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Sadowsky vs Mike Lull

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dbamta, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. dbamta

    dbamta Supporting Member

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    I am trying to decide between a Sadowsky or Mike Lull 5 String any opinions would be appreciated.
  2. willsellout

    willsellout

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    I've owned a couple Lull's and auditioned many Sadowsky's. IMO Sadowsky builds a superior instrument. I also respect Roger Sadowsky as a luthier a lot more than I do Mike Lull.
  3. Kwesi

    Kwesi Supporting Member

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    All the Lulls I've played (maybe 5 now?) had me giving a hard look ay my bank account. The Sadowskys (at least 7) have been hit and miss. Roger typically makes the prettier instrument. I'd pick a Lull just about every time. The Lulls also cop the Fender tone a little more easily while Sadowskys really have their own vibe.
  4. Zanderwestcoast

    Zanderwestcoast Supporting Member

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    I have played both and currently own a Nordy, Lull, 76 Fender Jazz among many others and can tell you you will be hard pressed to find a faster playing, better sounding J bass than the Lull, especially for the money. The Sadowskys I have played did not represent great value for money considering the price difference and what they offered in playability/tone and construction.
  5. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

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    I've owned several Lulls and a Sadowsky and have played many others. Very different instruments in all aspects besides general fender-copy looks.

    Lull: Crazy low and fast action, thinner/smaller neck, tighter string spacing on the 5ers-18mm like a fender, grindier more aggressive tone.

    Sadowsky: reasonably low action but not as low as the Lull which gets crazy low, rather bulky neck I couldn't get used to, felt like a baseball bat, more typical strings spacing on 5ers, 19mm, ballsier tone with a bigger low end. Ash/maple Sadowsky is my favorite tone to date.

    I highly recommend the Lull for people who like to tap and play faster. I feel unleashed on a Lull, like I can play anything. It's the instrument I learned Wooten's A Show of Hands on. I'd recommend the Sadowsky for players who mainly like to groove in the pocket. It sits perfectly in the mix, blissful.
  6. cassius987

    cassius987

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    I feel like you can't say something like that without REALLY backing it up. Who are you to judge either of them as luthiers?

    For me, it would probably be Lulls, but I've barely even touched Sadowskys. Lulls are downright amazing.

    The best way to settle this would be to have the two of them arm wrestle.
  7. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

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    Try them both if you can. Both are really great basses but they can be fairly different depending on which model you're looking at. It also depends on what you'll be using them for, which feels better to you, which sounds best in your hands/with your amp/cabs.

    I've owned 4 Sadowskys, still have one P4. I've owned many Lull basses and still have 5, one of my Lull P4s will be with me as long as I play.
  8. roadkill2309

    roadkill2309 Supporting Member

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    I have a Sadowsky Standard 5 which is amazing. I've only tried one Lull, and I have to say that it seemed like a great buy for the money. I also found that the Lull sounded more Fendery. I really want to add a Lull to my toolbox, But I'm glad I have my Sad. The necks felt quite different, though. I'd suggest you try before you buy if at all possible.
  9. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

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    Both luthiers are highly respectable. They do differ in their theories of building basses. I've worked with Mike on many occasions being that I'm only a few miles from his shop. His customer service is as high as it gets, IMO/IME. Same with Roger.Build quality from both luthiers are just as high as well.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You really can't go wrong with either one. I own three Sadowskys and no Lulls, but I've played plenty of Lulls and they're right up there with the Sadowskys. As usual it gets down to personal preference. You need to play several models of each and see which one speaks to you. The different models of each builder will vary as much as the two brands.
  11. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    I've owned a couple of NYC Sadowskys (currently still have one) and own a Lull M5V (with an Aguilar pre). Regarding build quality, both are top notch but I would have to put Sadowsky just a hair above Lull because every Sadowsky I've looked at has had neck pockets that couldn't have been any tighter. I do prefer the feel of the Lull necks though (they have a slightly flatter radius than do the Sadowsky necks). Sound-wise the Lulls I've played have, indeed, sided a little more closely with Fenders than have the Sadowskys. Also, the electronics on my Lull are considerably more flexible than the electronics on the Sadowskys. Both are great instruments made by super cool guys. You can't go wrong either way - it's really a question of which sound you want. Regarding the Sadowskys, were you thinking U.S. or Metro models? I ask mainly because the Sadowsky Metros aren't chambered (the U.S. models are unless you request otherwise) while the comparably-priced Lull M5Vs are.
  12. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

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    End of story. Try and buy.
  13. willsellout

    willsellout

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    As I've stated, I've owned a couple Lulls; both were good basses, not great. On a repair aspect, I've dealt with Mike in person a couple times, on the phone a few times, and throughout all of it I was left with the opinion that he is a car salesman. I've never had him work on my instruments as I felt he was overpriced and I didn't walk away with a feeling of trust. You can feel free to PM me for details, but I won't publicly hold him over the fire. There are plenty of people who like his work and I'm no better than they are. It's just my opinion. I do honestly believe that Roger builds a better instrument though.
  14. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    That's a very reasonable response. I've never had to deal with Mike directly so I can't comment on Lull customer service. I have dealt directly with the folks at Sadowsky on several occasions and I can say with utmost confidence that you won't find better customer service anywhere.
  15. Wallace320

    Wallace320

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    Like this...

    My relationship with Sads is much more like what Will stated on Mike's, down a pure seller/buyer point of view

    Same as Will, I still consider Sadowskys in general, and Standard 5 in particular (thanx roadkill2309: absolutely) better sounding instruments BTW

    Just my €. 0,02

    Cheers,
    Wallace
  16. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    As I see it, when you're talking about instruments at the level of Sadowskys and Lulls comments about which ones sound "better" don't really carry any weight. The Sadowsky pre offers a particular sound which is great, but it's not a sound I would want all the time. Lulls come with either Aguilar or Bartolini preamps - each with different EQ parameters. So are you lumping the Aguilar and Bartolini equipped Lulls together? Have you tried both (and that's just for the M5Vs)?
  17. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

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    +1. At this level it's absolutely preference over better or worse. Lulls have a lower resale value, so if you pick one up used you're likely to save a pretty penny or two. 2 of the Lulls I bought that you'd find for 3.5k new I got for around 1500 - 1750.
  18. jimc

    jimc Supporting Member

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    In the past Lull only offered a 35" scale for his fivers but I hear now they you can special order 34". Both are fine basses. NYC Sadowskys can be very light because of the body chambering which I don't think Lull do.
  19. mambo4

    mambo4

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    I'll just chime in to say that I did not have the same reaction to personally dealing with Mike. I found him personable, knowledgeable and helpful. I never felt like he was giving me a hard sell -his instruments do that for him.
  20. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump Supporting Member

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    I have auditioned two Sadowsky's and both times came away a bit underwhelmed to be honest, especially after all the talk on TB. I wanted to like the Sadowsky's but I didn't. I tried a Lull M4V and I bought it on the spot.

    Both are better versions of Fenders IMO, but the Lull spoke to me instantly.

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