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Mike Lull vs. Sadowsky

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peter Lufrano, May 7, 2004.

  1. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Hi all, Has anyone compared a Mike Lull against a Sadowsky?

    Preferably a Lull M5V vs a Sadowsky Vintage 5 ;^)

    If so, what were your impressions?

    I have the Lull pictured below, and I really love her, but I have gotten a hard on for the Sadowski pictured.

    Is the Sadowsky really nearly $2000 better bass?

    Thank you in advance for your insights!
  2. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i'm gonna watch this thread because i was asking myself the same thing today.. of course , Sadowskys will hold more value and are much pricier... but this should be interesting....
  3. I think (unfortunately for Mike Lull) that local supply / demand has way too much impact. Because the Northeast and NYC has 10 times the demand of the Pacific Northwest, there is a significant price differential.

    I, personally, would like to have one of each - at least!!
  4. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    SadowskY- Sadowsk-Y-
    With a "Y" not "i".
  5. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Doh! Sorry. Already edited.........
  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Yes...it will. :D
  7. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I'm no Lull/Sadowsky expert but I've owned 2 Lull and 2 Sadowsky basses. I currently own a Lull P-bass w/ maple board. My $.10:

    - If you're looking for traditional J-tone: Lull
    - If you're looking for J-tone on fire: Sadowsky
    - Craftsmanship: Both are 1st class
    - Resale value: You stand to loose the same amount on each. Sure the Sadowsky will resale for $1000+ more, but you'll pay $1000+ more for it.
    - Service and info: Sadowsky!!!
    - Bragging rights: Sadowsky!!! :D
    - 5-string scale lengths may be different

    There are so many good things to say about each bass. I live on the East coast, so I'd go with the Sadowsky J-Bass. However, I wouldn't spend $3K on a P-Bass, therefore, I have a Lull P-Bass. (I have a 2000 Fender P-Bass that I bought for $650.00 [4-sale ;) ] and it does everything a P-Bass is supposed to do).

    Bottom line:
    - P-Bass: Lull
    - J-Bass: Sadowsky
  8. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Good topic, you don't hear too much about the Lull's so I'm ineterested too.

    One thing I do know. I would not be able to play a 5-string Lull and be comfortable doing it, the string spacing is too tight so that would rule the 5-string Lull out for me.
  9. Jugghaid


    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    I had a Lull Vintage 4 string for a while. It is the epitome of what a vintage Fender Jazz Bass should be. The passive fralins perfectly nail the 60s jazz bass tone and the instrument itself is constructed better than any fender with much more attention to detail. If you really want a great vintage jazz bass, go with the Lull. If you want something a little different and updated soundwise, go with the Sadowsky.

    Either way you can't go wrong. These are both top notch basses built by true craftsmen who really know their business.

    Here's a pic:
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Right on! Very well said. ;)
  11. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    After talking to one of our VERY well known high end TB luthiers (Trust me, we ALL know who he is), I learned that both the Lull and Sadowsky basses are what he called "kit" basses. It was explained to me that there are 5 major neck and body fabrication facilities in the US that produce most of the high end stuff and both Rodger Sadowsky and Mike Lull have contracts with one or many of these fabricators. The bodies and necks are cut and finished at these fab houses and are assembled by hand at the Sadowsky and Lull facilities (someone recently asked me if I knew that Sadowsky necks are made in Tacoma and finished in Italy. I don't know, I have not verified this). Since I live in Lull's area I've been to his shop MANY times to buy used parts and get advise (REALLY great people by the way). Mike's place is a converted store front in a small strip mall next to an insurance office. It has about 1500 to 1800 square feet of floor space. There are 3 work stations - Rodger Gee's, Mikes and another guys. I say this to say that there is no way that these guys could build a bass from the ground up in this shop since the basic machinery would never fit. No doubt Mike knows his stuff and has designed fantastic basses as has Rodger Sadowsky, however in my opinion I find it misleading to think that we consumers are getting a true $3000.00 bass given the fact that the parts are being CNC'ed (computer driven lathes) just like all of the offshore stuff. Yes, off shore labor costs (Korea) are a fraction of what we pay here in the US and maybe you are getting a better grade of wood with Lull and Sadowsky; You definatly get better hardware and pickups, and the final assembly and set up is being done by these guys, but the profit margin on these things has to be HUGE.
    Knowing this, If I were to buy a Jazz clone today, I would have to seriously look at buying a Warmoth body and neck (which are US built, reinforced with steel bars and come with a nice choice of laminate tops and headstocks. You can specify custom routing options, hardware and electronics) and save TONS.
    Again, no direspect or Rodger or Mike, they are great buisnessmen who continue to orchestrate the build process of great products, however we as consumers should have all the facts prior to spending hard earned cash thinking Mike or Rodger are producing had built in house instruments.
  12. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i have bought a bass body and neck from one of the factories that supposedly makes one of those basses. I have no reason to doubt they do, but i found that just buying parts and assembling is not the same as having an expert do it, and having the flavor in the bass- i could buy a kit bass form Warmoth ( i had a beautiful warmoth body that i sold because i changed my mind about the project, but the body was top notch) but its not just that, Rogers basses are legenday, his following is huge and there are many multiple owners- i dont have one because frankly, i have not been to the place where i am ready to spend $3500 of a Sadowsky.. but i am very impressed by his reputation.
    Havent had much of a chance to check out a Lull and in fact i spoke to Mike and Roger( the Roger at Mike Lull's not Sadowsky) today because i am curious about the Lull sound.. fact is, i have had Am DLx Fender J's that have sounded awesome! and played just fine... the bass i put together was very nice, all top notch parts, bu the sum of the parts did not floor me. I wish it were that easy for me.
    And i also have been to Carey Nordstrands place several times and he builds INCREDIBLE instruments for scratch, raw wood blanks and finished them with incredible gloss finishes, it just doesnt get better than that and he does it all in a garage, so it CAN be done- however, and i am usually a custom handmade bass nut, i dont see much sense in fabricating my own bodies when factories can do it just as well- so i dont really blame Roger and Mike - if thats the way it is.
    However, i see your point, which can also be made about Korean vs US- gotta tell you, some Lakland 55-02 have kicked the butt right off some American basses i have played..
  13. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK

    You can add that Mike and Roger don't MF their competitors. Based on his posts here, I wouldn't p!$$ on the luthier in question if he were on fire, much less buy one of his basses.
  14. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    First off, let me say that the above posts were very well written and I am enjoying this topic very much already.
    I would love to say that I have played, or that I own one of these fine instruments. Finances simply will not permit me from doing so. I have a couple of 70's Fender basses but the majority of my instruments are homeade jobs that I piece together just because it's easier to finance a little at a time. Most of my stuff comes from Warmoth... having said that, what are some of your thoughts with regard to buying Warmoth parts (neck/body) and then having a respected builder assemble the bass for you? Something tells me that any of the before mentioned luthiers/builders could take quality parts and put a small amount of their "special touch" on them. I just have to believe that a nice body and neck, in the hands of the team at *insert reputable bass builder here*, would be more similar to one of their instruments, than someone such as myself who would simply connect the dots on a "kit bass".
    I am, in no way, badmouthing any of these builders...I hope to someday be able to afford the luxury of owning a few, but for now I think about as close as I could get would be to send them the parts and have it professionaly put together.
  15. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I was able to play a Lull 5 and a Sadowsky 5 back to back. I'm not a Sadowsky fan in any way but it's tone was so much better than the Lull it was sad. The Lull sounded dead and bland with a very choked tone and the neck didn't feel that great either. The Sadowsky had a very open and full tone that was very natural with the right amount of top end that just made the bass sing. I've played several of each at different times and come to the same conclusions.
  16. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues.

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Really? The string spacing on my Lull M5V feels very wide. Wider than on my fbasses even and the nut width is wider too.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Roger Sadowsky is the man when it comes to basses, i dont really care if his body's or necks are made in his shop or with someone he contracts with because they are what do the trick for me, feel and tone are the best i have expirenced and i have really done my homework to find that right bass for me. Roger's metro line that is comming out i think will be pretty much at the same starting price as lull so i hope that more people get to check out how special a Sadowsky bass really is. :bassist:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I haven't seen a narrow spaced Lull yet and I've played a few. I've also played a few Sadowskys.

    Buy what pushes "your" buttons... or what "you" can afford.

    Or both:D
  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I own a Lull P5. It's a beautiful bass, has great tone, and fit and finish are top-notch.

    Nut width is about 1-7/8, however the bridge spacing is only 17mm, rather than the 19mm I prefer. Also, the neck profile is very slim. It's nice to have a "fast" playin' bass, but I prefer medium to chunky neck profiles... that's appropriate for a P-bass.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the Lull P5. It isn't perfect for me, but there aren't many 5-string P-basses to choose from and I like it better than the Fender P5 (even though the Fender has the playability I prefer).