Sadowsky J vs. Fender J (Whats the $2500 diffrence?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Jul 27, 2005.

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  1. This one should be good. How can it be that a Ultra Vintage Style Sadowsky Jazz is $2500.00 more then a Standard MIA Fender Jazz and be worth it?

    Okay, maybe the pickups in a Stock MIA Fender aren't so good, swap them out w/ Fralins, and now compare. (This is my axe)

    Both hand made, MIA.... I mean really, how much better can a Sadowsky sound then the originator of the Jazz Bass, The Fender Jazz? And if it does sound better, is it woth $2500.00 MORE!?!?!?

    Better selection of wood? How much better can it possibly be?
    Better craftmanship? Ok, granted they take an extra week to build it then Fender does, but again? $2500.00 more? The dot inlays better be made up of rubys, gems, and diamonds!

    But in all seriousness, whats the point of a Sadowsky?

    Let the tomatoes fly!
  2. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    You, huge can of worms, etc. :D
  3. Sane


    Dec 4, 2004
    Melbourne Fl
    Sadowskys come with that new car scent.
  4. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    I have never played a Sadowsky,have heard lots of good stuff about them, and I have talked to Roger before, and he is just all the way KOOL! If I had to buy a bass on just customer service alone, Rogers basses would certainly rank up there and I would not give it a second thought! but I would ask the same question before buying one, since they are not for everyone, per some comments I have read here before. I do like my Fender jazz :cool: having said that, although you ask a legit question, I think some are gonna smell blood in the water so watch out :meh: will probably get more than tomatoes hurled at you :eek:
  5. I actually don't find this that controversial. I've owned a number of very high end semi-custom basses like Lakland and Sadowsky and Celinder. Why does the 55-94 cost much more than the Skyline version?... why does the NYC Sadowsky cost so much more than the Metro, etc? Why would anyone pay the premium?

    I guess it comes down to how important the workmanship and fit and finish of the instrument are to you. To me (and since I'm quite a bit older than a lot of you and also have a pretty good day gig!), these 'USA' type semi-custom instruments are worth every penny... both the USA Laklands and, at least the Alder Sadowsky NYC's are a lot lighter than their oversea's counterparts (in general, anyway)... worth the money to me right there. The real ebony dot inlays on the Lakland USA, along with the thicker and higher AAAA level tops on the USA are also worth it to me... the 'over the top' birdseye neck on the Celinder... etc. etc. ... do these things impact the sound?... well... no

    However.... the Music Man 5 strings and at least some Fenders right off the wall are wonderful instruments. So, the whole deal is... are the subtle differences worth the money?.... to me... yes... I can TOTALLY understand those of you who say no :)
  6. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    get ready to be smashed by the suporting members!!!

    Ill make a list of things anyway:

    -their store is in NY...
    -the preamp is made by them (so they can put any price tag on it)
    -the pickups are made by them
    -quality is superb in 5 strings (and thats worth some money)
    -they use some great tops and great tops cost a lot...
  7. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I am one that thinks Sadowskys' are too expensive. I have three Fenders and am plenty happy with them. I might own a Sadowsky if they were affordable, but they're not--not even the lower end ones. I've played high-end instruments, and am a firm believer in the fact that just because an instrument ranges in the thousands, doesn't mean it is worth that much.
  8. VJP

    VJP Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2001
  9. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Good, then don't post.
  10. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    I think it is good that people are still making high quality instruments that are made to fit the player. It may cost more but I don't want to see the day where they sell bass guitars at walmart.

    Personally I don't think $2500 bucks doesn't justify a figured maple top. But any quality bass that has a good fit and finish and helps you bring your style out is worth it's weight in tomatoes.

    Bring on the tomatoes! :bag:
  11. There's a place for both in this world, and both are great value for what they are.

    Folks in the classical world are used to paying 5 and 6 figures for fine instruments.

    Once you have gigged a good Sadowsky or MTD or other really fine bass (including an exceptional vintage or custom shop Fender that's been professionally maintained) you will experience the differences. They may be subtle, but there are a lot of them and they add up in feel and sound and consistency. The visuals are a bonus.


  12. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
  13. Boring?

    I’m guessing you want fire and flames or an all out war here? I don’t think your going to get it. I think that anyone reasonable (even Sadowsky owners) would have to agree that the audible difference is minimal, comparing an alder/rosewood Fender to an alder/rosewood Sadowsky. I believe that even a Sadowsky owner would have to agree to that, that strictly tone wise, the difference would be minimal.

    One post said something about 5 stringers, higher AAAA tops, ect… This tread isn’t about that. I’m speaking strictly vintage style jazzes. (Though he agreed in the sound difference, being probably none)

    Fit n’ Finish, ok, maybe the Sadowsky wins, but $2500.00 more? Hang on, wait, what is Fit n’ Finish anyway?! Is the gloss that Sadowsky using to finish there Ultra Jazzes better then Fenders? Must be a clear coat of melted crystal then. And Fit? Does one contour to our body better? Again, just speaking the Vintage Style Jazz. I dont think so. When you playing one or the other, after about 3-4 minutes, and if your into your groove, your mind will get used to whatever is on your shoulder, unless it’s a 15 lb bass.

    I’m not looking to trash Sadowsky owners here or looking to start a war. I just wanted to make a point, and educate those wondering about the difference, saying that in my strong opinion, and by logical breakdown of it, that there’s not a bid difference. Definitely not a $2500.00 difference!

    I truly understand the physiological contentment, knowing you have the quote–un-quote “best of the best”, but that’s what I really think it comes down to. But paying $3000.00-$4000.00 for the physiological contentment aspect of knowing you have the quote-un-quote, the “best of the best”??

    Hey if its worth that to you, and you have the money, awesome. Really, that’s awesome. But I’m not that jealous, and I believe in an A-B comparison, the Fender jazz, with a $150.00 mod of some Lindy Fralin’s would be a competitor, and price for price the champion.

    Man… I’m probably going to get kicked off for this one huh?
  14. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I -really- don't believe that's going to happen...

  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    IMO, yadda yadda:

    Sadowsky basses have a certain hi-fi tone to them that some players prefer. With the vintage tone control they can be made to sound more traditional... not necessarily *just* like a Fender, but close.

    The difference in price is mainly because "fit and finish" on Sadowsky basses is better: tight neck pocket, tidy wiring and proper shielding in the control cavity, etc. Most important (for me) is the neck: the fret ends are beautifully rounded and polished, and the fretboard edges softened.

    The finishing touches listed above (and others I didn't mention) are very time consuming. If you prefer the Fender tone and Fender quality is good enough for you, then there's little or no reason to spend $2500+ on a Sadowsky.

    Me, I own a Fender and a Sadowsky. If I didn't have the money for the Sadowsky, I'd be perfectly satisfied with Fender. But I love 'em both.
  16. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Define "worth it". If someone spends the money and is happy with the bass, surely it's "worth it"?

    Judging by the many happy Sadowsky owners, they obviously feel it's worth it to them. Personally, I don't need that sound that much to justify the Fender/Sadowsky price tag difference. But that's me.
    I have an MTD bass that is just as expensive as a Sadowsky but to me is "worth it". Different strokes for different folks.
  17. If they wouldn't, it would be just because they spent $4000.00 on their bass. I think if they wouldn't, it would be physiological, and audibly minimal.

  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    In the grand scheme of things, a Sadowsky sounds more Fender-y than, say, a Modulus or an Alembic. But I can still hear the difference between the Fenders and Sadowskys I've played. I'm not saying the Sadowsky tone is "better"... that's completely subjective.

    Regarding fit and finish: read my post above. I'm the first to say that there's a large price jump for apparently small differences. But if many players didn't appreciate those differences, Sadowsky wouldn't be in business.

    It's perfectly reasonable for someone to prefer Fender to Sadowsky. But it's also reasonable for someone to prefer Sadowsky to Fender. Buy the one you prefer and can afford.
  19. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds

    Not going to be baited into this one. They are worth it for too many reasons. AND, either you get it or you don't. Took me a year to fully get it. Now, I won't play much else.
  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Nope, "boring" because this same question (and others like it, with other high-end basses) have been hashed over many, many times, and the pros and cons for both sides are pretty obvious. In the end, it comes down to the fact that whether or not something is "worth" X amount of dollars is entirely a personal choice.


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