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NYC Sadowsky/US Lakland comparison

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sobass, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Sobass


    Aug 28, 2004
    I haven't found specific information on this searching TB, so if I've missed it, it would be great if someone could direct me to an applicable thread...

    Has anyone had a chance to compare NYC (not the metros) Sadowsky jazz-type basses to US Lakland J-basses (JO or DJ) in terms of tone, quality of construction, feel, etc. Just curious.

  2. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Standard Joe Osborn is passive and Sadowskys have the active circuit...
    you can opt for an active circuit from Lakland and the Sadowsky has the vintage tone control which bypasses the onboard active circuit.

    from my experience the Sadowskys are in the 8 - 9 lb range where the Laklands are 9 - 10 lb range.

    Both are outstanding instruments..

    if your looking for the old school J tones IMHO the Lakland edges the Sadowskys...the Lindy Fralins have something to do with that..

    I dont know much about the Lakland DJ series ..
  3. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    I don't think the Lakland DJ is made in the U.S.
  4. Actually, they offer the DJ as both a Skyline and a US model.
  5. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The US DJ starts at $4300 list...

    I own a Lakland Skyline JO and a Skyline DJ. Great basses, especially for the $$. I'm a sadowsky guy, and I don't mind paying extra for the sound that I want. I've played some amazing USA JO's that nailed the vintage vibe and sound nice and buttery, but the Sadowsky tone is more for me. I would say in a quick comparison, that the Sadowsky's sound more present and I have found this to be true even in a passive to passive comparison. I also have two Non-sadowsky basses with Sad PU's and Pre's that do not sound quite like my Sadowsky's. It really does start with the wood and the attention to detail that goes into building these basses. In passive model, I'd say that the natural tones of the wood combinations are more discernable as well.

    As far as what I've seen from wood quality and workmanship, you will NOT receive anything substandard from either US shop. I have not seen any flaws in any bass from the Metro series for that matter.

    Unfortunately, you have to try both out before you figure out what is for you. I can safely say, my Laklands deliver for me, and the Sad's hit it out of the park everytime.
  6. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    It really depends on which model your comparing. But Both companies have impeccable workmanship. Top shelf without question out of the US shops and the Metros. The Skyline (korean) Laklands are excellent values and probably as well or better put together then Fender USA. They really have different goals sound wise and a different feel.

    Lakland standard models are kinda of a cross between a music man and a Fender but with the Bart pickups sound less aggressive. I've hear a few with Duncan Baselines that really copped an aggressive Musicman thing. The signature models are all passive (I believe) and going after a vintage Fender vibe. I'm a big fan of both the Joe Osborn and Daryl Jones. All Lakland fivers have 35" scales.

    Sadowsky basses have their own sound, my take is it's a Jazz bass only bigger, more resonant and more even. They really have a different vibe then the Laklands. The bodies are smaller, the necks are 34" scale. But they have a sound that "works" great in a live setting. They seem to sit in the right place in the mix with very little pre amp adjustment. In fact most Sadowsky owners barely use the pre. They also record quite nice too. I've played and owned a lot of different boutique basses, but I've settled on a Sadowsky. Having said that I would never tell a person not to buy a Lakland, the Sadowsky just works for me.
  7. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I think that what Burk means (Burk correct me if I'm wrong) is that many Sadowsky players barely use the eq, but they have the preamp engaged all (or most of) the time. IMO, that's a major part of the Sadowsky tone.
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    +1 to this and burke,

    good stuff.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Sadowsky is my main solid body bass but I have to say that Lakalnd makes some pretty special basses infact I won the Due pit limited edition 1 bass. As for 5 strings I would prefer the 34 inc scale to Laklands 35 scale but I do find the lakland 4 string necks more comfortable then the Sadowky necks.
  10. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    The better comparison is the Sadowsky and Lakland 55-94 (unless you play the Sadowsky in passive).

    The Sadowsky is all you've heard, and mine is my #1 player. That said, I prefer the Lakland neck, 35" scale notwithstanding, to me faster and more comfortable. What puts the Sadowsky over the top is the VTC, if the Lakland had it, it would be back to #1.
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I own 3 Sad's and have owned many more. I've owned one Lakkie US 4 string. It was the quilt top model with the Barts. Very nice.

    I think both are very well made. Its more of a preference thing

    I think the Sadowsky advantage is the preamp for me. I love the unique tone.

    Thats about it. They are both wonderful. You should try to play both before you decide


  12. putting a Vintage type tone control into a Lakkie (or any active bass without active pickups for that matter) would be a Piece-o-cake.

    Pickups -> Volume/blend -> Preamp/tone controls -> output

    Pickups -- Volume/blend -> VTC -> Preamp/tone controls -> output

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