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Pre-CBS Fender vs. Sadowsky NYC

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yamarc, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Okemos, MI
    This thread has probably been done before, but I am just too lazy to search right now. I have been hearing more and more about the magic that a vintage Fender jazz bass has, there is no question about this, but I know that a lot of guys don't gig with them.

    Since I can only afford one of these which would be the better investment as a gigging and recording (primary) bass?

    I know that Sadowsky's have got the mojo, I have one myself and LOVE it to death! However, I hear SO much about the pre-CBS Fenders and I know that they hold their value even better than Sadowsky. But there must be some inherent problems with these older basses...(maybe warping necks, poor intonation, etc?)

    So, anyone who wants to post about tone, resale value (investment), playability, gigging, drawbacks/benefits to either, or just to compare both...post away...Thanks
  2. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I think it's very challenging these days to find a really good pre-CBS Fender. I have played many over the past several years and most have been junk with a $5K pricetag.

    If you find a great pre-CBS Fender, you have something magical.

    Personally, every Sadowsky I have played has been nothing short of outstanding. I would (and do) choose a Sadowsky.

    Good luck!
    JonKim and Doctor J like this.
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    my 62 jazz is the one bass i wont be getting rid of. all my others can be replaced. not this one though. perfect,straight neck. super low action. the original frets are worn down so theyre super low. just a great bass. and i do gig with it when im in the mood for a 4 string(which is rare). understand though that it doesnt sound like a sadowsky. for that matter it doesnt sound like a 66. with both pickups dimed its pretty mellow with not a lot of upper midrange. with the bridge pickup soloed its got a farty lo-mid thing happening that doesnt quite get captured by reissues or the super-fenders.

    mine has a nitro refin so i didnt pay the heavy duty prices. it was still expensive though at 2500 when i bought it 5 years ago. dont know what it would run now, but i do know i wouldnt lose money. thats one thing you can count on when buying a vintage fender.
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i think i'd go with the sadowsky or for kicks see if you can try a fender custom shop relic or master built. I might buy a vintage fender if i found a really good one but they are getting more and more rare. Not every vintage fender is a good one, but they all carry the hefty price tags.
  5. Basically you should hold on to your Sadowsky. It's a versatile instrument that is definitely road and studio ready. But the Fender would be a beautiful instrument to record with. I'd personally never gig with a pre-CBS unless I had a high profile gig (ie I was John Paul Jones or playing the Grammies or something). But as a studio bass it has one sweet sound. I dont think a Sadowsky can replace that sound, but it'll do more than fine especially if you don't want to risk bringing your Fender to a smokey bar full or drunks.
  6. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Don't be lazy. Do a search. Then get Sadowsky.

    Sadowsky is a more consistent product, superb bass all the way.

    Pre CBS Fender is hit or miss, and you had better know you stuff inside out and upside down to detect an accurate fake from the real deal.
    RedMoses likes this.
  7. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    This is the '78 Jazz that I came close to buying. One thing that prevented the buy was the Fender parts pictured next to the bass. :eyebrow:

    Attached Files:

  8. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    Would you drive a 40 year old car every day?
    I sold my my pre-CBS and use Sadowsky , Fender Reissues , Hofner Reissues and Gibson Reissues.

    But I use a 50 year old camera and lenses.
  9. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    id rather have that bass than any sadowsky ever made. :bassist:
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Buy the real "West Coast" Fender. Keep it a few years and you'll be able to pick up a few "East Coast" Fender copies for it later.
  11. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I dunno... the first word that comes to mind is "oily"...
  12. I would fo for the real thing, but only if authenticated by an independant expert. You may even be able to negotiate a little. The real bass will be worth much more in the future.

    Use the real Fender and save up money for a Japanese Sad. I am assuming that the lower line Sads are just as good as the NYC ones. Regardless, I go for the real McCoy for now.
  13. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Well, I ended up with this and couldn't be more happier: :bassist:

  14. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    JR, that's a beaut! I just got a MV4 in 59' Burst and like it a lot, but if the Metros came in the vintage-tint like you have there that's what I would have waited for. The closest thing in the Metro line is the natural and it's too natural for me. Anyway the 59' is real purdee and so is my Inca Silver NYC PJ4 with yummy Sad Flats on it.. :hyper:

    Hey Nino....any more Flats come in yet ?? Don't forget me!
  15. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    well, ive saide it before. it looks the part but........
  16. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    What's your need? I mean, you HAVE a Sadowsky so probably you HAVE a bass that cover all your recording and giggin' needs! Look yourself in the mirror ... maybe you're just GASsin' for a pre-CBS Fender ... good, but that's another story for another day. :)
    I've seen a lot of musician proud of their priced vintage Fenders fightin once a week with the bridge, or the neck, or the pickups, or something else just to get a playable and decent-sounding instrument ... this makes no sense to me.
    I owned and played a '68 Jazz as my main axe for 10 years(ok,ok FenderHeads out there ... I know it's not a pre-CBS, but I played a couple of these too) ... I sold it and I bought a Sadowsky ... couldn't be more happy.
    - GASsin' for a vintage Fender? Get a Vintage Fender - first of all we have to satisfy our desires!
    - Wanna INVEST on a bass? Get the Fender!
    - Wanna PLAY a bass? Get the Sadowsky ... ups! You got it! ;)
  17. I don't know if I'd buy a 25+ year old bass with not even the least bit of wear on it. Especially with a hoarde of Fender necks sitting next to in in the pic.

    I play my '65 Jazz out occasionally. I think my G&L is a better 'live' bass anyway. My Jazz records wonderfully, and it is the standard to which I hold any bass to as far as feel. IMO, so much of the vintage "mojo" (I hate that word) has to do with the feel of the finish. The reproductions are pretty cool, they have a nice feel, but they don't feel like a 35-40 year old, nitro finished instrument.
  18. its kinda like a sports car, Do I get a New Porche 911 for 80K or do I get a 67 ferrarri for 250K? Well ones is great for hauling a$$ every day and the other is great to keep in a garage to look at.

    Pre cbs original fenders are superb if in good shape (I had one many moons ago) Some how I think if you could time travel back to the 60s with a Sadowsky (or a lull, benavente, shur etc.) You would be an amazed at the how many bassists would have given you there children for it.
    Fngparas likes this.
  19. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Seeing as how my limited level of play only enables me to "look" the part, I guess I made the right choice... ;)
    donkennedyalbert likes this.
  20. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    best post of the thread....... :p