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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sadowsky, May 2, 2010.
Just for my own curiosity, what is your issue with chambering?
Personally, when I pick up a J bass I want a J bass, by that I mean that when I do the last thing I want is a chambered instrument. My NYC JJ 5 had chambering that I felt was very obvious when playing it unplugged or amplified, I felt it was a very strong part of its sounds, more so than just to reduce weight. It had great sustain, and was certainly very easy to play due to its light weight, but I always felt that I wasn't able to get that focus or weight, for lack of better words, that I wanted from the bass and that I look for in a J bass. If and when I do order another NYC I will definitely specify a non chambered body. Aside from that I had one killer J bass with your single coils!
That's an interesting take on it, and I mean that in a good way. I like the chambered sound and of course, the weight. I took my NYC Modern 5 JJ to Las Vegas with me when I visited a friend and I remember his reaction when he played it.
He basically said something along the lines of, "I can't believe something this light can still sound so great". He continued to comment on how it was almost like playing with a toy, since it was so easy to move about and not have 10lbs of pressure on your shoulder!
I am also blown away by the fact that I never get any kind of neck dive! I'll not dare ask the secret!
At least you have the option to have a non-chambered body if you prefer.
And the Metros are not chambered either!
Excellent point. I forgot about this. I've played many metros and I find them to be quite impressive. The same level of detail (looks, overall neatness and playability) is paid to each metro Sadowsky as you would expect on a NYC model.
I just have a thing for black hardware.
Something about picking up a solid body Jazz that weighs 10+ pounds and it pretty much says "Yeah, I'm gonna serve up an ass load of tone".
But then your chiropractor says "Yeah, I'm gonna serve you up an ass load of bills"....
BTW Roger, Michael Franks says "Hi!"
He's a good friend of mine from church. Makes one hell of a fine acoustic guitar!
Funny thing is, he had NO idea you made basses like you do!
Kind of a tangent, but I do like my solid body metros better than the chambered NYC JJ5 I had. The chambered bass was ash/maple so I was expecting big time crispy attack and grind like my MS4 ... but instead it was the warmest, fattest, most soft-spoken sadowsky I've played. Which was not a "bad" thing at all, just not what I expected. Do you find that is a common reaction to the chambered basses, or was it just that one example?
I also strongly prefer 34" scale, after having a large number of 5 strings both 34" and 35". I have a couple 35" scale basses left that I do think are great, but I think they'd be even better with an inch less scale.
What is the body wood on your solid Metros? I ask because the three swamp ash basses I've owned fairly recently (Fender, Lull, Sadowsky) had polite top end, even though two came with maple boards. Soft-spoken is another good way to put it. I was surprised each time too, because folks say "ash == bright", but I think the brightness is in the sweet high mids. For grindy attack I prefer alder.
NYC basses can be ordered with a solid body.
I do NOT get it when people say that the chambered bodies are somehow less punchy and aggressive sounding than the solid bodies. IMO/IME this is patently untrue. Before I got my current ash/maple NYC (chambered), I had a virtually identical Metro PJ5 in ash/maple (solid body). The NYC is JUST as punchy and agressive sounding as was the Metro. Both were virtually identical tonally, except that to my ears the NYC is slightly more open sounding and the notes seem to 'sing' more and the neck itself seems to be more responsive to left-hand variance. In a mix, and I have the recordings of both basses in the same venue with the same recorder/amp/pa/etc, there's absolutely NO difference. Of course, YMMV, IMO of course.
When I began chambering, all of my customers who had both older Sadowskys and newer chambered ones told me the chambered ones took everything to the next level and were the best Sadowsky basses they had heard. I specifically remember Michael Rhodes and Hugh McDonald saying the same thing.
I never would have made chambering standard if I felt it had any negative affect on the tone whatsoever.
I DEFINITELY agree with the above. My metro PJ5 was amazing. My NYC PJ5 is even MORE amazing somehow. Could be chambering, could be the anodized gold guard, heck, could be the magical voodoo powers of Roger and Co. Either way, well done sirs!!!!
My only qualm about ordering an NYC Sadowsky: when I did I wasn't aware that the bodies were chambered, I found out on TB some three months after I had ordered my bass but decided to give it a try anyway. I'm completely confident Sadowsky Guitars would have started a new order for me if I had changed my mind. I don't know if it's posted on the Sadowsky site but I do think it would be nice to have all the specifications of the instruments available. I don't mean to complain, heck I can't, my Sadowsky ordering experience was the best customer service I've had.
I notice a slight difference in tone between the solid bodied models and the chambered models.
To my ears, there is a slight sonic difference in the low mids. I would say both models are punchy.....just a different type of punch.
However, I also notice that the chambered basses overall seem to be a tad bit warmer,fuller tone wise, and more resonant.
My Will Lee that I was forced to sell recently was flat out amazing. Notes shot off the thing and it sustained FOREVER. Clear tone is an understatement. The mid switch is too sweet! I love that feature......wish I could get it on the other two NYC's I've got....hint hint
I am convinced that Roger only works for the better. He wouldn't make something a standard feature on his products unless it absolutely smoked.
I do think it is a great thing that you can order an NYC with either a chambered or a solid body.
I'd be happy with any instrument that came out of Roger's shop.
And here I am thinking I have all the specs for the NYC I'm going to order figured out, and then you guys make me remember I have a choice between chambered and non chambered lol
We really don't publicize the option of non-chambered because I am committed to chambered bodies. We usually only offer it on natural ash bodies so you don't see the seam. But if you want solid, you got it!!
Don't forget that Roger has decades of experience not only handling bass of all makes but also the finest basses that session players the world over would send to him for setups and mods. So he has heard and played the killer old Fenders as well as the crappy old Fenders (as well anything else out there) yielding a strong reference point to create ear candy.
And what ear candy it is!
If you do a search for 'solid' on the sold basses page you'll see that it is specified when the bass has a solid body.
Most of my Sadowskys, due to my natural (or should I say vintage tint) addiction, have been solid bodied, but I owned a chambered bass for a couple of months and the tone was similar to the ones I had at the time with similar specs and solid bodies.
I don't know if chambering makes the bass more resonant, but I can't imagine a bass more resonant that the two solid bodied Sadowskys I own now, especially the PJ, it just vibrates in a way similar to my double bass, where I can feel the whole instrument 'rumbling' against my body and the unamplified volume is LOUD.
IME, I didn't have a problem going chambered if the finish doesn't show the seam.
I'm talking mostly about my MS4. Its a really bright, snappy bass. The UV70s I've had were the same way, solid ash, snappy sound. I've also got a great RS5 that is rounder and warmer, just like it should be. I'd like to try another chambered bass sometime, since it could have just been that one bass I had that turned out ultra-warm (Nino has said before that he's made really warm ash/maple basses and really bright alder/rws). But really I'm very happy with my metros.