The Quintessential Sadowsky?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BuffaloBob4343, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    OK, I've finally decided to take the plunge and buy a NYC Sad of my very own.

    I don't foresee buying another for some time, so I am looking for opinions from Sad Fanatics on the following:

    If you could only choose one Sadowsky configuration, which would it be and why?

    My current line-up of basses is listed below in my signature. I haven't had the chance to play the Warwick yet (should arrive in a week or so), and I'm not sure I'm going to like it yet. But if I don't, I will sell it and buy another more modern fiver like a Roscoe or Quantum, so I don't need to cover that base (no pun intended) with the Sadwosky. I love my other two basses and will never sell them: the fretless jazz and p-bass on steriods.

    So, what I am looking for is the Sine Qua Non of Sadwoskys, that is, the configuration that defines the very essence of the Sadwosky sound and playability. I want my first Sadowsky to be one that whenever I pick it up and play it, it just makes my blood boil.

    BTW, I am equally happy with a 4 or 5 string, so if that is a nonvariable, I would go with the fiver for versatility. Other than that, any info on most desired wood combos, 24 fret vs. standard vs. ultra-vintage would me most welcome.

    And yes, for that guy that loves to post the proverbial, "the search engine is your friend" response, let me pre-empt you by stating that I have read more Sadwosky threads than I care to mention over the past few days. :help:

    I am looking for a fresh and considered response in light of those previous threads.

    Thanks in advance for any who take the time to respond.
  2. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    It seems to me that the Standard style 21-fret Jazz would be it. As for woods, that's ultimately your preference. I'm partial to the Ash/Maple (tight/punchy) combo where others like the Alder/Rosewood (warmer/darker) combo. Either way you can't go wrong.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think you could embrace the full Sadowsky expirence with a Standard 5 String with a premium figured maple top with what Sadowsky's are at heart 2 Jazz Pickups with standard electronics with a VTC. :bassist:
  4. +1 to the above comments. Quite frankly... the essence of the Sadowsky bass to me is a very standard finish, 21 frets, either ash/maple or alder/RW and the VTC. You can get all this in a Metro Vintage with VTC option and save yourself $1,000 or so.

    I actually find the fancy tops on the Vintage models a little bit of a disconnect with the Fender vibe... but that's just pure personal opinion. Seems like those AAA+ tops look better on the 24 fret model or other 'non J Bass or P Bass' oriented boutique instruments.
  5. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    In terms of looks my favorite Sadowsky is a vintage 21 fret, Ash body, Maple top, figured Maple fingerboard with a sunburst finish.

    In terms of tone though, I sold the bass described above when I owned it, but kept an Alder/Rosewood PJ5 that sounds amazing.
  6. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanks for the replies so far. It is interesting that several of the currently in stock NYCs have swamp ash with a dark board like morado and cocobolo. I tend to prefer the darker FB woods over Maple, but there are two 24 fret moderns with maple boards that are pretty sweet looking.

    Also, none of them have the VTC that I can see, but I assume that if I wanted to have it installed, they would do that before shipping for a "reasonable" price? LOL! :p

    KJUNG, you are right, I could buy the Metro and save the money, but on this one I intend to spoil myself. ;)
  7. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Do you mean, like this one perchance??? ;)

  8. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    That sounds like me! I prefer the darker boards tone wise, but it wouldn't hurt to have one maple board in the arsenal either.

    BTW, I love those older Fodera 4s you have in stock. I'm scared to know how much they cost though! :bag:
  9. All NYC"s have the VTC as standard.... the four knobs are volume, blend, VTC (active/passive push pull) and stacked bass/treble. Also, I hear you on the NYC... I did the same thing!
  10. OK... after seeing that bass, I retract my statement about the fancy tops being a disconnect with the Fender vibe :D
  11. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Proof positive we don't always follow our own good advice!! :smug:

    And thanks for the info on the VTC. That's great to know.

    I am leaning toward the one pictured above, although I really like this one as well:

  12. You'll be very happy with whatever one you choose. While my primary bass is a Celinder Update 5, my Sadowsky Vintage NYC gets used a lot. It's alder/RW and very 'down the middle' sounding (versus the over-the-top 70's J Bass on steroids thing that the Celinder Update has going on). The Sadowsky NYC's are very lightweight, an interesting neck profile (34" scale even for the 5 strings and very wide 'standard' string spacing at the bridge... I assume .19). The RW/Alder has a surprising amount of 'zing', but plenty of warmth also.
  13. Here's a picture of mine... very simple and straightforward, but nice none-the-less!

  14. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    That's why the swamp ash/morado combo intrigues me, because it should be between the ash/maple and alder/RW combo (which is what my Lakland P-bass is).

    Those Celinders look hot. They look like they sizzle. :bassist:

    And I love the look of your Sad. Very classic!
  15. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    My choice would be a

    Traditional bursted 4 string Ultra Vintage P / J with
    Alder / Rosewood.
  16. Larry99

    Larry99 Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    crazy how these Sadowsky threads just take off... I have some questions along the same lines regarding Sadowskys as I've been gassing for one. I was about to start a new thread but I'll just include it here.

    First let me start off by saying I currently play a Yamaha TRB-5 as my main axe, which has served me well over the last 10 years. It has been a really versatile bass and I really like its tone and feel but it is in need of an overhaul. So instead of dumping money into it for a fret job, pup overhaul, etc, I feel it's finally time for me to replace the TRB and take it to another level with a Sadowsky. Also, as much as I love the looks of some of the NYC basses with upgraded tops, etc, I think for me a Metro is the way to go from a quality-price ratio standpoint. My philosophy in bass ownership is to have one or two really versatile instruments for everything (different styles, gigging, recording) which is another reason I'm looking at a Sadowsky. I hope to take a trip up to Rogers shop and/or a nearby dealer soon for a test drive and would like to get an idea of where to start model/feature wise, so onto my questions:

    1. Fretboard:
    I do a decent amount of slapping and I like to incorporate a funky finger style to whatever situation I'm playing. My TRB is rosewood and I seem to get a nice punchy slap tone on it. I have read that Roger recommends a maple fretboard for Slap and Funk style and I have to admit I absolutely love the look of the maple fretboard on Sadowskys. Do you think there is a significant compromise in the sweetness and warmth on fingerstyle tone with a maple fretboard on a Sadowsky?

    2. PUP Tonal Differences:
    My TRB is a 24 fret which I like having for chordal/melodic/solo bass stuff so I'm leaning toward an M5-24. However, I love the vintage look of the MV-5 with the pickgaurd and pot placement so that's certainly an option too (wow that quilted 59 burst NYC sure is sweet!). What are your thoughts on the tonal differences between the two? If I can find an MV-5 at the right price I think I'd probably go for it but how do the J vs soapbars pups compare on a Sad? If a P/J (NYC) came along at the right price, how does that compare? ...worth the extra $? Keep in mind I'm looking for versatility.

    3. String Spacing:
    I was wondering about string spacing but KJung seemd to answer my question. Generally I like wide string spacing (like on my TRB) which the Sad 5's seem to have. Are there differences between models?
  17. The Modern soapbar Sadowsky's are a very different animal from the more J style instruments.... more 'hi end boutique' sounding than J bass sounding. From you description of you playing style and what you are looking for in a second bass, the Metro Ultravintage maple/ash with the optional VTC might be just the ticket. The larger and heavier body with 70's pickup placement is perfect for the funk, and the VTC will allow you to roll out some of the snap of that maple neck and aggressive pickup placement when needed.

    Th UV"s are a little more expensive, larger and a little heavier than the Metro Standards and Vintage, but will give you more of the 70's J Bass vibe that your description above seems to be pointing to.
  18. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I owned a Warwick FNA Jazzman 5 and a Sadowsky MS5 at the same time, and imo they had a quite similar tone. So, I sold the Warwick away because I liked the Sad so much more.
  19. Larry99

    Larry99 Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    KJung, thanks for the tip, I hadn't considered the UV before. I'll be sure to give it a look. However, Im not sure if I want that 70s J sound exclusively? ...mostly I just want a really versatile all purpose bass. The Sad will be my main workhorse and not just a second bass (I will probably unload the TRB). I'll be using it for everything from Rock to Funk to Jazz to Folk... I dunno, maybe a UV will work?

    I think I understand what you are saying with Hi End Boutique, but how does that translate tone-wise on a modern 24. As I said, I do like having the extra frets but I don't want to totally sacrifice the classic tone. I'm thinking the maple neck will give me that part of the sound I'm looking for.
  20. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Get this one!