New 2me Sadowsky PJ5 on board...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    New 2me Sadowsky NYC PJ5

    I was slightly hesitant to do the trade because 4-string basses are my bass of choice. But this bass has four design variations that I wanted to experience for myself, for the first time: White body, PJ config, Reverse P-pup, and Sadowsky 5-string. I made the trade and now I have the bass. I put it through some tests and here's my review:

    - Specs: 2000/2001 model. Ash body. Maple neck/board. Reverse PJ config. Vintage tone control. Pull passive. Active treble and bass boost. Single 9vdc battery. Weighed @ 8.75 pounds on the bathroom scale.

    - Color: Better than the pics. The bass is a creamy translucent off-white color. My daughter loves it.

    - Construction: First-class. Parts bass? Who cares--Roger has his stuff together! Sadowsky basses are practically "flawless". The January 2005 Bass Player Mag reviewed three Sadowsky Metro basses. They wrote, "...Superb construction...immaculate wiring...impeccably constructed..." You get the point.

    - Playability: Very easy. The neck is similar to a Lakland 55-94, but better. The Lakland has an oil finish and, IMO, feels unfinished or raw. This Sadowsky has the light lacquer finish that I prefer. String spacing is the same as the Lakland, 3/4" at the bridge. Slap and fingerstyle are a breeze.

    - Tone-take I: The tone was killer straight out of the case--plenty of everything. I asked the previous owner if this bass would give me a good P-tone. He answered, "Sure, if you pan to the front pup and turn the tone control down". I thought, "This is true of almost any bass." IMO, one of the strengths of a P-bass is to produce its tone with highend bite, growl, and clarity. But unfortunately, the seller was right--even though the tone was phat, there was no true P-tone to be had. :rollno:

    - Tone-take II: I posted several times that I don't care for the Sadowsky "reverse" pan control. As part of the initial inspection, I tapped on the pups with a metal object to confirm that the pan control worked. That's when I discovered a problem. :eek: The bass was in "J" mode when panned to the rear and PJ mode when panned center and front. In otherwords, the "J" pup was always ON. Therefore, there was no "P" mode. I called Sadowsky and confirmed that: 1) A wire was moved in an attempt to reverse the pan control or 2) The wire broke off and landed on a different terminal of the same pot. This looks to be the case because the wire was NOT soldered to the terminal; it was "resting" against it. And, there were little strands of wire still in the terminal that the wire belonged.

    Anyhoot, it took less than 5 minutes to resolder the wire and rewire the pot for "conventional" panning. I plugged the bass in, panned to the front pup, Booyah! P-Bass all day long, not 100% P-bass, but close enough that I don't care.
    I'd score it 90 - 95% for authentic P-tones. The tone is a little darker than a Fender-P but with more mids. This could be because of the reverse P-pup.

    - Tone-take III: The combination of P and J pups, passive tone control, and active preamp makes this bass one of the most versitile basses I've ever owned. There are different flavors of P, J, MM (active only) and everything in between. The strings on it now are nickel, I will try some SS later.

    - Hidden option: The seller told me that he looked under the pickguard and discovered that the P-pup can be rotated to normal P-cofing. All that I would have to do is get another pickguard. I'll check this out and report later.

    - Drawbacks: Only one--it's a 5-string. I'd love to find a 4-string just like it--same color, same options, same everything. But that's not likely to happen without ordering a new one. $$$! In the meantime, I'll enjoy this bass.


    Attached Files:

    • Sad1.jpg
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  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Sexy! Nice Score!!!
  3. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina

    Attached Files:

    • Sad2.jpg
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  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Nice. I had a lake placid blue pj4 I sold a while back. The P tone was killer on it. Glad you figured out the bad wire. I love Sad's Good luck

  5. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    I'm glad you dig the bass. It was mine for the last couple of years. I sold it to Bryan, because I just wasn't getting enough 5-string time, and wanted to pick up an old P-bass.

    If anyone is interested in hearing the bass recorded, download "Losing You" by K's Choice on i-Tunes. I recorded it direct, with a little bit of compression. It sounds awesome. I toured with it for a couple of years, and that might explain the disconnected wire. Odd that I never noticed. Well, I'm glad you sorted it out.

    Anyway, enjoy it and play it in good health.
  6. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Wow!!! Gorgeous!!!
    Sadowsky's are so awesome. I love that color combo, so much that I recently aquired a metro J in that color combo, only 4 string. More woodgrain can be seen in your bass. Awesome bass... congrats and enjoy.
  7. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I noticed it only because I was "looking" for it. You know, testing the pups out. When was the time you tapped on the pups with a metal object? Definately not something we do everyday. The Sadowsky team asked me to send a pic of the pot but the fix was so easy we never needed it. Here's the pic, just for fun.

    Attached Files:

  8. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Cool. Pre-routed for reverse or normal P-config. A first?
    Cleaning time.

    Attached Files:

  9. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Looks out of curiosity, what do you do to clean the bass (polishes, lemon oil the board, etc)?
  10. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Now that is something I have never seen before. Cool idea.

    Nice bass, BTW. :D
  11. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    It simple.

    - Cleaned all pots. Volume and pan were a little scratchy.

    - Removed Eric's DNA from the fretboard and neck. (I bagged it up for future use.) :D

    - Cleaned the frets.

    - Inspected and tightened everything.

    - Lastly, I cleaned the body with Ken Smith polish to give it that "handmade" ambience. :D
  12. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I excpect that you payed handmade mode money for the polish? :D
  13. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    You ain't seen nothing yet. Check this Sadowsky out!

    From the seller:

    "The bass even has custom routings for you to change the P pickup to a J pickup should you ever find the need to do so!! And yes, it does come with the extra jazz pup and pickguard"

    Attached Files:

  14. Very Nice!!!

    I've never been a fan of the translucent-white type finish, especially with a tort-pickgaurd. But something about this one is just super cool :D

    ....Someday I'll own a Sadowsky.....
  15. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Excellent Sadowsky Basses ROCK. :bassist:
  17. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Gorgeous Sadowsky PJ! Yikes. If and when you go to sell it, get in touch with me.
  18. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina