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Sadowsky preamp/DI pedal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by denchiq, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. I might be getting my old FJB 75 back soon. I got rid of it, like, 13 years ago. Now I occasionally wish that 'classic' JB sound. So I was thinking to fit it with Lindy Fralin passive pickups and give it a new whirl. If it doesn't work, well... I will continue to look for a passive Lakland Skyline JO5.
    The question is, does the Sadowsky preamp/DI pedal really do it? Like, is it really worth every one of the 23900 pennies they charge for it? Or, like I read recently, it is just A well-built but overpriced preamp? I thought it was real good

    I wouldn't really go into the area of even more expensive pedals. The $239 for a pre pedal is pretty much for me anyway since my primary weapons are the 55-94s.

  2. It's a GREAT full featured pedal pre at IMO a good price. You get the same preamp as used in the on-board model, plus a mute switch and tuner out, and a decent DI.

    That's a great way to get the advantages of an active instrument (pickup loading, output level, tone controls, impedance level, etc., etc.) in an outboard unit so that you can use it with multiple basses and also not have to change you passive Fender. IMO.
  3. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne

    It is a great sounding DI and really helps fill out a jazz basses bottom end both in the studio and live. I use it all the time with my jazz basses - 2 clicks bass and if my strings are going off a click of treble...
  4. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    does anyone else find their Sadowsky DIs a tad noisy? mine's the old version, with the small knobs and no on/off LED.
  5. No more than any 'on board' type preamp. If you crank the treble control, you can run into some noise issues, but the Sadowsky preamp is really designed, per the post above, to just provide that little bit of bass fattening, and maybe a bit of treble zing with older strings IMO. Each of these can be achieved at very low boost settings (under 20%) and I don't notice any noise in either the pedal unit that you have (I owned that one for a while) or my on-board.
  6. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    not to high jack the thread, but has anyone tried the Alleva Capollo outboard preamp and if so, how does it compare to the Sadowsky?
  7. Haven't tried the outboard, but I believe it's identical in every way to the onboard (and like the Sadowsky, does not have the VTC/passive tone control that comes with the on-board unit). So, all the comments regarding the differences between the on-board units should hold with the pedal units. Of course, the Alleva pedal is more similar to the old Sadowsky pedal (no DI, mute, etc., etc.).

    In a nutshell, the Alleva is more subtle and transparent sounding, whereas the Sadowsky can really 'steroid up' a J Bass tone. Both are great, and both fit the luthier's design goals, with Jimmy wanting to keep his stuff as 'vintage/passive sounding' as possible, and Roger wanting a more updated modern tone to his instruments. IMO!

    George is comming out with the very nice FBass on-board pre in a pedal format. That will be a nice one also!
  8. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Very interesting. Being completely unfamiliar with the Alleva basses, I didn't realize they were trying be more vintage while Sadowsky was going for a more modern sound. I thought it would have been the other way around.

  9. Jimmy is very much into the vintage vibe. He explains his philosophy on his website. He uses only full size J and P bodies, only single coil pickups that are wound in house, along with the oldest wood he can find, and he offers nitro finishes on his bodies. He even has a 'vintage bent plate' bridge option, and his preamp design is about the most subtle I've heard.

    Most of Roger's J Basses have downsized bodies, hum cancelling pickups, his wonderful but somewhat aggressive and voiced pre. He also makes a bass called the Modern, with big soapbars and an even more updated body shape.

    Both lines of basses are great, and seem to totally live up to the design goals of each luthier IMO!
  10. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    the thing is, i have noise even with all knobs at zero! it sounds something like white noise. could there be something wrong with mine? i got it second hand, so i'm not sure.

  11. That, unfortunately, does not seem right. I guess, as always, check the battery. Then, check the noise coming out of your amp with and without the pre in your signal chain, with the gain matched (i.e., turn up the gain control on the amp to match the volume of your signal with the preamp). If you get significantly more noise with the Sadowsky pre with the tone boost controls set to zero boost (all the way counter clockwise) with the gain setting matched for volume with and without the pre, then something seems amiss.
  12. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    strangely enough, the problem seems to be coming from my power supply! following your instructions, i put a battery in and the noise disappeared instantly. the moment i plugged in the power supply, the noise came back. now if only i could get the battery compartment to close...

    i think i'll just wait until i can get an isolated power supply. thanks!
  13. Cool! You might want to email Kevin at Sadowsky (from the 'contact' page on their site) and get info on what the correct power supply would be. Those guys are very helpful.

    That preamp is nice and quiet and I think you will dig it. It should work fine with the right power supply specs.
  14. Thanks guys! This is very interesting

    UPD: I just saw an old version of the Sadowsky pre somewhere at $140 (used item) in an auction in Japan. It's only 2 days before the end of the auction. I can see it's much simplier, can you tell anything about the old compared to the new one? Will the old one be worth, say, $200 (counting the final price and getting it from Japan)
  15. A used, less fully featured old model that has to be shipped overseas for just a little less money than the new one:smug: Um... no.
  16. I am a little hesitating about the boost only frequency knobs. I know that's how Roger likes it, but it doesn't boost mids, does it? So basically you're getting a modern mid scoop either way, the difference is only in, how drastic the curve, right?

    I am changing pickups in the Fender anyway since the bridge pickup died and was replaced with a cheap knock-off
  17. diptixon


    Oct 29, 2004
    I have and use the Sadowsky outboard pre/di at every gig; the beautiful thing to me (besides the great sound) about it for live performance are the mute button and tuner out features, which believe it or not, many of these preamps do not have... also, I never have experienced any hum or noise at all, but also am always using a bettery, never an adapter. You can find them used here or on the 'bay for way less than a new one, BTW...
  18. Limpingbass


    Sep 19, 2008
    I was going to consider the AC pre but I was disappointed to find out it didn't have DI out. I asked Jimmy about it and he told me it's something he wanted to get done eventually but never took off (incorporating the DI out, that is).

  19. The logic of Roger's and Jimmy Coppolo's boost only two bands is that, when set flat (i.e. no boost on bass or treble) your bass will arelady sound great. Most (who know what they are doing anyway:smug:) at most boost the low end just a touch in some 'dry rooms' (never more than 20%) to fatten the low end without burying the mids), and most don't even touch the treble boost (although it's nice with dark sounding basses, old strings, or in rooms that are heavily carpeted, draped, etc., which sucks up treble).

    The main thing with these types of pre's is that they provide all the advantages of having an 'active bass' (i.e., less impact of high cable capacitance, higher output, less impact of different impedance levels of various amps, etc., etc.). The tone controls are there to provide (IMO) subtle tweaks to a bass that sounds good 'flat'.

    If you are one that has a bass or tone goal that needs a lot of mid boost, and you want that in a pedal, you are correct, these aren't the pre's for you.

    I am one that has never found the need to use an on board or pedal 'mid boost' myself.

    IMO adn IME!
  20. If the power supply is a standard kind of "wall wart" these can often add a significant amount of hum to the signal. Often these things have very poor regulation and low capacitance values in their filters. If the voltage out is 9V then you can try one of the "switch mode" power supplies sold to power pedal boards. What ever you use it should be regulated for lowest noise and stable operation.


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