Sadowsky (RSD) MetroExpress was a heartache

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Doran, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Tom Doran

    Tom Doran

    Feb 5, 2015
    I bought one through Reverb. After the initial excitement wore off I realized it hadn’t been set up. Knobs falling off, fret buzzing, and so on. After I raised a fuss it was repaired but by then I didn’t want it. As it came it was just a cheap Chinese bass with some good components. Roger Sadowsky told me this first production run in China was unsupervised due to Covid-19. “The next batch should be better” . Here’s what was wrong:
    • Nut way too high

    • boost and blend knobs were loose

    • it was not adjusted for intonation. The E & A are out by a lot

    • String height: Action ok but was just medium (again like my cheapies;this should be better)

    • String buzz noise 4th through 15th fret on A string(it needed a fret leveling.)

    • Something out, maybe fret, around 15th fret, (frets were leveled)

    • Fret ends need work - all of them - they’re sharp but not terrible.

    • Pickup blend pot not secured to metal plate

    • Tons of noise and digital noise when the back of the bass faces my amp (but this is your standard onboard amp, right? I can’t imagine this is ok with your high end customers.) this was not fixed .....
    Ok. Hate to be the bearer of bad news for those of you who always wanted a Sadowsky but couldn’t or wouldn’t pony up the bucks. I’m so done with buying without trying first (Reverb) I’ve gone back to my 75 Jazz and appreciate it all the more!
  2. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    This was my experience as well. Waiting on the second batch, was not going to do a full review on the first one and ended up returning it (and got the Spector Pulse instead!).
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I know the Lobster did not like his, but I have a Squier ContemporaryJazz. The preamp on the Contemporary functions just like a Sadowsky except it does not have a passive bypass (although it does have a passive tone pot.) Even better, it has humbuckers, so there is no noise. Finally, Sire is more expensive, but the bugs in its production have been worked out already.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  4. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Same experience here when i compare both China Metro Express J and Cort GB74JJ(half the price tag) side by side in past.
    The Cort just smoke the China ME in overall QC, fret work and noisy electronic.
    I rate this Overprice China ME below Indonesian made Squier CV line and Sterling SUB line even Cort Low price Action PJ plus.

    Looking for affortable and nice quality Asian made Active Jazz bass ? It belong to Sire V series. Or , underating Cort GB64JJ or GB74JJ.
  5. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    The brand name is one of the selling point on this bass, but, unbelievable this 1K bass has no Sadowsky brand name on the headstock . Honestly, the "custom stamping” like logo on headstock just look like -= "Hey, I approve this china made Sadowsky can sell in our land” thing.....

    Even cheap Universal Bacchus still has big family name prints infront the headstock
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That was beyond Roger Sadowsky’s control. Someone in China had trademarked Sadowsky, and he has been in court to get his name back.
  7. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Look like a "china-starbuck trademark" happended to him.....
    EagleMoon, jmain and Dr. Cheese like this.
  8. joselbajista


    Mar 30, 2016
    Sorry hear that
    Sorry hear that cause is the Roger's name
    I hope the next batch do honor to the prestigious name Sadowsky.
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Cheap bass, cheap build. Makes sense
    CaseyVancouver, SJan3, jmain and 3 others like this.
  10. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Once the next batch is are consumers supposed to know if they are buying a 1st or 2nd batch?

    Unless they are recalling the 1st batch, it doesn't seem like a win for the company or the consumer.
  11. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    My $300 Squier didn’t have the best finish job in the world but it had no issues when I bought it. Frets, hardware, neck, electronics: everything worked the way it should. For a bass that costs almost a thousand dollars the issues described by the OP are unacceptable. And for a bass carrying the Sadowsky name? :confused:
  12. basmansam

    basmansam Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    I bought an RSD MetroExpress black sparkle PJ5 FL with an ebony board directly from Warwick.
    I think it's a great bass, I am updating the preamp with a new one with VTC.
    I took off the pickguard, seemed like it never dried or cured.
    Probably will replace the pickups too, I'm happy!! No fret sprout on mine!!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  13. The low end cheap Warwicks have issues so this doesn't shock me. I really think it was a bad move to cheapen the Sadowsky name so much.
  14. diglo

    diglo Supporting Member

    May 21, 2007
    Get up! Get Get Get Down!
    Sorry for your disappointment. I played a ME5 the other day at local music store and it felt and played nice. I don't know if it was a 1st or 2nd batch, but I would've purchased with no issue.
  15. joselbajista


    Mar 30, 2016
    Sorry hear that
  16. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me. Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    And I LOVE my Pulse, it honestly feels as well built as my MIA Fenders, Lakland Skyline, and Kiesel (to name a few).

    I was seriously considering the RSD PJ 5, but I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve been waiting for your re-review of the RSD but now it makes sense that you’re just waiting for batch 2.
  17. jpeck02

    jpeck02 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2011
    Danville, CA
    What a shame. I own an NYC, a MetroLine and a Japanese MetroExpress. They are all exceptional instruments and Roger Sadowsky is a class act. Hope this gets resolved.
    SJan3, EagleMoon, puff father and 3 others like this.
  18. joselbajista


    Mar 30, 2016
    Totally agree, I own 1 NYC and another that is on the way, I had 2 excellent metro line japan, but the most that surprised me was the metro express japan because it showed that there was good quality control. I'm sure
    that Roger will resolve this issue of control quality with the china metro RSD. When Roger solve it and after I see many but many reviews , yes , i buy one metro china, it would not be bad for that price to have the Sadowsky tone and if the bass is of quality
    puff father and jpeck02 like this.
  19. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    They are and he is.

    Shame that Warwick didn't care enough to pull these sub standard basses. Surely Roger has clauses in his licence deal which covers QC? He needs to exercise some control over Warwick and what they are doing in his name.
    jpeck02 and Tom Doran like this.
  20. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    I own one Sadowsky bass it being a Japanese MetroExpress. It is an superb instrument. That said i will purchase another Sadowsky bass in the future will have to go through Rodgers hands FIRST for final inspection & set-up, no matter where it is made.
    Tom Doran likes this.