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Sadowsky Dilema

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Neves, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Guys and Gals,

    I have on order an Ultra Vintage 4 string NYC.
    Ash with Brazillian fingerboard.
    I am having a hard time choosing between a Brazillian and Ebony fingerboard.
    I can't decide! I have time to choose as it won't be complete till summer.
    I like the feel of Ebony yet I also like the traditional J sound.
    Roger says the fingerboard has a lot to do with the tone so I don't want to be dissapointed. (If that's possible with a Sadowsky):)
    I have also thought of going both ways and have Roger build another neck.
    My question is, How would the two compare sound wise?
    It's been 13 years since I had an Ebony fingerboard and that was on an active Gibson Les Paul with Barts.
    Any of you have a Sadowsky or two that could chime in on the tonal differences?
  2. I haven't got any direct experience with Sadowsky basses, but I'd recommend not going with the ebony fingerboard unless you're building a fretless bass. I've found that the ebony compress the tone too much. That's probably an overstatement, because that compressed tone can sound really good. But, it's not the most versatile sound. If you like to use thumb techniques, it won't work nearly as well with ebony. If you want a round, more Fender like tone, go with the rosewood.

  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I've had 12 Sadowsky's and probably 100 basses overall. I had a nice Sadowsky 5 with alder body and ebony board. Had a unique tone to it, almost compressed sounding if you know what I mean. Probably wouldnt do one again. Never really cared for ebony on my other basses either. I dont find it to be very versatile when trying to dial in tones. Looked great though!

    Plus, if you do decide to sell down the road, I feel the B. rosewood would be much more desirable to the next buyer, IMO

  4. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I like Ebony for fretless basses. I love Sadowsky Morado.
  5. Big String,

    What do you like about Morado?
    Please elaborate.

    Tonyk, Bikeplate
    I think I understand regarding the compressed tone!
    Thanks for the help.
    I too like the traditional, but the Ebony sure looks cool!!!
  6. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Ebony does look the best, IMO. I have a great NYC 4 with a morado board. Just awesome. My other 2 Sad's are maple board. I've had many in Morado. No in brazilian to this point but I'd love one. Maybe that's my next Sad

  7. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I dont have experience with Sadowsky but if it were my decision I would get brazilian only because thats what a lot of the great old fenders used and I would go for that look and feel.
  8. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Morado is a 'rosewood' it's is a beautiful grained wood and has a light redish color...just beautiful. It's more abundant than some of the more well know rosewoods like East Indian and the famed Brazilian which I also love. Morado is also a little brighter sounding than Brazilian and not as bright as Maple ... in between if you will. I think it's more towards the rosewood side. Looks stunning with my Inca Silver Sad.
  9. For some of you with Sadowsky experience, hows the combo of an Ash body with a Morado board? I'm thinking of purchasing one in that combo, possibly in a Modern, but more than likely a Standard 5.
  10. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Half, its awesome. Ive had a few that way. My present ash/morado is my nyc 4. It is caramel burst, black hardware, no pickguard, quilt top. It was the one Nino had built for himself a while back. I bought it from him last summer. It smokes. Clear, punchy, articulate. I can warm it up nicely though and if I leave the strings on a while, it starts to sound pretty vintage. Nice and light, too. It is one of the prettiest basses I've ever owned. My guitar player always wants to look at the top. I practically looks 3D!!! Looks painted on

  11. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I've had ash/maple, alder/rosewoodfretted & alder/rosewood fretless.
    Not to please with the alder/rosewood and fretless combo, but the alder/rosewood and pretty killin'.
    My next one may very well be ash/rosewood like my old Fender Jazz.
    And reading here @ TB that seems like the killer combo.
    But to answer your question, I never had ebony on a fretted bass, but agree with the other guys, rosewood or morado may be the way to go.
    Hey Bike, how do you think the morado/rosewood with ash matches up vs other combos??
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Well, I have that on my NYC 4 and my Metro 4 is ash/maple
    The Metro is sharper sounding, less warm, stays bright and snappy longer as your strings wear on. Both are about the same weight, w/o pickguard with the same pickups and preamp so I think it's a good comparison. I like them both. The metro is awesome! but the nyc is much prettier

  13. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Sad's got "my" bass on his site right now: Ash body, Braz board, salmon pink. (http://www.sadowsky.com/stock/view/4214.html)


    Nice weight, too (8.75 lbs.). My guess is that it would be a nice combo of ash bright and rosewood warm. Clear, phat, yummy.

    I'm sorry. I'm drooling on my keyboard.
  14. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    That Salmon colored Sad is drop-dead killer! Love that Brazillian Fingerboard!
  15. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I own a brazilian rosewood/ ash Sadowsky and it absolutely smokes! Best of everything for me! I disagree with the comments above about Morado being in between brazilian rosewood and maple, I think brazilian is in between morado and maple. The brazilian has a ring and depth to it that compliments the ash nicely. With Sadowsky it is only a small upgrade fee to go with the brazilian rosewood (this is unusual because Fodera charges 1000 and up for the now extinct wood!) Therefore, if I were you I would go for the gusto, get the brazilian, you won't be disappointed and you may not get another chance!
  16. michele

    michele Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Go brazilian! I think Swamp Ash + Rosewood (any type) is the best combination. I got a Sadowsky NYC with swamp ash body and an unusual MADEGASCAR ROSEWOOD fingerboard: I really love this combo. My bass has warm, well-defined lows, strong mids and buttery highs ... never heard anything growlin' this way...I bless every single buck I put in Roger's hands!
  17. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I've got a braz rosewood fb with an alder body - it sounds amazing :) Don't know how ebony would compare with that, but I'd go with braz rosewood anyday. Another alternative would be pau ferro - ever crossed your mind?
  18. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Hi Marc.
    Still have that wonderful bass huh? Just so everyone knows this was the bass I was selling my MV4 to get. So far no takers on my MV4 :meh: I am still interested in your bass Marc. I just need to sell one or both of my extra basses. Oh well, maybe it's not even for sale anymore.

    As far as were I placed Morado.. it's what I was told by the Sadowsky folks. Personally, my comparison with my East Indian Rosewood board on my USA Lakland and the NYC PJ with Morado (both basses are alder) the Morado sounds a little snapier to me but it's still not a fair comparison since the Sad has a chambered body and the Lakland is solid and full size plus it's passive if that counts. At any rate I like the Rosewood family better on Sadowsky basses. Thank you for your input too because you mainly got me interested in this combo which I feel will ultimately be the best for my taste.
  19. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Rusty, to my knowledge Pau Ferro is the actully Morado or visa versa...
  20. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I played Sadowsky PJ4s with alder bodies: rosewood and with ebony boards.

    To my ears ebony does give a more focused tone; more fundamental to the struck note. Very punchy and tight.

    KEY WORD: focused

    Rosewood seems to have a bit more broadness or harmonic content to the tone. Not the rapid attack of ebony.

    You'll be stoked either way.