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Sadowsky identification... help please!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by warwickhunt, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. I'm in the process of sourcing a Sadowsky bass and I'm specifically after a 'downsized' (preferably light-weight) body; I thought I had it all nailed down and that the Sadowsky UV range were the full size and all others were downsized bodies BUT during my research I've thrown up what looks like a curve ball as the Metro and Tokyo basses (which I assumed to be one and the same) would appear to have different sized bodies. Is this the case? :eyebrow:

    Can anyone point me in the direction of a source of info re. what Sadowky's have a 'downsized' body and a means of differentiating between the different models (i.e. Fender serial numbers have a prefix which identifies their origin), as I now don't know how to split a Tokyo / Metro whilst searching/shopping online!

    Hanuta06 likes this.
  2. rodneyat


    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I have no experience with how the Tokyo basses are numbered. But, the Metro basses all have an M as the first digit of the serial number. Here in the states, the Metro is the only one available other than the NYC models. We see Tokyo basses pop up from time to time but they were purchased overseas and brought back into the country personally or shipped. I have not seen one close up though.
    Hanuta06 likes this.
  3. Many thanks.

    So do you know if the 'Tokyo' name is simply applied to Sadowsky basses in the Japanese home (non-export) market or are they a separate and different bass altogether to the Metro?
  4. Bass Club Mark

    Bass Club Mark

    Dec 21, 2005
    Bass Club Chicago
    Rodney is correct. All Metro's are designated with an M in the serial number. I've personally never seen a Tokyo, and I've been a Sadowsky dealer for 3 years now. There are 5 Sadowsky Metro models - Regular Vintage, Standard Vintage, Ultra Vintage, and Modern Vintage, Hybrid P and P/J. The Regular and Standard Vintage are both similar J bodies, one with pickguard and one without. The Ultra Vintage is a diff J body shape and pickup placement, and slightly larger body. The Modern is a different non-J style body with soap-bars. The Hybrid P is self explanitory. Of the group, the Modern has the smaller body. Does that help?
    Hanuta06 likes this.
  5. rodneyat


    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Some of the other Sadowsky experts can probably chime in. If I am not mistaken, they are the same now. There was a point that the Tokyo basses were being made and there was not a Metro version that came into the US. Since the Metro was introduced into the US market. I am pretty sure they are pretty much the same basses and are definitely made by the same people. A Metro that is sold directly by Sadowsky here in the US will be inspected and setup by Roger and crew here. That would be the only difference that I know of.
  6. Cheers guys, this is all helping. :)

    So to clarify... the Modern Vintage (MV) has the smallest body and the UV is a regular size (what I would call Fender dimensions even if the body outline is a 'little' different) but is the RV/SV a reduced body size or is it similar in dimensions/bulk to a regular Fender Jazz?
    Hanuta06 likes this.
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    IIRC the Tokyo basses and the Metro basses are not the same (although made by the same shop). THe Tokyo basses were more or less what the current Metro UV line of basses are (full size jazz bodies). The Metro line of basses are a "no frills" version of the NYC line. Therefore any Tokyo bass will have a full size body, but will also say "Sadowsky Guitars Tokyo" on the headstock.

    Metro basses have different body sizes depending on the bass, and all say "Sadowsky Guitars" on the headstock, but have a serial number starting with "M".

    MS, MV, RS and RV models all the downsized "jazz" body.
    M5 and R5 models all have the extra downshized Modern body (with 24 fret necks)
    UV models all have the standard jazz body.
    Hybrid PJ models have a precision body (not sure if it is downsized)
    PJ5 models have a downsized 5 string jazz body (but not the modern body)

    Hope that helps.
    Hanuta06 likes this.
  8. Joeykun

    Joeykun pronounced ジョーイくん

    Jun 22, 2007
    MA - RT. 2
    All Sadowsky's have the down sized body except for the UV line. The Modern series is a unique shape based off a J style.
    I am not sure if the Hybrid P is downsized or not?

    The Tokyo Line and Metro series are different. All Tokyo's are labled as Sadowsky Guitars/Tokyo. Metro's are Labled Sadowsky Guitars and serial #'s start with M.

    Most of the Tokyo series basses I've seen have been simular to the UV line.

    The crew at Sadowsky are more than willing to help out. Email Kevin or call. Probably the best customer service in the business!

    Good Luck in your quest!
  9. Cheers guys!

    That is a lot clearer and several pieces of the jigsaw just dropped into place. :hyper:
  10. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Tokyo basses have a full sized body and "Tokyo" on the headstock. The serial numbers are on the neckplate. The Tokyo 5 strings all have 60's string spacing. The 4's may have 60's or 70's spacing. Additionally, the Tokyo basses, unlike the metro's have a different preamp which is bass boost and +/- treble. It also has single coil pickups

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