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Sadowsky Metro Ultra Vintage 5 Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gfab333, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I've had this bass for a few weeks now, and I'm still "breaking her in" so to speak. I've been receiving requests from fellow TBers for a review. So, here's a short one for now. Keep in mind that these TB bass reviews are very subjective, so take my comments with a grain of salt... I feel that I can provide a fair review of this bass having owned a number of high-end and low-end basses over the decades, as well as demo-ing a number of Foderas, Roscoes, Alembics, MTDs, other Sadowskys, etc.

    As a quick overview, this is the Metro Ultra Vintage Model which I understand is based on the 1970s Fender jazz bass. This model has a full sized Fender-style body (as opposed to the Sadowsky NYC 7/8 size body). There are 20 frets (vintage specs). The bridge pickup is located at the 1970s position, which by my measurements, is approximately 3/4" closer to the bridge than with the NYC (Nino, Kevin, or Roger can correct me if I'm off base). The pickups are Sadowsky humcancelling Jazz pickups which I understand have been engineered to provide a single coil tone, but without the single coil hum. Indeed, they sound like single coils to me.

    The selected pieces of wood for the neck and body, fret work, pearl inlays, binding, overall finish and workmanship are superb in both looks and playability.

    The Sadowsky setup, as expected, provides for excellent low string action which is a pleasure to play for both fingerstyle and slapping. The neck profile of this bass is difficult to describe; it's neither a fast, thin, narrow neck, nor is it a fat, chunky, meaty neck. It's somewhere in between, much so, that it is very very easy to play. Very comfortable in your hands. Roger did a great job on this neck design!

    The Sadowsky Tone, ah yes, the reason why many of us covet this high-end Fender-style Jazz Bass from New York. As background, I usually play my 5s with both pickups full-on (blend pot centered). Tonewise, it's all there... how ever you want to describe it, you heard the cliches... Vintage '70s HiFi Jazz Bass, Jazz Bass on Steriods, the Marcus Miller tone, the growly Fender Jazz with sustain for days.... The tone of this bass is exactly what I wanted and expected out of a Sadowsky Ultra Vintage. Players either like it or they don't. I'm perfectly satisfied.

    The preamp, again just as I expected, provides for tremendous tone shaping capability and ofcourse that signature Sadowsky tone. I haven't needed to run the bass or treble controls at more than 50%; they're typically set at somewhere less than 50%. The taper of the volume, blend, and tone controls are balanced and smooth.

    Finally, I have to say that Roger, and his crew, Kevin & Nino, provided first class customer service through my preliminary inquiries, bass selection, actual purchase transaction, and post-sale follow-up questions.

    I hope this thread helps out those that wanted more info on this bass.

    :bassist: :hyper: :bassist:

    (Massive typos fixed - thanks Maurillo)
  2. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Hey there,
    thanks for the review!
    It is indeed a nice looking ax, I'd love to give it a shot!...
    BTW, Roger, not Rodger ;)

  3. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Congrats! It's a great looking bass, the body grain is purdy and I'm sure the tone is just that: TONE.

    keep groooovin'
  4. Damn Gil!!
    That's a BEAUTIFUL Bass! I'm leaving for Texas in a few days and I was thinking about getting a MV5-NAT Metro, but now I'm not so sure... :D

    I guess I'd better get down to your next gig and check out that Bad Boy in person! :cool:

  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    No problem Nate! There's plenty of room for another natural-finish bass in these Hawaiian Islands! :smug:
  6. Congratulations on a great beautiful bass!!!
  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Great review, beautiful bass!
  8. Mike McGibney

    Mike McGibney Not impossible ... Inevitable

    Apr 13, 2005
    Essex, UK.
    Thanks for the review. You're further reinforcing how much I'd like a Sadowsky - pretty much the same as yours, although maybe a four string. Then again, I do like P-J configs...

    ...anyway, thanks again, and congrats on a stunning new bass! I'm sure you'll do it great justice.


  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    +1! Nice picture, too.
  10. Jugghaid


    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Gorgeous. ;)
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I will be happy when I get to play a Sadowsky. They sound almost too good to be true.
  12. Thanks for the subjective review ;)

    I trust you will treat her well...


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    The Sadowsky 5 string neck was one of the first things that sold me on them. Enjoy the great bass, Sadowsky rocks. Just my 2 cents but i think a pearliod pick guard would go really nicely on that bass :hyper: :bassist: .
  14. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    I forgot to ask before, how is the weight? Just wondering about a '70 style ash body....

  15. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

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

    From what Kevin at Sadowky said they are a lb. or so heavier than the Metro Vintage. So you are lloking at 10 - 10.5 lbs.

    Yikes. Bet it sounds killer though.
  16. Beautiful bass!
  17. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Banned

    Dec 2, 2004
    Rulyongo your band sounds cool.
  18. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA

    Oh my poor back :(
    Thanks :bassist:

  19. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Congrats on the Sadowsky!

    Man, I'm dreaming about a Geddy Lee Sadowsky Ultra-Vintage 5er now.
  20. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

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

    You can order these in any of the Metro colors. You can even get Black (ash/maple) with black blocks and black binding!!

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