Sadowsky and Tyler and Walter Becker and Strats and Stuff

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Jujo, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Here's the deal. I've found my ideal strat tone- the more recent Walter Becker tones. I've listened to the recent albums a thousand times and I've seen him live twice in the past 2 yrs or so. That strat tone is "IT" for me and I know it. Now I need to get it. That's where you guys come in.

    I've never seen, held, or played a Sadowsky. But I've seen Walter Becker play the same blue Sadowsky through a couple different amps on a couple different tours and it was the best strat tone I've ever heard. But I'm a little leary of buying a guitar that I've never touched before. Especially at those prices.

    I have played a few Tylers and have been very impressed. I was able to get in the area I want to be in but these particular Tylers didn't have the FAT CLUCKY sound that I want. The Tylers were fat sounding, but they didn't have that chicken cluck tone when I turned off the preamp. The preamp was really good for getting fat lead tones with a clean amp. But the guitars weren't super Steely Dan funk, with the preamp out of the circuit. I want a guitar that does both. Fat with the preamp, and funky chicken cluck without the preamp.

    Tyler is more of a known quantity for me, but they still didn't do exactly what I want, I'd say the Tylers were 85% there.

    Sadowsky is an unknown quantity, but it's the only guitar I've heard do exactly what I want a strat to do. Unfortunately, it was being played by someone else.

    What do I do?

    Does anyone have experience with both of these builders? Any input is welcomed.
     
  2. flyingvees

    flyingvees Member

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    Theres a sadowsky in the emporium right now for a reasonable amount...You could buy that one and resale and break even if you didnt like it...I have played a couple and they are nice, slimmer necks than I prefer but that was just these two...You can see by my signature what I am into now strat wise
     
  3. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Yea, I thought of that. But the electronics and pickups are different now than in '89. Seems like too much of a risk.
     
  4. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    Roger Sadowsky is a super nice guy and if you email him with the tone and feel you're looking for, he could build you a strat to your specs.
     
  5. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    the early guitars had very very slim necks. the current ones are pretty normal though not as chunky as the typical tyler. the sadowsky electronics are basically the same. i'm pretty sure he still can get those strat pickups that walter has, which were based on the humcancelling stack strat dimarzio pickups that just preceded the virtual vintage pickups. i have found in general that sadowskys are more articulate guitars than tylers, which might also have something to do with the sound you are looking for. nothing against tyler at all... just different. i have and use both regularly. i'm very fond of tyler's necks ever since i've gotten more into big necks and the guitars have a big, warm sound. really groovy.

    +1 on calling roger. i must also mention that you have a 7 day approval period on guitars you get from roger. i don't know any boutique manufacturer that provides for that....
     
  6. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Thanks Andrew! Neither of us is attempting to impersonate Walter, but do you find that your Sadowsky strats sound very similar to Walter's tone? Are the Tylers and Sadowskys very similar in tone- is the articulation the major difference?
     
  7. leond

    leond Supporting Member

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    Also, I think there's a seven day trial period on Sadowsky's. If you're going to drop that much coin, have him ship you one (I think he has a few in stock right now) and try it out.

    LeonD
     
  8. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    I just have to add that I saw Steely Dan about 4 years ago and Walter was playing that blue Sadowsky. His tone was killer!
     
  9. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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  10. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    the sadowskys and tylers are in the same ballpark, and wood is so variable, it's hard to generalize, but the articulation is the main difference i hear. sadowskys are still very warm. i would bet that it's very possible to get the tone you're looking for in either guitar... with the right guitar. then again sadowskys almost always have bolivian rosewood and they have flatsawn necks so that alone could account for a 'house' sound in comparison to other makes.

    where *I* would personally start is with the pickups because what i hear in walter's sound is the sound of those older dimarzio stacked humcanceling singles. it's a bit compressed, but you can still get cluck. and i would try to figure out if walter plays with the sadowsky preamp on. i am betting he does, which would help the cluck and the fatness because it has the effect of restoring some highs and flattening the 'vocal' midrange bump caused by the cable.

    my sadowskys tend to sound glassier and more traditionally strat-like than what walter is getting, but again it's so much dependent on how you're playing, and i have the latest humcanceling pickups and/or single coils a la lollar or suhr.
     
  11. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Thanks again Andrew, your input has been especially valuable since you own both guitars. I agree with you, I think Walter's preamp is on a lot of the time. Especially on solos and when he's noodling between lyrics. He gets a long sustaining fat tone.

    How's the tremolo unit on the Sadowskys? Trouble free? stays in tune? Unfortunately, there's not a lot of info about their guitars.
     
  12. jb70

    jb70 Supporting Member

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    i have a sadowsky custom tele that i love. the neck is definitely not slim. it's more of a medium sized c shape and is the most comfortable neck that i've ever played. as far as the bridge goes, i think roger uses the gotoh 1055 on most of his guitars. my guitar stays in tune very well although i never really use my bar. be prepared to wait for a while if you custom order from sadowsky. my friend ordered his guitar last april and just got it last month (i think there were some issues with the finish- usually it doesn't take that long).
     
  13. dylmit

    dylmit Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey, I'm the guy with the Sadowsky for sale. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
     
  14. AndrewC

    AndrewC Supporting Member

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    I went on the same quest a couple of years ago to get that tone, which ended up with me having my first boutique guitar built - a Melancon Custom Artist. I even mailed Gerard Melancon some pics of Walter Becker's Sadowsky as a guide.

    I'm happy to say the guitar, with Dimarzio Area 58s and a Bare Knuckle Crawler in the bridge, totally nails that sound and has got me many compliments on my tone. Now if I could only work out the intro chords to 'Josie'... :)
     
  15. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    roger makes the ultimate musician's tool. like suhr and tyler, he cut his teeth helping pro musicians make their livings.

    i very often do not have to tune my sadowskys during an entire set. sometimes an entire show. i am not that abusive with the trem, but suffice it to say that roger knows how to cut a nut properly, which is alot of the battle. correct that the bridge is a gotoh which is good. but also as important: the guitars are made right. i can also say the same thing about my tylers. there are lots of good makers, but i think sadowsky, suhr and tyler are on the very, very top of the heap. they are true luthiers.
     
  16. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    FWIW Sadowsky makes the best electric guitar I've ever played.

    I echo Landru64's coments.

    Again, you can get one from Roger to try for 7 days. That's extremely generous of him.

    .
     
  17. jb70

    jb70 Supporting Member

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    i totally agree. i've had my sadowsky for almost 2 years and it has been on just about every gig that i've done here in nyc/nj (my last rock band wanted me to use my ibanez as-200 semi-hollow so that was the only gig that it hasn't been on). i've played jazz gigs, r&b/soul, funk, rock, experimental/drum and bass, and a handful of studio dates and it is the ultimate guitar for taking on any gig. andrew is right- i tune once at the beginning of the night and can do 3 one hour sets without tuning again.
     
  18. RadackGuitars

    RadackGuitars Supporting Member

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    Hey Guys,
    I'm the production manager at Sadowsky Guitars and have personally worked on Walter's blue strat and have recentally built him a few more pieces. If you want that sound, we can basically build you the same guitar.
    Walter's guitars' are stock, built with the same parts and electronics as any customers would be.
    Of course I'm biased, but our necks are fantastic, a perfect medium C profile. Can also say that the preamp has a lot to do with it, a lot of guitar players aren't into onboard electronics, but just about anyone that gets a Sadowsky ends up loving it.
    We do have a 7 day approval period, and I've personally been obsessed with speeding up our production time and most guitars are getting built under the 6 month quote.
     
  19. jb70

    jb70 Supporting Member

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    totally agree- the most comfortable neck i've ever played. i believe roger uses jumbo frets and a 12" radius (which is not a compound radius). maybe radackguitars can give more specific info on the neck profile.
     
  20. Cory

    Cory Guest

    +1 for Andrew! I totally agree with everything he says about the Sadowsky's. I've got several and that's all I play these days.


    Andrew knows his stuff for sure!
     

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