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Need help with buying a new bass. Sadowsky / Roscoe ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Squice, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Finally this month i have the opportunity to buy a new bass.
    I have been playing bass for 15 years, and my cash flow doesn´t alow my to go through 5 basses per/year like some of you cats.

    What i´m looking for is a bass that i can use in most situations. I know that there is no, one that does it all bass. But i do need versatility, The bass is going to be used for both live/studio work.

    I need to be able to get both clear/little agressive tone and also be able to go a little on the smooth side to when i want to. I need a bass that responds well tonally to whether i´m playing near the bridge or neck.

    The band i´m playing with now, i´m going for an oldskool sound, using a p-bass copy with flatwounds. So it wouldn´t be bad if i could get pretty close to that sound with my new bass.

    I live in Iceland so my options are somewhat limited.
    I´ve come down to two brands. Sadowsky or Roscoe.
    No musicstores in Iceland have had those basses. So my options
    are really just based on reviews. I´ve been longing for a sadowsky for 12 years now. So it sure is að dream come true.

    One music store here is getting 4 Sadowsky metro´s. 2 of them are 5 strings. so i´m looking at one of them.
    one is RV5 - Alder/rosewood and MV5 - Ash/maple.
    What is the tonal difference in those 2? witch one do you think would better suit me and what i´m looking for?

    other thing. Do you think that it would be wiser to buy a new metro or buy a use Nyc? just thinking about sound/playability, metro´s have all what i need lookwise.

    Other thing i´m really interested in are the Rosco´s. just based on reviews. and i just think they look fantastic. but haven´t heard sounclips from one. So could any of you tell me the difference between The roscoe and Sadowsky? I now they are complete different animals. If any of you now any songs or soundclip from sadowsky and roscoe basses that i´m could listen to and compare, would be best if they where just direct/flat. with no eq.

    This roscoe is pretty close to what i´m looking at

    So it´s down to spending about 2450$ and the options are:
    New metro RV5 or MV5
    Used Sadowsky nyc
    used roscoe.

    The sadowsky metro´s i can try before buy. but the roscoe not.

    with best regards.
  2. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Sounds just like you just described Sadowsky... to a T.

    I've only played two Sadowsky's before. A USA 4 string with Alder body and Maple fingerboard. And this one:)
    My Metro MV4. They are to this day the nicest Jazz basses i've had the pleasure of playing.
    They are very versatile basses, even without the VTC. However, I plan on installing one soon so I can have every option possible.

    I would imagine the rosewood fingerboard would be better for 'old school' Motown. But the Maple can get pretty darn close as well.

    If I were you, i'd wait to play the Metro's that shop is getting in, if you don't fall in love with one... then one of those gorgeous Roscoe's will be waiting for you. I've never had the pleasure of playing one... but came VERY close to buying one once.

    Good luck.
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Both wonderful basses. The Roscoe will have a more 'hand made' custom feel, and with those Bartolini humbuckers, sound very big, meaty, mid-punchy and fat. Wonderful basses.... very 'boutique' sounding.

    The Sadowsky Metro Vintage and Standard are very J Bass type instruments... totally different from the Roscoe.... grindier treble, a little more 'scooped sounding'. The Metro Modern 5 would line up a little closer to the 'boutique humbucker' sound of the Roscoe IMO.

    I've compared many Metro's to NYC's. In general, the Metro's are great... no need to go with a used NYC if you can check out new Metro's. I would highly recommend the optional Vintage Tone Control on the Metro, since the Sadowsky pre is boost only (you can't 'cut' treble, and they are quite bright sounding basses).

    All in all, from you sound requirements, it sounds like a Roscoe or a Metro Modern 5 would be the ticket.
  4. The shop ain´t takin in Metro Modern 5.
    just takin in one RV5 wich is TBU - Transparent blue - perloid pickguard and on MV5 wich is Black with black/white/black pickguard.
    I´ve seen picks of the black on at the Sadowsky site. looks very nice. Does anyone have pics of Transparent blue metro?

    I don´t think that they come with the vtc. But i think i will defenetly install it later on..

    I must admitt that the exotic roscoes looks just stunning. But then again been wanting Sadowsky bad since i was i kid. :)

    Is there much tonal difference between:
    Alder/rosewood and Ash/maple?

    If the new bass want do it all :) i always have backup basses.
    Fender p copy witch i´m putting Seymor Duncan Ant..II in.
    And Status Graphite bass.. I can´t really use the status in my rockband. It´s headless. and it ain´t much rock in that hehe:)

    thx. for the quick respond guys..
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I've owned a couple of Sadowsky's and My NYC MV5 is a keeper "The One". I played Vic's Roscoe at the Bowlous GTG and I must say I got the hype. I AM NOT a hippie sandwich (multi-laminate) bass kinda guy, as I get older I tend to appreciate old school sound. The Roscoe is amongst the best of the boutique basses for feel and quality and it sounds great. But for what you are describing (a more generic) type of bass tone it's hard to beat a Sadowsky. I would suggest the RV5 and the transparent blue with a pearl pickguard could be a stunner. Like KJung said be sure and add the VTC and you'll be set for life.

    I personally think Sadowsky makes the BEST generic, "works in every kind of pop music setting" bass going. They just sit in a mix with the band better. The first time I played one in a Jam with my old guitar player his comment to me was "Don't you ever sell THAT bass". He had heard me play a pre gibson Tobias, Alembic, Pedulla, Yamaha, Factor, Fender Jazz, and Warwick over the fifteen or so years we had played together.
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Very cool... I'm typically an ash/maple guy, but have a RW/Alder RV5 NYC that has plenty of pop and brightness. I actually prefer the Alder/RW on the Sadowsky J Bass models, since the voicing of the pre is pretty bright... but the difference is pretty subtle... you would be fine with either.


  7. Thanks guys for your responds. been well preciated.

    The Sadowskys will be in the store after 2 weeks.
    Just can´t wait, I feel like a little kid before christmas. :)

    Best regards.
  8. Well, I'm a wee bit prejudiced myself...


    ...but both are excellent instruments. However, you are comparing a hamburger to a milkshake here, they are two totally different creatures, and do totally different things!

    The Sadowsky is the best of the "cookie cutter, do the standard Fender tone" basses out there (this isn't a slight against it, it's just the TRUTH, it's a VERY GOOD Jazz bass clone). The Roscoe is not intended to do this, it is intended to have its own sound and feel, with each one being somewhat unique while maintaining the "Roscoe vibe" tonally, which KJung nailed: "very big, meaty, mid-punchy and fat" (hiya Ken! :hyper: ).

    I have nothing but the highest regard (no pun intended! :p ) for Roger & his staff (which includes our own Nino Valenti), and would never claim what we do is better, just (VERY) different.
  9. Hi Gard thanks for your comments.

    As you can see Gard. I understand that i´m comparing a hamburger to a milkshake. The only thing i know of Roscoes is based on reviews and of course the stunning look. and that for sure got my attention.
    Thats why i asked if someone did have any songs or soundclip that you could check out. Maby the roscoes have something to their sound also that i would like.

    ain´t by any means comparing them..

  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hello Gard! +1 to the above. When the thread originator was talking about his 'P Bass with flats' old school sound, and wanting what I interpreted as a clearer, more updated boutique version of that sound with more tonal variability.... that screamed Roscoe to me also!

  11. David, there are several threads here with soundclips from Roscoes, as a matter of fact, there is one thread that is SPECIFICALLY about that...

    Here's three pages of threads on the topic:



    Ken, yeah, I once had a friend describe the basic Roscoe tone as "the bastard child of a p!$$ed off P bass and a jackhammer, but clear as a clear Carolina blue spring sky". Poetic, isn't it? :D Yup, if that's what he's lookin' for...well...we know where that is...

  12. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    You're going to get a great bass either way. You've chosen well.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Hard to choose,but id go roscoe.
  14. "the bastard child of a p!$$ed off P bass and a jackhammer, but clear as a clear Carolina blue spring sky"

    just what i was looking for. :)

    Thanks Gard for the sound link.. gonna check it out...

    Best regards
  15. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    It's interesting - I don't tend to think of Sadowsky's and Roscoes as falling into the same "bucket" of basses.

    May just be my own perception here (and it may be dated), but Roscoe seems to me to have built its reputation mainly around its fretless basses. Yes, I know they make fine fretted basses as well, but if you do a search on Roscoe here, you'll find lots and lots of Roscoe vs. Zon fretless 5 threads.

    Sadowsky, on the other hand, seems to have built its reputation mainly around its fretted jazz basses. Yes, they also make P's and P-J's and modern 24's and even an occasional fretless, but again, the lion's share of the output and reputation are on a Fender-like jazz bass that competes primarily with the likes of Lakland, Lull, and so forth.

    I've owned both and both are great instruments. For versatility, I prefer Sadowsky, but that's at least partially because for me a fretted bass is a bit more versatile than a fretless.

    As far as used NYC versus new Metro, prices are pretty close (especially if you tack on $150 for VTC on a Metro), but so are capabilities. Metros are typically a little heavier and offer a limited range of colors and finishes, but if one of those finishes meets your needs, you're better off going in that direction through a local shop where you can try before you buy, rathen than hassling with importing a used NYC yourself.

  16. I can tell you from a "numbers" perspective that our fretted basses out number our fretless basses about 10-1, and we are always backordered on everything.

    No judgement on anything, just basic information, I really believe our fretlesses are incredible, but no moreso than our fretted. (FYI on the Zon vs. Roscoe fretless, after years of being a complete "Zonbie", I sold my Sonus Special fretless after I got the bass pictured in my avatar, it just killed everything I'd ever heard).
  17. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    Again - +1

    I love my fretted Roscoe. With the Demeter preamp, it still does the Jaco thing and the *modern* P-bass thing, but with great overtones from the preamp. Although, if you like the vintage flatwound string sound, I would go with Bartolini pre.

    I'm with you Gard! I left my Zon fretless behind after owning both, and comparing them for only an hour. Zon and I have some issues but I won't side-track the thread. Roscoe fretlesses are *IT!*
  18. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks, Gard, I never would have guessed that. Out of curiosity, has that always been true? When I bought my Roscoe a couple of years ago, it seemed like the fretted ones were rarer -- but maybe that just because their owners were so satisfied they just never showed up on the used market :) .
  19. If you get a Sadowsky everyone will love you.
  20. JOME77


    Aug 18, 2002
    I've only played a couple of Sadowsky. One was quite a few years ago (EMG soap bars; 24 fret) and the other was a fairly recent 5 string Tokyo. Both nice basses but they just didn't turn my head like the first Roscoe (and every Roscoe since).

    I've been playing Roscoe's for 11 years now (had a total of 9) and they just never fail to provide the sound I need for the song. Being the primary bassist for a large church, I play straight ahead rock and roll for the youth, contemporary Christian music (pop, country, jazz, funk...) for the contemporary service and orchestra arrangements for the traditional and special holiday services. While the Roscoe can sound like the "P-bass on steriods" (as I've heard way t-o-o-o-o-o many times), it's much more than that. The latest Roscoe 3005 that Keith made me has a spanish cedar body, African tulipwood fingerboard and a Roscoe tuned Demeter pre. It sounds totally different than my previous Roscoe's with the Bart 3-band pre. Much more hi/fi sounding but still reataining that Roscoe tone. Just much more open and natural sounding. I mainly saying this to stress that you can really fine tune the Roscoe sound by changing around body/neck/fingerboard woods and pre's (and more recently pickups; i.e. Nordstrand).

    I'd definitely checkout the Sadowsky's when they arrive at your local shop, but I'd also give Gard and Keith a call at Roscoe. Explain the exact sound that you're looking for and I guarranty that they can build a bass that will meet and exceed your expectations!:smug:

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