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Sadowsky Metro: first impressions/initial review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AJ Love, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    so I got the Sadowsky Metro J bass in today, Olympic White, rosewood board, Sadowsky pre-amp, yadda yadda, you know the drill

    pictures here

    the obvious question everyone wants to know (and what I wanted to know): Is it as good or worse than the NYC Sadowsky bass?

    well, (and note this is just first impressions), in some ways its better! and it is at the very least just as good.....

    the finish (especially on the neck) is better than the Sadowsky NYC basses. note here we are talkin' very subtle differences, obviously there is nothing wrong with the finish on a NYC Sadowsky. Now I don't know how those guys at Sadowsky Japan do it, but the finish on the fingerboard is something else. Hard to describe, but I can see my reflection in it for one and the finish and feel on the back of the neck is truely ideal and comfortable

    note please that the NYC Sadowsky I previously owned was in need of me sending it to Roger for a tune-up/check-up/set-up (nothing major wrong with it, it just wasn't in A+ shape set-up wise....this bass I have in my hands is just fast and dead on in intonation; even after making a small adjustment to the neck (to compensate for the smaller strings, went from .045's to .040's that were put on yesterday) and lowering the action quite a bit, the intonation is still dead on. I don't quite get that. the playability on this bass is ever so slightly better than on the NYC that I previously owned and on a friend of mine's NYC

    I can hear it now "yeah but what about the Roger Sadowsky magic?" theres plenty of magic in this bass. it is obvious to me that the guys at Sadowsky Japan are some bad MF'ers in their own right and are out to prove that they can make incredible basses (somehow I don't buy the thought that I got the only great Metro bass out of the batch, I betcha they are all great)

    its not light, its 9.5 pounds, no big shakes to me. No deadspots on this bass

    the tone? sounds like a Sadowsky to me. (i.e the tone is killer)

    I am easily playing things on this bass (such as Victor Wooten's tune "Sex in a Pan") that were much tougher to play on other basses (thats a good sign indeed)

    I am an extremely picky cat, I could see sending this back to Roger for a re-cut of the nut because I have the lighter guage strings on it. As it is though that will wait until I get another comperable bass because this will be my only bass for awhile

    its a keeper, thats for sure

    I've got a gig tommorow night (the Reggae band) and will put it through its paces then and report back to you guys after the gig. And I have some rehearsals (the funk band) this weekend to use it on as well as a recording session coming up. thats where the true test comes in, how a bass sounds in the mix.
  2. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    oh yeah: this bass is a slap monster. just a bunch of sick slap tones in it. My current bass teacher is one of the best slappers anywhere and a freak about Sadowsky, so it will be interesting to hear him shred on this thing on Sunday

    I was able to get a very nice low action on this bass
  3. Classic5


    Mar 31, 2002
    Really looking forward to your posting after the gig and rehearsal AJ. I'm really tempted by the Sadowsky basses, even more so with the pricing of the Metro line. And Rogers regular emails each time new basses are added to the website certainly don't help.

    I love the finish on the Metro you bought. Great classic look.

  4. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    any chance of a soundclip AJ?
  5. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    A sound clip will never do any bass, esp a Sadowsky, justice.

    You can go to Bass Taster's site but for a ....sonic taste. But it's the difference of looking at Victoria's Secret catalogue as opposed to having one of those babe's in your arms.

    (sorry if the analogy is offensive to some)
  6. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    Would love to hear that as well.
  7. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    a soundclip will be unlikely from me for at least a month or two. the studio sessions I have with it coming up are just jingles and songwriters demos, that kinda thing (that I never get copies of)

    I have found that most Sadowsky basses have very similar sounds (with some variety of course). with that Sadowsky pre-amp you can dial in a huge variety of tones. so in other words, it sound slike a Sadowsky bass

    the unplugged tone on this bass is fantastic, one of the best I've heard. very resonant. alot of natural low-mids. by using an extra portion of the bridge pickups and dialing in some extra bass boost I cna get closer to a P Bass sound with this bass than pretty much any J bass I've played (and a better P bass sound than alot of Fender P Basses, truth be told!)

    really looking forward to taking it on the gig tonight

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Congrads on a Wonderfull Bass :bassist:
  9. Congrats AJ! What a Beauty she is...makes me want one in that color!! Let us know how the gig goes....if she is anything like my NYC (#4045) she'll make you want to keep playing....Great to have a wife like that, eh? Mine is like that too, thank god!

    Rock on...

  10. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    just got back from the gig and the bass just SMOKED. killer tone, killer playability, just a lot of fun to play and its inspiring to play. everything one would want in a Sadowsky. it is a real Sadowsky in every way.

    (as a side note, I spoke to Roger on the phone today, to thank him and ask him a quick set-up question. what a class act he is...)

    there are so many sounds and tones in this bass that it will likely take me months or years or decades to find them all. since it was a Reggae gig I pretty quickly settled into a nice spot right in front of the neck pickup and got big thick BASS tone going on. a few audience members came up afterowrds and said the bass sounded amazing, thats always good to hear

    just a blast to play this bass... I've got a funk rehearsal to take it to tommorow, that should be fun
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Very cool. The Metros really are ALL THAT. I brought it to a recording session with one of my 2 bands. I was using my NYC Sadowsky's & My Tokyo (all ash/maple) & the drummer commented on how good the Metro sounded. Here it is on my 1st gig with it:

    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/photopost/data/504/14993BatCave_2-28-4_001-med.jpg">
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Too cool! I can hardly wait until September...

    On a side note, I find myself wondering whether it's necessary or worthwhile to have the passive tone control added. How many of you current or soon-to-be Metro owners are going for that?

  13. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    Oh they are lovely.how much do you think they will go for used?
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    What ever the seller want's to sell it for as long as the buyer is willing to pay that price. :)
  15. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    AJ Love, your METRO has the best colour combination for a jazz bass

    is it possible to see some close up pics?

    headstock, back of the headstock.... pu, body...

    thanks a lot
  16. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    no closer up pics for now from me, my digital camera was made in the Fred Flinstone days :)

    the passive tone on this bass is good, it seems slightly better than the NYC I had (but that might have been a set-up issue with the NYC). I plan on playing this bass in active mode 99% of the time though (because thats the tone I hear in my head)

    used pricing? its so hard to say. these are great basses and aren't exactly flooding the market. at $1825 brand new, that to me is practically a steal for this kind of quality....so the used pricing (I would guess, and I am only guessing) is probably going to be around at least $1400 or $1500....as Nino says, the market itself will determine that. there is always the case of someone unloading something quick at a low price, but in terms of supply (low) and demand (high) these Metros will command a fairly high re-sale value
  17. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    it probably would be a good thing, just because anything you can do to make a bass more versatile is a good thing. I will probably get a passive tone control put in mine eventually.

    as it is though, this bass is my only bass right now, so I won't be sending it anywhere until I get an additional bass. The next bass I get will probably be a Brubaker 4 or a NYC Sadowsky (I'd like to get one with Brazillian Rosewood fingerboard and Lake Placid Blue with matching headstock)
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Sadowsky Rules!! The metros are a hit. NO doubt. NAMM #2 ruled. I will be looking into another soon as a backup for my 2 NYC's. Funny thing is people always come up to me at gigs to let me know how great my tone is. They think it's my amp!

  19. mcdonap


    Sep 25, 2001
    Hi Mike,

    I went for the passive tone in my Metro. I just like being able to tweak the tone a little if I'm in passive mode. I suppose that you could do any of that with your amp as well, but I like having the control on the bass. Also, I like that it works in active mode too. It's kind of subtle, but I can make the tone a bit darker or brighter without changing the bass and/or treble controls. Not sure if that would be worth $150 to you, (or anyone else), but I'm glad that I had it put in.

    These Metros definitely rule! I agree with AJLOVE, I really feel like I got a steal on a brand new bass of this quality. I didn't buy it to sell it, and I'm not sure what they would go for used. The good thing is, they are a Sadowsky and the word is getting out that these are the real deal. I think they'll probably hold their value extremely well.
  20. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Thanks, Pat and everyone else. My concern was not so much the ability to tweak the tone in passive mode as to make the tone darker than the boost-only preamp would allow. Sounds like it's nice but not a necessity, so I'll probably take AJ's route and hold off for now, with the option to add it later if I want to.