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New Sadowsky Metro vintage 5 vs. Mike Lull MV5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Larry Kaye, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I've just come off the Sadowsky site and noticed 4 or 5 new, essentially made in Toyko Sadowsky vintage type 5's priced in the very low 2000-2100 dollar range. I also have seen some really nice, but not "flashy" Mike Lull MV5's at Blueberry Hill Bass for between $2300+ and 2400+. It looked like the bridge on the Lull was much more heavy duty and huskier and the fingerboards are birdseye vs straight grained maple. The Sadowsky group also have a couple that have Morado fingerboards. The Lull's also have a midrange tone control on board the bass. One has an Aguilar 3 band eq and the other has bartolini eq, both have duncan pickups.

    What's your opinions on these basses? Playability, sound, quality comparisons...whether justified or not!!! Appreciate any feedback. Let's "assume" though that color and/or shape of the head/tuning keys area is a moot point.

    Thanks for you help
  2. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    I've played both and would spring for the Mike Lull because I think its a slightly better bass but not by much... for one, the Mike Lull has better balance and for 2: Mike Lull does the set-ups and fretwork and sanding etc on his basses whereas Roger Sadowsky does not do that on the Metro basses. Kukuchi, the man who does the work on the Metros is a great lutheir, but in my opinion he's not quite at the level of a Mike Lull. (Mike is either at the same level or slightly behind Roger Sadowsky as a set-up person, depending on who you talk to)

    To me, balance is a big deal, and the Lull bass is one of the very few fender style basses I've played that has excellent balance

    either way, you would be getting an excellent bass

    some of your decision needs to be which pre-amp you prefer
  3. These are very different basses.. they have a different scale length to begin with; The Lull has 35", Sadowsky 34". Very different feel. They sound very different also.
    And besides that, not one bass is the same. I assume there are ok, good, and great instruments of both Lull and Sadowsky to be found.
    I would just play some of both and then decide wich YOU like best!

    Good luck,

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am a Big Sadowsky fan so the Metro would get my vote. :bassist:
  5. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    I must say those are all really good points
  6. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    What an intelligent thread! .... What's the matter with you! LOL ... Just kidding. What a refreshing thread.

    I would love to listen and play a Lull versus Sadowsky Metro side-by-side. Very cool comparison.
  7. Done that. And I must add that soundwise, while the Lull sounded more refined to my ears, the Sadowsky sounded more ballsy and FAT. The Sadowsky pickups and preamp rule definitely. Also the B-string of the Lull didn't convince me, in spite of the 35"scale. The Sadowsky B sounded tight & deep. My vote is in favour of the Sadowsky, but again, that's just my personal taste. In fact, I would like to own both a Sadowsky AND a Lull :hyper:

  8. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    in general, I like the Aguilar 18 volt or 9 volt pre-amp slightly better than the Sadowsky pre. they are both great though!

    and Seymour Duncan Antiquity II's like the ones used in the Mike Lull rock my world. I love those pickups

    having played both a Mike Lull and a Sadowsky Mtero within a short time, I still say the Mike Lull gets my vote: HOWEVER *** I was comparing 4 string basses. As has been pointed out, the 5 string Mike Lull is a different type of animal
  9. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    me too! theres a Mike Lull at Bass Atlanta that looks amazing right now, and a few killer used Sadowsky basses floating about for sale too
  10. RayR...not all of Mike's basses are 35" inchers..but I agree for the most part with what you are saying.. I have owned a 34" Vintage 4 that was a GREAT Bass (wish I had it back!) almost equal to my Vintage 4 Sadowsky (#4045) in fact, there is just some mojo that my Saddy has that no other Bass seems to have for me...I have played a number of Lulls that are quite excellent both 34" and 35" scale and I have to say that Roger has the best B string of any 5 I have ever played or recorded bar none, (I am a recording/mixing engineer as well) at any scale length! I don't know how he does it....

    The Lull is definitely a different fish though, a different vibe if you will...I love my Saddy so much she makes me want to play her all the time...but that definitely does not make the Lull any worse the bass, I once played a 4 month European Tour with just that Lull Vintage 4 and a beat up old 80's something Jazz Bass I had that was just a back up! NOT a hickup! Neck was perfect the whole time....great fret work and the intonation stayed perfect the whole tour...impressive considering we got to London in mid February (brrrr cold) and wound up in Italy in almost July (hot!)...makes me want to go out and find my old Lull!!

  11. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    With the exception of quilted and/or more exotic finishes, is there a difference, anything NOTICEABLE in tone, finish quality, components, weight?, anything else you could see, hear, feel between the new Metro line made in Tokyo and the USA line?

    I can't speak for Sadowsky, but I personally have played the Korean G&L vs the American and there IS a difference you can see, hear, feel, and in weight. It's one thing however to compare a $500 to a $1000-1100 bass or in Lakland's case, a $2800 USA to a $700-1200 one made in Korea, and the Sadowsky's $2000-2400 Metro line Versus $3300-3800?+ American basses.

    I've only played (and owned) a Sadowsky modern 24 fretter and it wasn't my cuppa tea however, we're talking about totally different pickups and placement of pickups than on the Metro's. It was still the best quality, best finished, best neck, lightest bass I've ever played. It needed more mids. Although my G&L now doesn't have a midrange tone control on the bass itself, it doesn't need it. I would think that a J type of Sadowsky would not need it either.

    I would probably go with the Sadowsky with the 7 day return policy first. It's less expensive, lighter, and although I mentioned not to take the color into consideration, well.....I really like the darker blue with the Morado fingerboard or the Lake Placid blue. I'll check out the Lull at Atlanta bass.

    I can usually tell pretty quickly whether there's a decent match. I will give you guys one other example....however....still a little different, that didn't make it for me....I had a Lakland Joe Osborn Skyline. Again, not enough mids/low mids to cut through the mix in my bands. The G&L cuts through easily, maybe because the pickups are both closer to the bridge? and really "hot", I don't know, but the bass has phats, lows, mids, and highs. It ain't as pretty as a lotta basses I've owned, however, it's still not a sub for a great sounding J-bass with modern active electronics. I'd like to have both possibilities available depending on the gig/music style, and the venue.

    Again, if there's anyone who's played both the American and the Metro Sadowsky's and can give us a "if I hadda blindfold on, I couldn't tell 'em apart" or "yes I could" report, it would be much appreciated.

  12. only because of tone, i would take the sad all day long over a lull. but, it would depend on what you prefer. the sad is the typical modern jazz bass sound while the lull modern 5 was more of grindy rock sound to me. not a lot of lows and a lot of upper midrange in the sound that to my ears was a bit harsh.
  13. personally i dont care how any of them set up a bass but i do care about what a guy can build. all bassists need to be able to set up there guitars the way they like. those guys arent performing magic.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I'm in favor of a Sadowsky 5. I prefer 34" scale, his neck profile, and his preamp. Sadowsky basses are much better in the mix when playing live. I was a Lull artist for a while. I had a modern 5, quilt top, 35" scale, maple board, 3 band eq. Nice bass. Light, great quality. The Sadowsky's amazingly are better. They sound much better on stage, too. Can't explain it, they just do.

  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I've yet to play a Lull so I can't comment.

    I own several Sadowsky & IMO my Metro can do *just about* anything my NYC bass can do

    *I say just about because the NYC is Ash/Maple & the Metro is Alder/Rosewood.
  16. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I know you've been trying to convince me to do Sadowsky for a long time. How much different do the two basses sound? You have both...I'd be getting the alder and morado rather than a maple board...Also, this is first time I've been GAS'in where the Sadowsky that appeals to me is actually a few hundred less than the other choices I'm considering. What I do know is after having had the American and Korean G&L that I prefer the USA one..I want to make sure I don't feel that way with the Japan built and USA built Sadowsky....any comments on this?

  17. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Don't you people agree that the M5V Lull has too much the Marcus vibe in it? If you like it...alright, but you hardly can get another sound from that bass. I'm looking for a great vintage sounding bass too with a modern approach, but the whole thing doesn't taste good enough for me to buy it.

    Perhaps the Sad does the vintage tone better? I'm not experienced with the Metro. I really want that passive jazz tone (let's say..Jaco tone). I saw the Zon too, but ain't that a more modern approach (read: too much hifi) too you guys?
  18. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I can only give opinion as to feel, as I have never played a Lull on a gig (I'd defer to Rob on that). The Lull's neck was too narrow for me. The B was a bit floppy for my taste. The Sadowsky feels far more substantial in my hands. Fantastic B. I can attest to how incredible the Sadowsky Metro sounds on stage. The Sadowsky 2 band boost-only pre sounds so good it's just wrong. I don't miss a mid control at all.

    That said, a pro bassist whom I respect greatly has used both and prefers the Lull over the NYC Sadowsky he used to own. He has a 4 with alder/rosewood, and "really digs the fundamentals in the tone".

    Bottom line is they are both fine basses. Play them both and decide. To me they are different enough in tone and feel, especially feel, that most players won't have a hard time deciding between the two.
  19. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    You will not be able to tell the difference between the NYC and Metro in either tone or feel. The only differences are cosmetic. Even the weight difference is not as apparent as I thought it would be. The Metro I have is maybe 1/2 pound heavier than the average NYC. Hardly noticeable.
  20. GGG


    Jul 1, 2004
    u know...... nowaday, Japanese Jeans company learnt from USA but they produces the best jeans in the world.