like MTD strings. They seem slicker to the touch than DR's which at times feel stickier to me.

    Both makers do great work. It's all up to the player to make a decision. I bet half of this forum would say one thing, the other half say another!! Try for yourself before you fork over the dough!!!!!!!


    Rob:D
     
  19. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I'll third that, the 34" scale fits me better. The MTD didn't go to any of my recent gigs.
     
  20. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I don't have any clips of my Sadowsky 24F yet. But here's a tune off my wedding band's demo that I recorded with the MTD. The wood combination on my 535 is myrtle burl top on tulip poplar with a wenge/wenge neck.
    Etta James tune