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My Afternoon w/ Sadowsky Audio Cabs...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Mar 8, 2006.


  1. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    so yesterday, after finishing work in billyburg, took a short trip to the sadowsky shop before dinner / rehearsal. i did have to wait a bit cause another customer was trying out the Sadowsky line and apparently buying the shop's NV610 cab, which will sorely be missed. still, i got to chill with a few of the guys in the shop, who as always are a nice change from uptight photogs, art directors, and overall nasty smug people.

    course, when the room was available, it was parh-tee-tyme.

    in the shop, roger has an 8 ohm 2x10 stacked atop the 4 ohm 4x10, capped by what i call the "Sadowsky Sledge Hammer" that we regularly know as the SA200. 2x10 is literally the identical, yet struggling to be free twin of the Berg HT210S. the 4x10 has a more traditional design w/ a bottom port and a tweeter dead center, setup on casters. but what was really surprising was how small and compact the 4x10 was. literally looked to be just a hair taller than my Epifani UL310!

    FYI, specs are found here

    paint it black

    call me superficial, but a cabs looks are important to me. i dont want something that screams I USE THIS. i just want something that looks subtle and understated. so, w/ the sadowsky's sleek black on black, how can you go wrong? accented by the script nameplate, its a study in minimalist swagger.

    and oddly enough, it was then i just noticed the "Sadowsky Audio" nameplate, and told roger thought it'd make a killer bumpersticker! i mean, who wouldnt want "Sadowsky" emblazoned on their car, amp's flightcase, bass guitar case, notebook, laptop, forehead, etc.?

    but i digress...

    a gentle, mule kicking

    roger mentioned he wanted something VERY efficient, pronounced, and punchy. given the bruises in my chest, i think he succeeded. no doubt both cabs are stout and pushy. the highs are quite sweet, and while not stratosphereically airy, more mellow and refined. the upper mids and mids are as smooth, and yet highly articulate. no detail was lost whether using both my reverse PJ-5 and MTS 635. from what i heard, the 4x10 cab does have plenty of low mids, and while not as grating as other cabs i've heard, its voiced for something more rounded and curvaceous. and yet, from what i remember, the cab took to EQ'ing quite willing. using my MTD and cranking the low mids, you'll get an effortlessly translated spinning back kick to the midsection. switching to my PJ-5, rolling back to the P pickup and upping the bass knob gave me a sweet vintage vibe.

    and, from my fading memory, compared to Berg's own HT210S, the Sad 210 is obviously not nearly as neutral, and very voiced vs. the HT's more easier sound. yet, the tweeters seem nicer on the HT. still, while Jim makes a killer 210, i was more partial to the voicing of the Sad cab, cause something that small should be freaky punchie to be heard.

    projection room

    also, taking a few steps back from my usual "kicking the tires in the store" position when trying cabs, i found the Sad cabs project like a mofo. from across the demo room at about 10 ft., i could feel that punch wallop me in the chest.

    regardless of the SA200s 200 watts, these cabs MORE than give up the sonic onslaught. "efficient" is just a nicer way of saying, "face rocking loud". cranking the SA200, i think i shook something in my medulla. the SA200/cab setup will easily handle all hard rock band gigs, no doubt. for metal, a pair of the 4x10's w/ a QSC1602 power amp would be downright devestating.

    we dont need no stinkin' neo!

    and while, i didnt get a chance to lift either cab since they were shimmed next to the usual demo amps, roger assured me that the 210 and 410 were 50 lbs. and about 80 some lbs. respectively. the Sad 210 has the same handles as the Berg HT, while the 410 has the usual deeply inset handles we know and love.

    ...but not all bread and roses...

    k, admittedly, i do have some hangups, which roger knows all too well, coming from me.

    while i already know the answer, why not neo? roger works in NYC/bK. i live in NJ/NYC, take NJ transit buses, take the subway, bus, taxi, water taxi, ferry, and whatever else will let me on board w/ my gear. a neo cab in the city is almost the only way to go these days. i understand that roger builds for the big boys, but us small fries schlubbing thru the city's underworld could use something lighter and easier for our 3 story walkups.

    bottom line

    truth be told, i've long avoided the cabs and even the sadowsky amp. why? the hype. the crazy hype that i put into my head! i've owned 5 and currently have 3 sadowsky basses, so the thought of the amp line being a disappointment would have been awful for me.

    thankfully, roger not only knows basses, but he knows amplification as well! while thru the SA200, the tones were wallet quivering, i'm hoping to find some time to head back to the shop w/ my Thunderfunk, Eden, and maybe even my iAMP-800 head to really hear what else it can do.

    to be honest, i think the demo room at the shop is a touch boomy and could use some acoustical baffling, but that's my geek side talking. i'm gonna try and scrounge up some funds to try the 4x10 cab on eval in the real world.

    but its safe to say that my wish has finally been fulfilled, and the Sadowsky sound is finally here! and yes, my wallet and i are all too excited. an all sadowsky stack at my next summer outdoor gig? oh yes... ohhhh yes.

    stay tuned for the addendum w/ the other amps... whenever that maybe. ;)
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Killer review.

    -Mike
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Glad you got a chance to hear them, joker! It sounds like you are hearing them a little differently than I am, but it sounds like we both like them. :cool:

    Again, great review, thanks!

    More to come soon! :)
     
  4. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Awesome, Sadowsky Rocks BIG time. :bassist:
     
  5. +1 Nice cabs from my experience with them at the GTG. I heard them as a little thin in the low end with some of the SS heads we tried them with.. sounded like quite a high roll-off, but I think it was Tom who told me Roger was trying to tune them for optimal performance with his tube head... i.e., to get a more 'sealed' cab sort of sound from a ported cab. That's what my ears where hearing. They sounded fabulous with that Sadowsky tube head, and I assume that was the head that Joker used in his test.

    I liked the thin profile also, which I assume is part of the relatively high low end roll-off.

    I loved the mid punch and treble, and found it very similar to the Epi, which I like a lot (I think someone said the tweeter is the same model used in the EpiUL's).

    I would think these cabs would be fantastic for someone with an all tube head who wanted a little more modern sound than a traditional tube amp cab like a sealed 6x10 or 8x10.

    For those of us with SS heads, I feel there are better options out there

    Edit: per this comment....'2x10 is literally the identical, yet struggling to be free twin of the Berg HT210S', those cabs sound VERY different when A/B'd... the Sadowsky 210 has much more treble and upper mid clarity than the Berg... the Berg has more bottom and low mid punch, and that Berg smooth treble response.
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    For the record, the SA210 uses a different tweeter, crossover, and drivers than those used in the HT210S. Although, the very first "Sadowsky" 2x10's were just rebadged HT210S's.

    Also, on the low end with SS amps thing, these drivers were designed with the excursion from tube amps in mind, so when played through most ss heads/amps, they won't move as much as other more 'conventional' drivers. But, add in a bit of bass boost, and I thought they sounded great (and stayed very tight). But I agree with Ken, with the EQ set flat, the UL-410 had a lot more lows than the SA410 through a solid state head (I think we used both the Thunderfunk and the iAMP 800).

    Tom.
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    do tell...

    and again, i'm NOT a fan of that demo room. makes everything much boomier than it should be.

    again, FYI, most of my time was spent w/ the 4x10, so my comments reflect that unless noted.
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Jae, did you have the SA200 set to "clean" or "fat?"

    Tom.
     
  9. I wonder how the Sadowsky cab will sound through my SVT Classic!!!
     
  10. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    This has been a good rundown on some of the higher end cabs that most people don't get a chance to hear everyday.
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I just ask because most of what you are describing is closer to how I hear the cabs in the fat setting.
     
  12. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    [hijack]

    The Joker's new avatar is flippin' sweet.

    [/hijack]
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    well, maybe Tom should include a few thoughts from his Borg GTG, cause lots of great info on the cabs there, too.
     
  14. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hmm...

    i did like the fat setting more. seemed to complement the cabs even more.
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    lol,

    i try. ;)
     
  16. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio

    Just another testament to different strokes! I really like the Sadowsky head much better on the clean setting!
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Here is a link to the GTG thread. :)
     
  18. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey tom,

    can you link us directly to the page that concerns the sad cabs? the Borg GTG thread is too mega!
     
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Sure, Page 14 is a good place to start.

    Also, cheezewiz has a thread started regarding his SA410, which he drives with an iAMP 800 (which is a great combination, IME/IMHO).

    Tom.