Mojo from Tokyo
I never thought this guitar would become so good.
No the name is not a typo.. Shaowsky as in Shadows / Hank Marvin + Sadowsky. Got it?
Ok.. continuing on.
I had this Rosewood neck and a set of Don Mare Formvar 50´s pickups that i was planning to put in a Olympic White build sometime in the future.
But then this Sadowsky body pops up on our "Craigslist", all loaded with a tremolo and a set of Kinman Hank Marvin pickups (Or Impersonator '54 as they are called.). For the low price of $370 (The Kinmans alone is around that pricetag new).
Sadowsky is high quality stuff from Roger Sadowsky, who is a highly respected luthier and builder. They are originally based in New York and their start price is around $5K. But they did have a more affordable Japanese division in Tokyo as well and those are called Metro Area, and this body is indeed from the Orient as the neckplate tells you.
The seller had many potentional buyers, but he was willing to sell it when i said i would pay it instantly if he gave me a yes.. And we both held our word.
I got a whiff of GAS and could not just let this go. The plan was to buy it, part it, sell it and make some cash.
But i could not just sell it right away right? The tech in me had to put it together and test it before i let it go.. At least hear how those Kinman sounded like.
I put it together in no time. I changed the pickguard from Mint Green that it came with to Pearly white. I thought it had the best match with that color. The body was original blue-ish but age has given it a minor green tint which the camera lens stuggles to capture.
My newly refretted Fender ST-62 Japan neck (hey, Japan meets Japan) was mounted on, the tremolo was switched out to my Ping/Callaham unit from the Red Strat and i put on the Wilkinson locking saddles i had from my old Black Strat. I decided to give this a more modern feature with those.
Sold as this.. Mint Green PG and a block saddle Tremolo. Also shown the electronics
A quick set up and ready it was.
I gotta tell you, this beauty just played and sounded so wonderful. The Kinmans was Shadows by the numbers. Clear, bright and chimey for those Hank Marvin Delay cleans..
In my opinion, Kinman does not get the rep he deserves. Everyone is on Lace or Fender Noiseless or EMG. But the Kinmans, in my opinion, beats them all. These sounds closer to passive pickups than any out there. They cost a fair bit of money but totally worth every nickel.
The neck is a more chunkier C-profile but darn, it feels so good, and the SS frets is benders dream. Now i can not get the strings ultra low on this neck, but i quite like a little higher action i found out.
in December 2023 i took it to Elegee Guitars in Manila to have the cavities routed deeper because the Kinmans are slightly taller than regular passive pickups. I could not get them as low as i wanted but now it is where it should be.
BODY: Sadowsky Metro Line Tokyo S-Style
NECK: Fender Japan ST-62 Dex2 Rosewood with Jescar SS 51100 Frets.
PICKUPS: Kinman Impersonator 54 aka (Kinman Hank Marvin Set)
PICKGUARD: Pearly White 11-Hole
TREMOLO: Original Tremolo with Wilkinson WLS130 Locking Saddles
TUNERS: Kluson Göldo Double Line (Gotoh SD91 Manufactured)