Mike Lull

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    Speaking about high end assembled basses such as Lakland and Sadowsky, how do the Mike Lull basses compare with them?

    can you who played Sadowsky, Lakland and Lull make a comparison?

  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'd like to play a Lull bass. I don't recall seeing one (maybe in Rudy's in NYC) in NYC or NJ.

    I've played alot of Laklands with the J/MM config. Personally, I'm not fond of Barts or MM pickups so thet's 2 strikes right there. Aside from that, the basses played & felt great!!!! Excellent construction, flawless fit & finish. I'd like to try one of the 55-63 (Lakland w/2 J Barts ot Fralins). Personally, I'm more od a J guy & alot of basses I played w/Bart J's sounded killer. I also have on order a Lakland SkyLine Joe Osborne 5 string (Jazz bass) for Gard @ Bass Central. Hopefully the neck on that bass is as good as on my SkyLine 55-01. I've emailed Dan Lakin numerous times & have gotten quick responses.
  3. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    I have both a Sadowsky Vintage 4 and a Lull Vintage 4 with Bart pre added. They sound completely different: active or passive; amplified or acoustic. The Lull's construction is very comparable to the Sadowsky. Both have Alder bodies and maple necks and rosewood fretboards--actually, the Sadowsky has Morado, and the Lull, Brazilian rosewood.The Lull is a bit heavier due to the full-sized body, but the fit and finish of both basses are excellent.

    The real difference is the tone of each: the Lull is very punchy and snappy regardless of what brand strings I use. This is most likely due to the hipshot aluminum tailpiece primarily, but I don't know for certain. I like it. It's perfect for slap/plucking and songs when you want a bit more grinding/biting piano tone. It always has that "new strings" sound.

    The Sadowsky bass has a rounder tone and not as much snap as my Lull. It is full and rich and just sounds great no matter what setting I have the preamp on or whether it's in active or passive mode. It punches with fatter knuckles than the Lull.

    Even though these basses look similiar on paper, the difference between the two basses is not the preamp, but the wood and the way the wood interacts with the components. That's what makes these different basses. Every once in a while, I put the Lull in passive mode and play it through my Sadowsky DI pedal. It still doesn't sound like my Sadowsky. (I actually prefer the Bart pre in the Lull over the Lull/Sadowsky pedal combo.)

    I think Roger's special juju indeed comes into play when he selects and shapes the wood. The Lull is my choice over a vintage 70's J or an off the shelf Fender MIA Jazz or an FMT. The Sadowsky has its own thing going. It either moves you or doesn't.
    Personally, I think they're amazing basses.
  4. i don't own a sadowsky or lakland, but i've played several, and i own a Lull modern vintage 5 string with 35" scale, duncan pups, and a bart pre. KPO's description of the Lull's "piano tone" is dead on. mine is alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and also has the aluminum bridge which supposedly adds more 'snap'.

    firstly, i can honestly say that the neck joint on my Lull is the tightest of any bass I've ever seen or tried. i don't know if they're all like that, but mine is sweet. constructionwise, the sadowsky is top nothch, but i would consider the Lull very close in all respects, if not equal. one thing i dislike though, is that the neck on the Lull is a little on the chunky side, so if i play my lightning fast Ken Smith 6 and pick up the Lull, the chunkiness is quite noticeable.

    secondly, while the sadowsky does have a rounder, earthier tone, the Lull can get some really barky, aggressive j bass growl that i haven't quite been able to hear from the sadowsky's i've tried. the Lull has more clarity to my ears, without all the round boominess that the sadowsky has. but would i take a sadowsky if i had the cash sitting around right now - hell yes! :D
  5. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    cephase...absolutely, the Lull neck is a bit chunkier on my 4 string in a way unlike any other bass I own. I like the Sadowsky neck better...and my old Jazz bass's neck still more.

    You should definetly check out a Sadowsky...but you may end up keeping your Lull too. If you're a Jazz bass-centric person to begin with, it's sort of easy to justify since they're complementary. :D

    Nino, I'll send you my Lull V4 for a while if I can check out your Sadowsky 24F 5 ;)

  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    If you want to hear a Mike Lull bass on any given night turn on the Conan O' Brien Show. The bassist for the Max Weinberg Seven, Mike Merrit, uses Mike Lull j basses regularly. I've also spotted him using the Zeta Educator bass once. I'm sure he's used others but none stick out in my mind. I see him playing the Lulls almost every time it shows him though.

    brad cook
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I own a Mike Lull P5. Interestingly, I'm sort of disappointed that the neck is so slim and fast. I mean, when I think of P-basses, I think of nice chunky necks. Also, the string spacing at the bridge is 17mm as opposed to the Fender spacing of 19mm (3/4"). I do wish it had full 3/4" spacing like Fenders (and Sadowskys) but the difference isn't a horrible inconvenience.

    Those complaints aside: my P5 is passive with Fralin PJ pups, ash body with figured maple cap, rosewood fretboard. It does have a bright aggressive sound which I like very much... nice growl, and I never use the J pup. And while the "fast" playability isn't my favorite, it does seem to reduce left hand fatigue over the course of a gig.
  8. Bass-only

    Bass-only Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    That's interesting that I keep reading that many
    think the Lull neck is "chunky." I have a modern 4 and it is one of the thinnest necks I've played! I wonder if the Vintage basses get a different neck?

    Like most of the replies mention, the Lull is up there with the best in terms of construction, fit and finish.
    It really comes down to what you choose for the pickups and preamp, in regards to sound. It's the Sadowsky preamp that really makes those basses sing!

    Also - you can usually find a great deal on a used Lull, if you look around hard enough.

    I have a Lakland (USA) and a Lull and find myself playing the Lull more (although they are both great basses!)
  9. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    I used to think that the Sadowsky pre was THE thing that defined the Sadowsky sound, but my Lull in passive mode through a Sad pre sounds nothing like my Sadowsky. It still sounds good, but it doesn't sound like a Sadowsky--it merely rounds off the sharp characteristics of my Lull's tone a bit.

    IMHO, with my basses, I think the pickups, the wood, and the bridge (in that order) have more to do with affecting the tone than the preamp.
    Given all these variables, I think it's amazing that Sadowsky is as able to deliver such consistency as he does!
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    ive owned all three. i hated the lull modern 5 i had. i didnt sound anything like a good jazz. the midrange was really honky and agressive. the high end had no sheen and it was thin on the low end. the neck also hurt my left hand thumb after a while. the fit and finish was just as good as the others, but the sound,playablility and feel sucked. the only thing they have going for them is theyre cheap used.
  11. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't like the neck on the Lull...too fat!! F bass and Lakland has the best neck, then Sadowsky.
  12. My Modern 5V kind of sucked a bit because it had the Bartolini pre and the aluminium Hipshot bridge. IMHO a BAD combination. Therefore I changed the Bart electronics for a Sadowsky onboard pre with passive tone control and the alu bridge for a brass version. Also, what bothered me is that my bass has some SHIMMING (spelled OK?) on the neck. How could that be, on a NEW bass? And the 15th fret or so was too high (needed a fret levelling job). The store I bought it from gladly paid for the fret job and will send Lull a complaint. But after all this crap which costed me a LOT of Euro's I think I like my Lull more than ever. For the same amount I could have bought a Sadowsky!! Bummer.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've played all three and own a US Lakland. IMO the true test of any of these basses is in the mix. As such, I haven't played a Sadowsky or Lull in a group setting.

    The last Lull I played was a Modern 5, which seemed like a nice bass. Had a pretty bright, raw top end, nice lows, prominent mids. Very good playability. I didn't get to set it up or change strings I like so I don't know if it could be set for the same type of effortless playability as my Lakland. Overall nice bass but I'd take my 55-94 over it.
  14. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    Are all of you comparing Lull. Sadowsky and Lakland Joe Osborne [or with MM pick up] ?

    I want to hear the comparation them with Lakland Joe Osborne, cos I am looking for a closer to '60 Jazz soun.
  15. I have a M5V and love it. It always sounds great. I could actually stand a wider neck and I'm not a big guy.
  16. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I own a Lakland 55-94 and Joe Osborne 5, Sadowsky Vintage 5 and PJ-5, a Lull M5V and a Celinder Vintage 5... I would agree with alot of the assessments here.. The Joe Osborne 5 nails that old-school jazz tone especially with the Fralins, the 55-94 is alittle more versatile in that in can get a close copy of a variety of tones... The Sadowskys have they're own tone, very round and distinct.. There both great and the PJ-5 rocks.. The Lull M5V is very organic and gets a nice jazz grunt if you will.. The Celinder is really awesome, especially with using the blend control alittle more towards the bridge pickup.. It has a really full single coil jazz tone to it... All in all they're special in they're own way.. If anybody is ever up in The Buffalo, N.Y. area feel free to stop by and check em out...
  17. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've owned 2 Laklands and 3 Lull basses. I've never owned a Sadowsky but did play one 4 string.

    I agree that the Lull basses nail the 1970's Jazz bass tone. The three I owned were killer basses.

    I no longer own the Lull basses as I traded them for some basses that made more sense in my collection. A new Q5 Modulus and a Lakland 4-94 came to my house in place of the Lull basses.

    The Lakland J/MM with the Barts works great for me. I believe some of the times that players do not like Barts in Lakland basses is due to the amplification used. My amps are failrly hi fi and give nece detail in all frequencies and the Bartolini PUs and electronics sound wonderful.

    I presently own 9 electric bases and 6 have Bartilini PUs and electronics. The remaining 3 are passive.


  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I had an artist deal with Lull for a while. I think it was a modern 5, no pickguard. It was a beautiful bass, pretty top, pretty birdseye board. I found the neck a bit too round and thick for my liking. The bass had a nice modern type sound but didnt have the same thump as my Sadowsky 4 or 5. Overall nice bass. I would recommend them. Also, I don't prefer a 35" scale like many others do. I'll take the 34" scale on the Sadowsky or the 34.5" scale on my F bass

  19. Now that I have my Lull for a while I still cannot get used to it. It plays well and it looks very nice BUT I just cannot get used to the sound. It's lacking some fundamental lows. To me it sounds like the 70's J bass you're NOT looking for. I put it on the internet today. I also have a Celinder Vintage 4 fretless which sounds absolutely amazing. Maybe I should check out a Vintage 5.
  20. maybe ash bodies and maple boards aren't the way to go with the lull? mine is alder/rosewood and it sounds quite big on the bottom.