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Tone of Sadowsky Soapbars versus J-pups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. I heard one opinion on this, which was quite helpful, but what do the rest of you think about this?

    How do the modern soapbars sound on a sadowsky versus the classic j-pups? do you prefer one over the other?
  2. That guy JimS is a dope. Listen to me:


    The tone of the Sadowsky soapbar pickups in J bass location with a swamp ash body and maple board is insane! Fat as Oprah at a pie eating contest and just as super sweet. Incredibly corpulent. In fact, it sounds so good that lightening shot out my bottom when I slapped the first few notes.

    Compared to my other Sadowsky J bass with nearly similar woods (except for a maple top) and Sadowsky hum cancelling J pups, this #4990 sounds fatter and punchier; prodigious low end. The high end is attenuated but is is not dull compared to the HC Js. These pups really respond to the bass boost of the Sadowsky OBP. Just a blast to play and very inspiring.

    The bass with the standard pups has more growl and is a bit clearer with more defined note separation to my ears.

    NOTE: my HC J pups are about 8 years old and per Roger he makes them a bit warmer as of about 1-1/2 years ago.



  3. wow those are some really nice basses...thanks again for the input

    i think i have to try the two configs and see which i like better...only issue is that the grooveshoppe around me apparently only has the soapbar model in stock
  4. Are you talking about putting the soapbars in the jazz locations or the normal 24 fret (Modern) model setup?
  5. the normal set up
  6. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I have 2 Sadowskys with the Modern pups and one Sadowsky with single coil jazz pups. I prefer the Modern. Cuts thru and sits better in the mix, IMO.

    It is certainly a matter of personal preference.
  7. I owned both a MS5 (jazz with single coils) and M5-24 (Modern with soapbars) at the same time. They are COMPLETELY different instruments. To me, the jazz does everything extremely well from growly fingerstyle to brilliant slap tone. The Modern has a very nice low-mid punchy fingerstyle tone to it but didn't cut it while slapping. When I would start slapping it would thin out and dissappear in the mix. I think that is because of the close spacing toward the bridge. I've always considered myself to be more of a "modern" bass kind of player (MTD, Roscoe, etc.) and the jazz, which I still own, certainly delivers.

    Keep in mind that I'm referring to live, "in the mix", experiences here. In the store, or living room, I actually preferred the Modern. On the gig, it was a different story.
  8. thanks. it DOES make a lot of sense that the close bridge spacing would contribute to a lesser slaptone (as compared to the wider spacing of the single coil j-pups)
  9. That does not do it. ;)

    I love the slap tone of my Modern with the soaps. It's very different than the J bass with the HC J or soaps in J bass positions.

    You've really got to play them both and judge with your own ears. Hop on the LIRR and connect to the subway to DUMBO and check 'em out.
  10. dumbo?

    should i go to the sadowsky shop itself?

    is dumbo a codename for the sadowsky shop?
  11. DUMBO is where the shop is located in Brooklyn; it's an anacronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

    I went to the shop a few times when I lived on the East coast. It's great with a killer sound room and a low key, low pressure environment with nice folks..


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I hear alot more mid range punch with a HUGE bottom. I like them alot. :bassist:
  13. does it sound as good live/with a band as it does by itself in a practice room?
  14. I have an M5-24 and I agree with maconbass's assessment. Fingerstyle: beautiful presence and mid range, sits great in the mix. Pop and slap? Maybe a little thin for me. I'm thinking about a Sadowsky UV with single coils. Also an A-C.

  15. I believe you are talking about the Modern model versus the J model, from your previous post.

    The Sadowsky Modern is a uniquely voiced instrument, and I have not heard another sound quite like it. The very hi fi sounding Seymour Duncan soapbars placed very close to the bridge give it a huge low mid punch, combined with a super hi fi modern top end. Quite frankly, it's probably my least favorite bass period (it's a fine bass... just personal tone preference, since I like a more J oriented tone). The Modern is almost the mirror opposite of the Sadowsky J's tonewise. There is a lot of 'room between the notes'... very 'bap, bap, bap' in attack... kind of like 'Jaco burp on steriods', but with none of the J warmth or growl... just pure, clean 'burp'. The slap tone is very, very modern... I always describe it as closest to Mark King's slap tone with his Alembic basses.... super sizzle up top, combined with a low mid punch, and not much way down deep. The large amount of space between the strings and the body on the Modern also can make slapping difficult for some.

    If you are one who loves to play a bass with soapbars with only the bridge pickup on, and some low end rolled in from the pre... that's the inherent flat, blended tone of the Modern to my ear.

    As many have said, the split coil Sadowsky J pickups (basically a version of the Dimarzio super J's... or whatever those are called) are deep in the low end, a touch scooped in the mids, and a very present top end that kind of sits between a classic J top end and a soapbar type pickup... modern, but with some J growl in there. These pickups sit very nicely in a mix, although I often favor the bridge pickup a touch to get some more finger style mid definition. The Sadowsky singles (a version of the Seymour Antiquities... GREAT single coil J pickup) bring more mid punch, upper mid growl and a rougher, more vintage J-like top end to the Sadowsky J... NICE!

    I've also heard a Sadowsky J with the Nordstrand single coil J pickup, and they bring even more mids (and upper mids) to the tone, without quite the aggressive grind up top to my ear.. also very nice.


  16. 1. I can concur to a degree. It's similar to that Mark King tone on Mr. Pink but not as pingy IMHO. Kind of like a cross between Mark King and Flea on Aeroplane...maybe? But definitely way out of the J bass tone arena with both pups engaged. Again, you've got to hear it.

    2. KJung, you keep talking about the string space to body thing but I don't find it a problem. I think Roger changes this a couple of years ago. I may be wrong but I don't find it an issue.

    That is, I'm still mediocre no matter how close or far the strings are to the body. :help:

  17. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Great explanation and comparison.

  18. My Modern had an ebony board, and it was the 'ping king'!!! With a maple or morado board, the ping settles down, so I agree with your comment.

    Regarding the string spacing to the body, it really depends on your slap technique. Some players are very sensitive to the distance between the G string and the body, and prefer the classic distance between the Fender guard and the string... similar to the MV/RV/Ultra models. Others are not sensitive at all. I just mention it as a 'good to know' if you are one that is sensitive to this. There is a LOT of room between the G string and body on the Moderns. Again, this isn't a negative at all, but for some slappers, it can be a problem. I've seen guys put clear halfguards on these, and that fixes the issue.
  19. And I can definitely see where you are coming from if you had a Modern with an ebony board. :)
  20. +1... and again, this is pure personal preference, not good or bad. The Modern's are killer if the tone I try to describe is what you like. They just aren't my personal thing.

    I'd enjoy hearing your bass.... the Sadowsky soapbars in more 'traditional' position. I bet that's really fat sounding!

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