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Played a Sadowsky today

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Phil Smith, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Got a chance to play a Sadowsky today and take a good up close and personal look at the instrument. It was one of the PJ pickup configurations, 5 string, maple board, natural ash body. I wasn't that impressed with it, especially for the kind of dough that they're going for I would opt for a Lakland which to me has a much better feel and more flexible sound, which of course could be due to the pickup configuration. Just my opinion though.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    When I visited my sister in New York last year I had the honor of stopping by Sadowksy and meeting Roger himself. They were more than happy to let me putz around in the sound room which is a semi-sound proof room with a whole bunch of high-end amps, even though it was obvious I couldn't afford any of their basses. It hurts to say this, but I played the same model as you (but blue!) and also was not impressed. There was a lot of hum, although that might be because of the pickup configuration, the Aguilar amp (which I've heard can be buzzy), or even poor grounding in the room. Don't get me wrong, it was a really nice bass that sounds better than my cheap basses, but for the money, I kind of expected better. But hey, don't count out the fact that we both ran into some lemons! There seems to be more than a few happy Sadowsky customers on the boards, and in general. :)
  3. BassMan2000


    Sep 27, 2000
    Here comes Nino to the rescue! :D :p :D
  4. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Mine looks and sounds a lot like a Fender J. ;)
  5. I've only played one Sadowsky, and I was disappointed also.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I have played one Sadowsky, Jeff Rader's 5 string, and it was easily in the top 3 basses I have ever played, possibly number 1.
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    HMMM. I've played a P/J model @ his shop & I noticed no hum or noise. SuperDuck, did you bring it to Rogers attention when you heard the hum? Maybe it might of been something like the ground lift on the amp was switched off.

    All I have to say about Rogers basses is they are the best sounding, playing & feeling basses I've ever played or owned in my life!!!!! I had no problem paying $3000 for my 24 fret 5 string & I have a 4 string on order. If I could afford to, I would have one of every model in my collection.

    But just because I like them dosen't mean that you have to. :) I've tried a few Lakland's. SUPER HIGH QUALITY basses!!!! There are 2 things I don't like about them. Bartoloni's & the MusicMan Style pick up. I'd still like to try the SkyLine w/the J/MM Bart's in it. I can't have every bass w/EMG's in it. ;)
  8. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I tried only one Sadowsky (mine) and it is the best bass I ever play. With my Tung they are the 2 best bass out there as far as I'm concern.
    Like Nino, I tried some lakland. I love the neck and the playability, but the sound was not even close to Sadowsky (for me of course).
  9. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I bought a Sadowsky Vintage 5 last month and loved it so much, I bought another.. It's a PJ-5 and I just received it last week... I also own 2 Lakland Deluxe 55-94's, which I also love... They're all well built basses that play and sound great... I think it's just a matter of taste or preferrence which you prefer.. The best part of it is each company offers great customer service and attention to detail... Lakland also has a Joe Osborne 5 string coming out if you don't like the Musicman style pickups... I plan on ordering one of them as soon as I can figure out if I have any other internal organs I can sell to purchase it... Only kidding, I'm just a gear slut.. Steve..
  10. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Have to say I wasn't thrilled with the Sadowsky I played at BC, maybe I expected too much.
    I'm willing to accept that it might have been me, the amp, or some other undiscernable 'factor x' that day which conspired to keep me from loving it, but I just didn't notice anything outstanding about it.
    I still think it's just about impossible to really suss out a bass in a showroom floor situation. It never really gels for me there... lemme think...wow. I just realized I've never bought a bass from a music store showroom. Huh. What do you know...

    Anywho, I'm guessing that a Sadowsky might really shine on a gig or session, so I'm reserving judgement till I can demo one in the right setting.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Good observation, Mark. It can be hard to live up to some of the (well deserved IMO;)) hype about Sadowskys. What floats one person's boat can be one gigantic "is that all there is??" for another. That's why they make two kinds of basses.

    Reminds me of my date last week with Beyonce'... I mean, she's alright and all but...
  12. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    It's a good thing that there are many good luthiers. One certainly won't satisfy everyone.

    I felt the way you did when I played a Fodera - just didn't get it. And, I have never played an Alembic or Musicman I liked or thought was even close to be worth the money.

    I never would have expected to like Sadowsky - I was more in the "modern" design camp. But I can say that for me, I have never played a better bass than my Sadowsky. Or one that was so flawlessly constructed. That makes it a value to me.

    I think it's great we have enough great options and luthiers to get what we want. To each their own...

  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I played a Sadowsky at L.A. Bass Exchange a couple years ago. That's why I own two Laklands.

    OTOH, I played a Fodera at BC last summer, and it's the first bass I've played that could weaken my preference for Laklands. Of course, the danged thing was $5 or $6K, so maybe I'll stick with the Laks.
  14. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I got the Lakland and I got the Sadowsky. When I got the Sadowsky I'd already had the Lakland for several months. I put the Lakland away so I could give the new bass a chance to sink in. The first few days I kinda wondered what I was thinking. So it wasn't love at first play, although I sure loved the way that it looked. A real Plain Jane but I got what I wanted. A Jazz type looking bass with a B string and some oomph. I did notice that I could play more accurately and faster than I could on my Lakland. In fact I could play things that I couldn't on my other basses. Maybe it was the shorter scale but just the same it seemed easier. I pulled the Lakland out after about a month and I really knew I'd got "my axe" with the Sadowsky. There is absolutely nothing that I can really find wrong with it. I love it! It's deeper sounding and more clear and pure in the tones than any of the other 4 or 5 string basses that I've played. The setup, which is the original setup from when I got the bass, is perfect as in not touched other than string changes. I can't find a flaw anywhere. I can't think of another bass that I would want more than this one. I could sell all my other basses and be happy with just this one. If something ever happened to this one I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

    So the moral of the story is that I would be the first one to say that my Sadowsky experience didn't jump right out and grab me. Don't be too hasty. I think that quite a few others think the same way. Used Sadowskys are as rare as pre-CBS Jazz basses. If you do see a used one for sale it's gone in a matter of days if even that. Roger must be doing something right. :D
  15. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    This is where my experience differs. When mine arrived the action was ridiculously high (I bought it off the rack - maybe it was set up for Will Lee ;) ). At first, I didn't want to adjust it, cuz it was a "Sadowsky setup," and I'm just Joe Schmuck bass player. But when I checked the setup against the "standard" specs I got from Roger, it wasn't even close. The B string was at least a quarter inch off the fingerboard. Screw that. Over time I've gradually moved things lower (I like medium-low), and have minimal relief. None of this is a flaw with the bass, but if I were ordering another, I would definitely specify how I want it set up.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've never had the chance to play a Sadowsky, but on the topic of hype:

    The other week, I finally got to play a Fodera: a used 5-string fretless hanging in a local store. This bass lived up to the Fodera hype and then some! The build quality was magnificent. I don't like the look of all fancy woods, but I loved the burl maple top with matching headstock on this one. Tone was amazing... I could go from hi-tech ping to vintage woof by adjusting the preamp. I could also dial in some schweet mwah. No significant deadspots that I could find. And best of all was playability. Getting around on this one (lined fingerboard) as a breeze, and I don't even play fretless!

    I woulda bought that sucka if I had a spare $3000 lying around.
  17. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I own Lakland deluxe 4 before my first Sadowsky arrived. I paid only US 1700 new directly from the factory because there is no dealer in my country.
    I would say Lakland workmanship is flawless, the neck also fantastic smooth and fast. I would say this bass is excellent.
    But when my first Sadowsky came [ used from Ebay vintage 4 ash body ebony fretboard] and I played it for awhile , I never play my Lakland anymore eversince. I just don't know why. Then my second vintage Sadowsky came with alder and Morado fingerboard. Surely I paid Sadowsky more than Lakland. Then only 3 weeks ago my third Sadowsky arrived [ I only have a chance to play few hours before my trip overseas up to date] . With the money I paid for this 5 strings 24 frets plus options I could get 2 new 5 strings Lakland plus an Eden head.
    Both brands have excellent workmanship, but I like Sadowsky {Sadowsky pick up] better than Lakland [ Bartolini sound]. Perhaps other people are different.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

  19. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Brad, you dawg! I was thinking that maybe I should pawn a few things since that seemed like a pretty nice price on that Fodera. then I was going to send you an email to see if you'd take a gander at it for me since that's your part of town. I guess that's out as I see that sparkle in your eye all the way here in P-town.:)
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Uh oh, here we go again!:p

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