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Debate: NYC/USA vs. Metro/Skyline

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BartmanPDX, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Most of what I've read on this forum suggests that while there are definitely more options for the American Sadwoskys and Laklands, the quality of the Asian versions is REALLY close. So all other things being equal, would you rather get a used Sadowsky NYC/Lakland USA, or a brand new Sadowsky Metro/Lakland Skyline?

    Hmmm . . . The sweet agony of decisions, decisions . . .
  2. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Did you read the other response I left you?
  3. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Yes, I did. Thanks!! What, though, specifically makes the USA models better? Higher quality wood? Better construction? I thought they had the same electronics and were set up at the same places as the Asian-born editions.
  4. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I meant besiedes the Lakland, The Modulus and Lull would be very good choices... But if your stuck on Lakland I would recommend the U.S. JO.

    They are made partially made overseas, but completely finished and put together here, The craftmanship is unbeleavable compared to the Skyline series. I've had a 55-94 and I have a 55-01, Both are good basses, but the U.S. Lakland blew almost everything I've ever touched out of the water... In my opinion, there is ALMOST, nothing better than a U.S. Lakland.
  5. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    'Cept maybe a Stingray... :bag: Sorry Funkize you, I had to say it.
    I also don't think it's fair comparing the 55-01 to the US models since the 01 doesn't use the same american electronics. The Metro and Skyline versions are, from what i've heard, about 99% accurate in capturing the playability, craftsmanship and sound of their USA counterparts. That was good enough for me when I bought my Metro. But i'd still love a NYC.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Sadowsky's comming out of the Tokyo shop are not even in the same class as the skylines. The Metro quality is on par with the NYC shop the skyline dont even come close with fit and finish fret work etc.My vote goes to either of the Sadowsky options.
  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I think the comparison is flawed in that the Metros are still hand built, and the skylines are factory instruments. Having said that the lakland Skylines are exceptional instruments and you can't get the Daryl Jones in a USA model! Roger will tell you unless you want an option not available on the Metro it is the same instrument as the US, which I would assume means the same body(outscourced anyway) and necks. He is obviously using the same electronics and you can order a VTC for the Metro. So unless your gassing for a burl maple top or a matching color headstock your probably better off with a metro. The workmanship on my Metro is not just good, It's flawless! The Skylines on the other hand are very good value assembly line instruments (nothing wrong with that, Leo put together some pretty nice Jazzes on an assembly line in the 60's) where as the USA Laklands are still hand fitted. Also I don't beleive the wood quality is as good on the skylines, I'm not sure they are the same pickups either. I beleive the USA's are custom wound by the manufactor for Lakland. But I don't wnat any one to think I'm knocking the Skylines, I beleive both the skylines and the metros are better values then just about anything used in there price ranges , and when they really start showing up on the used market, LOOK OUT!
  8. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    Thanks for the info, guys! I've really gotten some more useful information from your posts. :) :D

    That being said, I've still got a whale of a decision to make. This will be the last bass I'll be able to get for a while, and I want to make sure I do it right. :cool:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sadowsky basses are so great that they are the only solid body bass i will buy from now on. Go for it. :bassist:
  10. KataPolt


    Aug 4, 2004
    Hi burk,

    The pickups used for US and Skyline Lakland basses are identical, in most cases. For example, the Skyline Glaub and US Glaub both use the same Fralin pickup and electronics. You can find this information on the internet.
  11. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Yea, the Metros and NYC are virtually the same exact quailty. The only thing the Metros may not have is the graphite bars in the neck and the headstock may be slightly narrower front to back, which would make it EXACTLY like an older Sadowsky. I also think that a USA Lakland and a NYC Sadowsky have the same quality of fit and finish etc. They are both flawless. Can't see how it can get any better. The Skylines are "close" to a USA Lakland. But there is a difference. Whereas the NYC/METRO Sadowskys ARE virtually the same except for what I mentioned above.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

  13. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    The Metros (about $2K) are pushing the limit of what I can afford, while the Skylines are considerably less expensive ($1050). If I got a Skyline DJ, I'd probably go ahead and get the J-retro preamp upgrade, which would raise the price to around $1400. But since this will be the last bass I can get for a while, I want to do it up RIGHT.

    I'm leaning toward a Sadowsky Metro MS-4, w/maple neck & fretboard, '59 burst finish . . . :hyper: :bassist:
  14. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Since there's no dealer in Portland, would it be better in terms of price/service to order a Metro direct from Sadowsky, or through Bass Central?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would get it right from the Sadowsky shop but i am in NY so it is easier for me.
  16. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Well, I'd Say if you want to compare, you cant compare ANY Sadowsky to a Syline Series...

    You CAN afford a used U.S. Lakland, and I think that would be a good comparison.

    Everyone here is Voting Sadowsky because you're bassically asking Ford or Ferrari?
  17. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Thanks for all your help, Major Metal and everyone.
    I'm a little more comfortable getting a new bass from the shop that's well set up than getting one used with unknown provenance. Granted, most used Laklands from Bass Central are undoubtedly well cared for, but there's something about that "new bass smell." :D :D

    I'm starting to get the shakes for a Sadowsky . . . :hyper: :bassist:

    Feeling like Homer Simpson in Donut Heaven . . .
  18. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'm also thinking it would be easier to get a Metro than find a used USA Lakland Darryl Jones. I'm looking for the "classic Jazz bass" sound w/passive pickups (though having a preamp option is nice).

    Those 4-94s sure look tasty, though . . .
  19. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Your information on Lakland basses is faulty.

    All four basses: US Laklands and Sadowskys as well as Asian Laklands and Sadowskys are made on CNC machines. Call 'em factory, if you want, but in that respect, they're all the same.

    Also, electronics in Laklands isn't necessarily different: it depends on the model. The 55-01 has different electronics than the 55-94, but the 55-02 has the *same* electronics as the 55-94. The Joe Osborne has Lindy Fralin pickups in both the US *and* Asian versions.
  20. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Really? That sure changes things. Do the Sadowsky Metros go through a more intensive (i.e. exacting) set-up process than the Lakland Skylines? From what I've heard, the NYC/Metros are VERY similar in quality, while the Skylines aren't quite as nice as the USA Laklands.