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Lakland 5594 or Sadowsky Metro RV5 PJ

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gab124, Mar 20, 2014.


  1. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Looking for all your opinions; I am about ready to pull the trigger on a nicer bass given good financial opportunity and potential upcoming studio time (I am aware of the price difference between US lakland and Metro's). I currently play a 5502, which is setup well and really sounds pretty good to my ear, however, I cannot help to lean towards a Sad as it has been a dream of mine for some time - I have played over 20 years now. My tonal background = something leaning towards modern rocked up country, I do not slap and i really like a low mid chunky power with some grit to support the group. When I standout I try to do so in melodic lines and not leads. So, what say you, what are your thoughts?
     
  2. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington
    I have been the proud owner of a Lakland 55-94 for 17 years! It is, in my mind, the finest bass I've ever played. I love everything about it. The neck profile, the set up, the construction, the sound, everything about this bass is perfect for me. That being said, if you've got you heart set on a Sadowsky, get one! I feel pretty confident in saying you will not be disappointed. Every thing I've read and heard indicate Sadowsky basses are some of the finest made. A Sadowsky is also on my bucket list. good luck with your choice
     
  3. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Thanks for the thoughts Gougedeye. I must say that the 5502 i have has been the most comfortable instrument I have ever owned albeit a bit heavy. I know that a USA would be awesome and something I already know I would like. I just can't get past that old desire to try a Sad. Any tonal opinions would be welcome as well. I am looking at the Alder Morado Metro.
     
  4. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Tough call. I've been in and out of some USA Laklands, and currently have two Sadowsky 5-24 Moderns; one Metro, one NYC. They ALL are great instruments!

    For overall construction, quality and attention to detail, they all are on par, although as compared with the Metros, NYC Sadowskys may have fancier wood combinations, and newer ones will have graphite neck reinforcement and chambered bodies. The offshore Laklands, while good value, are not in the same league.

    The Sadowskys are all 34" scale. I don't think the 35" Lakland B string is any better, and personally don't dig what happens to the G-string tone in a 35" - something you might note in the country context you describe, but this bugs some folks more than others.

    The neck/fretboard approach is a bit different - the Sadowsky neck is a bit thicker, and the fretwire is wider. The USA Laklands all seem to have a superb rolled-off feel along the neck edges, and I personally like the narrower Lakland fretwire. I gather the Lakland fretboard features a compound radius, which might make some difference to you if you play a lot on the upper frets.

    On the electronics, I strongly prefer the Sadowsky 2-band eq, the vintage tone control (VTC) and the ability to get a LOT of mileage out of passive use through that VTC. Particularly if you go with a J or P/J setup, you may find yourself using passive settings quite a bit. In fact, dis-satisfaction with the electronics is what has kept me from becoming a full-on Lakland fan, although I should disclose that I have an old Lakland fretless, a 5-string 34" prototype with the Bartolini preamp and a Nordstrand 5.4 MM pickup, and I'm really, really, really enjoying that axe. I don't have real experience with the current LH-3/Hanson electronics.

    On a country/modern country thing, I'd lean toward a Sadowsky P/J, either Metro or NYC depending on budget and anticipated travel hazards, but that's just me. Don't think you can go wrong with any of these choices!
     
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  6. halfjackson

    halfjackson Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, two awesome and extremely versatile basses. I've played a 55-94 and it was spectacular, but, considering your gig and your heart, I'd go with the Sadowsky PJ. And I agree with Joebone, the VTC is super useful.
     
  7. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Thanks Joebone. i don't play a lot in the upper ranges, mostly just a few quick accents. I do like the LH3 system but sometimes wish it could be a little more aggressive. The neck makes me a little worried as Lakland really has a nice one, even if I just have a Korean model. However, your mention of the passive mode is important, I do like the passive on my 5502 but it has such weak output it is almost useless and with no passive tone control. I had a jazz once with a Sad pre with VTC and it was very useful I thought. I like the idea of being able to actually use it and not have it strictly for backup in case of the extremely rare dead battery. Let me ask this, from a studio standpoint which bass do you think is the most versatile and accepted from an engineers standpoint?
    Thanks all once again,
     
  8. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    How does the Sad B string compare to the Lakland 35"? Both pretty good I imagine.
    I always want it to blend in with the rest of the strings, can't stand it to dominate really.
     
  9. darrenmt

    darrenmt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    Land of Oz
    Sound engineers will always be suckers for P or J style basses.... being the industry standard and all. That said, both the Sad and Lakie are jazz type configuration. Sadowsky with the J on steroids appeal and Lakland with the more traditional tone but with both 60s and 70s pickup positions. I recorded with my 55-94 recently for a rock cover band .... It was fantastic and definitely able to sound aggressive. Either way you're in good company with those choices .
     
  10. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it...

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I had a Sadowsky Metro MV5-PJ that was probably my favorite out of the three Sadowsky basses I have owned (another Metro MV5 and an NYC 24F5 aka Modern) as far as tone. Really great thick jazz-like tone. I'd typically play with the blend rolled slightly to the bridge pickup as the P pickup really thickened the tone from a traditional JJ setup. The NYC was the best player of the group and had a thinner front-to-back neck profile that felt more like a Lakland 55-02 I had before.

    With that in mind, I now have a Lakland DJ5 that has been my absolute favorite vintage-style bass that I've ever had. I've came to the conclusion that I much prefer the 35" scale B strings to 34". The Sadowsky B's were definitely good but the B on my DJ5 is better than any of my previous three Sadowsky basses.

    I think that either bass would be great for the sound you're going for especially the PJ5. But, for me, I really prefer the 35" scale and that would shift me away from the Sadowsky and toward a Lakland. Heck, have you considered Mike Lull? I hear he makes a mean PJ5.
     
  11. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Central Washington
    I also have a Mike Lull PJ5. It is also a great instrument! I also prefer the 35" scale. But, like I said, if its a Sadowsky you want, you should get one.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm a hobbyist and can't speak to the studio/engineer thing…

    The VTC is a killer resource: useful in active, essential in passive.

    Should note that my perception of the Sadowsky B string is rooted in using their "modern" p/u configuration, which is designed to maximize a tight B-string sound…with that, I really don't think the 35" is any better, and the G-string is less twangy…but others may disagree.

    Sounds like you need to play some of these side-by-side…all good options!
     
  13. chris_b

    chris_b

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    I've never played a Sadowsky but I've owned a 55-94 for 10 years and love everything about the instrument.

    I A/B'ed my Lull PJ5 with a Nordy PJ5 and the Lull won by a mile. I know the Nordy sounded good and on its own I'd have loved the tone, and might have bought it, but the differences were very noticeable when played side by side.

    Your choices are all different flavours of great but that difference might matter (like it did to me) so I'd recommend you hear them.
     
  14. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    I wish I could play them to see but not so easy in my area.
     
  15. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Location:
    La Mesa (San Diego area), Cali
    But you already have a Lakland semi-55-94! The Sadowsky will give you different tones than the Lakland that are something *I* prefer for country.

    I have a 55-94 that my wife gave me and have had 9 Sadowsky's through the years and I found myself playing the Sadowsky's more. That's just me, though.

    You really should try one first, if you can.

    Dan K.
     
  16. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Good point Dan. If I bought the Sad I was going to keep the 5502 and sell my 4401D (which is great also with the Chi Sonics and drop tuner, but not the sound I usually go for) I am curious though, why do "you" prefer that Sad for country as you mentioned? I understand subjectivity and such, just always like to hear folks reasons.
     
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    NE US/CAN line
    There's no wrong answer, and I much prefer the USA Lakland over even a USA Sad, but it sounds like the Sad is a burr under your saddle that needs tending to :)
     
  18. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    i have a Metro RV5 PJ on hold as of this morning. Just working up the guts to send the payment. Man, I am used to spending no more than 1500 on a bass, this feels strange yet exciting. I think the point being made that I do have a very good 5502 LH3 Korean that plays great already is the pushing me over the edge. Have my clean upgraded 4401D in classifieds right now.
     
  19. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Anyone know of any good youtubes of a PJ5 stittin in the mix? I always find so many slappity bass reviews which don't really help me.
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Disclosures:
    AFM 72-147 union card-carrying liberal academic musician
    I have a Sadowsky NYC P/J RV4. Great for Rock and Country with the stock hum-canceling pickups. Body is Alder Jazz body, and neck is 9" radius with Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard. Warm, low-mid punch, highs, whatever. Great instrument. Best neck and frets ever.

    I have a stock 2003 55-01D with a rosewood fingerboard. Love it too—great for Country, but wish my Sadowsky had a 5-string sister—see second image.

    Mine:
    [​IMG]

    Not mine:
    [​IMG]

    My 55-01D:
    [​IMG]
     
  21. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it...

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Just about any Jason Aldean tune you find - live or studio - is going to be a Sadowsky PJ5.
     

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