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The Sadowsky Mystique....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adrian garcia, Aug 15, 2002.


  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    I have been thinking about this for some time now- especially after Nino Brown posted his Sadowsky Vintage 5 for sale, and sold it for GOOD $$- I am not a big fan of the Fender vibe. i mean, i recognize them for what they are and some do sound great, but not for me- However, some Sadowskys are beautiful.
    As i enter a situation where i could potentially be doing a lot of recording for a major Christian label. Big , big projects like music for movies, etc.. I wonder what the best "studio" bass out there is. Of course Sadowsky comes to mind- i hear they sit great in a mix, etc.. so,
    I'd like to hear Sadowsky owners chime in about why in the world you would pay $3400 for a "Fender copy"- I dont mean to be derogatory AT ALL- its a question ive heard others ask. I once brought my MTD535 and a Lakland 55-94 to the Sadowsky shop in NY- i tried their bass alongside mine- i failed to see the magic, but now im thinking i my have missed something.
    What is it about Sadowsky that makes some people buy not one, but multiple basses. I'm listening.. let's hear form you Sadowsky lovers ( and haters).. i'd love to hear from Roger here as well... let's have it!!
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    The attraction is that the build quality and attention to detail is stunning. The 5er I tried didnt make the earth move and I wanted it to.

    One thing to consider before you go and do serious cash on a studio type bass is that if the bugdet is big the engineer and producer may suggest that the hire company brings over a brace of basses for you/them( your fingers and their ears) to try as often they might have a fave bass sound.
     
  3. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Well, as the owner of a bass specific store, i get to try lots of goodies.. but i find that a lot of hi end stuff doesnt go well with lot of engineers,.. stuff that sounds great live just sounds ok in the studio- now, I know how do dial a sound that fits well- i do it a home on my small protools setup, but i want to plugnplay so to speak, and i definitely want a sound that will get me a call back. but you see, the earth didnt move for you either- so why do people spend over $2500 on a used sadowsky ? hey, laklands have a lot of attention to detail, and the MTD, forget about it. lets talk SOUND , though.
     
  4. I was not a big fan of the Fender vibe, either. With the exception of a Jazz I had in the late 70s, all my basses have been what might be considered more "modern". When I was searching for my ultimate 5, I was looking at everything I could get my hands on. I was in no hurry. Since I travel quite a bit, it was easy to play a variety of well known basses.

    Around this time, I changed bass instructors and started taking lessons from a guy who owned 2 Sadowskys. I was just blown away by the tone and playability of those instruments. They were easily among the very best I had played. I investigated further and learned Sadowskys are among the most requested basses for recording and very well respected. I called Roger, arranged for a trial and was very impressed with the quality of service. When I received the bass, I was stunned. The bass was perfect - no swirls, no fret problems, no flaws. It balanced perfectly and sounded wonderful. I had found "my" instrument.

    Since I "upgraded" basses relatively often, the folks in my band would give the typical, "Oh, new bass? That's nice..." response. The Sadowsky is the only bass I have owned that folks in my band both hear and appreciate the difference. I've also never received as many positive comments from folks in the audience. It just sounds great and works for everything I do.

    I've since had Roger make a fretless that has the same incredible attention to detail and solid tone. I just may get one more.

    These are the first basses I've owned that I cannot see myself parting with. It's also the best money I have ever spent on an instrument.

    I would have never expected it!

    Jeff
     
  5. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Hey Adrian,

    I know what you mean. I borrowed one for a session, and took it in to the local luthier wizard. He said "How come so expensive?" indignantly. I like Sadowsky basses just fine, but they do seem rather a lot of dough for swamp ash or alder and maple.

    The Sadowsky is nice and light weight, but personally, I need a bass that puts the neck up at an angle, more like an upright. So I make my own now.
     
  6. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Adrian, how DARE you critcize Sadowsky! :mad: Just kidding! :D I wonder the same thing, but I wonder how they differ from other high end, but cheaper Jazzers. The bassist in Exies, our labelmates, named Freddy uses a Sadowsky that he paid 3k for. He said that it was the BEST move he's ever made. I've got their CD, and he does sound nice.
     
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Sadowsky basses are for those who want the highest quality Fender-style basses available. If you're not into the Fender vibe but want to have it in your toolbox for recording sessions, you should probably save your money and buy a nice Fender (unless you have the extra beans to throw around, that is).

    I happen to dig the Fender vibe, and would find a way to pay $4k for a Sadowsky 5-string Precision. Sadly, he only makes fours (note that a P pup in a Jazz body is not a Precision IMO, so his PJ5's don't count).
     
  8. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    id love to find one to try with time.. if it didnt cost me more than a new MTD. for example. But that doesnt exist, i guess...
     
  9. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    The Lowend has a trans white 5'er for about $2100.
     
  10. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Then there's the question of which one? the Modern or the Vintage?? - i think i dig the Vintage a little more. but which one is THE recording bass??
     
  11. I have always figured they were to Fender J and P basses what the Fender Custom Shop now is but with a few exceptions like the modern 24 fret version, different pickup configurations and that killer preamp..

    The cost has always eliminated them from my "contender list" since I don't think a bass that is basically a well made version of a production bass is worth twice the price.

    I'm not saying they aren't worth the money or that they are Fender rip-offs, don't get me wrong. I just think that the mystique around them is a little... exaggerated?
     
  12. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    The price has always been the turn off for me too. I still think that they're great pieces.
     
  13. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    If you think the sound would work well in a studio situation, why not buy a set of Sadowsky pickups and preamp. Install them on a bass and see how that works. I agree that 3k is a very high price for a jazz bass. For that price I would like a 62 stack knob please.
     
  14. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Try a Lull. DO NOT sleep on those. Those kick arse!
     
  15. Roger's basses are more than just the pups and the preamp. The neck and fretwork is just top shelf. No other luthier sweats the details any more than Roger and his team.
     
  16. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I think Dan & crew and Mike Lull's staff are just as discriminating.
     
  17. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Sure. But it's just ash and maple. I know that the work they do at the shop has alot to do with the basses tone. I'm just offering an alternative. You have to admit that the pickups have a great deal to do with the sound of any electric instrument.
     
  18. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    FWIW, the Sadowsky preamp is first-rate. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but it sounds clear and open and great. I have one that I first had in an MTD Beast and now have in a Lakland Skyline and it gave both those puppies a Big Leg Up.
     
  19. I don't know... I would agree if the wood was chosen well (for it's sonic properties), the pups were precisely positioned, the bridge was as robust and the neck/fretwork was to the highest standard.

    But, if that's the case, couldn't you make that claim for ANY instrument? Fodera/MTD/F-Bass/Conklin etc - just interchange the pups and the electroncs for the "Fodera" (or whoever) sound?
     
  20. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    In my experience it has worked somewhat like that. You can make such a claim. I mean put an old EBO gibson pickup on a fodera and what do you get. A crappy sounding fodera. Add fodera pickups and pre to a sadowsky and you probably wouldn't hear that "sadowsky" tone anymore. You very well might, I'm just guessing. I feel that the electronics play a bigger role in the overall sound of a bass than the construction. Sure if the neck sucked then all you would have is a great sounding bass with a sh1tty playing neck.