Rosco Beck V or Sadowsky 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doug Parent, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I suppose this has been beat to death already.
    Curious where a good deal can be had on a RBV and if the B compares to the Sadowsky. I know they are both 34" scale. Also, anybody have the Sadowsky M5 and can say if it has as good of tone for fingerstyle as the standard JJ set up?
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    If you can't get both... well, how much do you want to spend? The Fender will cost less than either a Metro or NYC Sadowsky.

    As for tonal comparison: the Fender has the traditional passive warmth, Sadowsky J-basses tend to have a little more edge because of the famous preamp. But both are extremely versatile: the Fender can be bright and edgy, and Sadowskys can be mellow. The Sadowsky 24fret can't really be compared to Jazz-style basses because the pickups are in a different location (closer to the bridge, which gives more growl/burp).

    Both of my RB5's are pre-owned. But I notice BassCentral now carries Fender, that would be a good place to check. BassNorthwest, too.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    The Roscoe Beck is a great bass, certantly Fenders most consistant offering and does the vintage vibe blues/classic rock thing real well. I've played a couple and was deffinently impressed. But a Sadowsky is a different breed a vintage Metro in Alder/Rosewood with the VTC option will do the classic thing well, but there are plenty of good modern sounds hidden underneath those pickup covers!! Read Mikebasses latest thread on Sadowsky. The RB5 is an excellent Bass , good value, but it's not a Sadowsky!!!! I vote Metro
  4. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    guess you can say I got off the fence. After some calling around I found an ash/maple Vintage 5'er and pulled out the credit card. I figured screw it, I may as well jump in. I get it next week. thanks for help guys.
  5. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Keep us posted when you get your Metro! Would love to know what you think.
  6. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    Hard decision. I'm sure you won't be dissapointed starting with a Sadowsky first...then getting a RBV (used <$900) later. Coupled with the Sadowsky outboard pre-amp, you may get even more tonal variation with the RBV than the Sadowsky due to the coil tap pick-up controls etc. I'm trying to thin my collection, but the last two basses I'll be keeping are my Sadowsky V4 and my RBV
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Play them both.
    Which bass give you sound and playability you want.
    Last consider money.
    Buy the bass that fits your needs.
    Only us gear- heads look at the name on the headstock.
    That said, I would get the Sadowsky.
  8. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    My first step into 5 stringdom was a beautiful RB5 (I am a very big fan of Mr. Beck from his early Robbin Ford days).

    I found the bass incredibly heavy, the neck difficult to manuver on due to the size and the B string kinda weak and lifeless. It did have a very unique tone that was quite good. But I sold it for $700 to fund my Lakland 55-93. I eventually sold the Lakland after I got my Sadowsky V5. The scale of the Lakland just didn't work for me and the Sadowsky was significantly clearer.

    There is no way that I could say in my case that the RB5 is in any shape or form, in the same league as a NYC Sadowsky or more properly, "MY" Sadowsky. This is all IMHO!

    I have several very, very nice basses but the Sadowsky is my top bass, plain and simple.

    Now I have not had the opportunity to try out one of the Metro series basses but may just have to one of these days.
  9. My vote goes to the Sadowsky Metro also. Very powerful and versatile jazz with a good B-string.
    (There are some really good Fender Roscoe Beck 5's around, but you have to be lucky)
    If you play mainly fingerstyle, my advice would be the Metro RV5, with the alder body and rosewood fingerboard. If you have the cash, throw in a Vintage Tone Control too.


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sadowsky delivers everytime.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    +1. When I got my first RB5 I worried a little because the B string sounded dead. Well, guess what: that was because the string *was* dead! After a new set of strings and a setup, the B sounded beautiful.
    Preventer likes this.