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why is a Sadowsky Jazz better than a Fender Jazz??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Often I hear that Sadowsky Jazz are better than Fender Jazz basses (MIA). I know they are more expensive, but what about them is better?
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Sadowsky = fender on steroids, basically.

    Sadowsky uses higher quality woods, finishes, electronics, etc... and his instruments are made to a higher standard than fenders.

    If you blind folded someone, played an E on a sadowsky, then did the same with with a Fender, they couldn't tell you which was which.

    Both are great... the sadowsky is just higer quality. and apparently, roger isnt the jackass about repairs and such that those guys at fender are. :p
  3. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    They also smell better.
  4. It all comes down to personal taste at the end of the day.

    I have a Trace Elliot T-bass (or 2) which I much prefer to the Sadowskys i've tried. It doesn't make them better or worse it just means I like them.

    As it happens the best 'ordinary' Jazz bass i've played was an old battered Squier, it sounded absolutely superb and played like a dream. :bassist:
  5. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I somewhat agree with Mike, but somewhat disagree. Clearly Sadowskys have better quality components and fit and finish, but there is a big difference in sound, in my opinion. Because of the preamp built into the bass, and the active tone controls, there is a different tone altogether. I would characterize the Sad as more forward, aggressive, and present, and the Fender as more traditional sounding with its passive growl.

    It is difficult to write about sound, but it is my feel that that particular sound is why the Sadowsky is so present in the mix. It's not just the level, but the quality of the tone that comes out of that bass that makes it so attractive to many people, especially when you hear a Sadowsky in a setting with other instruments, either live or recorded. I greatly doubt you'd see the enthusiasm on this board for the Sad if sounded the same as a Jazz and cost $2000 more. I don't mind drinking the Kool-Aid, but I'm not that deluded.
  6. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I don't know about one "E" but I'll bet I could tell in two. I've heard some old "reworked" Fenders (new bridge, pickups, pre) that came close. But I haven't heard a Bass yet that provides the combination of thump, and definition that one of Rogers does. Not to say they're aren't other great sounding basses, but Rogers have there own tone and it's a great one.
  7. The Sadowsky tone kills. The Fender tone out of the box is good but not anywhere close in terms of character and flexability. The good news is the jazz bass offers many pick-up upgrade options. Is a Sadowsky 2 or 3 times better? Does it justify 2 or 3 times the cost?? That's for each person to decide. I paid full price for a new Metro ($2,175. w/ tax) that played average at best. A few people who's opinions I trust spent some time with this bass and agreed with me.

    Where I failed is I sold it when from what I understand from reading all the Sadowsky customer service raves here on Talk Bass I probably could have sent it back for a full evaluation. I'm so used to the Guitar Center mindset (you know..sold as is)that I never thought to ask. So in my experience a Fender w/ upgraded pick-ups/electronics would have been a better choice. But I'd give Sadowsky another try considering what I've read here about their customer service.
  8. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    I hear a lot of things on this board. They're called opinions. You should develop your own based on experience.
  9. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    I have played countless Fenders. Old P basses, Old J Basses. Some that played very well, even great. But almost ever one I have picked up has had dead spots in the neck. The newer ones are especially bad in my opinion.

    Now, I have played probably a dozen Sadowsky in the last 5 years. While some felt a little better than others, NONE of them had dead spots in the neck.

    A fellow country bassist and TB'er on here put it great when he said "When you live in a world of half and whole notes, a deadspot isn't just "oh well" it is huge!"

    Then there is the tone, even Rogers single coils. They just sound bigger, fuller, tighter, more srticulate, more natural and they sit in exactly the right place in the mix.

    To me there is no comparison.
  10. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I hadn't read that quote, but without a doubt, it's the best quote I've ever heard about the reason why spending 3K on a Sadowsky is justified....apart from the fact that they are light and confy, they have a great customer's service, they are beautiful and they come from NYC :cool:
  11. Tone is so subjective. I ordered my Sadowsky in February '04 and it was done at the beginning of October. I had never played one or heard one solo'ed, so I was acting on blind faith from what I've read about them here and elsewhere. You can imagine that I was excited to get it after waiting seven months. Well, I got the bass and it plays like a dream. The quality and finish are exceptional. One small problem though - I didn't like the tone. Of course, I had my seven day approval period and I could have sent it back for a full refund, but I kept it because it plays so nice and I was hoping that the tone would grow on me. It never did. It got to the point where I wasn't playing it out at gigs and I even considered selling it if I could get a good price for it. Fortunately, I decided to try new pickups. That was the missing link. Now it sounds great to me.

    My point here is to remember that tone is subjective. What sounds great to one player might sound bad to another. By all means get your hands on one and play it and hear it before you form your opinion. I still feel that Sadowsky basses are top notch instruments and are worthy of the praise bestowed upon them. I have also learned that if I ever buy another one it will be fitted with new pickups upon arrival.

    My 2 cents...
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    every sadowsky i've owned, played and admired have never left me flat, unlike a MANY fenders new, old, relic'ed, closeted, whathaveyou.

    the only Fender i almost bought was the relic'd Jaco P. fretless, and guess what? it cost a little more than the sadowsky of similar ilk. *shrug*

    call me high maintenence, but my fingers and ears have a hard time lying to me. :smug:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    What pickups did it for you?.
  14. I like the Marcus Miller tone, so I installed Bartolini 59J L1/LN1's. I play mostly funk and R&B and the Barts do it way better in my opinion. The stock pickups would be good in a rock situation. The pronounced mids would help cut through the mix.

    I also switched the wires on the pan pot so that it's not "backwards" anymore. :)
  15. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I don't own a Sadowsky and I'm down to one Fender (mostly because neither one makes anything more than a 5 string :scowl: ) so I don't have the "sadowsky-itis" that so many TBers here have. But, one of the most mind-numbing, repetitive drones you read here all of the time is how the Sadowsky "sits-in-the-mix". I think that it must be a secret Sadowsky-ownership agreement that is forced on the bassist when the axe is purchased ...... (with lots of cash in one hand the the other hand over your heart) "I hereby agree to write sits-well-in-the-mix in every Sadowsky thread I see" ...... ;)

    But seriously, that is exactly what it does and why it is so worth it (and why so many ERBers are p*ssed that 6+ strings aren't available :( ). Need proof? Get a copy of any American Idol taped show from this season and listen to Ricky Minor playing the Sadowsky and compare that to any other bass he used on the show ..... which bass stood out the cleanest/loudest/proudest? I can not remember any other bass standing out like that on a TV show ..........
  16. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL

    That should always be the point..every time and in every post.
  17. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I like Sadowsky more. More versatile, no issues. Roger is a great person, period. Doesnt matter that he is a great bass builder. Would be glad to meet and know him in any setting.
    That means alot to me.

    I've tried them all and owned most of them. I prefer the brand. Doesnt mean u will. Try for yourself. Sorta like cars or wallpaper. Ever shop for cars or wallpaper?? Whew!!!!!!!!

  18. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I think that when people talk about better or worse tones they are speaking in terms of quality and not beauty and in this terms, a bass that has even, clear and well defined notes across the fingerboard has better tone. You may or may not prefer it.
  19. Jazzguy

    Jazzguy Banned

    May 3, 2004
    It's all about taste.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've played Sadowskys before and thought they were most excellent basses. But I'm on the side that doesn't believe basses need to cost $3000 to sound great. Hell, I have a hard time with the concept of spending over $1000 for a bass. I have two that I spent over $1000 on (not Fenders or Sadowskys), but if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't. Some people can justify spending that much money. I never could. I also don't believe that they sound any better than stock MIA Fenders (not a fan of active electronics either). You might have to look around a little for a good Fender as opposed to every Sadowsky you can count on as being a good bass, but is it worth spending 3x the price? Not to me.

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