Sadowsky Defies Expectations with High End Tube Bass Amplifier

November 28, 2005

Designed for the discriminating bass player looking for the ultimate in pure tone, the 200-watt integrated all-tube bass amplifier was three years in design and testing, with Sadowsky working in close collaboration with Dolf Koch, the highly respected Dutch guitar amplifier maker. Asked about his thinking, Sadowsky elaborated, "The SA200 is a return to quality and simplicity above all else. If you look at other categories like hi-fi, cars, etc., there's always a market for high end products geared to professionals and enthusiasts who want quality.

"I wanted my first amp to be a 'definitive best' type of product regardless how large the market would be for it. Dolf is a brilliant designer and his manufacturing is superb. I designed the SA200 in terms of the aesthetics and features and directed Dolf in regard to what I was hearing in my head. Dolf did the actual amplifier design and is manufacturing the SA200.

"Given who I am, my 'ideal' amp would only have a volume knob. Any amp, set totally flat, either sounds great to me, or it doesn't. It's really that simple. So I wanted an amp with tone controls that were completely musical…no matter where you set them, the amp would sound sweet. Just like my on-board bass circuit. Those were my basic criteria and I think we've been very successful at achieving them." Capable of 210 watts output at 2, 4 or 8 ohms, the SA200 is equipped with six EL34, one 6N1P and two 12AX7 tubes. Power tube options include 6L6, 6550, KT66 and KT88s. Frequency range at -3dB is 10Hz to 40 kHz. Active EQ is provided for Top and Bottom, with Passive EQ for Bass, Mid and Treble. The SA200 includes an Effects Loop, DI with pre and post EQ switch, tuner out (with mute via footswitch), measures 17" (W) x 7" (H) x 10" (D) and weighs in at a light (for a tube amp) 42 lbs. But there is no need to take our word for it. The SA200 has been making the rounds of leading players and the reviews are already coming in: "Fired her up and she sounds FANTASTIC! Warm, pliant yet inwardly firm, and a GREAT bottom. Really even sounding, I mean all the way up and down. And that's FLAT! Very intuitive tone control. All in all, so far, possibly the best amp I've heard in memory."
--Michael Rhodes--Nashville Studio Ace, bassist with Vince Gill and Larry Carlton

"This amp is a pure delight! With subtle turns of knobs I can get tones to change just as subtly, which is definitely not the case with most tube amps. It's the sonic equivalent of a Creamcicle ... creamy, dreamy, and delicious."
--Michael O'Brien--Vintage tube bass amp aficionado

“I don’t recall sounding better---I am honestly very impressed.”
--Tom Bowlus--Esteemed bass gear collector

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