Sadowsky vs. Warmoth

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nino Valenti, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    When I built my Warmoth, I built it to look like the bass on the the Sadowsky website cover page.
    <img src="">
    I think I did an excellent job re-creating the look of the bass. I have to say that my Warmoth bass play's, sound's & feel's better than any 5 string bass I've ever played, except for my Spector NS-5 USA & my Sadowsky. There are certin down sides that the Warmoth has when compared to the Sadowsky.

    1-The Warmoth is heavier. The Sadowsky bass is very light & I had it strapped on all last night in my living room playing it unplugged.

    2-The neck on the Warmoth is a little chunkier. I beleive the width @ the nut is the same but the Sadowsky is PERFECT. I can say the same thing about my Spector NS-5 USA neck (being perfect) even though the width's are totally different. My tech played the bass (a guitarist) & said he wished he had a guitar w/that kind of neck on it. I let a couple of close bassist friends play it & they said that it was the best bass neck they've felt.

    3-The Warmoth has 22 frets & the Sadowsky has 24. The extra 2 frets do help me alot.

    I haven't A/B'ed them through an amp yet, but I don't think they will sound too.......different. What I mean by different is I don't think that one will blow the other away. When I originally tried the Warmoth to the Spector, there was a difference & I liked the sound of the Warmoth a lot better. But the String on the Spector were pretty old. So when I brought my Spector to Roger's shop to A/B it to the Sadowsky, I put a fresh set of strings on her & I liked them both even though they had slightly different characteristics.

    You have to remember that this Warmoth has all quality part's.

    -Ash body w/Maple top
    -EMG 40 J P/U's
    -Aguilar OBP-1 pre-amp
    -Gotoh tuning machines
    -Schaller roller bridge
    -Maple/maple neck

    My guitar tech is a very qualified tech & has been doing guitar repair & building all of his adult life. It wasen't just slapped together w/whatever I had. :)

    Warmoth makes super high quality parts, but the main difference w/Roger is, if he's not happy w/a particular batch of wood or hardware, being bodies, necks, bridges, strings, etc, he won't use them & Warmoth would have a bad batch & put solid color's on it or put them on the "Thrift Shop". Still great stuff, but more cost efficent (less expensive)

    Either way you slice it or dice it, I have 2 phemomonal 5 string J basses that are 100000X better than any Fender J 5 string on the market.

    One of the guy's that played it, I worked w/@ Sam Ash for a while. He was always looking for a 24 fret 5 string Jazz bass. He was considering going through the Fender Custom Shop & would of paid about the same amount for it as the Sadowsky. This was the guy that put it in my head that Sadowsky's were nothing but fender clones. This bass played better than every Fender that was @ Sam Ash!!!!!!! I think if it said Fender on the headstock, he'd have one. Just goes to show you how brainwashed some people are.
  2. Yvon


    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Let us know how thy sound, I know they both have the same wood, pick up, similar pre amp, it would be interesting.
    I know how you feel about the Sadowsky, I feel the same about mine. I hate it when people compare my Sadowsky to a fender!
    They are so different....and so alike at the same time.
  3. Roger obviously knows that it isn't just the quality of the parts used to build the instrument and the quality of the workmanship, but how all of it works together. His attention to every detail is incredible.

    Some call it the Sadowsky mojo...

    When I got mine, it was hard to say what one thing impressed me the most about it - because everything impressed me. The workmanship is flawless, the "feel" is perfect and the tone is always "right".

    Never been happier with an instrument. :)

    Can't wait to get the fretless. :cool:

  4. JimS

    JimS Gold Supporting Member

    The title of this thread seems to me like "Pamela Lee vs Barbara Bush" Which one would you rather play with?
  5. Randy Payne

    Randy Payne Guest

    Jan 1, 2001
    It's interesting you mention the higher weight of your Warmoth.

    When I built my Warmoth Jazz, I realized this might be a"problem" at the start, so what I did was select a body off the Thrift Shop that was low in weight. Warmoth posts all the body weights on the thrift shop. You'd be surprised how much body weight can vary between even the same type of wood. BTW, the stuff on the Thrift shop is not neccesarily seconds or rejects. Ask before you buy. I think the seconds are discounted, but the other stuff seems to be almost full price.

    The other thing was the neck. Warmoth necks are somewhat heavier due to the steel reinforcing bars. (6 ounces I'm guessing??) So what I did is order a neck with the headstock without tuner holes, and drilled my own holes that accept Gotoh tuners. (Warmoth wouldn't custom drill the headstock with the smaller tuner holes required for the Gotohs) Gotoh's are almost half the weight of Fender "Elephant Ear" tuners, and believe me, the elephant ears are heavy. The other option would be to get a neck with the Fender sized holes, and get some Hipshot ultralights. The Hipshots cost $$$$ though. I like Gotohs anyway, so I went that route. BTW if you're thinking of drilling your own holes, it has to be done VEEEERY carefully.

    Anyway, having taken these steps, my Warmoth Jazz weighs in at almost exactly 9 lbs, which is light enough for me.

    It sounds great, plays great, and looks great.

  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    No. It could be:

    Pamala <i>before</i> surgury (Warmoth) vs. Pamala <i>after</i> surgury.(Sadowsky)

    Meaning that the Sadowsky is a SUPER high end peice & the Warmoth is not. :) Every one that has played my Warmoth bass was suprised how it played & sounded. Even I was totally amazed @ how good it ended up. The whole is <b>FAR GREATER</b> than the sum of the parts. This is not just a throw together bass that was done w/out thought. This bass is high end w/out the price tag or great name on the headstock. ;)

    Barbara Bush is more like a Squier bass. :)
  7. oddentity


    Nov 20, 2000
    Hahahaha!!!!! LMAO!!! :D
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I brought them both to rehearsal last night. The Sadowsky is slightly brighter w/a little more volume. It has more af a <i>GROWL</i>. The Warmoth is a little warmer (if that's possible w/EMG's[​IMG]). They both sounded great & cut through my guitarist very well. The Sadowsky had the edge over the Warmoth. Both neck's feel great but the Sadowsky is so light that it's a pleasure to play. I for got how it feels playing a light bass having been playing Spector's for about 5 yrs now. [​IMG] I can't wait to gig & recore with her. We are looking to record a new demo in Sept/Oct & I'm gonna use my Sadowsky & my Spector NS-5.
  9. yeah, I was worried about this too when I was planning my Warmoth P bass, so I ordered the neck without holes drilled, as you did, and fitted Hipshot Ultralites (with the small Gotoh-sized posts, as I was unsure as to whether I could get the large post sizes in the UK).

    I'm glad I took that route as the body is heavy ash, witha BadassII bridge, and the bass weighs in at 11lbs total, and still only JUST balances played sitting down (balance on a strap is fine).

    I think the steel reinforcing rods have a big effect on the balance, and I read on the Warmoth site yesterday that they're experimenting with ways of reducing their weight.

    I'm thinking about building another Warmoth P bass with a lighter swamp ash body, but only if Warmoth manage to make their necks lighter too.....
  10. Randy Payne

    Randy Payne Guest

    Jan 1, 2001
    Turtle Regulator:
    FWIW, you can get the elephant ear Ultralights that use the 11/16" (Fender) size holes. They are called the "Roscoe Beck" model. Thing is, they cost $125 a set.

    Wood density varies a lot. Right now on Warmoth's thrift shop they have a swamp ash jazz bass body that weighs 3 lbs. 14 oz., which is really light!

    For one of my other basses, I had Warmoth make me a custom neck with graphite bars instead of steel. It was a bunch of work though. I had to obtain the graphite bars of the exact dimensions required for the channels Warmoth mills in the neck. I got the graphite bars from Stewart-MacDonald and had them machined down to size. (I couldn't find the exact size off the shelf!) I then sent the bars to Warmoth and they used them instead of the steel. The resulting neck was as light as a normal unreinforced Fender neck.

    If you go to Warmoth's website they talk about graphite vs. steel. They've got this fixation on dead spot removal. (I guess bass players do to!) They talk about how steel removes the dead spots, and graphite doesn't totally remove them.

    Well, my graphite bar Warmoth neck seems just fine to me; I don't detect any noticable dead spots. However, I've had a couple of non-reinforced Fender jazz necks that I didn't think had any dead spots either, so I guess you could say that I'm "dead spot insensitive"!

    Warmoth says they experimented with Graphite, but the dead spots were still there. What I would like to see Warmoth do, is offer Graphite as an option! Let the customer decide what he/she wants! As far as cost, yeah, graphite is more expensive, but it's not THAT expensive. The bars I bought from Stew-Mac were $14 retail, so you figure they're going to cost $7 in quantity wholesale. OK, so Warmoth could charge $15 for the graphite option. They wouldn't lose any money.

  11. yeah, I emailed Hipshot about the large post Ultralights, mentioning the Roscoe Beck bass, but Bill Puplett who imports Hipshot stuff in the UK recommended the smaller Gotoh sized ones- I wasn't sure also if they did the large post ones with a Detuner too.
    also the Roscoe Beck ones look like they've got aluminium post shafts, which might wear down quicker than the brass ones on the small post types.
    the Hipshot website unfortunately doesn't list the different sizes.

    re. dead spots, my Warmoth P does have a (slight) deadspot at C# on the G string.
    I think that with graphite reinforcement instead of steel the lighter weight would raise the resonant frequency of the neck and move the deadspot up the neck ie. towards the bridge, and make it less noticeable as well.
    Warmoth should definitely offer the option.
    interesting also how Sadowsky opted for unreinforced maple necks.
  12. Randy Payne

    Randy Payne Guest

    Jan 1, 2001
    You mentioned in your comparison of the Warmoth to the Sadowski that the Sadowski has more "growl". I wonder if this could be because your Warmoth has EMG40's. I would guess that those pickups are pretty clean. What does your Sadowski have for pickups? If you want more growl from your Warmoth, I would recommend trying a different bridge pickup. Find one that's not so clean.

    On my basses I prefer EMG's for the neck, but for the bridge I make my own! (yes, I wind my own coils, etc. it's fun) IMHO, EMG's in both positions make for too clean a sound.

  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    They both have the same pick-up's in them. (a pair of <i>EMG 40 J's</i>) I wouldn't change the p/u's in the Warmoth because even thought the Sadowsky sound's better, the Warmoth still hold's it own. The Warmoth is an AWESOME sounding & playing bass. before I went to the studio last night, I put a new set of Sadowsky string's on it & the differences that I heard through the amp are heard acousticly.