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Sadowsky in my future!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oldtimer, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Supporting Member

    May 4, 2002
    New Mexico
    Hey guys! I am looking for thoughts, comments etc. on a couple of Sadowsky models I'm considering. Both are Metro. One is RV4 (rosewood, vintage 4 string)Will Lee at 9 lbs. even. The other is RV4 vintage at 9 l/2 lbs. I thought it was going to be the "Will Lee" all the way but the other feels a little better to me and resonates better unplugged. This all may be due to differences in setup, what I am already used to neckwise etc. The differences in the basses are width at nut on the Will Lee is 1.45 vs 1.5, single coil vs. humcancelling, d-tuner, and midrange boost vs. none. The Will Lee also has a slightly smaller body and 1 more fret.
    It is also $800 more, although the price at this level is not as much of a concern. I'd like to do this just once! I have never had a need for a detuner and the mid boost addition might be nice but I didn't hear anything stunning when it was engaged. I figured the neck was going to be the main draw but after playing both, I'm not so sure.
    I have always been a Jazz bass guy as far as necks go. Both of these basses sound great, but the weight (lighter the better) and feel are important to me. Thoughts, opinions, etc? I know that ultimately the decision is mine, but do you think the extra features of the Will Lee would sway you?
    BTW, these are the first Sadowskys' I've ever played or seen in person so I don't have a lot to go on other than reputation.
    Btw, if this post looks familiar, I posted on another forum also. I thought I might get more responses here though. I am especially interested in the single coil vs. humcancelling differences. I did try to search but didn't find much.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    If the RV4 feels better, get it. If you love the classic Sadowsky sound, then the mid control should not be that big of an issue, and you can use your amp for more mids. If you want a detuner, you can order one and put it on yourself for well under $100.
  3. FunkyMcNasty

    FunkyMcNasty Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Good decision either way. You will not be disappointed. IMO
  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Supporting Member

    May 4, 2002
    New Mexico
    Thanks! Anyone else?
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've not played the WL model, but I can say that I like the single coil pickups much better than the humcancelling.
    I feel the humcancelling are too midscooped for me, and I have the single coils in both my RV5 and MV5.

    If you order direct from Sadowsky, you get a 7 day, no questions asked return policy....if your credit card can take it, you can order one of each, and return the one you don't like;)
  6. Ivan M

    Ivan M

    Aug 2, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Which ever one you decide on, like others have said, you WILL NOT go wrong. Good luck. And of course pics and keep us posted over on the SADOWSKY club. Fran will give you a number.
  7. 78Jazzlover


    Aug 14, 2008

    I'm with you on the mid scooped humcancelling pups, although to me its more than that. The preamp even flat and light light ash or alder (especially with the NY models) I think contributes to the problem in the brand.

    Will Lee wanted more mids for a reason, and according to a post in another thread by Sadowsky himself, it was because he wanted to hear more mids live, and they couldent achieve that by just changing to single coils.
  8. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Supporting Member

    May 4, 2002
    New Mexico
    If that is the case, then does the often referred to quote of Sadowskys "sitting well in the mix" mean in recorded music and not necessarily "Live"?
  9. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I keep contemplating a road trip or train ride to NYC just to hit Sadowsky.

    5805 really has me thinking about it.

  10. Dickie

    Dickie It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Central VA.
    I have not played a WL, but I do not think you can go wrong with the RV4. Personally I like the hum-cancelling pups but I have had the single coils in a past bass and they also sounded really good.
    I like the hum-cancelling because you can favor one of the 2 pups with no single coil hum. I find it hard to justify the extra money for the WL. The RV4 will hold resale value better I think, they consistently sell for $1600-$1800 used.
    I think Sadowsky makes the best basses out there, that is my unbiased opinion and I have owned many, many basses. I do not have an endorsement deal but I will take one if anyone is listening.......anyone? hello?......Roger?
  11. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Sadowskys sit well in the mix in the studio and live.
    You can check out this thread for some sound clips regarding HC versus single coils.
  12. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Supporting Member

    May 4, 2002
    New Mexico
    Thanks Fran! I did listen to the clips and they sound very similar in comparison. I hear a little more clarity with the single coils. Also, when playing the 2 Metros, the single coil hum is FAR less than my 62 Jazz with one pickup favored/solo'd.
  13. Dickie

    Dickie It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Central VA.
    Yes, having a fully shielded cavity(even one with just the shielding paint like Sad uses) will allow for much lower noise than a Fender.
  14. I've owned and played quite a few Sadowsky J's, and while they all sound somewhat similar (there really is a general 'Sadowsky' tone IMO and IME), the wood choices, weight of the instrument and pickup choice really interact. So, it is hard to make a 'black and white' recommendation.

    I had a very lightweight ash/maple Metro Vintage with the stock HC's, and found the tone very scooped and rather harsh. I had a very nice light to moderate weight alder/RW NYC routed Vintage, and actually preferred the HC's to the single coils (had both sets). That particular bass's warm, mid present tone just worked great with the HC's. One of the 'best' Sadowsky J's I've ever experienced was a heavy Metro RV4 with the stock HC's. That bass, for some reason, just PUNCHED. So, again, a bit of variation in the generally strong Sadowsky J voicing.

    The Sadowsky I ended up with was an NYC ash/maple non-routed Vintage of moderate weight (around 8.5 pounds or so), with the single coils, and it just is the 'Sadowsky sound that I hear in my head'... punchy, grindy, aggressive, articulate. I can also get a very good bridge pickup burp by just moving the blend slightly off center to keep the pickups relatively hum cancelling, so I have never had a noise issue with the SC's.

    So, hard to recommend one over the other for every situation.

    To the OP, this clip is pretty representative of what my Sadowsky spec sounds like.

    Sadowsky Vintage through Bergantino AE410 driven by TC RH450 and Markbass F1 - YouTube
  15. 78Jazzlover


    Aug 14, 2008
    Its a complete matter of opinion whether or not any one Sadowsky (or for that matter any bass) sits well in a mix or not. I've talked to many people who have also tried them and say they were not right in the mix for them, as it was for me. The only person to solve that for you is, you. I've solved it for me.

    I would strongly suggest you go with your own trial one way or another as there is only so far reading other people's opinions can go for your own taste and preferences.
  16. 78Jazzlover


    Aug 14, 2008

    Alder Sadowskys are a tad better IMO for a certain flavor of mid presence, as it usually goes in my experience with other brands also. Dan Atkinson aside, the wood does have a natural tonal characteristic in general that does make a difference.

    Does an alder/single coil Sadowsky have more of what I would describe as natural organic sounding midrange? Somewhat, yes. Is it good enough, or as satisfying as some other brands for me? No. Generally speaking, all around, the brand to my ear lacks something I like and I've identified it for myself regardless of wood choice or pups.

    The funny thing is the Will Lee speaks to that point pretty directly.

  17. +1 Sadowsky J's have their own tone. For those who like a bigger dose of mid mids, a tighter low end (i.e., some real hit you in the chest thump), and a bit more refined top end, Roger makes the 'Modern' model, which is very warm and super mid punchy. Of course, there is the PJ model that sits a bit in-between those two extremes.
  18. 78Jazzlover


    Aug 14, 2008
    You are right in that I should have limited my comments/opinion to Sadowsky JAZZ BASS models. The Modern does a better job at what its supposed to do IMO. I actually like the alder/ rosewood heavier ( than the NY version) Metro Modern when I've been able to try them out. So for those that think i'm just a knee- jerk Sadowsky hater, there you go.
  19. rulyongo


    May 5, 2011
    Carolina, PR
    Go with the one you liked. To me all Sadowskys have that "mojo"... I currently play a Metro with PJ pickups, I tried the Will Lee last summer and I absolutely loved it!!! But it was for the smaller size body and the neck...
  20. Go for the regular RV4. If you don't think you'd use the mid boost or the D-tuner, and you like how the neck feels, then it sounds like a simple solution. Why spend the extra cash for stuff that you probably won't use? You can't go wrong either way, but for an $800 difference, I'd go the cheaper route, unless the weight is that much of a concern. Half a pound probably won't make much difference with a Sadowsky since they balance so well.

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