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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkycarnivore, Jun 17, 2002.
And it works!
Sorry Funky... You're going to have to send one of those basses to me.
You're really going to skew the labs results now, Mr Gaw
Looks good, fc.
Beauty, man! I love it! (so you want to send me the Sadowsky?)
I'm glad the suspected FMT issues turned out negative.
To tell you the truth, Funky, I'm looking for a direct comparison of these two exact types of basses. Do you think you can do a little writeup or something? I think a few others may be interested as well.
Since you are on a 5 string Jazz kick, perhaps you are ready to part with the Lull P bass? It would look "right" in my collection of Lull basses!
Yo Chuck, it went away already. I sent it to BassNW when I got my Fodera and they sold it in the first week that they had it.
ooh, GAS up the wazoo!! ouch!
how the FMT compare to the sadowsky
yeah, how about that comparison write-up on the two babes?
I don't think I'll be allowed to buy a Sadowsky for awhile. I was eyeballing those FMTs. $1,700-ish?
Just curious, how much did you spend?
nevermind. I shouldn't say how much you got it for. Let's just say he got it cheap enough to sell at a profit if he was so inclined (which is rare).
I got it from BassNW's clearance sale at less than half the price of my Sadowsky (which cost $2499). It came with a brown Tolex case and all the accessories--leather strap, cable, straplocks, etc. I wasn't even planning on buying it; I assumed that somebody would have bought it as soon as they opened on Monday morning, but when it was still there on Tuesday, I gave in and ordered it--my third BassNW purchase in the last six weeks!
I figured I'd leave that for someone else too. That's pretty wild that it was still there on Tuesday.
I'm just curious. I've never played a bass that had binding on the fretboard. How do you FMT owners feel that the binding affects the bass? Would you rather not have it?
The binding doesn't bother me too much--I can't really feel the difference. It'd be more of a pain if it needed a refret though.
Those two basses are remarkabley similar. In tone, I am sure the differences are clear.
You should breed them. You'd have a Fendowsky.
I tried your new FMT out a couple of weeks ago. You definitely scored one fine instrument. Very tight and focused across all strings and settings. And, it's a looker ta boot.
Have fun and best wishes,
Preliminary thoughts (keeping in mind that I've only had the FMT for a day, and the Sadowsky for about three weeks):
The FMT is the value winner. Both of these basses are examples of "very good Jazz Basses", which is I think what both companies were going for. The Sadowsky is definitely the nicer bass, with a better flame top, a flamed (!) fretboard, and higher quality overall, but it cost as much as two FMTs, so that's to be expected, right? The FMT is beautiful in its own right, especially with the 70s style bound neck and block inlays--very nice move on Fender's part (it also has gold polepieces).
Plugged in, the Sadowsky's tone is "there". I don't know how else to describe it, but it's that J tone that I hear in my head and keep my fingers crossed for every time I try out a Jazz Bass. With the EQ flat (not boosted at all), it has a nice, PHAT bottom end that stays tight. The midrange response is immediate, and the highs are bright but not harsh. I think the beauty in the world-famous preamp design is that it doesn't mess with the overall character of the tone. Boosting the bass gives you more bass, and boosting the treble gives you more treble. That's how EQ is SUPPOSED to work, as far as I am concerned.
The negative to the Sadowsky, for me, is the fact that the pickups are single coils. However, I know that they are now available with humbuckers, and I am also aware that there is just something about single coils that imparts a Fender character to the tone. I guess I just don't like hum. To be fair, the Sadowsky is well-shielded, so the hum isn't super loud, but it's easy to hear the difference when both pickups are blended 50/50 and any other blended percentage (PS--the blend control also works "backwards" from what I'm used to).
The FMT also sounds good, dare I say great, with all controls set at centre. One thing to note is that the preamp has a mid control, unlike the Sadowsky, so if you're a knob tweaker, you might feel more comfortable with the Fender. The pickups on this one sound different; a little bit thicker and more aggressive, and there is a slightly unpleasant midrange "snarl" (it might be my amp) on the bridge pickup. Also, I haven't used this one live, and I suspect that that frequency might be useful if you need to cut through a real thick mix.
In terms of playability and user-friendliness, it is a matter of what sort of bass you're used to. One thing that I really appreciate about the Sadowsky is the presence of a passive tone control. The F Bass has this, and my Fodera does too. This feature is great for people who are used to the typical volume/volume/tone or volume/blend/tone arrangement. I like to get a P-Bass/Jamerson kind of sound by having the neck pickup on full and rolling tone all the way off (Disclaimer: author does not claim that a Jazz can sound like a Precision). I guess the same results can be had by cutting the treble on a three band EQ, but there's still something just a little bit different. The 18 volt, three band-EQ preamp on the FMT would likely appeal to people who are used to those types of systems.
I just realised I've been writing for awhile, so I'll conclude here. At this point, I would say that the FMT is roughly 90% of the Sadowsky, and if three-band EQs with boost/cut on each band are your bag, that percentage will be higher. The Sadowsky is still worth the money to me, because it is so beautiful, and because the guy who made it is a legend in bassdom, but the Fender FMT 5 is also a good bass, and I'd be less afraid of taking it out on a "real" gig. Remember that my FMT was...uhh...a little less than most people will pay for theirs new, so in my opinion, the full Musicians Friend price of $1679 is a little high--I spotted Brad's F Bass on eBay for $1600--and the Sadowsky was just a hair over two G's, but I don't think I'd feel ripped off if I paid full price for the FMT; just saying that I wouldn't, cause I don't have a problem with buying stuff used.
Sorry this is a little disorganised. I'm mostly just shooting from the hip at the moment.