We talk wire, magnets and vintage tone with US bass guru Roger Sadowsky.

Founded back in 1979, Roger Sadowsky and Sadowsky Guitars have established a fine tradition for building top-of-the-range hand-built custom basses considered by many, including the mainstay of the New York session scene, to be the best around. Testimony to these instruments’ quality and class is a list of top players who’ve commissioned a personalised model from Roger that includes Will Lee, Jason Newsted, Tal Wilkenfeld and Marcus Miller to name but a few. Having built a fine reputation as the ‘go-to guy’ when it came to repairs and finishing, Roger honed his skills and began building bass guitars in 1982. Back then stock instruments offered little in the way of excitement or variety, and this was certainly a factor for more demanding customers seeking out something a little different. “To me it’s always been about quality and craftsmanship. I’ve never wanted bells and whistles if they didn’t bring something to the table,” says Roger. “I just do what I do, and try to always do it better than I’ve done before.”