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Sadowsky v. Fender


SaggyBalls
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Ruling for Sadowsky.

Fender's industry standard body shapes are not trademark worthy, and thus Fender cannot sue an instrument builder for using the body shapes.

however...if it is a new unique body shape, there may be a different perspective to rule with in THAT court case (if it would ever go that far)

Lawyerspeak

The case mostly hinges on the designs being the 'standard' and thus 'generic', and the Fender trademark is most often its headstock design and logo.

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Of course there's the 'controversial' side of Sadowsky's business practice, of making parts basses for years and charging top dollar for them

Mind you, they're all top notch playing and sounding instruments that have fit and finish more comparable to Fender's Custom Shop than their Standard Series, and in between the price point...

...but Sadowsky made a name for himself hot-rodding pros' instruments and making those classic instruments sound more 'hi-fi'...a lot of producers and sound engineers preferred their players to use Fenders because they either actually tracked better overall, or it was all in their heads...

...but showing up with a 'Fender' to a session that wasn't really Fender through-and-through was a lot less of a headache/conflict for players than showing up with a Rickenbacker, Wal, or a Zon, and their tone often got them work more than the stock guitars and basses...might have.

Most high-end guitar works pump out Fender 'knock-offs' or have designs inspired by these classic instruments.

I've heard and played lots of Fenders and a strong handful of inspired designs, and even with their across the board price increase this year, they're still able to compete nicely with the instruments that take their cues from these now industry standard designs...though it's getting more difficult year after year.

It's amazing that we can pretty much get anything we can imagine. Though Electronic Instruments have come a long way in the past 75 years, the original designs are still hard to beat. Theremins, Electric Guitars, and Modular Synthesizers

G&L, Musicman, and Fender would all have a real run for their money if Lakland made guitars and not just basses.

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I have never understood this to be honest and would much rather have that original Fender, also their cases are awesome hehe

I play a Lakland and bought it after seeing it on craigs list and going to the guys house and trying it. Mainly because it was such a crisp and professional tone and the Low B sounded SO crisp! It is really hard to find a 5 string bass with such a crisp Low B.

If your ever in the Toronto/Etobicoke area this place is MUST for ALL bass players! They are the only ones who carry Lakland, Sadowsky, Markbass and other high end boutique quality amps and basses!

http://www.clubbass.ca/

Just look and what they have in stock, my my.....

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I have been using the "best of both worlds" for about 12 years now. I have a 1969 Fender Jazz with an outboard Sadowsky Preamp(that I bought from Club Bass in about 1997-98). Mine is the old version (without the DI) but here is the new one, this would be perfect for sprucing up or adding a more "hi-fi" modern sound to any passive bass that doesn't have onboard electronics:

sadowsky-outboard-preamp.jpg

Its all personal taste of course, I have always said that 50% of a players "sound" comes straight from their hands...

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Thanks for this thread ... I always enjoy reading threads about the bass. I still need to take a trip to Club Bass, as it looks like a bass player's dream store. I've driven by it twice when in the area but both time it was closed. Next time I'll be sure to visit the store during store hours! :)

Peace, Mark

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I admire how Fender nailed it more than a half century ago and he wasn't even a musician.

Same with the Hammond organ thanks to Laurens Hammond circa 1934.

I just bought a '98 fender p-bass:

3393496876_30b3db879a_o.jpg

Which plays great, though I haven't played a high-end bass before so I didn't have much to compare to (except to the <500$ bass's i've owned...They feel about the same but the electronics and pickup are a world apart). The price was right, especially since new p-basses jumped up past 1400 at L&M.

I'd think the manufacturer's importance would become more apparent when checking out 5-string basses...right?

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Thanks for this thread ... I always enjoy reading threads about the bass. I still need to take a trip to Club Bass, as it looks like a bass player's dream store. I've driven by it twice when in the area but both time it was closed. Next time I'll be sure to visit the store during store hours! :)

Peace, Mark

Hey Mark! Just wanted to mention, the last time I visited Club Bass I had to make an appointment. It is a very high-end boutique-ish type store, and unless he has changed, he doesn't have "Open" hours.

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As a professional luthier, I have a VERY tough time in even relating these prices to a cookie-cutter made instrument but the fact is; the bass playing public supports these prices...

At present, I am in works with the same Japanese factory that worked with the Buscarino made gigmaster guitars (basically one of the top private workshops in Japan) and all I can say is Sadowsky and Lakland and making a KILLING...I'm only dealing with production of 6 instruments and putting price-tags like Sadowsky/Lakland (skyline) would have me at...ready...well over a 500% profit PER INSTRUMENT...and these guys are ordering a hell of a lot more than 6 instruments at a time...lots of 30 is what Lakand is doing...the other funny thing is; the big shops don't even get the Japanese Master's making the instruments. When I contacted them about what I do (in the eyes of the European standards of lutherie (the ONLY standards of luthier) I am consider a Master Luthier...not many in North America are; the standards don't exist here)and the thought of getting something small going like what Buscarino did with the "gigmaster", they got me directly in touch with their head Master stating that as I was one as well, I would not be happy with the quality they produce for their larger customers...included in this was parts made for Gibson, Hofner, Fender, D'Aquisto and I'm about 95% sure the Lakland S...

I have 4 "Dusty Hill" Tele style Basses ordered from clients and after discussing the thought of trying this Japanese route out (with them saving some obvious coin) with them, I think we're gonna give it a go...I'll still be fretting and finishing th instruments here as well as doing the electronics, but if all works out good, my company will be offering the same quality (if the parent company is correct; even better than Lak/Sad as the Master's are making these and not the younger luthiers) high end parts basses as Lak/Sad, but we won't gouge the bass playing public quite as much as them...but maybe we will...

Gawpo Giggles :D:D:D

CLUB BASS:

Phone: 416.538.1685

E-Mail info@clubbass.ca

Store Location

698 The Queensway Toronto, ON, M8Y 1K9

Major intersection - The Queensway and Royal York Rd.

Showroom Hours

Tuesday - Friday 12:00 Noon - 6:00PM

Saturday Noon - 5:30PM

Sunday, Monday CLOSED

CLOSED DATES

April 10 -18

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Hey Giggles,

I'd be totally into trying out a high quality bass guitar that you recommend, especially one that is comparable in quality/sound/feel to one of the "big names" but is more affordable.

Thanks for the Club Bass appointment suggestion Chris. As posted above, they do seem to have store hours now, although they are limited (as I've discovered in the past).

Peace, Mark

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Right now I play a lakland 55-01, and a stingray.

I perfer the lakland over the stingray. the lakland was half the price.

Don't get me wrong the stingray is a great, well made bass, but there is just something about the fit and finish and sound of the lakland that I just love.

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Nice to see another Lakland player! Not sure of my model but it is SO versatile. Pick up switches to sound like a jazz/p bass, ernie ball and even a nice jaco tone. So it's all these basses on one!

It has a jazz bass pick up with a humbucker both are bartolini.

You don't have to make an appointment though, never heard of that, but may be a good idea if you are driving far.

BASS!

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Ya that sounds liek the 55-02. I would love one of those, but I didn't want to buy new and the 55-01 is the only one I could find used.

It does a really good jazz bass, and I can get it sounding kinda p bass like as well. but really, I love the tone it has so I don't really care.

I love the 35" scale, makes the low b extra delicious.

Hey PEIPunk. Don't you play a modulous as well? what model is it?

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Well Mark, the thing is, there isn't any of these lower-priced good quality made basses out there cause bassist are paying these set high prices for them; why would "makers" lower them?

Roger Sadowsky was never really a guitar or bass MAKER but a highly skilled and respected repairman. When he started "making", he tried using the help of Dana Bourgeois and they couldn't figure it out...so he searched and searched for someone to do it right and he ended up in Japan. Likewise, Dan Lakin was never a MAKER either but a guy who fixed up broken old basses and would re-sell them. The guy down the road from him did a nice re-fret and together they took some measurements of basses they've liked over the years and had someone make them a bass and off they went to NAMM...

What is easier is pointing you to the direction of someone making an instrument entirely by hand that is on a price comparison of the cookie-cutter American Lakin...

I expect in about 4 months the first 6 solid body basses and guitars will be available from my company. Although we are building these for our first group of endorsed players, the same appointments will be available to the public:

-AAA solid S-Ash or Alder bodies (2 pieces)

-AAA veneered body tops (flamed or quilted maple)

-AAA Birdseye maple necks

-Highest grade Ebony for the non maple fingerboards

-Custom made Lindy Fralin pick-ups

-Various bridge options (hip-shot, badass etc etc)

-Various tuner options

-Hard-shell case

-$1750+taxes = under $2000 Canadian

Gawpo Giggles :D:D:D

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I do indeed have a Quantum 5 Sweetspot (single EMG) that has been collecting dust in my closet for the past 4 years. I like it, but I have fallen in love with my Jazz all over again. I have never played a bass that is so easy to play, even old 70s models. Plus the Jazz sounds much more natural for playing old classic rock songs like I do in the cover band I am in now. The Modulus was entirely too modern sounding, and that sound was augmented by my Eden rig. Now if I get the 70s SVT that I am currently looking at buying, I may have to play both basses again, at least give the Modulus a chance through a big old tube amp.

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