Ordered some Sadowsky h/c's for the Smith BSRJ

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Wilbyman, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The cool thing about having a bass with standard pickup shapes is the ability to change the flavor without any alteration. I love my Smith through and through, and have been using Nordy NJ4SE's in it for a while with great success. They have a great hi-fi sound with a vintage character. Any predictions as to what's going to happen with the Sad's?

    I was between Ultrajazzes and Model J's, and I figured the Sadowsky PU's would be similar to the ultra jazzes with a little something extra. (maybe)
  2. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    What didn't you like about the Ken Smith pickups??
  3. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The Armstrong jazz PU's in the Smith were fine and had a really sweet top end, I've just been taking advantage of the standard PU size to try other PU's.
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Good choice lawboy. I have some ultra's. Very nice, but with
    active electronics, I think you will like the Sad's alot.
  5. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    There's are going in tonight, stand by for review!
  6. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Standing by....
  7. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Going in tomorrow during the baby shower, be patient grasshopper.
  8. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The Nord NJ4SE's and Sadowsky's are really cool pickups to compare because they're somewhat similar (being humcancelling J's) and I find them both to be a treat...bear in mind that I've only been checking the Sad's out for an hour or so. I think I've got the pickups heights set the same (between sets) so that shouldn't account for anything.

    I like the Nords alot; they've got a nice buttery mid-range and are extremely clear. They don't have as much happening in the way of lows and highs, but take EQ'ing very nicely such that you can get a nice sizzle on top and some meat on the bottom. (I believe, however, that it's tough to EQ a natural sounding low-end into any pickup.) Nevertheless, the mid-range (both lower and upper) is so articulate and buttery that the Nords were making me quite happy.

    The Sadowsky's are in the same genus but a different species. The've got much more output and are more sensitive to dynamics/touch. The top end is great, very clear and piano-like in the highs without any harshness. The mids are nice and you can *almost* approximate the buttery Nord tone by rolling off some highs and lows. It's not quite there, but close. The lows are the real difference -- it's almost like switching from a 1x12 to a 1x15 cab. The low end response is just *there* with the Sadowsky's...you couldn't even reproduce it with EQ'ing in the Nords.

    Harmonically, there is alot more content with the Sadowsky J's and the slap sound is just off the hook. I kind of miss that sweet mid burp I could coax out of that Nords, but all in all the Sadowsky's have more going on.

    More later.
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Yeah, I agree with your assessment of the NJ4SE's...but I come from a different perspective where I really like the sweetness and clarity of the NJ4SE's. However, I do appreciate the bigger low-end and nicer highs the Sadowskys put out. I can pretty much run the Smith EQ flat and get a nice sound, whereas I had to EQ the Nords to get what I wanted. Still, the Nords were more clear in the mids I think...maybe because of the lack of lows.
  10. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Well, I just ponied up 229.00 to get another set of NJ4SE's. I'm resolved that the Nords were the pickups for this bass and I just need to suck it up and take my licks...that's alot of money though. Ouch.
  11. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I picked up a set of Sadowsky J's and have a Nordstrand NJ4SE/MM4.3 coming for two different projects I'm working. I plan to swap the neck p/u's on bass 'A' (maple top on swamp ash body, maple/ebony fretted neck, U Retro Deluxe pre) to see how much difference there is between the Sad and Nord.

    I'd have picked up the Sads when you had them listed, but paid the price for not checking the For Sale section that particular day :crying:

  12. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Are the Sadowsky HC's at all close to single coil sound?
  13. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The Sadowsky HC's were fairly close to single coil sound IMO but with big highs I don't typically associate with single coils. That might have come from the brass nut on my bass as well.
    The Sadowsky's have nice big lows, but the midrange is filled with a morass of wirey harmonic noise (not pickup noise, just alot of ringing upper mid information) that I couldn't get into and, to me, the top end had a chorused sound to it. I guess I like a nice burpy, punchy midrange without all the wirey brightness. I know alot of people love that sound, but not I. The NJ4SE's have a great midrange and work well with my Smith preamp, they're keepers...this time.
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Will, you ever tried Lindy Fralins?

    Edit: Oh yeah, I think you said that you don't like single coil hum.
  15. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV

    Fralins...Nah, never heard em. There seem to be so many mixed opinions on them. The Nordies aren't perfect (a little bass/treble shy as you've noted) but they EQ nicely and I know they sound really good in my bass. I just didn't want to throw away more money experimenting...just to poney up for the Nordies eventually. I don't really want a true vintage J tone, and yeah, I'd rather avoid the hum.

    Hope you're doing good, bro!