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Sold my Sadowsky: I'm I Crazy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mustafa, May 15, 2006.

  1. Mustafa


    May 4, 2006
    I recently sold a Sadowsky, my second, and I was wondering if anybody here has gone through the same experience and reasons for selling as I did.

    My first was a 2001 Standard 4-string with ash body, maple top and rosewood fingerboard. I ended up selling it for the following reasons, in random order of importance:

    -The smaller Jazz body never felt completely comfortable to me.

    -The 12"-radius felt too flat in a 4-string.

    -Because the bass was so light, the strings never had the quick bounce I like for slapping. The notes seem to be swallowed by the softness or lack of solidity of the body. There was still brutal punch, but not a quick bounce/attack, like you would get in a medium- to heavy-ash body, like a StingRay or an ash Jazz Bass. I don’t know if this Sadowsky was partially hollow or if it was solid. Or maybe I’m not used to such resonant bodies? It would have made a great fretless.

    -It was too hi-fi or clean. I have pretty good, clean technique, but this bass seemed to amplify even more than I wanted too. It never got a little dirty/grease or growly(?) to inspire my playing. It’s got a very good fundamental, but there are no colors around the notes (that obviously is a very subjective description). This was true in either passive or active mode, but I tended to ran it active with the bass boosted a little and the highs flat.

    I sold that one and then got a 2003, 24-5, ash body, ebony board, no top.

    -Same experience: there was no quick bounce when slapping (even with light-gauge strings and low action) and it was too hi-fi. I then strung it with TI flats, which sounded very good, but felt I lost expressiveness (which happens with any flats in any bass, though). BTW, this bass had the VTC control, but I thought it cut too much highs.

    Positive comments:

    -To me, they are the basses that have the most fundamental-note definition: the basses can be heard clearly through any mix, live or recording.

    -They are incredibly punchy when playing fingerstyle.

    -The quality and craftsmanship live up to their reputation. You really get the feeling that they are meticulous about their work, and the fretwork is simply top-notch.

    Maybe I’m just a fan of vintage-style basses, but now I play a Fender Jazz Deluxe and Ken Smith BSR-5 (which are modern basses), and their tones are heaven to me: a perfect balance between lo and hi definition. They don’t have the presence and clear fundamentals like the Sadowsky, but they got a full palette of nuances and colors that let me express myself better, especially the Fender Jazz Deluxe.

    So, am I crazy? How can I prefer a $1200 Fender over a $3500+ Sadowsky?

    Maybe these basses were hollowed-out, and that is the reason for the lack of a quick attack?
  2. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Ive never played a Sadowsky before, so I cant say whether thats normal or not, but not every bass is for everyone. that must be said like 20 times per day here, so Im sure you know that. For instance, I cant stand Alembics. I just cant. Not a single one of them (as far as I know.. Ive tried a few different models). But I love a Nordstrand, those are really awesome. Though Im not sure how I feel about Foderas, either. Ive played 2 Monarchs and just didnt like the feel.
  3. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I'm the biggest Sadowsky supporter on this board, but I'm the first to say that it's not the perfect bass for every bass player. I think Roger would say the same thing.

    WRT size, both of my Sadowskys are full-size, mostly because, ummm, I'm a full-size kind of guy.

    I asked for a 9" radius on mine; like you that's the way I want it.

    Too hi-fi? Well, maybe, but when I crank up the gain on my Aggie, I don't think anyone would describe it that way. It's growly as heck, if I want it to be.

    Enough cavils from me, though. If a $1200 Fender, or a $200 Squier for that matter gives you the tone you prefer, enjoy!
  4. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    No, I don't think you're crazy, it's just not the bass for you. Just about every wildly happy Sadowsky owner will say that it's not necessarily the perfect bass for everyone.

    I've had the pleasure of trying several Sadowsky's at different times over the past few years, and none of them knocked me out. That doesn't mean they are bad basses, far from it, they are amazingly well built and worth every penny for those that prefer their sound.

    At the last NYC GTG Nino had some Sadowsky's and some of his own basses. IMO, the Valenti's blew away the Sadowsky's when I played them. However, in Nino's very capable hands, both basses sounded great :D

    It's just all personal preference .... ya gotta play what works best for you ..... :cool:
  5. Crazy, no. Not at all.

    Its all about what feels and sounds best to you. If it wasnt the Sadowsky, then youd have been crazy NOT to sell it.
  6. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    Nope. Just play what you like and works for you.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 Your reasons make total sense to me. A number of people thought I was nuts to sell my beautiful Stambaugh, but I had a very logical list of reasons just like yours, and I don't miss it at all. It's hopefully the best bass ever for the new owner.

    I totally know what you are talking about with that 'bounce'.... my Celinders have that in spades (large maple neck and board with poly finish and a large, heavy ash body... it literally throws your thumb off the neck!) but are large and heavy (always trade-offs). My NYC RV5 does sound and feel a little more 'compressed', but I still dig it.
  8. Because money does not have magical sonic properties?
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    i've sold two sadowskies, and actually took back my first one.

    course, i own three now. :p
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Roger Sadowsky is the first to say that a Sadowsky isn't for everyone. That's true for any instrument, regardless of cost or quality.

    I love my Sadowsky, but I'm never getting rid of my Fender. Each is cool in its own way. The Sadowsky sounds like a Sadowsky, and the Fender sounds like a Fender. Vive la difference.
  11. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    As has been said already the bass is just not for you. Nothing wrong with that.

    My Sadowsky and NS EUB are colleccting a bit of dust right now as a really enjoy playing my new-to-me Rob Allen fretless. I play it in blues, jazz and folk settings. I'm not a working pro like some of the good folks here but I can certainly see a Sadowsky as a great workhorse for many situations.

    I have found my sound in the RA. Everytime I put the bass on I feel at home. That's what it's all about. I'm sure I'll get back to the Sadowsky sometime down the road. Although I hear Mr Allen will be building a magnetic pup bass in the future. Maybe that will be my Sadowsky replacment.
  12. I could not have said it better. Some people's Sadowsky is another man's Fender... or Wish :bag:

    My "Sadowsky" is a Zon Legacy Elite ^_^
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    my "sadowsky" is to be playing wembley... :p
  14. Wando


    May 15, 2006
    I've always been seduced by high end basses and keep coming back to Fender jazz basses. My Sadowsky Metro RV5 is hanging up on consignment. Gorgeous bass, but just not the sound for me. I've been favoring a Fender Victor Bailey lately. I guess we all look for our bass voice.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    At least you know what you like. :)
  16. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Cripes, I'm glad someone finally mentioned something about Rob's upcoming magnetic pickup basses. I've been sitting on that info for waaaayy too long, I will be making a major purchase soon, but I won't look for a new fretted four string until these new basses are unveiled :)
  17. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
  18. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I feel the same way about mine. I will be selling it
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Nope. Instruments are very personal. I like my Sadowsky's for all the reasons you dont. Gotta be comfy in your hands. Best of luck finding your sound

  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Not at all. Sadowsky's are great basses but they are not for everyone. Unless I find myself in a band setting that requires that tone I dont think Ill own one anytime soon. The tone just isnt for some people.

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