Sadowsky Alder/rosewood vs. Ash/maple

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 5bassman, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    I'm about to trade for a new Sadowsky and I understand there is a difference in the wood combos. With Alder/rosewood being warmer and Ash/maple being brighter. But is this something that can be offset with the Vintage Tone Control, to bring them close to the same sound? I play fingerstyle only, so would I be better off with the Alder/rosewood (trans blue) or the Ash/maple(trans white, the one I want!) Can I roll off the brightness?

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have found it easier to warm up a maple / ash combo then to brighten up a rosewood/ alder bass.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Don't worry about the brightness. The main difference is in the low mid presence.

    As you said, the VTC will cover any "brightness issue".

    The Ash/Maple has less in the low mid which makes people THINK it has more high when in has less beef.

    THAT ain't necessarily a bad thing... especially if you have a cabinet thats voiced to bump the low mid.

    My Alder/ RW PJ5 when used with my Eden Cab is just WAY to much low mid.

    When I use the Ash/Maple with my Acme Cabs....I have to boost low mids....

    When I use the Ash/Maple with the Eden's in the same ball park as the Alder/RW is with the least as far as the tone of the wood goes.

    I find that either one of those combinations with Rogers preamp have more top end than you could ever use. I don't think anyone turns that treble boost much past 50%.

    IMHO of course. If I can be any more confusing to you....I'll update.
  4. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    OMG ! Fantastic tone !
    I want a Sadowsky, I want a Sadowsky, I want a Sadowsky...
  6. I have a NYC Vintage 4 with Alder/Morado and I have a NYC Standard 4 AAAA Ash/Birdseye Maple on order with Roger now....In my opinion I agree with is MUCH easier to sweeten and darken the Ash/Maple with the VTC than it is to brighten up the Alder/Rosewood.......The fundamental frequencies and tonal resonance are different on each and as a result the perception is that the top end on the Alder will NOT sound nearly as bright EVEN with the preamp treble wide open.....The low end I think you can get quite close but as mentioned, the Ash fundamental is voiced a bit higher up into the low mids/mids...I think bikertrash is right on here......

    I ordered the Ash/Maple because I want to get up into that 70's vibe area and the Alder/Morado just won't quite do it.....


  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I have one variable that probably hurts my comparisons. I run Sadowsky nickle on my Ash/maple and Stainless Sadowskys on my Rosewood/Alder.

    #1 You WILL NOT be disapointed with either one provided you have the VTC

    #2 My rosewood Alder has plenty of "edge" and sounds a little bit more "grindy" (may just be the strings). It also is a touch warmer sounding. For Blues and Classic Rock I would chose the RV, the Same for Metal although not many hair bands calling me for gigs these days. :D

    #3 My Maple slaps nicer, because it seem to have less sustain in the low end. So it's easier to control with your touch. The more slapping the gig would call for , the quicker I would go the the maple. However I was playing along with "chain lightning" last night and the distinctive tone of the ash maple, sure liked to "walk". The more R & B or Gospel I was playing the more I'd look at the Maple/ash.
  8. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I prefer an ash body for my Sadowsky's All 3 are ash. 2 have maple boards, one is rosewood. The maple boards seem to stay snappier as your strings age. A bit crisper when u slap. My rosewood board bass still has plenty of zing. I seldom use the treble control on my basses, only when strings are wearing. I keep the treble control on my Demeter amp on zero!!

    Ive owned alder bodied Sadowsky's also. They are warmer with less of a biting tone.

    You should play both and judge for yourself. The proof is live with your band. You'll be able to tell for sure then

  9. Good point burk48237......Strings WILL make a difference....the Stainless to me are a bit too brittle/clangy sounding. However, they will give sizzle to the Alder bodied bass. I currently play Sadowsky Nickels on all my basses except for 1 of my vintage jazzes which has Sadowsky Flats.....I HIGHLY recommend that everyone check out a set of each!!


  10. Go with what you feel is the best option, at the end you are the one that is going to be playing it. I decide to try both and I rather go with Alder/Rosewood but that's only my presonal preference and after playing both.

    Good luck
  11. michele

    michele Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Once again I have to say that anyone who's considering a Sadowsky and feels himself caught between Ash/Maple and Alder/Rosewood MUST ALSO CONSIDER the possibility (only with NYC serie) to walk the ASH-ROSEWOOD way ... it's a very, very interesting combo.
  12. RudeMood


    Nov 7, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I had an ash/maple MV5 that was a bit bright for me - if I bought another one, I'd go with the alder/rosewood.

    BTW, if anyone has a Sadowsky alder/rosewood combo they would part with, I have an early 70's Fender sunburst jazz to trade with lots of cool player wear. Think Jaco's bass but not as beat-to-death...
  13. Also.... when choosing wood combo's, don't forget about body style and pickup placement. If you are going for that 70's vibe, a full size body and the 70's pickup placement can have more effect on the sound than the wood combo. So, the Ultra Vintage might be what you are looking for (or similar 70's model by Celinder or Lull, etc.).

    I also agree that it's easier to 'mellow out' an ash/maple combo than to brighten up a Rosewood/Alder combo. That being said, the NYC Sadowsky's are very 'bright' sounding basses to my ear. I'm a maple/ash guy from way back, but decided on getting a Rosewood/Alder combo to match up better with the Sadowsky Vintage 60's design (body size, pickup placement, etc.). It is warm and punchy, but I was suprised at the high end and grind coming out of that bass. I've actually found the Maple/ash Vintage Metro's (I've only played two of them) rather thin sounding in the mids.
  14. Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2004
    Mason, Ohio
    this kind of bums me out. i just ordered a metro uv70 with the maple/ash combo. kevin told me that was the best sounding combo in the new uv70's. he said it was best for cutting through in a live situation. i kinda figured that meant it had nice natural mids. i also figured that that preamp is monster and it would be better to warm up with the bass and treble controls. i hope i didnt decide wrong.
  15. I heard the Ultra Vintage Metro's sound awesome. I've only played the 'regular' Sadowsky Metro maple/ash, and those are the ones that I personally felt sounded a little thin. I've also only played two of them, so there might also be quite a variance in the individual basses. The Metro Rosewood/Alder sound great to me. I have a feeling the larger body on the UV and the slightly different pickup placement will be awesome. And, if you end up not liking it, they will take it back for a different one. :hyper:
  16. the UV70 is a killer bass, I had one of the first and it is sweet....Don't worry you should dig it and I agree with Kevin....They cut like a knife!!


  17. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Why not Alder/Maple or even better Alder / Macassar Ebony.

  18. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Well I went with the Transparent White w/Tortoise guard in Ash/Maple. I plan on installing the VTC SOON! Should be here here Friday! :p

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Those Morado Fingerboards have more bite then rosewood fingerboards in my expirence.
  20. I agree Major that is one of the reasons I wanted Morado on my Vintage 4 .........