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Sadowsky Outboard, what will it really do for MIA Jazz?

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

  1. My Jazz is all passive of course. And I'm reading how the Sadowsky is such a great preamp, and it inhances tone ect ect... but If I were to buy it, I would NOT get it to boost bass or treble. I would more then likley just leave it flat.

    What will it really do to my tone set flat? How will in "enhance" my tone?

    I'm intriguged, but $240 is a lot
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    If you aren't getting it to boost bass or treble... you probably want to save your money. The Sadowsky passive tone (IMO) is very similar to the Sadowsky active tone with the tone controls set to '0'. Same for Fodera (Pope), Lakland, FBass (especially!) and other passive pickup basses with an active circuit. I guess you would get some advantage concerning the loading of pickups, etc., but IMO it's pretty subtle... I'd save your money if you are truly going to use it as you describe.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yup, you'll get some benefit in terms of being able to have larger cable runs etc but apart from that if you're leaving it flat it's not doing anything for you.
  4. Is this the same w/ the Aguilar DB924?
    Also, just to confirm, having the Bass and Treble knobs all the way down, since I think they are boost only, this is set flat correct? For both units?

    If so then, what’s the point besides running your signal thru long cables? I mean you can just boost bass and treble on your head? I don’t get it. (I don’t think I have anything to worry about w/ boosting thru long cables, the longest cable I use is a 10ft-er.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yes, with knobs down there is zero boost being applied
    Let me ask you, do you gig much? If so, what types of setups?

    I play a lot of gigs with house rigs in NYC, with tight changeover times. Rather than having to learn the ins and outs of each amp, I keep the house amp flat, and set eq on stompbox preamp to get my default sound.

    Also, using a stompbox preamp usually gives you a DI as well (some places want to DI you before the amp)
  6. dont gig much these days. I do play an all passive though, and I hear these things are "huge improvements"
    thats my main curiosity.
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    So, you want to know what the Sadowsky pedal will do when you leave all of the controls set flat?

    What else do you think it should do? :eyebrow:

    I'm off to start my "What will a chorus pedal do for my sound if I leave all of the rate and depth controls at zero" thread.... :rollno:
  8. BenF


    Mar 29, 2001
    Boston area
    I have an onboard preamp in one of my basses. With bass and treble knobs down (off) there is no difference in sound between the active or passive mode (i.e. the volume is not boosted when in active mode.)
  9. bassmonkeee before you make yourself feel better about yourself and go bashing me, go read all the threads here on TB, and PLEASE explain to me what these "Huge Improvements" are and why "If you have a passive bass, get this preamp".

    I hear the Aguilar Fattens things up over all, I also hear the Sadowsky does that, but just a little cleaner.

    And these are post from long term, highly respected TB-ers.

    whats the deal? What is everyone hearing then Mr. Monkeee Sir?
    I'm sure their hearing something more then an increase in bass and treble!!!!
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    noone said it doesn't have an effect on your sound WHEN NOT FLAT. But when set flat, it'll do nothing to your sound (beyond enabling longer cable runs and maybe giving you DI capabilities). But if you're buying with no intent to use the EQ, just get a DI box if that's what you need.
    That is correct, I've owned / used both units. Personally I prefer the Aguilar
    No, they're not. Bass and treble boost is all they do.
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I assume the 'huge improvement' that people are hearing is when they actually use the tone controls. A good preamp should be transparent (i.e., you should not hear much if any difference between the passive mode and the active mode). I like active mode, primarily due, as a previous poster noted, to the fact that I don't need to run back to my amp, which is usually on a crowded stage, etc. Also, if you do have to use a somewhat long cord, an active preamp will help with pickup loading, etc. (I am not a tech guy, so I might have not have that exactly correct... basically, the tone won't change as much if you get out to 20' or so).

    So... as a number of us have stated... there is very little reason to get an outboard preamp for a passive bass unless:

    a) You want to change the sound to a somewhat more modern vibe using the tone control.

    b) you want some closer, easier control over your tone on gigs where it might be difficult to reach your amp

    c) your amp tone controls aren't zeroed in on the frequencies you might like

    d) your bass has some inherent tone issues that you want to fix.

    Finally, most people, when they need these types of things, would just install an active circuit in the bass. If you have a vintage bass that's worth a fortune, then a 'pedal' preamp might be good. Also (and finally :) )if you need an 'active' type DI to change your tone prior to the house, an active preamp pedal with DI might be the way to go.
  12. thanks guys.

    Special Thanks to Mr. bassmonkeee though!!! The information was very helpfull and informative. I look forward to applying it as soon as possible.
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    So you're saying that people rave about these things only because of the excellent way they boost one or both of two frequencies? I don't think so.

    I've read many threads on different preamps - including clean 'hi-fi' ones - where there's been much intelligent conversation about some certain difficult-to-explain character or feel to the tone - and they're not talking about frequency boost or cut; they're talking about deeper, more subtle things having to do with how the harmonic series of the input signal is preserved or enhanced, or the slight-but-pleasing harmonic distortion that certain large-signal pure class-A circuits exhibit.

    I know one long-gigging old-timer bassist here in Milwaukee that swears by his Sadowsky. He'll kick it in and out for folks he's showing it to, and say "listen to that. You hear that?..".

    Also, my chorus pedal has a definate effect when you turn the rate and depth controls all the way off. The pitch doesn't shift, but a little delay effect is still there. ...but I imagine from your post here that you might not be able to tell the difference, BassMonkey.

  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Interesting... most preamp manufacturers pride themselves on the transperancy of their preamps. I find virtually no difference in sound when active output volume is adjusted on my Sadowsky, FBass, Fodera and Lakland at an equivalent volume level to the passive mode and the tone controls are set 'flat'. I find this a positive thing. I'm sure there are some very subtle differences, but from my conversations with a number of the designers, their goal would be to remove even these subtleties. Not worth an argument, though :)
  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I agree, that's been mostly my experience with onboard / offboard preamps.
    I've found that bart preamps have a very slight high end rolloff, in a bright bass this is less noticeable. Also, the East preamps have a preset eq bump even when 'flat'. Aguilars have been completely transparent
    But with the offboard preamps I've tried (sadowsky,aguilar,mxr,fodera), they've all been transparent when eq is set flat. I view this is as a good thing. Maybe the 'special something' people are noticing is a passive bass signal now not degrading over a long distance.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I think if you want a "different" tone than you get with your passive jazz, an outboard preamp is a good buy. Maybe some gigs yoy want that "vintage" passive jazz sound. Maybe on other gigs you want a more "modern" tone. If this is the case, I think an outboard preamp is better than an onboard preamp.
  17. davidmwilson, you da man when it comes to this stuff.

    out of Aguilar vs. Sadowsky, i know you prefer aguilar... but with both with the same eq boost on bass and treble, which of the two sounds thicker n' fatter? i'm guessing your going to say Aguilar.

    BTW, i just ordered both and will do my comparitive review when i get em' - Modern Growl is excited.
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Ok, I'm confused, we have all (including davidmwilson) said that you will hear virtually nothing different if you don't use the tone controls.... but now you have bought two units????? :confused: Are you misreading the posts? No big deal, just don't want you to waste your money
  19. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yup. The Sadowsky is a bit more benign IMO, nothing wrong with it but just not my thing. But plenty of people like it and swear by it so YMMV.
  20. No, I don't have both units, I ordered both units and will make a comparison as soon as I recieve them.

    I - More then likley - wont be setting them flat, scratch that.

    So I can thicken up my tone, I'm going to boost a little to my likings. Which out of the two will be thicker and meatier?