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High End Jazz: Sadowsky, Lull or Modulus?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yamarc, Feb 24, 2004.


  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Man, do the prices differ! Which do you prefer and why? Does the extra cost really make a huge difference when comparing basses of the caliber?

    What I mean is: A Sadowsky costs a lot more than a Lull or Modulus(even used) but does the merit the extra dough for a weekend warrior bassist? If so, why? Thanks!
     
  2. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    personally speaking my favorite high end Jazz is an Elrick. just bought one today in fact :cool:

    Sadowsky and Fodera basses are higher priced. in part its about Supply and Demand (people pay the price so thats what they sell for). They certainly are very nice basses.

    Is a Sadowsky a better bass than a Lull? for some people yes. Sadowsky's are VERY nice basses, and there is a reason why so many top artists use Sadowskys. but people, (and of course basses) are individuals. I have owned two different Fodera Monarchs and one was much better than the other in every way. Identical models, identical price, but not equal basses

    just my opinion but Sadowskys are much better basses (usually) than Modulus basses. more attention to detail, better playability, better tone. but thats just my opinion. when it comes to Elrick/Sadowsky/Lull/Fodera, then you are getting into more gray area/opinion

    personally speaking, I prefer Elrick. Elricks are more consistently great and have awesome playability and tone...AND you can get them used for much less than a Sadowsky or Fodera used
     
  3. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    It all depends on what YOU want.

    IMO:

    Buy Modulus for the graphite neck
    Buy Sadowsky for the tone and service
    Buy Lull to save a few bucks
     
  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    interesting to me that you would say that. Do you prefer a Modulus neck over a Sadowsky because of design only? because Sadowsky is known for his impeccable work in terms of set-up and dressing the frets, etc
     
  5. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    This is a question that comes up fairly regularly. The good thing is that all three are excellent basses. The bad thing, which is at the crux of your question, is how to make an objective decision based on price...or value, as the case may be. Unfortunatley, you'll probably get 20 different answers from 20 different people. Some things to consider:

    Are you concerned with your audience? In most cases, your band mates and/or audience members are probably not going to be able to tell a difference.

    How much money can you afford to spend/are you willing to spend? This may eliminate some options for your right away.

    NOTE: Lull does not equal Sadowsky does not equal Modulus. There are very real differences between these basses (assuming same woods). A Lull with Fralins/Basslines and an Aguilar OBP-3 does not sound like a Sadowsky with a 2-band Sadowsky preamp and Sadowsky pickups, just like a Lull or a Sadowsky will not sound like a bass with a graphite neck. Those differences tend to be factors that will push or pull prospective buyers in one direction or another.

    Just a few things to help in the evaluation process...hope that helps! It's a tough decision, but it should be a fun process...have fun with your research!!! :D
     
  6. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    This is just a guess, and I don't want to speak for JB, but I think he means the Graphite neck as opposed to the overall set-up and fret work.
     
  7. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina

    In other words, if I want a graphite neck, I'll buy a Modulus.

    Halftooth, you're absolutely right! Sadowsky and Lull make one helluva neck. My favorite 4-string wood neck along with the Smith.
     
  8. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
  9. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Shameless hint. ;)
     
  10. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
  11. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    but a Lull with Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pickups and an Aguilar preamp will be much closer :bag:




    :D
     
  12. Slammer

    Slammer

    Feb 12, 2003
    USA, New York
    :bassist:


    LOve the headstock...but I was even more impressed, by a shaved photo of the entire body. Super tight grain....these are gonna be singers for sure......I see a seafoam gree in my future...you know shake it up a little!
     
  13. I think Modulus basses sound very different than Sadowsky basses: it's another apples and oranges comparison Also, don't the Modulus have 35" scale?

    I've never played a Lull but I assume it sounds more similar to a Sadowsky because of construction and material similarities.

    I have 2 Sadowsky basses, 2 Sadowsky guitars, and Roger is doing some work on my old Martin HD-28. I anticipate ordering another Sadowsky before 2004 is over. So you know which camp I reside in.
     
  14. pistoleroace

    pistoleroace

    Sep 13, 2002
    WI
  15. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I'm assuming the Modulus proposed in this debate would be the VJ which is their version of the jazz bass. The VJ is also a 34' scale. I believe the only 35' scale basses Modulus makes are the Quantum series.
     
  16. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    I personally think that sadowskys sound good but are too expensive! Lulls with fralin pups and bart eq sounds really growly, middy, yet smooth and aggresive if needed. Modulus has a deep yet open tone to me. Very modern.....

    In playability, I like the feel of the sadowsky the most. Lulls are a bit wide on the neck. Modulus has slick graphite neck feel which some love or hate. I'd say try out all 3 if possible, and base your choice on sound and playability. If you want a versitile jazz bass tones, go for a Zon Sonus, or Elrick Jazz. I have found Zons, Elricks, and Roscoes to be more to my liking than the 3 you mentioned.
     
  17. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    That Roscoe is listed at thelowend.net. I wonder what the specs and such are...:meh:


    Yamarc, ever thought about putting Sadowsky pre and pups in a VJ4? You might like it if you desire a graghite neck.
     
  18. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Jr-
    I actually just installed some Fender Custom Shop Classic 60's single coils in the VJ a few weeks ago. I like them better than the barts, but they seems to add to the brightness factor of the VJ's attack.

    My only complaint with the VJ is that is almost always has that high end sizzle to it and when I dig in it becomes really noticable. Maybe if I installed some active electronics this woudl go away?

    I used to own a Flea with some villex pups in it and I have been toying witht the idea of throwing some in the VJ also. Thanks
     
  19. Although more expensive than many of the basses I've owned, my Sadowskys are the best money I have ever spent on an instrument. Roger's work is flawless. It is a true high-end musical instrument.

    Will most audience members know the difference between a Sad and the other basses you mentioned? No. But my band members know. They say my Sad is the most musical bass I've ever owned. The few real musicians in the audience will know. And, most importantly, I know.

    Jeff
     
  20. JRBrown

    JRBrown

    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    OK. I was thinking that maybe you already had an active VJ4. I was also thinking that if you did, you could do what Sadowsky has made standard on all of his basses--add a passive tone control. IMO, I don't think that adding active electronics can tame the bass as much as your current passive tone control--but I could be wrong.

    FWIW: I had a discussion with a Modulus rep about the Modulus tone. He told me that the No.1 influence in the Modulus tone is the neck material. Therefore, no matter what body or electronics you have, it's still going to sound like a graphite-necked bass. You want to warm it up? Get a Sadowsky, or whatever, with a rosewood fretboard. I turned the treble up 40% on the Sadowsky with the rosewood fretboard, but I left the treble at 0 on the Sadowsky with the maple fretboard. Of course the bodies were alder and ash respectively.