Distributed by: Amber Technology | Expect to pay: $5,399
The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs.
Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks – a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
For this special, we’re turning our focus to one of the most essential aspects of any genre: the bass. Whether it’s jazz, punk, pop or beyond, it’s all about that bass, and to celebrate, we’re spotlighting the finest instruments, amplifiers, tools and effects available to the modern bassist today.
Sadowsky Metro Line Vintage J Bass
Key Features: Designed and engineered in Germany, the Sadowsky Metroline Vintage J Bass is a top-end instrument made to luthier Roger Sadowsky’s specs in the Warwick factory. As a bass innovator, Sadowsky has always been about improving classic bass designs for the modern player. Modernizing his own active electronics for these instruments is just one of the ways this designer has sought to keep ahead of the pack.
Utilising an American red alder body, maple neck and Morado fretboard with a 12″ radius, the Sadowsky J is a classic design that has been updated for today’s modern player. Including his own recently developed electronics, Roger Sadowsky’s new bass guitar succeeds in raising the well-known J bass sound to a new level, including a typical Sadowsky tone. This doesn’t come across at all harsh or shrill sounding, and features powerful non muddy bass with quieter mids, rounded off with a sweet top end to allow for plenty of presence in a mix without sacrificing the bottom end – a feature that will come as a welcome surprise for players everywhere.
The onboard electronics are also extremely versatile, with passive hum-cancelling J-style neck and bridge pickups and an active two-way bass and treble boost control. While primarily designed to help the player boost their bass sound further forward in a 21st century mix, this feature is known as a Vintage Tone Control or VTC. These controls are stacked and come with a push/pull function to bypass the onboard preamp if that’s what is required.
The instrument also features Sadowsky ultralight Hipshot machine heads with open gears and S-security locks on the strap holders. Chrome hardware is standard, and a quick string release option at the bridge makes for quick and easy maintenance. This feature is a welcome and original Sadowsky design.
Sporting a classic ’59 Sunburst transparent high polish finish and a tortoise-shell pickguard, the Sadowsky weighs in at a solid 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg). Part of the MetroLine series of guitars, this instrument uses extremely lightweight woods, high-quality UV finishes, and original hardware parts. The neck is a bolt-on 34″ (864 mm) long scale, but as the body is a slightly undersized J-bass shape, the comfort and playability of this guitar are both readily apparent.
Mixdown Says: A boutique five-string bass guitar which features classic retro looks with up to date technologies, playability and sounds. An instrument to be admired and played at every gig and professional session.
Overall: The Sadowsky Vintage J Bass is an excellent choice for bass players who are looking for a more lightweight solution for the stage in addition to an up-to-date bass sound.
Find out more about Sadowsky through Amber Technology.