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70s Fender, Sadowsky, or Lakland?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by punkjazzben, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    I have some money saved up, and am potentially about to have a very good reason to celebrate. If all goes well, I want to buy myself a present. Before I start, please remember I'm in Australia so things are more expensive and the used market for good basses is small :cool:

    Here are some options I've identified:

    - 70s Fender Precision (~$2500-$3000)
    - New MIA Precision (~$1800)
    - New other model P (anywhere from ~$1100-$2500.. maybe a Roadworn or Classic 50s)

    Or...

    - Sadowsky 5er.. e.g. an MV5 ($2900-$3200+)
    - Lakland Skyline 55-02 ($1700)... the same store has a used USA 55-94 for $2500

    As you can see, it's mostly between a good quality Precision or a modern, versatile 5-string to offer an alternative to the MIM P-bass I already have. The big contenders are a 70s P (I've tracked down a '78 for sale) and a new Sadowsky in that price range. I'm also intrigued by the Lakland Skyline 55-01 ($1150), Ibanez SR505 ($950), G&L Tribute L2500 ($820), and the Yamaha BB425x ($830), which are all great basses for the price and I could get some other toys with the money saved (but I'd still have GAS, bad).

    I'm looking for a well-built keeper, something that can pull off a lot of styles, and something that will hold value. FWIW, it's doubtful I'll be making a bass purchase over $1500 for a long time (the next thing is saving for a house).

    What are your thoughts? Have a look at my profile to see what I'm already playing.
  2. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Supporting Member

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    I have a Sadowsky Standard 5 and a Lakland 55-94 - I much prefer the Sadowsky tone.

    Dan K.
  3. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    maybe also consider g&l basses, they have some pretty versatile models and nice 5ers
  4. Cycho

    Cycho

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    I take it you are planning to order something online. It's very important you get a guarantee that you can send it back if you don't like it. Dropping so much money on a bass you haven't actually played is too risky otherwise. Even the best vendors produce a few lemons. I love my Lakland 44-01. I notice you have two prices listed for a Skyline 55-02. ?
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Sadowsky. There's nothing special about '70s Fenders - new ones are better.
  6. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    Fixed the Lakland thing - one is for the 55-02, other for the 55-01. Sorry about that!

    These prices are from my nearest bass speciality store in Melbourne (4 hours away). I've played most of this stuff in shops before, but would plan on making a trip and playing the actual bass in person before buying, especially for the pricier options. The G&L would be an order, because there are so few stockists in Oz. Thankfully the store in Melbourne has a pretty good range of Sadowsky basses in stock, so I'll be able to choose carefully.
  7. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    +1. 70s Fenders are a real crap shoot. With a Sadowsky you don't need to worry about quality control at all. While Sadowskys do not, to me, sound like a classic Fender I find them to be very versatile basses. They also hold their value well.
  8. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    I think a Sadowsky would not be a gamble at all, but as a lot of people say, 70s P-basses can be inconsistent. I suppose if it came down to Sadowsky v. vintage Fender, I would have to judge it based on how each felt and sounded in my hands.

    In any case, here are Bass Centre's in-stock Sadowsky fivers, and here are their four-string models.

    The dark cherry burst MV5 and the translucent green RV5 are already calling my name...:D

    Here is the '78 I have my eye on (have contacted the seller to make sure it's still there - it is).
  9. Dragan

    Dragan

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    Sadowsky MV are great basses,no questions,as for vintage Fenders, could be crap but could be real magic. only you can tell when you get there and give them a try.
  10. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini Supporting Member

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    Lakland Joe Osborne is a great Jazz bass. You want active? Sadowsky.
  11. bluejayway82

    bluejayway82

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    all of those basses sound very different.. do you want a snappy j or a p bass? you can't go wrong with a 'dowsky.. the lakland will sound kinda the opposite to the P, so it's hard to A/B them in my opinion.. what style of music are you looking to play with the new chunk of wood?
  12. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    That '78 is in such a good shape it has probably hardly been played. Not sure if that's a good sign.
  13. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    Yep, the decision I'm trying to make is essentially between classic and modern. Both styles will work for the music I play, which varies from jazz to classic rock. I've found that a P, as it is, will fit most styles, while a more modern and versatile bass can do the same. I suppose I'm looking for a new workhorse.

    I'm actually surprised no one has suggested I get an MIA P5 and throw in a P-Retro, which could be the best of both worlds in some ways.
  14. PDQbass

    PDQbass

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    You won't find much love for 70's Pbasses on here. In the real world there are some good ones out there, try it and use your own ears and eyes. The fact that it is in good condition could just mean it's been stuck under a bed for years by someone who thought he wanted to play bass but never got round to it. Bad basses tend to get sold on a lot, modified and generally trashed IME.
  15. Thrash3r

    Thrash3r

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    If you can find a good one I'd go with the 70's Fender, I haven't played a modern Fender than can match 76.
  16. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Supporting Member

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    I prefer the neck on the Sadowsky to the Fender P5 neck - feels better in my hand but it is a personal preference.

    Dan K.
  17. pedroims

    pedroims Supporting Member

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    All of them I will go with the Lakland 55-94, I have a 44-94 and is a tone monster, I have also owned several Lakland 5er and I can tell the B string is great. I owned a Sadowsky metro at the same time I owned a Lakland DJ Skyline and to be honest, I could not find any major difference between the Sadowsky and the DJ, same quality just a different tone.
  18. Down_Low

    Down_Low

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  19. THORRR

    THORRR Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    For consistency, quality, tone, and pure magic in the mix: SADOWSKY

    I'm a big Fender Jazz fan (I have 8 of them)
    and I've had a Mike Lull,
    and currently have a Lakland JO
    and a Sadowsky Will Lee Metro.

    SADOWSKY tops them all in every way.

    :cool:
  20. headband

    headband Supporting Member

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    I own way too many basses, including several P basses, and my advice to use is -

    - these basses are all very different but all very good -choose the one that plays and sounds right to you

    - I own at least 5 P basses, and the very best sounding one is my 78 and it is not my oldest. It just has that sound. The build was kind of sloppy (neck joint, finish) but it is a killer bass and outstanding for both live and recording. I also have a few that really don't sound very good. Key is to play them and listen to them, and pick the one that you like.

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