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TRBboy

Sandberg Super Light basses?

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Hi folks! 

Just wondered if anyone here has played or owns a sandberg super light bass, specifically a 5 string if possible. 

I'm really tempted to order one, but I'm just wondering if the lower density woods used would result in less low-end thump, and there's potential for it to sound a bit gutless, especially the B string.... 

Any opinions much appreciated! 

Thanks 😊👍

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There was a previous thread here, if you didn't already see it: https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/330412-sandberg-sl-superlight-now-available-for-order-66lb

I have a TT5 SL. I'm currently at work but I'll share my thoughts later tonight.

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I’d say as per my previous comments elsewhere it’s a great sounding bass which does benefit from some lows from the eq/amp/preamp to give it a bit more lows but it’s still a great bass and worth checking out if you get the chance especially if you’re after something super lightweight!

Edited by krispn
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This is the first Sandberg I've played so I can't compare it to other Sandbergs.  I didn't love it with the stock strings - but I don't really like roundwounds in general.  With the stock strings, the bass was very keen and forward and I wasn't sure it would be grounded enough for me.

I changed to Dunlop flats and this has tamed the punch to some degree.   I'm adding some low mids on my preamp pedal but EQ is otherwise flat.  Btw I'm only playing the bass in passive mode (in fact I've removed the battery).  On a Fender etc I would use the tone knob pretty much all the way across its full range from open to closed, depending on the song.  With the Sandberg, I've found I less often have the tone fully open, i.e. I do prefer it with at least some tone rolled off; and also that the overall tone range is smaller - i.e. closing it fully doesn't get as "dark" as I would ideally like.

The B string is good.  I'm normally on in-ears these days so it's hard to fully know how things sound like out front, but I played one gig using a house MarkBass CMD 121H and no PA support.  I went as low as C (no low B in this gig) and those notes were absolutely solid and full - completely not "gutless".

My tone benchmark is Yamaha BB735A which I love and gets 10/10.  In that case, I will award the Sandberg 9/10.  The Yamaha weighs about 4.5kg and I can (and have) happily gig it all through a busy summer, and would do it again.  Having said that, gigging a 3.3kg bass means 25% less weight and that change is really noticeable, and is just really lovely.  Shoulder is barely aware a bass is hanging off it.  No problems with neck dive, by the way.

 

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Thanks for the info @jrixn1, very helpful! I'm really digging a kinda more traditional sound at the moment, so I'm not sure this is going to be right for me, as much as I'd like it to be! I was considering asking them if they'd do a VT5 passive SL..... Could be cool! 

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Good review John, thanks! Staggering what value the Yammy BBs deliver when they are able to hold their own with basses such as your Berg which, new, are perhaps double the price or more.

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9 hours ago, TRBboy said:

I'm just wondering if the lower density woods used would result in less low-end thump...

The material does not have to be low density at all. If you do some search, you may see exotic wood chopping and carving under the top.

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10 hours ago, TRBboy said:

Hi folks! 

Just wondered if anyone here has played or owns a sandberg super light bass, specifically a 5 string if possible. 

I'm really tempted to order one, but I'm just wondering if the lower density woods used would result in less low-end thump, and there's potential for it to sound a bit gutless, especially the B string.... 

Any opinions much appreciated! 

Thanks 😊👍

I might be a bit out of order here but...

I was looking at Sandbergs after reading about @fretmeister's Superlight. Being an old trumper with shonky shoulders, the idea of a light bass appeals greatly.

While browsing, I came across the Marusczcyk basses (made in Poland, I think, or it might be in Germany by a Polish luthier). Some of them seem to come in at not much heavier than the Sandberg SL range - often around 7.5lbs or so - and they seem priced a bit below Sandberg with a similarly vast level of custom options. They look a wee bit more traditional to my eye and they seem to sound as good as the Sandbergs in as much as you can tell from YouTube audio.

On the offchance that you were not aware of them, they might be worth considering. Here's a nice vid-jo of a gentleman from the North East giving an overview of the Maruszczyk he bought to use in place of his valuable vintage Precision. If you were aware of them, I apologise.

YouTube - Review: Maruszczyk Jake basses

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I saw the post on Facebook asking the same thing.

I have to turn down the bass on my amp. It's the MarkBass Marcus Limited and the low end with my TT4 SL is mental.

 

That bass sits in the mix wonderfully, and I'm competing with a 20=odd piece big band full of horns and reeds etc.

I'm saving for a 5 string as well.

 

IN an empty room has it got as much low end as my Urge2? No. At a gig would I be wanting to trim off that ultra low end so the sound was tight and not flubby and didn't get in the way of the kick drum? Yup.

The natural EQ curve of the cherry body is different, but in no way worse. Just have to EQ my amp in a slightly different way than I was used to.

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51 minutes ago, itu said:

The material does not have to be low density at all. If you do some search, you may see exotic wood chopping and carving under the top.

The woods in the super light models are lower density, and that is according to sandberg themselves. It's how these models are so lightweight, and why they can't offer high gloss finishes, because the paint just won't take to the wood well due to the low density. 

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13 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I saw the post on Facebook asking the same thing.

I have to turn down the bass on my amp. It's the MarkBass Marcus Limited and the low end with my TT4 SL is mental.

 

That bass sits in the mix wonderfully, and I'm competing with a 20=odd piece big band full of horns and reeds etc.

I'm saving for a 5 string as well.

 

IN an empty room has it got as much low end as my Urge2? No. At a gig would I be wanting to trim off that ultra low end so the sound was tight and not flubby and didn't get in the way of the kick drum? Yup.

The natural EQ curve of the cherry body is different, but in no way worse. Just have to EQ my amp in a slightly different way than I was used to.

Thanks very much for the info, very helpful! 

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1 hour ago, itu said:

The material does not have to be low density at all. If you do some search, you may see exotic wood chopping and carving under the top.

They are solid body. No chambering or weight relief.

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7 hours ago, TRBboy said:

The woods in the super light models are lower density, and that is according to sandberg themselves. It's how these models are so lightweight, and why they can't offer high gloss finishes, because the paint just won't take to the wood well due to the low density. 

I asked on the Sandberg Facebook page why the Superlight models came in so few finish options. They confirmed that it was due to the cedar body not working well with all finishes. They also said that it takes four times longer to achieve a smooth finish, with obvious cost implications. Apparently they're experimenting with another lightweight wood called paulownia which is smoother grained. Presumably this will increase the finish options they're able to offer without putting prices up.

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Even though the body wood is light in weight, I still think that from acoustics point of view the stiffness is the main factor, not weight. Neck has to be stiff, and all connections between parts tight. Any loose or soft part or place is very bad to the sound.

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1 hour ago, Baceface said:

I asked on the Sandberg Facebook page why the Superlight models came in so few finish options. They confirmed that it was due to the cedar body not working well with all finishes. They also said that it takes four times longer to achieve a smooth finish, with obvious cost implications. Apparently they're experimenting with another lightweight wood called paulownia which is smoother grained. Presumably this will increase the finish options they're able to offer without putting prices up.

That's absolutely right, and in fact all SL models from here on in will be Paulownia, they have ceased using Cedar. 

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8 hours ago, Baceface said:

I might be a bit out of order here but...

I was looking at Sandbergs after reading about @fretmeister's Superlight. Being an old trumper with shonky shoulders, the idea of a light bass appeals greatly.

While browsing, I came across the Marusczcyk basses (made in Poland, I think, or it might be in Germany by a Polish luthier). Some of them seem to come in at not much heavier than the Sandberg SL range - often around 7.5lbs or so - and they seem priced a bit below Sandberg with a similarly vast level of custom options. They look a wee bit more traditional to my eye and they seem to sound as good as the Sandbergs in as much as you can tell from YouTube audio.

On the offchance that you were not aware of them, they might be worth considering. Here's a nice vid-jo of a gentleman from the North East giving an overview of the Maruszczyk he bought to use in place of his valuable vintage Precision. If you were aware of them, I apologise.

YouTube - Review: Maruszczyk Jake basses

I use both chambered body Maruszczyk and low density body Sandbergs (but as 4s not 5s) for my main gigging basses.

The gloss finish on my Jake L4p+ is more to my taste as I like things to stay looking new and I’ve actually already managed to put a little ding in the paper-thin finish on the super-light, but I’m kinda strangely at peace with the fact that I literally cannot keep something like that looking pristine forever if I’m going to make full use of it; it’s going to age a little bit in spite of my best efforts.

The Maruszczyk was cheaper by about £500 as you say (though it’s passive so the lack of a preamp accounts for some of that), but the Sandbergs have something about them that made me buy a second one! That said, given the sounds I’m getting from the 4s that I own, I can’t see any reason why a 5 from either company would be lacking ...but at the same time I wouldn’t expect it to sound like my actual 5s which are Spectors and therefore have a sound all of their own which could easily, for some, define the term ‘gutsy’.

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43 minutes ago, itu said:

Even though the body wood is light in weight, I still think that from acoustics point of view the stiffness is the main factor, not weight. Neck has to be stiff, and all connections between parts tight. Any loose or soft part or place is very bad to the sound.

The neck is Norwegian maple.

It's rock solid. I hardly ever have to tune even if I've walked to where I'm playing when it's been cold. Or come to think of it - in the heat and then going into an air conditioned room.

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33 minutes ago, TRBboy said:

That's absolutely right, and in fact all SL models from here on in will be Paulownia, they have ceased using Cedar. 

That's interesting.

I'm saving for a 5 string so I hope the new wood choice is as good.

I like the finish on my cedar one -I've got the black. The grain comes through a little and it looks great.

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53 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

...but at the same time I wouldn’t expect it to sound like my actual 5s which are Spectors and therefore have a sound all of their own which could easily, for some, define the term ‘gutsy’.

+1^^ 

Also really loving the sound of my (in my case, mid-range) Spector! I've yet to gig it, but at 10.1 lbs that should be very manageable given that my staple gig bass is the amazingly-good-bass-for-the-money Yammy BB1025, which is also 10.1 lbs and hasn't thus far caused me any grief in terms of 2 x 1 hour gigs.

A decent wide strap has gotto be key here, and adding these JFT pads which cost £10 around my straps to provide additional shoulder cushioning, has been brilliant.

Image result for jft shoulder strap

Edited by Al Krow

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