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Quantum 5, MTD 535, Flea 5, Sadowsky Help!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by keoliphant, May 19, 2004.


  1. keoliphant

    keoliphant

    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Here's the dilemma....I currently play a Lakland 44-94 Deluxe and am reasonably happy with my tone but ready to make the step to a 5-string. Unfortunately, I'm in Portland and there are no high-end bass stores around (have to get up to Seattle to Bass NW). I play mostly fingerstyle Dave Matthews, Howie Day, Coldplay style of music but see myself getting into heavier stuff....AudioSlave, Rage, etc. and want to learn some slap/funk bass.

    I've been following people's recommendations on TB...there are a lot of Sadowsky & MTD lovers out there and based on people's statements and reviews, I'm ready to buy one!

    At the same time, I truly love the tone of DMB bassist Stefan Lessard (live & recent albums) and he uses a Modulus Flea most of the time with an occasional Quantum 5 on select songs. Hearing his great tone makes me want to pick one of these up too! I also dig Flea's sound but am fearful of buying a 1-trick pony (Flea bass). Can the Quantum mimic a Flea? More tonal options?

    My wife (the voice of reason) says that I should try all the instuments before making such a huge purchase but as stated before, no great stores close by. Also, I've found there's a big difference from liking the sound of a bass at the store as compared to hearing it with the band. Can anyone break down the tonal differences betwen these instruments...in the mix & style of music (one thing, the term "Hi-Fi" doesn't ring any bells in my head...examples of hi-fi sound?).

    By the way, I heard the MTD & the Sadowsky on BassTasters.com. I thought the MTD sounded the best & was not too impressed with the Sadowsky, but as stated above, I understand the difference between the sound of a bass alone to the sound of a bass in the mix! Which of these (4) basses fit/sound best in the mix...anything from DMB style to Audioslave to Jimmy Buffet? Basically anything but COUNTRY (no offense).

    Your help is greatly appreciated!!!

    Ken
     
  2. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Most People would agree that the Sadowsky would have the Best sound in a Mix... I am a Know Fender "Hater" I am sick of Fender and Everything that looks like them...


    But dear god... When I hear a Sadowsky cut through the Mix, I FEEL it Sound good... (Hard to understand?)

    Not only can you hear its greaness, but you can FEEL it.

    Great basses. Listen to some Marcus Miller.

    I was Playing around with the "Punk Jazz -Revisited-" track on "Jaco Pastorius big band" (or something like that) With my Lakland 55-01 and it sounded so bad, compaired I had to turn it off (My bass, Not Marcus :eek: )
     
  3. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    I have a few soundclips on my "website" (follow link in signature). I heartily encourage you to try basses before buying though.

    If you do a search for "blind test" on talkbass you should also find some threads with other soundclips.
     
  4. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Listen to your wife. Trust me on this one. I live in West Virginia, so I've gone the same things time and again...and the only purchases I've ever really been happy with were the ones where I got to try out a bunch of basses before buying. That way, you won't have any doubts or regrets in a month or a year.

    Take a day -- or a weekend -- and go to BassNW. Think how much fun that will be.

    There's also alot more to an instrument than how well it sits in the mix with another person's gear. The feel, quality, aestheticsm, sound solo...everything...make the bass.

    When I got my last electric, the bass I went home with was not at all what I went looking for...but having played everything in the store (actually, at the show) I knew it was the instrument for me, and one I actually plan on keeping a long time. Its too much money and something I use too much to buy sight unseen.

    Admittedly, its impossible to try what I'm sure are alot of good instruments here -- the JP's, Nordstrands, etcs -- and if they've got a good return policy, I say go for it. But I'd rather go play a bunch of basses and then decide that I want to try one of those customs out.

    Will
     
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I happen to think that nothing sits in a mix better than an MTD. Then again, with the right eq I think pretty much any bass can sit well in a mix.

    I encourage you to consider string spacing. Since you don't seem to have experience with fives you might not have a preference, but I prefer so-called "wide" fives because the string-to-string spacing at the bridge is the same as most four-string basses (3/4", or 19mm). Some prefer narrow fivers because they have slightly narrower necks. The MTD and Sadowsky fivers have 19mm bridge spacing. Modulus fivers are typically narrow (17mm).

    But I didn't realize my preference for wide fivers until I owned both wide and narrow ones. It's unfortunate, but sometimes you just have to do your research and take a chance based on what you *think* you'll like best. Some stores have very generous return and/or exchange policies.

    Oh: how come you don't have the Lakland 55-94 on your list? Shouldn't be much different than your 44-94.
     
  6. keoliphant

    keoliphant

    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I like the 44-94, but just don't LOVE IT!!! Some times the sound seems boomy....bass issue? Probably not but I'm still looking to find "The bass" for me!
     
  7. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    MTD basses are wonderful instruments with superb playability. Each MTD sounds different based on it's wood combinations. If you have a good idea of the sound you are looking for Mike T can build you tah bass. That is the beauty of the MTD (just on of them).

    I cannot speak to Sadowsky. Except that Roger is a wonderful guy and builds superb instruments.


    One of my students ordered a Modulus Genesis nearly 10 months ago. He was given excuse after excuse why the bass wasn't completed. "No Maple Burls Tops", "We got the burl but it too much of a problem to cut it", and more. He was told 4 months ago that the neck was finished and looked "great" and 3 weeks ago he was told that the neck was almost done. The guys at G Guitars really helped. He finally cancelled the order and got a quantum that they had in stock. I guess that I would be careful about special ordering from Modulus.

    Mike
     
  8. widjajar

    widjajar

    Apr 21, 2003
    Hey Keoliphant, I have never tried any sadowsky or flea bass before but i really love the way my MTD sounds. I have MTD 535 with tulipwood body, wenge neck & fingerboard. The bass really has superb playability, it's very lightweight and love how the neck feels!! I can dial up lot's of sounds and loving it no matter what I did.
    And here's the best part: I live in portland !!!... so feel free if you wanna drop by and test drive the MTD (Just PM me). Who knows I might end up selling it to you... ;) I myself currently GASing for another MTD.
     
  9. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    not to discredit Sadowsky in any way or form, but it is a common myth that Marcus uses Sadowsky ( he may own some..), in fact, Marcus Miller plays a Jazz bass with stock pickups and a Bartolini preamp... so if you really dig his sound ( who doesn't!??) you might wanna hate Fender a little less, because his bass is all Fender except for that pre... :ninja:
     
  10. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    The Quantum and Flea are birds of a feather, but the Q has a little wider spacing, although it's not particularly wide. Also the Q5 and Flea offer 35"/24 frets and 34"/22 frets respectively. I would say the Q5 is a little deeper and more versatile if you are comparing it to the standard MM Flea. The Flea Bass is also available with the MM + J or "J" configuration if you wanted more versatility. The Q has an excellent B, while the Flea is only "good+", probably due to its 34" scale. I've been able to get the Lessard sound out of both (I own the Q5). One thing to note is that the Flea 4 is excellent for slapping, but the tight spacing on the Flea 5 might be a problem. Actually, some folks even have trouble slapping on the 17mm Q5, but I don't. As far as sounds go, I think hearing Lessard recordings is the best "description" - very clear, deep, and even. Critics might call is a bit sterile and unwoody (a truism!), but I love the Modulus sound.

    I've tried the MTD, and it's killer. The MTD I tried was pretty bright, and rumors that it will rat out poor technique are very true. It has an asymmetric neck, which you need to make sure agrees with you. Also, it's 35", but for some reason is very easy to manage. I would say the MTD sounds "transparent" in that you really hear the wood and every nuance of your connection with the strings, which is why it's unforgiving. Like Mike said, the differences in wood combinations will translate to a different tone.

    The Sadowsky Vintage I recently played is bar-none the best fender-style Jazz bass I've ever played. At first I thought it was too much $ for the bass, but the more I heard, felt, and saw the construction details, the more I realized that it really was all-that. It's just not readily apparent because it pretty much looks like...well...a Jazz bass. Also, I liked the 34" that still offered a killer B. I would say it has a Fender-J vibe in sound, but the preamp gives it good punch and nice growl. It can get the broad array of J tones and it does them all really, really well. The preamp really is good stuff, but it also has the option to go passive, like the Lakland.

    I think a huge part of the instrument is how it feels to you. Like you said, Basstasters *rocks*, but it's just one metric. There is no substitute for trying the instrument yourself.

    The trip to BassNW would be worth it.

    The wife is always the oracle of wisdom.

    BTW, I had the Lakland 55-94, and it didn't do it for me either. The bass is really well-built, but I found the stock MM+J Bart combination with that bass to be pretty bland. I like the Skyline 55-01 tones better! :meh:
     
  11. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Yup, but the Sadowsky Pre amp makes Such A difference, I can blow my Fender dislike to the side...

    On a Side note though, the Fender problems I have are in the Neck, and Body, and Lack of 24 frets...

    I am not really a Fan of the Neck, if it were shaved, I may like it, I really Need about 24 frets, I will admit I do hardly use them, but once in awhile I do, so I like that option. And the totally stalk sound is not my style either, but a good pre amp can make anything sound GREAT, the Sadowsky pre amp is one of my favorites!
     
  12. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    My vote still stands for the Sadowsky, But like said you really should try them all out first, Just because I say "Sadowsky are Far superior to the other basses listed" dosent mean that you will feel the same way...


    BTW, Who ever complained about a Long drive to try out Some High-End basses :confused:

    I would love to have a Vacation to say "Im going to New York to try some Sadowsky's and Fodera's"
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Exactly. Damn Fender, damn them all to ...!

    ;)

    What's even worse is my stock 78 Ash Jazz has that same vibe... dead stock, no preamp.

    :hyper:
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It has no bearing on Marcus Miller;)... as AG said, it's a Bart pre in his old Ash/Maple Jazz

    The 24 fret thing can be a showstopper if you really need it. So can a lot of things. OTOH what some see as limitations others see as merely qualities.

    In my case I have several 24 fret instruments but don't feel the least bit hindered on my Jazzes. YMV
     
  15. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    That is true, and like I said, I do rarely use them, but Once in awhile I do.

    Dosent Marcus Miller use the Sadowsky Pre? Its on sadowsky's site with Marcus saying "Thanks for Giving me that Marcus Miller Sound"
     
  16. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    from the Marcus Miller website:


    What modifications have you made to your Jazz Bass?


    I have a pre-amp installed in my Jazz - a Bartollini installed by Roger Sadowsky. Roger also installed a Bad-ass bridge.
    The rest of the bass is stock.
     
  17. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I agree that 24-frets is pretty important, if you get used to a 24 fret neck. Not only do you have those upper notes, which I like to start and end phrases on, but there's a certain symmetry you get from looking at a 24 fret neck as opposed to a 21-22. That's one reason I like my Smith 4 so much. The neck has a jazz feel with the full 24 frets.

    If Sadowsky does a metro 4-string in 24-frets, that would be really cool and worth looking into!

    Will
     
  18. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Ive been fortunate enough to own most of the basses being discussed. I just want to say that their is a substantial difference in the Sad. and MTD.
    The Sad. is a mix bass, it never sounds that good on its own, but in the mix, there is nothing like it, period.
    The MTD is more comfortable to play, balances better, the neck once you get used to it, is a joy compared to Rogers bulky Pbass style necks, plus you get a truer version of the woods coming out.
    I think the best scenario is to get an MTD, and then buy Rogers Outboard Preamp/D.I. Pedal. That way, you get the Sadowsky sound when you want it, but with the comfort and playability of an MTD 1OO% of the time, not to mention, having full time control of your mids onboard the MTD, and of course Buzz Feiten tuning, which keeps intontion consistent all the way up the neck.
    One last note, the B string on my MTD is unbelievable. Ive never heard brightness on a B string before, Im talking sizzle, and not piezo sizzle, but just raw string against wood sizzle. Though, I have to say for Roger's basses, his 34" B string is quite a superstar, too.
     
  19. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Sorry for my spelling on the last post. Im not an ill informed redneck, I just left my glasses in the bathroom and I cant see very well. Ha.
     
  20. Keo,
    From the styles of music that you play, I wonder if the MTD is an appropriate choice. Before getting flames let me state that MTD is an EXCELLENT bass. I just wonder if it's got the right sound for the music you describe.

    Find out what some of these bassists play. Warwick? Fender? Peavey? When you look at Bassplayer mag and see what all the heaviest of weights are playing, they are generally NOT using the $$$ basses that we drool over. Sure Flea plays a Modulus, but you don't see these guys playing $5,000 Foderas, Ken Bebensees, and Nordstrands. Just an observation.