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Mike Lull opinions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RS, Dec 2, 2000.


  1. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    For those of you who have or have played Mike Lull jazzes, what are your feeling about them? How is the tone vs Lakland, Fender, Sadowsky? What wood combo do you have (mapie or rosewood, alder or ash, etc.)? What rig do you use? Any other general comments?

    Thanks,
    RS
     
  2. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Yeah, folks -- if you're out there, I too would like to hear what you have to say. Especially an A/B of the Lull vs. Lakland. I have some money that's just burning a hole in my pocket! ;)
     
  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Robert,

    I was lucky to get a like new Mike Lull Modern 5 in a trade. My bass has Seymour Duncan single coils and a Bartolini preamp. The bass plays great and has the lowest action of any of my basses (2 Smiths, 2 Pedullas and 3 Fenders).

    My bass has a swamp ash body with a flame maple top and a pau ferro fingerboard. It sounds just like you would want a 5 string Jazz bass to sound. It is also a killer bass for slap. I've no complaints at all and Mike Lull is a very helpful guy who stands behind his products.

    I've tried the Lakland basses and they are really nice but a bit different from the Lull. My Lull really captures the Jazz bass vibe where the Lakland seems to be a bit more like a Sting Ray to me. Nothing wrong with the Lakland, however, I prefer my Lull and would not trade. I've not had a chance to try a Sadowsky.

    Right now you can get good deals on the Lull. I expect that in the near future the word will get out and the prices will go up.


    Chuck
     
  4. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Forgot to mention that I use a Demeter VTBP-201 preamp, Stewart power amp and an Eden 410 XLT.

    Chuck
     
  5. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Chuck -- Thanks for the info. I've been talking with a Lull dealer, and I'm close to getting one though I haven't completely made up my mind. My one concern at this point is that I will end up with a bass that's very bright and somewhat light on the low end (that's just not my sound.) Do you find you get adequate bottom end out of your Lull?

    The other option I'm considering is the Lakland Joe Osborn, and unfurtunately I'm not in a position to try either bass before buying. Your thoughts?

    [Edited by Robert B on 12-07-2000 at 05:45 AM]
     
  6. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Thanks for the plug Tallguy. Ya beat me to it! I was just popping in here to post the pics of the new Lull P4 basses. Guys I am both a Lull and Lakland dealer. They are the only two lines of new basses that I represent (besides Dolan Custom Basses) as a matter of fact so I think that I'm pretty qualified to post in this particular thread. I consider Mike Lull and Dan Lakin both to be personal friends and both lines are top notch in construction, fit and finish no question! I haven't had the opportunity to play the new Lull P4 (only 3 have been made so far)but I will at the NAMM Show next month. It's hard to say which I like best or what I'd suggest to anyone because we're all different in our preferences as players aren't we? That's not a cop out it's the truth. Here are some of my favorite basses in each line.

    The Lakland 55-94 Deluxe is my favorite 5 string on the market. Here are some pics of the one I sold to Andy McRory in San Diego (my successor as moderator on the FDP)This bass was flawless:

    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=637760&a=6888716

    I also sold this awesome Lull Modern 5 Fretless NAMM Show Bass to a player up here in Northern CA. This bass had the optional Bartolini 18 volt preamp and upgraded gold hardware and one of the nicest finishes I've ever seen on a bass...truly outstanding!

    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=637760&a=6626474

    Both of those basses were special order basses that I really only had in long enough to play for a few hours each before shipping them off to the owners. Both were wonderful. Now here's a bass that I had around for a while in inventory and really got to play it quite a bit. This one is a Lull Vintage 4 with swamp ash body that I later installed a J-Retro preamp in before selling it. This bass rocked! I miss this one a lot! A lot of bang for your buck on this model especially after popping in the J-Retro! I'd suggest this setup to anyone looking to step up into the high end market no question.

    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=637760&a=6575099

    I guess if I had to sum up the differences in general between the two lines I guess I'd say that the Laklands just are for a harder style of play (beefier, ballsier) and the Lull's are for a more precise style of play (accurate and technical). That's just my take on them based on my playing (remember I suck as a player though). Both are excellnt basses and I'm damned proud to represent both companies. Ok so now the $10,000 question...if money were no object what would I play? I'd probably have to say that Sadowsky that Roger had on his site update today that sold in less than 24 hours:

    http://www.sadowsky.com/basses_in_stock/B3480_v4_59_full.jpg

    Oh my Gawd..wasn't that a beauty??? See? I'm no better able to answer your questions than anyone else afterall. I'm as addicted to beautiful basses of high quality as the next guy. It's kind of like asking who you'd rather sleep with Shania Twain or Faith Hill...my answer is "Both at the same time!" Then toss a Sadowsky in the mix (Sopiha Loren) and ya really got a trio!

    What am I playing now personally? A Mexican Fender Jazz Traditional (yeah the really cheap one from a few years ago) with J-Retro Preamp strung with Rotosound Swing 66's and a Japanese Fender '57 Reissue strung with Thomastik Jazz Flats through my trusty Ampeg B-100R (but I'll be checking out the new Euphonic Audio iAMP Combo coming out soon for sure!)

    http://www.euphonicaudio.com/Amps/iAMP_Combo/iamp_combo.html

    Anyway, thanks for the bandwidth. If anyone wants any information or assistance in either Lulls or Laklands drop me a line and I'll be glad to help out plus cut you the best price out there on either brand.

    Regards,

    Steve "Dude" Barr
    Vintage Bass Trading Co.
    (707) 546-3833
    Dude@Vintagebass.com

    [Edited by Dude on 12-07-2000 at 06:59 AM]
     
  7. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Robert,

    The Lull I have is like a Jazz bass with the addition of active electronics that can boost or cut treble, mids and bass. The bass can be boosted a bit(or a lot) to get a big sounding bottom.

    I prefer clear sounding lows and do not like a boomy or indistinct tone. I can get much more bottom than I like with my rig which is pretty bright sounding.

    The Lull basses are available with aluminum or brass bridges. I recommend the brass bridge for added warmth.

    By the way, Steve Barr is an internet pal of mine and I recommend you deal with him for your new bass. He's good folks.

    Good luck!

    Chuck
     
  8. I'll also vouch for Steve Barr. He's an honest (sometimes brutally so ;) ) stand-up guy. He'll pack your investment like he's shipping the world's last Stradivarius, get an extremely good deal, and will be there for you whenever you have questions or concerns and help you, or get you help.

    (I am not a paid endorsee, relative, or employee of Vintage Bass Trading Co.....ok, now where's my $20?)
    ;)

    -Dan
     
  9. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Thanks for your input, folks. I have no doubt that Steve is the best. I'll let you know how everything turns out.
     
  10. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Ok guys...we all knew it was bound to happen but I just got in the new dealer's price list for Lull basses and they will be going up $200 each effective January 1st, 2001 so if you've been thinking of getting one and have been on the fence NOW is the time. The basic Vintage 4 model will go from $1,995 Retail to $2,199 and the rest of the 4 string models will go up by the same amount as well. The Modern 4 and Modern 4V's will go from $2,295 retail to $2,499 retail. No price increase on the 5 string models which will remain at $2,999.

    The AAAAA quilt top upgrade option will go from $200 to $300 and the Hipshot Detuner upgrade will go from $100 to $125. The rest of the upgrade options will remain the same.

    If any of you have been considering buying a Lull bass contact me now while you can still get the 2000 prices. I can still get the old prices on any basses ordered before the end of the yer but they must be paid in full in advance I'm afraid. My "street" price on Lulls is generally in the 65% to 70% of Retail pricing depending on upgrades and availability.

    I'll work with any of you who might be in need of trading in a bass if you have to sell a bass in order to buy a Lull. If you want one at the old pricing don't let this window of opportunity pass by. email me and we'll see what we can do ok?

    I sold the vintage burst Lull P-4 today but have three others available (Black w/matching headstock, Natural & Mary Kay) as well as a good selection of Vinatge 4's, Modern 4's and Vintage 4V's so call me now if you've been considering buying one.

    I've been telling everyone they were underpriced and to snag them while they are a steal!!

    Steve Barr
    Vintage Bass Trading Co.
    Dude@Vintagebass.com
    (707) 546-3833
     
  11. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Hey,

    I saw this hands-on review of the new Lull P4's in another newsgroup written by someone who went to Lull's shop and compared the new Lulls to the vintage Fenders that they were based on. Nice review:

    Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 01:58:07 -0800
    From: BR <br66@nwlink.com>
    Subject: Mike Lull P-bass commentary

    While at Mike Lull's shop yesterday to get his advice on a bass, I had
    the opportunity to play a number of his instruments including four
    P-basses. Two were vintage Fenders and two were his newly produced, Mike
    Lull P-basses.

    What follows are my comments on the experience, adding that I have no
    commercial interest in any of these items or Mike's business. On the
    other hand, I have come to appreciate his workmanship and how he
    conducts his business and would like to see him thrive. That said,
    here's my take on the Mike Lull P-basses:

    Over the years I have noticed Mike continuously upgrading the quality of
    his instruments. Not that there was a lack of quality to begin with, but
    as the market has grown more sophisticated, so have his instruments, and
    it appears he's right on track with these new P-basses.

    One new instrument had an alder body painted black, with a Madagascar
    rosewood fingerboard on a maple neck. The other had a clear coated, ash
    body with a birds eye maple fingerboard and maple neck. (see the Dude's
    photo link from this past Friday's TBL)

    Both had the same hardware: the vintage looking cloverleaf, lightweight,
    Hipshot tuners, a multi-adjustment, Hipshot bridge, Lindy Fralin split P
    pickups, specially wound for these Lull basses, and a graphite
    reinforced, single truss rod, neck.

    The neck is patterned after Mike's '59 Fender P-bass with the shallow
    'C' design with one slight modification…. the shoulder of the neck, just
    south of the head, is a very, very small, fraction of an inch larger for
    stability purposes.

    As a comparison, I played his '59 Fender-P and can tell you that the
    neck (and bass, itself) is nothing short of magnificent. I understand
    why Mike used this as the model…... it's very comfortable, very playable
    and as perfect a P-neck as I've ever played. Qualifying this, I've
    almost always had a P-bass in my active set of instruments since the
    early 70's and my preference is toward the P-bass rather than J-bass
    design. So, the necks on the Lull P-basses are almost identical in
    dimension to the '59 shallow C, and have graphite reinforcement.

    The character of the two new instruments was definitely different from
    each other, but similar in the fact that they both play and sound like a
    very good P-bass. However, both of the new Lull P-basses were more
    "live" sounding than the '59 and early '60's Fenders that I played at
    the shop. I attribute this "live" vibe primarily to the
    graphite-reinforced neck and the Hipshot bridge.

    Although playing mostly Jazz and some blues, I don't do much slapping.
    However, both the Lull P-basses sounded good to my ear with the slapping
    I tried….and the ash body/maple fingerboard bass did, in particular.

    These new instruments list for just under $2,200 and Mike says he'll add
    whatever pickups and most any other items someone desires, including
    doing a P-J set up. The Fralin pickups were wound to emulate the vintage
    P-basses and are passive with one tone and one volume control- just like
    a regular P-bass.

    I understand that there's always some discount off the retail. So,
    whatever the discount is, if you're in this price range, for
    comparison's sake, you may be looking at making a choice between an
    early seventies, and back to the mid- '60's, Fender P-bass. The overall
    quality of the Lull P-bass and the new condition would be equal, if not
    superior to most of these older choices in the same price bracket.

    Also, with all due respect, Lakland, another high quality, boutique bass
    shop, is producing a Bob Glaub signature P-bass that lists for $2,900.
    (see Lakland.com) Assuming a similar discount from the Lakland list
    price, the P-basses from Mike Lull look like they are fairly priced.

    If you are a serious fan of P-basses, or a fan of serious P-basses,
    these instruments from Mike Lull are certainly worth a look.

    Bob Rothstein
     
  12. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Recently bought a Mike Lull Vintage 4, honey blonde (sort of butterscotch in color) with shell pickguard, maple board, ABM bridge. Love it. Can't say enough about it. It plays like a dream (I had them set the action a touch low), sounds amazing and is a joy to have on your shoulder, regardless of the amount of time you're toting it (its body wood is lightweight alder, and the Hipshot Ultralight tuners really reduce the overall bulk of the bass). I purchased mine through Guitar Villa in Bethlehem, PA. They sell quite a few Lulls, and in their estimation, the Lulls represent one of the best, if not the best, values around at present. So if you're fond of the Fender Jazz sound and are looking for a custom alternative to today's Fenders, try the Lull. Really, it's not that much more expensive than the prices of some of the upper level Fender Jazz models. I agree with another respondent who thought the Laklands were a bit more Stingray-like in their tone. But hey, I'm playing the Lull through a Sadowsky outboard pre-amp, so I guess I'm cheating a bit--I've got Mike's handiwork and Roger's circuit. The best of both worlds.
     
  13. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Lull4all -- Last week I ordered a Vintage 4 with alder body, 3 tone sunburst, brass bridge, aero pickups and rosewood fingerboard. Should have it in about 3 or 4 weeks. I can't wait!
     
  14. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    It'll be worth the wait, believe me. Enjoy it. You've made a great decision.

     
  15. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Robert B,

    I check on your Lull tomorrow and email you ok? It's coming buddy!

    For the rest of you...last call on the 2000 prices on Lull 4 strings before the price hike on Jan 1st...speak now of forever hold your peace! Only a few days left to place an order and lock in the old price...give me a call at (707) 546-3833

    Chuck M...your buddy in San Antonio isn't calling me back...left another message last night...I'll try again but I don't want to hound the guy.

    Best Regards,

    Steve "Dude" Barr
     
  16. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    I just wanted to give a "Last Call" shout out to you all about ordering a new Lull 4 string before the scheduled price increase to take place on January 1st.

    Many of you have been emailing and calling asking about ordering one but I'm afraid the window of opportunity closes at 4:00 PM (PST) today, Friday 12/29/00.

    I have sold 3 new Lull's this month with one already delivered, one being delivered tomorrow and the last one being built right now. If you've been considering ordering one you must contact me TODAY before 4:00 PM with your Visa card in hand to take advantage of the 2000 prices before they go up $200 on all 4 string basses. The 5A quilt top upgrade also goes up from $200 to $300 so you can save up to $300 by ordering one today. I must have payment in full to lock in the price.

    Last chance folks! I'll be around all day at (707) 546-3833 but if you get my voicemail LEAVE A MESSAGE ok?

    Best Regards,

    Steve "Dude" Barr
     
  17. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    I encourage anyone that's been "sitting on the fence" (like I was) to take the plunge. I ordered my new Lull from Steve, and the price he gave me is cheaper than any of the used Lulls I've seen for sale, and with the price going up tomorrow there's no better time than now. As soon as I get my Lull, I'll put up a review for any that might be curious, but by then it will be too late to get the '00 prices. Steve has been a real pleasure to deal with, and never once complained about my "flip-flopping" on available options. (Thanks for your patience, Steve ) :)

    The thing that finally convinced me to buy is that I have never heard anyone say anything the least bit negative about a Lull. That's pretty unusual -- I can't recall any other bass about which that can be said (including Sadowsky). It seems that everyone who has ever played or owned a Lull has really raved about it. That, along with the price helped me overcome the reluctance to buying a bass that I have never played. Plus, Steve gave me a reasonable return clause in the sale, so I decided to go ahead and make the investment. Don't see any way I can lose! Y'all have a nice holiday.

    [Edited by Robert B on 12-29-2000 at 06:05 AM]
     
  18. Way to go! You'll really love it! All of Mike's basses that I have played are amazing...I'm sure you won't regret your decision. The quality is absolutely palpable.
     
  19. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Slaphappy -- Thanks for the encouragement! I'm really looking forward to getting it, but unfortunately it will be 3 or 4 weeks before it arrives. Ah well, that's life. I've done without it this long, I guess a few more weeks won't hurt. ;)