Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sadowsky NYC Vintage P Bass Review

Buenos dias, amigos!

Today we are looking at another fish that got away, my Sadowsky Vintage P Bass. I sold this a year or two ago and have been kicking myself ever since. At least I know it went to a good home.

This bass was assembled by the minions of Roger Sadowsky’s New York City workshop where it was completed on March 31, 2003. It has the classic P bass look with a little modern flair. The non-chambered alder body has the traditional Precision Bass shape, and it is finished in the ever popular ’59 Burst.

It has a true Precision Bass neck (1.75 inches at the nut, and a 9” radius). The neck appears to have the vintage tint applied to it, as well as light tan fret markers that hearken back to the clay dot inlays of the pre-CBS Fender basses. This one has the upgraded Brazilian rosewood fretboard, which appears to be well on its way to being legislated out of existence.

The hardware is befitting of a Sadowsky, with lightweight Hipshot tuners, a high-mass bridge and a 5-layer pickguard.

Rounding out the specifications, the electronics include the split-coil Sadowsky pickups and a Sadowsky pre-amplifier with Vintage Tone Control.

Looking the bass over, the craftsmanship is perfect. The finish has no flaws, the neck pocket is tight, and the fret work is impeccable. The control cavity is neatly routed and the wiring is gorgeous. A lot of pride and skill went into building this bass, and they even managed to get this down to 8 pounds, 6 ounces, despite the non-chambered body.

Things get real when you play this bass. I find that the non-chambered Sadowsky basses have a bit more punch, and this one is no exception. It has a killer tone that I have not been able to replicate on any bass, even on other Sadowskys with PJ pickups. It has mids galore and really cuts through the mix.

But if you want one of these, you are probably going to have to special order it. I see maybe 1 Sadowsky P bass for every 100 of their PJ or Jazz basses. These basses sell for over $3500 new, and you will have to wait at least 6 months to get one of you order today. If you have money to spare when buying your next high-end bass, this would be a great option.

I do have my regrets about letting this Sadowsky Vintage P go, but I had to consider the sad truth that I do not really need a bass this expensive. My Fenders will have to tide me over until I hit the lottery.


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