Jump to content
bassfan

I had Sadowsky GAS 😳 (formerly “I’ve got...”)

Recommended Posts

I have gigged a Sadowsky NYC for several years. The chambered body, allowing for a lighter bass, was a consideration due to shoulder pain. Playing in a rock covers band, the Sadowsky preamp allowed for the versatility required to tweak tone on the fly. A very nice preamp for sure.

The thing is, when I purchased mine, the dollar was weak when compared with the euro and it cost me a little over €2.5k. The same spec now would cost over €6k. At that price I would question as to whether the  NYC is good value for money.

Even with all the hype, Sadowsky basses do not hold their value very well. Some months ago, a very high spec NYC In what seemed to be as new condition sold for €3k. 

The NYC as a second hand purchase I could recommend, though the best bang for buck bass I have ever played is the Sire, which is a fraction of the price. Very well put together, good preamp, but heavy. However there is a really nice looking and unusual Sadowky 5 string P bass for sale on here. Could well be worth a punt if that is your kinda thing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, leroydiamond said:

I have gigged a Sadowsky NYC for several years. The chambered body, allowing for a lighter bass, was a consideration due to shoulder pain. Playing in a rock covers band, the Sadowsky preamp allowed for the versatility required to tweak tone on the fly. A very nice preamp for sure.

The thing is, when I purchased mine, the dollar was weak when compared with the euro and it cost me a little over €2.5k. The same spec now would cost over €6k. At that price I would question as to whether the  NYC is good value for money.

Even with all the hype, Sadowsky basses do not hold their value very well. Some months ago, a very high spec NYC In what seemed to be as new condition sold for €3k. 

The NYC as a second hand purchase I could recommend, though the best bang for buck bass I have ever played is the Sire, which is a fraction of the price. Very well put together, good preamp, but heavy. However there is a really nice looking and unusual Sadowky 5 string P bass for sale on here. Could well be worth a punt if that is your kinda thing. 

I’ve never played a Sire but I can echo a good bit of your post. 

My Metro was a great buy at £1500 but not sure I would buy it at £2500 which is their current price. My NYC was a great deal at £2500 but not sure I could stretch to buying it new which would cost me upwards of £5000. To be spending that much on a bass you really have got to know what you are getting, so I would certainly recommend trying a Metro before even considering an NYC.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late to this thread, but happy to say I am the lucky owner of 2 Sadowskys 🤗

First one bought nearly new in 1996 is a NYC 5 string modern, 24 frets, chambered ash body and maple fboard, EMG soapbars. It's my best friend and a total keeper. Wherever I plug this in and start playing people's eyes light up, live or studio. It has a deep authoritative fat sound to which you can dial in punch or crispness easily with the onboard or amp eq, although the latter is rarely needed. The B string is the tightest I've heard, sounds like a piano. For me it's this balance of warmth and crispness that I love and makes it totally versatile. I've owned Warwick, Tobias, Modulus all of which I've liked for different reasons but always come back to the Sadowsky. I also like the fact that it looks tidy and smart but not ostentatious, so fits into a lot of different band styles. And the lightness of the chambered body makes a big difference on long nights...oh and...it stays perfectly in tune, regardless of temperature and humidity.

My second is a new baby...well new old. Fell into a deep hole in Tokyo called Bass Center and climbed out with a 1992 NYC four string stuck to me! It was a bit pricey once you add on the import duty 😭...but playing for 30 years you kind of know when a bass feels right. It also has an ash body and maple fboard (my sound) with 21 frets. It has a wonderfully woody sound and feel to it, plays very easily and I would say more of a classic jazz sound, a little softer due in part to single coil pickups placed further from the bridge than the modern.

Re bedroom vs gig: I kind of see what people mean - in the bedroom these basses sound very transparent, hifi-ish and perhaps that comes across as lacking character. In a gig that deep authority and ability to dial in crispness gives great punch and pitch definition which probably makes the sound stand out more. Probably we play harder in a band so maybe that also brings out the character of the instrument! To my ears there are no noticeable dead spots which also helps keep the bottom end tight and consistent in a band setting. This has been a problem for me with ash/maple Fender jazzes where certain notes just seem to drop out of a line.

Re preamp: I agree with comments above that the preamp just shines more light on whichever part of a great unplugged tone you want. The character is there in the wood, the strings and your fingers!

While in Tokyo I also tried Sadowsky metros, Atelier Z betas, and a couple of Laklands. They were all excellent basses and I could easily find my sound with them. In the end I went for the NYC probably for sentimental reasons as much as anything 😄. There is an Aterlier Z for sale right now on BC which I would have snapped up if it weren't too late, would recommend trying it if you can as they are rare and this one is a crazy bargain!

Sorry for the long ramble, trapped in bed with a lurgy so more waffly than usual! Hope this helps with the GAS anyway. Let us know what you decide 😋.

 

20190713_124158.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/08/2019 at 20:00, thodrik said:

For an NYC just contact them directly and then they will take you through matters and discuss timescale for the build, basic design etc.

I think Bass Direct are now a dealer for NYC basses and you can put an order through them. I don’t know if that makes it cheaper/more expensive than ordering direct. 

In terms of build time for an NYC it is 10-12 months as per their website. 

I ordered my NYC Satin on March 1st this year. It was ready on June 19th. Mind you, mine wasn’t a full on custom job apart from the colour so YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A curse on this thread! Having had my interest piqued, I thought I'd try a Sadowsky preamp pedal to see what the fuss is about tonally, I mean, how different can they really be? Today, I stuck one in front of a P bass, a Gibson Jnr double-cut and a Ricky. Sooo nice!  It wasn't the usual masses of difference (often unusable) that I've had with both on-board preamps and some pedals, just nice and subtle, but super nice. Now I'm wondering about adding an Aguilar OBP-1 to one of my passive basses (it's the same boost only frequencies as the Sad IIRC) or trying a Sad Modern. Basschat screws me again with unnecessary GAS 😡!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/08/2019 at 17:44, Al Krow said:

I get all that.

I just don't buy that a quality bass is only going to sound good loud.

Or put it another way, I certainly wouldn't buy a quality bass that only sounded good loud! 

I think 'live' is better description than loud.
I've had instruments which sound amazing on their own, but get lost in the mix. But something like a Precision sounds a bit rough and harsh on it's own... but comes alive in a live setting. 
I've also had very respected sound engineers who for live sound would prefer the bass be be in the traditional tonal palette that a Fender style bass is in.
I have owned, and still own, a wide range of basses, but there was a penny dropping moment for me a year or so back moving towards a more Fender sound, and it was just so so much easier for me, the sound engineer and the band to get it to sound good and fit in the mix. It made me sound good in the genre I was playing in. 
For me, a good Fender or Fender type bass (whoever makes it) has a place. 
That's very much not to say it's the only way, or even that that quality is particularly virtuous. Music is pushed forward by folk doing new things with new sounds on different instruments that don't quite fit into the mainstream and people should just play whatever it is that makes them happy and sound good. 

On 04/08/2019 at 23:28, bassfan said:

Apologies all... I started a post and then disappeared... lots going on this weekend. 

So just putting this in context I’m not a bedroom bassist by any means.  

I have always wanted a sadowsky. I played one in a shop a long time ago and loved the tone. I’ve had quite a few basses in my time, some much better than my capabilities but I’m fortunate enough to have played them and moved them on. Warwicks, Laklands (joe Osborn and skyline) Mike Lull, Fenders......

I don’t get on with P basses. I have a lovely Jazz, a gorgeous shuker (with lane poor) and a status that is currently my go to gigging bass. 

I recently tried some yammys and currently have a nice PJ Bb1100s which I use at home. I like the pj config. I considered having a shuker pj made but my Sadowsky itch needs scratching. 

I was after your thoughts, good and bad ! 😃

I like my sadowsky metro will lee. It's black and I don't like black basses much at all. But I like my one as it sounds good in almost every setting. It sounds great, the fretwork is great, it's super even across the fretboard and gets really gnarly if you dig in hard. It's got it's own variation of the classic Fender Jazz sound. 
I don't like black basses, heck I don't even like Jazz basses. No I dislike jazz basses and have got through quite a few as I periodically have forgot that...  I got my Sadowsky in a trade as I figured it would be easier to sell that the bass I was trading... But It's not going anywhere and became my go-to instrument because it just works. Even if it is a Black Jazz bass!

On the flip side I've tried some rather dull sounding Sadowskys in shops before. In fact the same is true for almost every manufacturer.
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I started getting back into playing Fender style basses again, I was looking for a ‘super jazz’. I did really fancy a Sadowsky, especially after hearing an interview with Roger where it seemed that he was very much building basses for players like me. However, the cost was somewhat of an issue.

I went through a couple of decent active jazz basses then one day I went to Bass Direct to pick some accessories up and picked up an Xotic, which I decided was the best jazz bass I had ever played. I managed to quickly find a secondhand one on here, which has been my go-to gigging bass ever since. This has somewhat cured me of my Sadowsky GAS and to be honest I don’t think that I could justify the price tag, especially with how much the pound is worth these days. Mind you, I do sometimes look at how much a Satin series would cost and think that maybe a nice secondhand one might come up. I still can’t see it replacing the Xotic though…

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a Sadowsky Metro for around four years now and it's been my main gigging bass ever since I got it. Here are a few thoughts -

Build quality - very solidly built, fit and finish is as close to perfect as I've ever seen.

Playability - marginally nicer than my US Fender Jazz, not really worth the extra cost for this aspect alone.

Tone - Playing at home it's nice enough but lacks the character of my Fender, maybe it's too precise (clinical?). Gigging is a whole different matter, I regularly get positive comments about my how audible my bass is in the mix. A drummer I used to play with when I brought my Fender along for a change, " where's your blue bass, I can hear every note you play with that one". The singer in a band I recently joined "I can really hear the bass lines now, I couldn't before". In another band the singer's boyfriend who also plays bass came up to me at half time and said "How do you get your bass to sound so good in the mix?....ahh thats how, you've got a Sadowsky". There's more but I think you get the drift. How much of it is down to it being an active bass and how much of it is some sort Sadowsky magic I don't know, but for me it lives up to it's reputation.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spike said:

Here are a few thoughts. . . . . .

My experience too. The tone just kills.

If you like being told you sound good, get a Sadowsky.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, chris_b said:

My experience too. The tone just kills.

If you like being told you sound good, get a Sadowsky.

Or a Squier, i got told loads of times how nice the bass sounded 🙂

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Or a Squier, i got told loads of times how nice the bass sounded 🙂

Same with my Yammy BB :)

You've got a fair point though Dave... which is that it's surely about the player and much less the gear. I suspect Chris could make most basses sound really good. 

Edited by Al Krow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Same with my Yammy BB :)

You've got a fair point though Dave... which is that it's surely about the player and much less the gear. I suspect Chris could make most basses sound really good. 

Oh, i wouldn't go as far as to suggest I made the bass sound good, it just did. Its a P bass, how could it not sound good lol.

All these higher end basses are about self-indulgence IMO, never about 'must have'  one to get a job done.

Still, as a hobby there is nothing wrong with being as self indulgent as your bank account will allow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Same with my Yammy BB :)

You've got a fair point though Dave... which is that it's surely about the player and much less the gear. I suspect Chris could make most basses sound really good. 

But in the context of this thread, I'm the same player no matter which of my basses I'm playing but it's the Sadowsky that gets remarked on

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, spike said:

But in the context of this thread, I'm the same player no matter which of my basses I'm playing but it's the Sadowsky that gets remarked on

Some people just like different things. I have never had a 'nice tone' comment with a Jazz bass in my band. They love the P34 (ok, not exactly a cheap bass), and also my 425. Took a Dingwall to one rehearsals (and gigged it once)and other than silly comments about its looks, nothing  mentioned about the tone. Not my bass and IME one of most boring sounding basses ive ever played

Still, a Sadowsky is about the only bass ive wanted to own for a good few years but probably never will,  so who am i to comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spike said:

But in the context of this thread, I'm the same player no matter which of my basses I'm playing but it's the Sadowsky that gets remarked on

Fair!

My Ibby SR regularly gets commented on for its looks, although I guess I've grown used to its appearance and am therefore always a little surprised that it seems to be head-turningly cute as far as other musicians and audience members are concerned!

A bit like Dave, I rarely get comments about bass tone or the sound per se on any of my basses, because in my case it's just part of the mixed 'band sound'. Although I get regular positive feedback about the bass playing and the band, which is, of course, really nice to get.

What is it specifically folk are commenting on about your Sad and are the comments from other musos or 'general' audience members?

Edited by Al Krow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because of this thread I went out and bought a Sadowsky SBP-2 pre-amp pedal (cheaper than buying a Sadowsky bass and my internal organs remain my property). I know that it only boosts at 40Hz and 4KHz, but it seems to do something else too, don't ask me what, it's like fairy dust has been sprinkled on my already, not too shabby tone (IMO).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Because of this thread I went out and bought a Sadowsky SBP-2 pre-amp pedal (cheaper than buying a Sadowsky bass and my internal organs remain my property). I know that it only boosts at 40Hz and 4KHz, but it seems to do something else too, don't ask me what, it's like fairy dust has been sprinkled on my already, not too shabby tone (IMO).

Sorry Ezbass.  😂😂 I’m considering one myself .... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bassfan said:

Sorry Ezbass.  😂😂 I’m considering one myself .... 

It's a good first step I reckon. I'll get to use it live tomorrow week and it'll be interesting to hear it during the sound check FOH and if I get any comments (the drummer and guitarist are normally quite attentive to my sound).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best things about having a Sadowsky Metro is that people who have no clue about basses  just think it is a cheap Fender copy which I play into when I say that it was made in Japan. 'Wow, your bass sounds great, you'd sound even better if you had a proper Fender!', is one of the best lines I have received from a sound engineer. 

Frankly, I'm not sure I believe half of the bass forum or gear review comments along the lines of 'after the show the sound engineer complemented my bass tone, stating that it just sat perfectly in the mix, was phenomenally balanced, had great mid presence and even had a bit more girth in the fundamental than my usual 'go to' instrument. Some of the audience members even came up to be to complement how the maple fingerboard really helped to emphasise the slap bass passages in the set.'

I am usually impressed if people even remember I was in the band, let alone what bass I was using or what hell the bass actually sounded like. 

Edited by thodrik
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Fair!

My Ibby SR regularly gets commented on for its looks, although I guess I grown used to it and am always a little surprised that it seems to be head-turningly cute as far as other musicians and audience members are concerned!

A bit like Dave, I rarely get comments about bass tone or the sound per se on any of my basses, because in my case it's just part of the mixed 'band sound'. Although I get regular positive feedback about the bass playing and the band, which is, of course, really nice to get.

What is it specifically folk are commenting on about your Sad and are the comments from other musos or 'general' audience members?

Other musos, whether in the band or in the audience, and it's mainly about how well they can hear it in the mix rather than the tone as such.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, spike said:

Other musos, whether in the band or in the audience, and it's mainly about how well they can hear it in the mix rather than the tone as such.    

Cheers - that very much stacks up with the general sentiment about the Sad from the rest of this thread i.e. that it works well in the mix and perhaps 'better' than when played solo at home.

I haven't quite worked out from the earlier comments whether that means it 'sits well' in the mix like P basses or 'cuts through' the mix due to mid punch or some lush mixture of the two!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ezbass said:

Because of this thread I went out and bought a Sadowsky SBP-2 pre-amp pedal (cheaper than buying a Sadowsky bass and my internal organs remain my property). I know that it only boosts at 40Hz and 4KHz, but it seems to do something else too, don't ask me what, it's like fairy dust has been sprinkled on my already, not too shabby tone (IMO).

They are very useful and musical frequencies so I understand. IMO, it’s the ability to use the VTC (basically a tone control with added marketing BS) while the bass is active that the magic happens. I’ve always shied away from treble controls as they always sound a bit too harsh or piercing for my liking, especially with new roundwounds. With the VTC dialled back a tad I can still retain treble without the harsh edge. 

Edited by ianrendall
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P basses are know for the mid range they bring to the bass sound and band mix. It’s all about the (lo)mids. Jazz basses tend to have bottom end and top end rather than mid punch and on account of this scoop they sit different and aren’t a bass folks would associate with mid punch. Now if you’re playing a jazz with active eq and dial in mids that’s a different thing but inherently a jazz wouldn’t be described as having mid punch. I hear a Sadowsky and I think Marcus Miller scooped slap bass, I hear p bass and I think Duck Dunn!

I’m a bit like @thodrik in that folk on forums get all caught up in this that and the other and it’s all a bit meaningless especially when two opposing descriptions of the same instrument are employed. I see it a lot on TB but we can all hear things differently I suppose 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played a sado in guitar guitar and was underwhelmed for the cost and while they might excel on a gig it wasn’t that memorable. 

Edited by krispn
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing Hugh McDonald plying live with Bon Jovi was the first time I had (knowingly) heard a Sadowsky. One of the best live bass tones I have ever heard. Ever since I’ve wanted to won one, but over the years realised it was more than just that specific bass. In this interview he talks about his first time with a Sadowsky. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...