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LukeFRC

Improving a Sadowsky’s tone

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So a while back I did a trade with the lovely @warwickhunt which led to me driving back down the A1 with this lovely Sadowsky metro. 

I wanted to try one out, had a bit of a jazz bass craving and he about the only person in the uk interested in my super early thumb bass so it made sense.

omg effortless to play - And sounds amazing.

 

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Edited by LukeFRC

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Charcoal frost metallic btw. There was just one thing I didn’t like... this better?

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Hmmmm calling the genius that is “the Bass Doc” (a Sadowsky pickguard imported would cost over £100!)

and a wall of basses. The Sadowsky fell off the other day, mostly due to my bad diy skills and stupidity... but while the screws are good the rawl plugs that come with Hercules hangers aren’t ... anyway scraped the back :( but was the catalyst for me getting the tort...

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15 hours ago, artisan said:

Tort was definitely the correct decision 

It does look lovely, however I'd be tempted by a B/W/B one, just saying ;)

Eude

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Looks great Luke, how do you find the general sound? It seems like a lot of players who play a Sadowsky have a great tone to my ears 👍🏼

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IMO black and tort is a good move.

Sadowsky basses are another level altogether! Playing my Metro RV5 for about a year made me realise that I was the junior partner in this relationship and I had to raise my game to match the bass. Hence the lessons. Mine is a little on the heavy side and was causing some discomfort to my shoulder. I have started a workout to generally increase my strength and now this bass seems to be getting lighter.

I can guarantee, I wouldn't be putting myself through all this for any other bass.

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57 minutes ago, jimbobothy said:

Looks great Luke, how do you find the general sound? It seems like a lot of players who play a Sadowsky have a great tone to my ears 👍🏼

It’s good.

Go back 3-4 years and I had three through necks - they were great but picking up the G&L made me realise that I enjoyed a bolt on fender-type as much as anything else. 

Tone wise it’s obviously been designed to have a certain sound, there is a punch to the notes and musicality that seems designed to sit a certain place in the mix. Even in passive The bridge pup sounds a bit more full than you might expect, and the neck pup is usable, rather than a nasal tone. The nicest thing is that the ‘mid drop out’ with both pups up full isn’t too extreme and that’s where I like it. It’s seems both more trebly, more bass focused and with a punching midtone - all at the same time. 

With the current strings on, it doesn’t have the hollow warmth of the L1000 (think P bass) and in passive mode seems more synthesised and tailored to sound a certain way.

Switch the preamp on, boost the bass just a tiny bit, and the bottom end fills out just enough for a typical P bass player like me. 

Thats playing gently/normal - dig in hard and the tone gets a certain aggressive grind to it that makes you smile.

The Will Lee mids switch I need to try out more in different contexts to have a strong opinion on. Simple to use.

I did the trade for it with the thought in the back of my mind that if I didn’t like it it would be easier to move on than a vintage Warwick. To my ears it will just ‘work’ in a mix, it’s super playable, not too heavy and Is more than enough bass for me.  

 

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47 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

It’s good.

Go back 3-4 years and I had three through necks - they were great but picking up the G&L made me realise that I enjoyed a bolt on fender-type as much as anything else. 

Tone wise it’s obviously been designed to have a certain sound, there is a punch to the notes and musicality that seems designed to sit a certain place in the mix. Even in passive The bridge pup sounds a bit more full than you might expect, and the neck pup is usable, rather than a nasal tone. The nicest thing is that the ‘mid drop out’ with both pups up full isn’t too extreme and that’s where I like it. It’s seems both more trebly, more bass focused and with a punching midtone - all at the same time. 

With the current strings on, it doesn’t have the hollow warmth of the L1000 (think P bass) and in passive mode seems more synthesised and tailored to sound a certain way.

Switch the preamp on, boost the bass just a tiny bit, and the bottom end fills out just enough for a typical P bass player like me. 

Thats playing gently/normal - dig in hard and the tone gets a certain aggressive grind to it that makes you smile.

The Will Lee mids switch I need to try out more in different contexts to have a strong opinion on. Simple to use.

I did the trade for it with the thought in the back of my mind that if I didn’t like it it would be easier to move on than a vintage Warwick. To my ears it will just ‘work’ in a mix, it’s super playable, not too heavy and Is more than enough bass for me.  

 

It's beautiful. Congratulations! I've always wanted to try a Sadowsky - another Newsted admirer from way back!

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Cheers for the detailed answer Luke, appreciated.

As a note, I always prefer the no pick guard look, even with the holes visible. Probably in part why I like my wicks, no pickguards he he 😎.

 

Edited by jimbobothy
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4 hours ago, jimbobothy said:

Cheers for the detailed answer Luke, appreciated.

As a note, I always prefer the no pick guard look, even with the holes visible. Probably in part why I like my wicks, no pickguards he he 😎.

 

The holes would annoy me I think! 

Its a different beast to the warwicks I’ve had. Like you know in the video you’ve posted you can hear every note? Like take away the fact he’s a way better player than i will ever be and eq, amps etc - each note is present with a punch and a tone.  On a lot of other basses I’ve owned the note is there but with less defined punch, I’ve got the house to myself so I just cranked her up to have a bit of practice and some of the little fills I would play on other basses just don’t seem to work as they sound more musical and stand out as guff ...  

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Not sure what this has to do with improving a Sadowsky’s tone! 😅

I have Sadowsky preamps in two of my basses (Metro and my Dingwall super P5, and it was in my stolen Super J). It’s an awesome preamp. I also have the Preamp DI pedal, which has only been swapped out because I finally got my hands on a Noble. 

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14 hours ago, therealting said:

Not sure what this has to do with improving a Sadowsky’s tone! 😅

I have Sadowsky preamps in two of my basses (Metro and my Dingwall super P5, and it was in my stolen Super J). It’s an awesome preamp. I also have the Preamp DI pedal, which has only been swapped out because I finally got my hands on a Noble. 

Lol, I agree but went with the pick guard thing anyhow 😝.

I’ve thought about getting a preamp/pedal at some point.

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16 hours ago, therealting said:

Not sure what this has to do with improving a Sadowsky’s tone! 😅

I have Sadowsky preamps in two of my basses (Metro and my Dingwall super P5, and it was in my stolen Super J). It’s an awesome preamp. I also have the Preamp DI pedal, which has only been swapped out because I finally got my hands on a Noble. 

IMO the way to Improve a Sadowsky's tone is to turn the pre-amp off and role back the passive tone control just a touch. You do have to be playing it through a nice valve amp for it to be completely effective though.

BTW this isn't a dig, but the result of spending a pleasurable couple of hours in Sadowsky's NY showroom (when they were still located in Brooklyn) trying out all their available basses.

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@BigRedX the passive tone control is crucial. I personally like boosting the bass and treble very slightly, and then rolling down the passive tone control. The cool thing is that the passive tone is still great.

I also swapped out the pickups in mine for Nordstrands. 

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44 minutes ago, leroydiamond said:

What model Nordstrands did you use?

I think they’re NJ4SEs... or were they NJ4s? I have one set in my medium scale Jazz and one set in my MV4.

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On 15/01/2019 at 19:19, LukeFRC said:

Hmmmm calling the genius that is “the Bass Doc” (a Sadowsky pickguard imported would cost over £100!)

and a wall of basses. The Sadowsky fell off the other day, mostly due to my bad diy skills and stupidity... but while the screws are good the rawl plugs that come with Hercules hangers aren’t ... anyway scraped the back :( but was the catalyst for me getting the tort...

94E678EB-CF47-47DB-BED3-7AA9F644D35D.jpeg

EFB98FAE-A462-4B96-B92D-65576031CA81.jpeg

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Hi Luke

Do you have a number/email for the bass Doc? Ive known him for years but ive not got his number anymore. I did message him about 6 years ago on basschat asking him to make me a guard, and I'm still waiting on an answer 😂😂😂

Ive got a black Yamaha BB that your pics have inspired me to get a tort guard for 😁

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53 minutes ago, lee650 said:

Hi Luke

Do you have a number/email for the bass Doc? Ive known him for years but ive not got his number anymore. I did message him about 6 years ago on basschat asking him to make me a guard, and I'm still waiting on an answer 😂😂😂

Ive got a black Yamaha BB that your pics have inspired me to get a tort guard for 😁

He’s not on basschat - I contacted him on Facebook 

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On 18/01/2019 at 14:50, BigRedX said:

IMO the way to Improve a Sadowsky's tone is to turn the pre-amp off and role back the passive tone control just a touch. You do have to be playing it through a nice valve amp for it to be completely effective though.

BTW this isn't a dig, but the result of spending a pleasurable couple of hours in Sadowsky's NY showroom (when they were still located in Brooklyn) trying out all their available basses.

Just tried this the other night with my Metro and my NYC five string through my old V6. 

Works really well! Makes the bass sound more like a vintage Fender and doesn't overload the pre-amp with heavy bass. 

I love the Sadowsky pre-amp, though my default position is the pre-amp turned on but with treble fully off and the bass EQ barely turned up past 0.

Wouldn't mind a black pick guard for my sunburst MV4 with a maple neck...

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3 hours ago, thodrik said:

Just tried this the other night with my Metro and my NYC five string through my old V6. 

Works really well! Makes the bass sound more like a vintage Fender and doesn't overload the pre-amp with heavy bass. 

I love the Sadowsky pre-amp, though my default position is the pre-amp turned on but with treble fully off and the bass EQ barely turned up past 0.

Wouldn't mind a black pick guard for my sunburst MV4 with a maple neck...

I’ve found the same default position too. Active/passive with the passive roll off is good as it gets into that passive fender type sound - and has the Sadowsky sound too. The will lee switch on mine gives a third flavour.

i think the way warwickhunt said it to me when I picked the bass up is true, it’s capable of lots of different sounds, and it’s really hard to make it sound bad 

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

I’ve found the same default position too. Active/passive with the passive roll off is good as it gets into that passive fender type sound - and has the Sadowsky sound too. The will lee switch on mine gives a third flavour.

i think the way warwickhunt said it to me when I picked the bass up is true, it’s capable of lots of different sounds, and it’s really hard to make it sound bad 

Ah you've got a Will Lee? Nice!

Yes, when I got my Metro back in 2009, I pretty much found the sound that was in my head. 9 years of gigging and I'm still impressed with it. I have generally not touched the VTC, it is generally on full. I have an old Fender Precision that can do an old Fender sound and I have Vigier Excess for a 'big modern sound'. The Sadowsky sound kind of sits in between the two which is why I love it. 

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