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Played a Sadowsky today..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mark beem, Aug 21, 2004.


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  1. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Two in fact!! Had to see what it was all about so my brother and I took a road trip to Corner Music in Nashville today and I got to thump around on a couple they had there...

    Two Metros.

    First an MV-5
    Swamp Ash w/ maple neck and 21 fret maple fretboard.

    Second, an M5-24
    Swamp Ash body w/ maple neck and 24 fret maple fretboard.

    Neat that they were both built virtually identical (they even had the same trans red finish!!) so I was able to do a true side-by-side, comparing tones based solely on pickup and electronics differences.

    Both were exceptionally well built instruments, light in weight and vibrant when played unplugged. Necks were confortable and they both balanced well when playing seated. In fact were I blindfolded I probably wouldn't have been able to tell which bass I was playing at any particular time (sure there are some differences in the bodies but I'm not sure if I could have differentiated between them).

    Plugged in was when the true differences materialized. Of the two I preferred the M5-24.. The bass just had an overall punch, growl and sweetness of tone that appealed to me more than the MV5. The MV5 was good as well but IMO wasn't as user friendly (tone wise) in that the treble was harsh and the "B" string wasn't as focused (to my ear anyway).

    Bottom line:

    Great tone, feel and playability!! I can imagine what a NYC model would sound like. I really like the M5-24, but in all honesty I still can't see the justification for the price tag of $2300. In all honesty I feel that that's too much for what is, at its core, still a Jazz bass. I'd probably be willing to pay say $1300 for one, but not more than that. IMO used would probably be the way to go on these models.
     
  2. Fretless5verfan

    Fretless5verfan Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2002
    Philadelphia
    I agree completely. If i were to ever get one it'd HAVE to be used cause there's no way i'd pay 2000+ for what is essentially a very well crafted J Bass (or P, or P/J).

    How would you say these compare to other J-Bass/Super J-basses you've played? Would you say the Sadowsky is the best hands down? (If you can't tell i'm seriously thinking about saving up for one hehe)
     
  3. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    The M5-24 beat the S**T out of any Fender I've EVER played. Period!!! OTOH, I've never played say, a Lull, Hot Wire, etc.. so I can't say compared to them..

    Honestly, were I in the market, I'd go for something like an Elrick New Jazz..
     
  4. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    That bass also renewed my faith in Ash as a body wood!!!
     
  5. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member


    Swamp Ash is some great wood for basses. :bassist:
     
  6. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    funny, i had a conversation with a high end cabinet maker (musician):

    swamp ash/alder/poplar, etc...are crap and barely a step above pine.

    made me wonder.

    then i spoke to a high end builder, who said the guy speaks the truth and the only reason those woods are used these days is because back in the day, it was the most available/affordable choice for Leo F.

    this trained our ears for these woods, hence their popularity today.

    there's a lot more to this, but my hand is cramping.

    f
     
  7. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Interesting...I know I got over any desire to have an ash or alder bass fairly quickly, after owning a few. My mahogany and walnut bodied basses have sounded far better to my ears.
     
  8. :confused:
    I don't think the Sadowsy 24f sounds anything like a jazz bass. The pickup type and locations yield a different tonal creature than any jazz-style bass. ....at least to my ears
     
  9. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Neither did it sound like one to me.... Maybe that's why I liked it so much.. :meh:
     
  10. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    Well if this ash is crap then I love how crap sounds! :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    i love my 24f. don't gets me wrong.

    it was just interesting to hear this guys take on wood, his argument for density and how these soft woods aren't the best for tone.

    i have an alder vintage 4 and an ash modern 5.

    my favorite fretted basses!

    [​IMG]

    f
     
  12. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Interesting... i have had just about every kinda body wood, and after all this time, i don't think i will ever order anything BUT a crappy Ash body, with a POS maple neck and board. I will call them my turd basses!
     
  13. Interesting. What were his recommended body woods then?
     
  14. Well tone is so subjective: clearly a lot of people love the tone of alder and swamp ash. Additionally, you high end builder, like all of us, is entitled to his opinion.

    I just gets under my skin when someone professes sweeping nearly absurd statements like that. Look at the folks* using guitars and basses made of alder or ash. Many of them could have instruments made out of rose petals, ahi tuna, gold, and spotted wood owls if they would yield great tone. But they don't.

    *I don't think I have to them do I?
     
  15. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    [​IMG]

    Sorry everyone...

    :oops:
     
  16. I gotta a feeling this is gonna be a LOOOONNNGG thread...lets see...I am 39 in October...I started playing when I was 5 on guitar (ash I think) switched to bass at 12 so that puts it at about 27 years of bass playing I would guess?? I have played AT LEAST 3,000+ Basses (my folks owned a Music store since 74) I have owned a bunch (up to 73 now!) and find that I too really dig a crappy piece of ash with a maple board or an especially crappy piece of alder with an abhorrent piece of rosewood slapped on a piece of maple for a neck on my obviously overpriced Sadowsky! (I have played and owned some very high end boutique stuff as well, but play my crappy overpriced Alder Sadowsky almost exclusively now!!)

    Interestingly enough, I have an older Warwick SS2 made out of Afzelia (I wonder where that ranks on the crap scale?) that is one of the most resonant basses I have ever heard...I have pro players that request to borrow that bass from me for BIG sessions, it has been heard on a number of #1 singles that we have all heard on the radio...so go figure....and no, I can't tell who or which ones so please don't ask...it is a disclosure thing because of endorsement deals they have with various manufacturers, please understand...I have to sign a non-disclosure to do the sessions (I am typically the engineer or the mixer though not always , sometimes I just rent the Bass)...

    Anyway...Hey, a cabinet maker should know a LOT about basses after all! Does anybody make a bass out of pine these days....hhhhmmmm.....I'd like to hear Will Lee play a pine bodied bass....with maybe a birch board???

    Peace,

    T

    BTW - Just havin fun u know I wuv u f.... :D

    :bag:
     
  17. ROTFLMAO! Mark....


    T
     
  18. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    My friend Craigers 2 who's contemplating selling or trading his Sadowsky 1992 four string j type bass for a new Metro 5 string, bought his Sadowsky for $2000 and change 12 years ago. Since then, everything bass, except for strings, maybe, has gone drastically up and up and up. I just bought a Lull MV5 for $2400+. It's sound is right up there and exceeds many other basses I've ever owned. It's also a "hyper Jazz bass" but at $2400, is a bargain, especially when a USA Fender Active 5 J bass is what now....$1250-1300 new? You're getting nothing "hand made" on that bass whatsoever. You're not getting anywhere near the fit and finish or as "strong" a neck in my mind. You're not getting anywhere near the electronics nor as useable a B string or as low of action without buzzing. What you are getting is a sound that my bass can mimick but not necessarily with 100% accuracy.

    My ranting is that today's "higher" end j basses like the metro's or lull's and several others, and five stringers, are not priced any higher than a high end j clone 4 string was 12 years ago. But Fenders in the meantime are double and triple what they were in 1992.

    How how much better are the basses today than the top basses or Fenders 12 years ago? I don't think the fenders are any better if not generally worse quality than those made in the late 80's and early 90's, which I don't know too many who feel are as good as the ones made in the 60's, 70's, and maybe even the 80's cbs or not. I can't really see the improvement, except on imported basses which are definitely better quality now than ever before. The high end builders, are they building better today than 12 years ago, I don't know. I've only starting buying high end stuff 6 years ago or so with my first Lakland. Until then I spent my first 34 years playing Music man, Fender, and G&L's and still own a couple of 'em.

    But at least we now have options on basses we didn't have except for a handful of others not that long ago.

    $2000 is not a very high threshold any more when it comes to "limiting" what one is willing to spend on a bass just 'cause it's a "fender knockoff" of sorts. It just isn't!!! When you think that 12 years ago you could get 4 string Sadowsky for $2000 and now you can get his 5 string J bass for 2025 to 2100, it looks like a real bargain to me provided that it sounds and plays to your satisfaction. Plenty of nice J bass clones in the $1750 to 2500 category. Don't get hung up on pricing because it's a Fenderish influened bass. Get hung up on $2000 because your wife will kill you if you spend that much!!!

    LK
     
  19. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    hehe, i knew this would get people's goats.

    remember, these are his words, not mine. and the builder was thinking around his point as a possibility.

    believe me, i argued with this guy for a half an hour.

    what started this whole thing was that i told him that i bookmatched some koa at 1/4".

    he thought i was nuts not to use the full 8/4 thickness.

    the builder mentioned, that while this would yield a strong fundamental, it would miss some of the complexity a poplar/alder bod with a koa cap would create.

    again, i said HE thought alder/ash/etc.. was crap. not i.

    just food for thought.

    let's add wood types to politics, religion and professional sports.

    f
     
  20. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Just to clarify; all I'm saying is that I (ie: me, je, ich, εγώ, mim) am unwilling to pay that much for that bass... I make no comments as whether anyone else is right/wrong/stupid/smart/whatever in doing so...
     



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