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Sadowsky Metro MV4 #M2393 w/ Single Coils Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Sep 15, 2008.


  1. http://www.sadowsky.com/stock/view/m2393.html
    So I've had my Sadowsky MV4 for about a month now, and thought I would write a little diddy about it.
    I must say, I'm impressed. She came arrayed in all her glory, looking absolutely beautiful. The finish is absolutely beautiful, and the construction is the best I've owned. I really like how the hardware on the instrument is of extremely high quality as well.

    I come from an all Fender background, currently owning 3 other Fender Jazzes.

    The tone of the MV4 is very aggressive set flat. That 'Sadowsky' treble response is cutting... extremely clear sounding instrument.
    The wood, you can just tell is hand picked. This isn't run of the mill, "whatever is in stock Ash". I don't know how they choose and decipher the Ash they use vs. other Ash, but this sounds great! Its weight is about 8 lbs, and sounds it. Great midrange punch and liveliness. I really enjoy the low mids this bass has. Great punchy tone. The notes ring out evenly up and down the neck as well.

    If I had to try to summarize in few words the MV4's tone, I would use "aggressive, punchy, and clear". Very lively and touch sensitive. It sounds super clear. The neck feels more substantial and solid then my Fender Jazzes, and IMO this has influence on the Sadowsky's tone. Notes just ping off this instrument. Fenders sound a bit softer in direct comparison.

    Slap is awesome. Great snap to it. Fingerstyle sounds full and clear. Great all around tone for everything.. Definitely the most versatile instrument I've ever owned.

    If I HAD to critique, I would say the MV4 doesn't exactly nail the ever popular & famous Jazz Bass tones. The all familiar Alder/Rosewood 60's style J bass tone (obviously because its Ash/Maple). Its not quite warm/fat enough to nail that one even w/ the VTC rolled back. But it comes close. And it doesn't exactly nail the Marcus Miller 70's Jazz tone either, due to its 60's style pickup position. It has a bit more low mid fundamental "oomph" vs. the more harmonic sizzle from the 70's positioning. But the nice thing about it is it does come close to both! Kind of middle of the road in between both, and I could make convincing tones for either using the MV4. The versatility of this instrument is out of this world
     
  2. bubinga5

    bubinga5

    Jun 6, 2006
    cheltenham(UK)
    Thanks for that MG, im just about to order an MV5, but with the maple neck,,im not sure how that will affect the sound???
     
  3. I believe an MV5 is maple.
     
  4. bubinga5

    bubinga5

    Jun 6, 2006
    cheltenham(UK)
    Of course..DOHH!!
     
  5. Nice, and +1 to literally everything in your review.

    I really, really, really love the Sadowsky single coils. Wonderful grind and aggressiveness to my ear.
     
  6. Thanks man. Yes, the single coils are very nice. I had them installed at Sadowsky before they shipped without listening to the Hum Canceling versions. Just not into hum canceling pickups in general. Tried many and they just don't do it for me. The top end doesn't have the same "sizzle", and they just don't sound as "immediate" or have the "attack" that true single coils do.

    Heck, just the word 'single coil' is cooler them 'hum canceling'. Single coils all the way!
     
    JohnnyTog likes this.
  7. +1 My RV5 has the HC's, and it sounds great (I've been using it for a number of years now), but I think I'm going to take the plunge and swap the HC's for singles. As you say, that more immediate mid punch, and that less hi fi, more raw lower treble response really does provide, well, a 'modern growl':D
     
  8. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have to give Ken some props here... I literally just last week got my first NYC Sadowsky J5, pretty much exactly like the one he just got, except 4 years older, and without the orange tint. I'm a fan.

    He talked me into the SC's, too. I've always preferred the SC tone, but have a very low tolerance for hum, so I normally would've opted for the (now standard) HC's. Just as Ken said, these are among the quietest SC's I've heard, so they must be fairly well shielded or something.

    Just like the OP said, it's not really super faithful to the Fender J sound, and of course this is very well known... at least here at TB, and yeah, they come a lot closer to the 60's tone than the 70's tone (not counting the UV's, which I've never touched). Thing is, I LIKE that, because a big part of that difference is a certain meaty grunt that gives the bass that distinctive "awesome-in-a-mix" character.

    I got mine literally a week ago. Took it home, and was like, yeah, it's a great sound, but it's not blowing me away. However, I already knew that'd be my reaction, and also knew the gig was the big deal with these. Well, it was. I literally had 4 gigs this past weekend playing everything from Van Halen to church hymns, through everything from a loud bass rig to a small combo to a full Aviom system. It literally sounded great in every setting. It's clear to me that Roger spent a LOT of time working this tone out (both personally as well as collaboratively).
     
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I just bought this one from HAM: http://www.sadowsky.com/stock/view/4153.html, should get here thursday...

    Am I going to be missing a lot with the Hum cancelling rather than single coils? Or is it a pretty subtle difference (like unnoticable in a mix)?
     
  10. Ash/Maple Sadowsky + single coils = the best tone I've ever had. They are fantastic in the mix (both slap and fingerstyle).
     
  11. Don't sweat it. I've played a ton of gigs with my RV5 with HC's and it's fantastic. It's not better or worse, just different.

    The HC's are a little smoother, they have a touch of mid scoop in them compared to the single coils, and have a different, slightly more pure and modern treble response (more high sizzle than the big grind of the singles).

    I dig them both, and in a mix, all these Sadowsky's sound like Sadowsky's, which is a good thing. The vast majority of Sadowsky J's have the stock HC"s, and those are the basses everyone is raving about.

    The good news is, the single coils are an easy swap, just in case you feel you need a little more punch and rawness.
     
  12. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    NICE!!!!!!! That is an AWESOME bass.

    Hey, no worries on the pickups. The HC's sound great, and even if you do want to try the SC's, just like Ken says, it's a TRIVIAL thing to swap the pickups out.
     
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Thanks guys. I am on pins and needles waiting for this thing to arrive... :hyper:
     
  14. I was gonna go down to Toronto to play some Metros at Club Bass, but it was closed today! That's the only place I know within hours of me to try Sadowsky. Now I have to wait a couple more weeks before I can head that way... I'm dissapointed. I really really want to try a Sadowsky bass so bad.
     
  15. Sithian

    Sithian Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    New Jersey
    Does anyone have experience with both the vintage and ultra vintage Sadowskys to describe the tonal differences? How about the rosewood vs maple? Alder vs. ash? I have never owned a Sadowsky, or a jazz, and am looking for the best fingerstyle (no slap) instrument that I can find-
     
  16. Well I couldn't tell you whats 'best', but in my experience the Vintage would be a bit more suited for fingerstyle playing. More low mid punch and thickness (due to 60's style pickup placement) to cut through a mix vs. the UV where the bridge pickup is pulled back a little bit (70's style pickup placement), yielding less low mid fundimental, and revealing more uppermid/treble sizzle.

    If you roll back the VTC on a UV70, and cut out the sizzly treble, you'll have a bit of a smoother tone then the Vintage series. Less punch, not as much low mid kick.
     
  17. Assuming you are talking about the Metro's, the difference is that the UV has a full sized body and 70's pickup placement (the bridge pickup just ever so slightly closer to the bridge). I've played a bunch of them, and the UV's and V's sound very, very, very similar to my ear.

    For fingerstyle playing, and for the money, the Metro RV models (alder/RW) are great... a little fatter and warmer than the MV's (especially if you don't do the single coil swap). while I don't hear a ton of difference, the 60's pickup position with Alder/RW (it's actually Morado on the Metro's) seems to be the 'fattest' Sadowsky wood/pickup combinations for fingerstyle playing IMO and IME.
     
  18. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    +1. I swapped out the HCs on my UV70-5 for singles and couldn't be happier with the tone. The HCs are a little more versatile if you like to pan between the pickups, but I tend to run things 50/50 and change my tone with my right hand placement and the VTC. Mostly though, I just really, really like the edge that the singles have. :cool:

    I've even been known to (gasp!) run my UV70 passive a good portion of the time. Through a good tube preamp, it's fantastic.
     
  19. Hi,

    my bass is the UV model with the single coils with the 70's pickup placement. This one:
    Various036.

    A friend of mine has an identical bass without the VTC and with the HC pickups.

    I have tried his bass very briefly and my memory is a bit hazy about it but I don't recall the sound of the HC being too different. This bass works very well in the mix although with new strings it has plenty of sizzle. But that is what the VTC is for and you can also get plenty of warm tones with this wood combination with a judicious use of the controls.
     
  20. bramhc

    bramhc Banned

    Jan 31, 2014
    Jakarta
    I can't afford a Sadowsky, but whatever. Mexican still do the pretty job enough.
     

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