Sadowsky Metro vs. Fender American Deluxe Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by funkdaddy, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. Howdy folks. I'm in the market for a 4-string Jazz-style bass with onboard EQ. I've read a lot of good things about the Sadowsky Metro here on TalkBass, and it sounds like it would be the perfect bass for me. However, I've never had an opportunity to play a Metro, or any Sadowsky bass for that matter. On the other hand, I've played a few Fender American Deluxe Jazz basses (the "regular" Deluxe and the "FMT") and I think they sound and feel great.

    For those of you that have had the opportunity to play both a Sadowsky Metro and a Fender American Deluxe Jazz...are these two basses similar in terms of tone and overall quality, or are they not even in the same league? I realize the pickups and preamp are different...but in general are these two basses going to sound similar? I haven't been too impressed with the quality of the Fender American Series basses (they're not very consistent in terms of construction). However, the Deluxe Jazz basses seem to be very consistent with a lot of attention to detail (nut, fretwork, tight neck pocket, etc.). I have no doubt that the Metros are built very well.

    A Metro is going to be either $1,825 or $1,900 depending on which model I decide on (RV4 or MV4), and a Deluxe Jazz is going to be in the $1,100 - $1,200 range. I'm trying to determine if it's worth spending an additional $700 - $800 on a Metro versus a Deluxe Jazz. A Sadowsky will certainly hold its value much better than a Fender, although I'm hoping whichever bass I decide to buy will be a "keeper". FWIW...I think I'm leaning towards spending the extra $$$ on a Sadowsky. Someone please tell me if I'm on the right track!!!

    Thanks in advance for your comments/opinions!
    JonKim likes this.
  2. Matt R Miller

    Matt R Miller

    Apr 27, 2003
    if i were you and money wasn't too tight i'd go with the sadowsky. not only will the tone be much better IMO, but the resale value will be much better too (although usually the only reason people sell metros is to get an NYC :D )
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    There ain't been a fender jazz bass made in the last 35 years that can get anywhere near the worst thing ever made with Rogers name on it.

    Not for MY money anyway.
  4. if you are looking for a "keeper" then just get the Sadowsky and be done with it. pretty much everyone who owns them says they will always own at least one sadowsky.
  5. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    To talk from another perspective... I can't get enthousiastic of the Fender de Luxe series. For that price you can get better stuff, but if you want to save money take a look here at the secondhand market. I believe there's a Mike Lull M5V for sale, playability is great and the sound too. Definitely more a keeper than a Fender.
  6. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Of course, there are deals to be had if you're patient; it's possible to get the Fenders for much less. I just bought a new (last year's) American Deluxe Jazz for $705 plus $30 shipping on an Ebay auction. When it arrives I'll post a review. :) I already have an American Deluxe P which I love dearly.
  7. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    What Matt said!!
  8. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    IMHO I don't think any of the Sadowskys sound like Fender Jazzez at all,even the Vintage models also.The Modern 24 fret Sadowsky is a whole differen't species in it self.Yeah they have Fender type bodies sleeker necks,and also plays better (depends on who you talk to)and real nice electronics but I have had the chance to try all of them and granted they are incredible instruments and play like butta" but they(Sadowsky's) didn't have that fullness in the low-end that a Fender Jazz has which is not to say that it was thin ither.Nonetheless it is a find instrument. :smug:
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The assumption is that a Sadowsky will hold it's value "better" than a Fender. What is this based on? What does it actually mean?

    I'm not taking a position one way or another, it's just that I see this alot and would like to know where people are coming from?
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I've seen MIA Fenders that list for $1100 / $1200 going for $500 and $600 on Ebay... Sads from what I see still fetch $2000 plus used.

    Is "Less Depreciation" a better way to describe it?

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sadowsky all the way, the quality is far greater then any Fender i have seen and the tone is allways consistantly great.
  12. NINO3000


    Feb 10, 2004
    Mount Vernon NY
    I own a Fender American Jazz delux 5. While dropping it off to be setup at Jimmy's in New york I had a chance to spend some time with a Metro 5 and I personally was not impressed. The sound was very thin and I couldnt see what justified its' 2200 dollar price tag. 2000 + should get alot more bass than that. Some people swear by them but any time you buy the "affordable" product line of anything its not the real thing. Kinda like buying a fake rolex for the name sake or buying a benz that doesnt have power windows or a stereo. Yeah it has that name but it isnt the same. There is a reason why even at 2000+ a Real sadowsky is still 1000 dollars more. IMHO You would be better off buying the MIA Jazz and putting a new Peamp in it if you wanted a bigger sound. I didnt get a new pre amp yet but I still like my MIA jazz 5 deluxe better.
  13. The MIA deluxe would be a very good, dependable bass, but if you have the cash to spend I'd say get the Metro. Sadowsky's are held in high regards and I'm sure you won't be disappointed by one.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    A few things... ;)

    Fenders rarely sell for list. Sadowskys do. Apple to oranges.

    The MIAs can also go for more than that used. In addition older Fender Deluxes didn't cost as much. My 97 MIA Jazz Deluxe 5 seems to be going for more than it cost new. I bought mine in 99 used for $200 less than the current new price. It's actually selling for more than I paid for it 5 years ago.

    The other side of that is how much did the $2K (used) Sadowsky cost new?

    I recall a TBer who was practically guaranteed of the resale value of a Sadowsky he was considering purchasing. Turned out it wasn't as automatic as some thought. And none of them offered to buy his for what he wanted when he decided to sell:D

    Bottom line, I think some of this talk fosters a false sense of security... that's the only reason I mention any of this. Depreciation could be looked at at least a couple of ways. Percentage of starting value or actual dollars. Most people can't spend a percentage.

    This isn't a criticism of Sadowsky at all, it's common for boutique instruments that cost $3k+ to lose $1K in value. Just something to consider. It would be pretty hard to lose that much on a $1200 Fender;)

    And I'll head off the "don't buy a bass as an investment" people right now;). This is obviously aimed at people who "do" care about residual value... just in case reselling does become an issue.

    Bottom line, figure out which one you'll like more. That'll minimize the chance that you'll want to get rid of it just because it no longer floats your boat.

    Just my experience.
  15. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    You asked.. I gave what I thought was a reason why... Take it as you will...

    Now sell me that AJ Contrabass!!! :D
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Thanks for the response.

    I presented a counterpoint to your answer. Do you still feel the same way?


    Okay, you've worn me down. Make me an offer. A really good offer. Bear in mind a few things:

    1. I really like it
    2. I don't "need" to sell it.
    3. It's a fairly rare bass.
    4. OTOH it scares most people


    Except for #4, the same things applied to my EA cabs. I got a great offer on them but bottom line I know how hard they are to find, how cool they are to use and even though I'd come out ahead dollarwise, I'd also end up with no EAs. I toyed with the idea and...

    I still have them;)
  17. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I really don't "feel" anyway on this particular issue.... I have no plans to get either a Fender MIA or a Sadowsky at any point in the future.. ;)

    Hmmmmmm... :meh:

    Somehow I feel that 1+2+3 = More money than I'd be willing to part with..

    :p :smug:
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Okay... do you still "think" the same thing? Is that a better way to phrase it?

    Could be. I learned a long time ago that you rarely sell something twice. Might as well get it right the first time. If I do sell it I don't plan on having any remorse over it;). While I do really like it, I like my new Bru 6 way more.

    I wonder how the Japanese Fodera market is these days?

  19. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I've seen many Sadowsky's sell new for $3300-3500 (5-string) and then only fetch $1900-2200 used. That seems to be a pretty hefty loss to me. I've seen an $1100 new Fender Jazz sell used for $500-700. I don't even consider how it breaks down percentage wise on which one depreciates more, which I think agrees with part of Brad's comment, I look at how much actual money is being lost. With that in mind, there is no highend bass being made that is a "good investment" when bought new.
    Between the two I'd probably go with the Fender. No I haven't played the Sadowsky in question but have played enough of the US Sad's to say they are not that much better tone wise, if any at all, than the Fender. And since you've played Fender's that you liked the way the felt and sounded, that seems like the best bet.