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Ken Lawrence or Sadowsky Metro??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lokire, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Ok, I'm in the market for a new bass. I've had my eyes set on a Metro for a while now because I've heard so many awesome things about them. But then I come across a great deal on a Ken Lawrence Unity 5-string bass. I've always loved how Ken Lawrence's basses look. Truly amazing woods and they've been one of my many dream basses for a long time now, but whenever I saw one for sale it would be way too expensive.

    The Sadowsky and the KL are both about the same price. I'm wondering what your opinions would be. I've read all the Metro and Sadowsky posts around here, but I'd like to hear some of your experience with KL basses and how they compare.

  2. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Which one do you want?? Which one sounds the best to you? I've owned a KL 6 string in the past and IMO the Sadowsky Metro M5 I played last weekend was the better bass... In the end it all boils down to what you feel is best for you. Play both basses if possible and see which one speaks to you.
  3. niomosy


    Nov 9, 2002
    Having tried (and really enjoyed) a couple Ken Lawrence's along with having never been a fan of Fender's or Fender copies, the choice would be obvious for me. Ken Lawrence all the way. The Unity basses have always had some great looks!

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Both are quality instruments but are very diffrent in sound and construction.If this is a great deal that you have and only have a limited window on the Ken Lawrence, you might want to think on that. Sadowsky basses are my main solid body bass now and for me they are the be all and end all in what i am looking for in a solid body bass. You really cant go wrong with them and the metro line is just as amazing as the NYC line. So it comes down to what you want in your next bass, best of luck with you choice.
  5. I have a Sadowsky NYC PJ4 and a KL Associate 5. Build quality on both are top-notch, and it'd be hard to go wrong with either. I've had the Lawrence since early this year and it deposed my MTD 535 because it had a more traditional tone. However, as I played it more, I became less satisfied with the electronics setup (DiMarzio J's and Duncan preamp). It was a little too bright, and when I'd play on the two highest strings, it didn't sound as bass-like as I'd prefer. So I took it to Carey Nordstrand and had the innards replaced with a pair of his J's and an Aguilar OBP-3 and now that bass rocks!

    I really like the neck and the attention to detail on the Lawrence; it's also extremely lightweight. The Sadowsky has equal attention to detail, but is more of just a really good old Jazz Bass (nothing wrong with that). The KL has kind of a unique charm that I dig.

    Well, this probably doesn't make your choice any easier, right?

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    PS i like your signiture :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
  7. Thanks for the thoughts everyone. I know I can't go wrong with either bass as they're both top notch, quality instruments.

    On the one hand, I'm a huge Jason Newsted fan (www.jasonfan.com is my website on Jason's gear, including all 21 of his sadowskys ;) ) So I know all about his sound and how much I love it. But they are bit more simple looks-wise. More traditional. Fender style. There's nothing wrong with that, I'd just prefer something a little more different for now.

    On the other hand, I've always had a thing for natural wood finishes and off-mainstream manufacturers. The independent luthiers. So that makes me lean towards the KL. Plus it does just have a certain charm to it. Something I can't quite put my finger on. And you're right Major Metal, this is a one time deal that might not come up again. I'll keep that in mind. The Sadowskys will probably always be in demand.
  8. MyDogBo


    Aug 25, 2002
    i think i know the KL youre talking about, its a beauty ...

    i own a Sadowsky 4 MMTokyo and a KL Fretless chambered 5 - not a good comparison but i can say that the KL is a quality "hand made" bass with almost fanatical attention to detail ...

    sorry Ken if youre listening ... that was meant to be a compliment, yikes! but seriously, KL really knows what he's doing and its immediately evident when you pick one up --

    if you have the opportunity to pick one up for under 2k like the one I'm thinking of ... ?? ...then you ought to do it because they typically run nearer to 4k new ... and this ones a steal .... if its the one im thinking of ....
    :bag: :bag:
  9. We probably are thinking of the same one then....(shhh - don't tell :p :bag: )

    As of now my mind is made up (For the KL) but I'm gonna wait a day or two on an e-mail for another possible deal (which I don't expect to go through anyways. It's a looong shot but you gotta try right?).

    I'll keep you updated on how things go :D

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member


    I was looking through the Metallica so what book today and their is a pic of Jason in the front inner cover of the book playing his Sadowsky 24 fret with soapbars and i was really surpised to see he has a jazz pickguard on it.Have you seen this?.
  11. Dude, I love your Newstead website. That must have taken a lot of work to put together!

    I personally have never tried a KL but they do look sweet. I bet you are speaking about the one around my neck of the woods? Sadowsky's have always given me mixed results so I'd lean on the KL if I were you. If I get a chance to go to there I let you know how it plays.

    good luck!
  12. Yeah, I have noticed that. One of those things that I still need to update on my site - just not enough time anymore. He has two 24 frets with soapbars (EMG 40Js). One has the pickgaurd and the other doesn't. I don't have many pictures where you can see it well (black on black you know). This is the best pic I have of it:

  13. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I owned that same KL6, I also owned NYC Sadowsky. Both where incredible basses, I just happened to prefer the KL. The Sadowsky had a better sound when played alone, but I think that the KL fits better in my band.

    Too bad it was not a 5!!

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Are you sure that the 2 24 fret basses have alder body's?
  15. Thanks. Took me about a year to get the site up to where it is now (haven't worked on it in a while though). If you look at the main news page you can follow every update that I made and see how it progressed over time. It was a lot of fun to make but now I spend almost all of my free time on playing and recording.

    And, yeah. It is around your neck of the woods :bag:
    And you cooould play it.....if it's still there by the time you make it there ;)
  16. Hmm....I'm not sure. I guess most of the 24 frets are Ash aren't they.... :confused:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think all the basses he has with maple fingerboards would have Swamp Ash bodys, i just ask because you have the bass listed as an alder body.
  18. Yeah, your probably right :meh:

    Another thing to throw onto my "need to be updated" list

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    It is no big deal, dont worry about. You have a great site, thanks so much for having a place for us Jason fans to go to. :)
  20. MyDogBo


    Aug 25, 2002
    yes, agreed ... its very cool and youve done great work! .... fyi ... the green bass during the "dogz" era is a vigier french bass made on the outskirts of Paris by Patrice Vigier, a great guy married to a Californian!