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Sadowsky OR Lakland

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by munnkyboy, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. munnkyboy


    Jul 1, 2005
    Need all of your thoughts:

    Okay, I've owned every bass under the sun and currently own a Fender Jazz '72, Fender P Bass 62 Reissue, Fender Jazz V, and a shiny new Ric 4003.

    Each of these basses have their advantages and disadvantages...

    What I am looking to do is just get one really really ONE good high level pro bass (I do play quite a bit professionally). I want to make it so the bass is something I don’t have to really think about, perfect frets, great tone, and dependability. I’ve narrowed it down to Sadowsky Metro or a Lakland Glaub with a PJ setup.

    I’m just looking for opinions, mostly from owners rather than “I’ve heard about Sadowsky”… Versatility for stage and studio is key.

    The Lakland in my mind would be a great choice with the PJ configuration, Fralin Pickups, that incredible neck…etc..

    The Sadowsky is a proven industry standard and pretty much keep engineer’s mouths shut when the case opens up in the studio. The necks to me are also amazing.


  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I hope this doesn't get into an ugly :D I own a Sadowsky Vintage 5 and a Lakland 94-55. I have played the JO and DJ Laklands on a number of occasions... both 4's and 5's.

    As I'm sure many will tell you, they are all great and all different. Are you looking for a 4 string or 5 string? If 5 string, I think the choice becomes a little easier. The Sadowsky 5's are 34" scale and the Lakland's are 35". Both sound great, but some players are very fond of one or the other. The neck profile on the Lakland JO and DJ 5 is quite a bit 'chunkier' than the Sadowsky... again, neither better or worse, but quite different. The Sadowsky 5's (at least the Vintage models) just seem much smaller and lighter all the way around.

    Another consideration is if you are an active or passive guy. If you prefer passive basses, that DJ Lakland model with the Aero's is one of the finest passive J Bass style instruments I've ever played, and it's only a little over $1,000. I've also played the JO with with optional J Retro preamp and it sounds great... a little more aggressive and modern sounding than the Sadowsky... and with a variable mid control, which is nice.

    So.... it's hard to suggest one over the other... very different instruments. Maybe if you post your 'dream sound' (i.e., 60's style jazz, Marcus Miller 70's thing, etc., etc.) and the type of music you play, we could all give you more specific info and recommendations.

    The net net is the Sadowsky Metro's and NYC line, and the Lakland USA and Skyline basses are top notch... just different flavors.
  3. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    If you are looking for a 5 string, the Glaub doesn't come in a 5 string, I've never played a Glaub, but own a 55-94 and the playability and sound is top notch (even though my preamp just went weird), customer service from Dan is top notch too, when I alerted him of my problem, he asked for my address and my cell so he could issue me an RMA, and then he CALLED me 3 minutes after I sent the e-mail, I've also met Roger who's also a great guy and would also take great care of you, and played a few friend's Sadowskys for hours at a time. They're both top notch instruments and depends on which style you like better, they don't sound exactly the same, either way I think you're in for a win win. My one quirk with Sadowsky is that I wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I would be when it was in passive, it sounded darn good, maybe because of all the hype I heard about it I expected more.

    So to summarize all that, go out and try both if you can, and see which is for you, both are amazing instruments.
  4. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Play them both and decide yourself. I think both are great in their own right, even though I've only owned 5 string versions of both their camps.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Play both and make up your own mind. You'll get many different opinions here

  6. munnkyboy


    Jul 1, 2005

    I apologize for not being more specific.

    I'm looking at a 4 string.

    The Sadowsky offers both the passive/active option which I think is great for versitility.

    The PJ combination on a Lakland also had huge advantages...

    Being a veteran on some of these boards, I hope I didn't open the P vs J, Active vs Passive thread.

    From my experience and trying many Sadowskys, the Active control to me enhances a good passive tone, instead of wild colorations you may get with other on board EQ controls.

    Maybe I should ask:

    If YOU had an extra $2K laying around and could only buy a Sadowsky Jazz Style, Metro, OR a Lakland Bob Glaub PJ with Jazz neck Passive..what would be the pros or cons?

    I can only get one and I'm really torn.

    Again, thanks

  7. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    you opened a Sadowsky VS Lakland wich is much worst!!! :D
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    IMO, the Sadowsky barely beat out the Lakland. Played a few Lakland USA's and a Sadowsky NYC and the Sad's were unbelievable. I really liked the Laklands, but the Sadowsky blew me away.
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Interesting choice to make.... with the BG Lakland you are looking at you get the P pickup that you seem to want... so that's in the plus column. With the Sadowsky, you get an active preamp (ps... make sure to order it with the VTC... makes a BIG difference in a positive way).... so that's in the plus column for the Sad IMO

    I would assume the Sadowsky Metro with VTC is somewhat more expensive than the Lakland.... so another plus for the Lakland!

    Seems like this is like a previous Thunderfunk550 vs. Eden 550 choice thread.... both great... both will get you there fine... opinions from other TBers split 50/50. If I had to choose, I'd probably go with the Metro with the VTC... very versatile and probably will sell quicker and for a better price is you decide it's not for you. My two cents!
  10. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I love PJ configurations -- the best of both worlds. I also have gained a new appreciation for the passive bass tone recently. Plus, I love Laklands -- excellent construction, etc. The Lakland Glaub I played was hands-down the best P-bass I've ever laid hands on.

    On the other hand, a Sadowsky IS a Sadowsky. . .

    You're in a real pickle -- that's a heck of a choice to make. At least there's no real way to lose in this decision.

    I'd say it largely boils down to neck-feel and tone options -- Construction quality on both is probably too close to call. Neck feel is a personal decision, one you'll have to make. So, assuming you like the necks on both, what are you looking for, tonally? A PJ will give you maximum flexibility, but a Sadowsky will never steer you wrong, either.

    Tough choice, but a good one . . .
  11. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I know what you will do:

    get one now and the other later on down the road.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    My vote goes to Sadowsky, they just feel and sound better to me. :bassist:
  13. slagbass


    Apr 5, 2005
    Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with the Lakland, but your statement that you only want one bass and "versitility for stage and studio is key" makes me think that you couldn't go wrong with the Sadowsky.
    I own a '66P, FBass and a Sadowsky. The Sadowsky is my preferred choice for both live and studio applications. If I could only have one bass, that would be it.
  14. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I've always had a Sadowsky in my gig bag. Sure, I may take another goofy bass to play (NOT implying a Lakland BG is goofy) but if the going gets weird, I pull out the Sadowsky.
    For me, a Sadowsky always works. ALWAYS. Live or in the studio.
    These days, it's all Sadowsky. I sold my NYC when I got my first Metro.
    Having never played a BG Lakland, but knowing Lakland's in general, I would expect them to be as good as the others I've played.
    I don't think you will be doing badly with either!!

    (but get the Sadowsky ;) )
  15. I will try to be as objective as I can (in light of my PM). I have played quite a few Sadowskys at this point (about 2 dozen or so) and I have spent quality time in my house and in a studio with 6 or 7. I have only played 2 Glaubs (only one of those for any length of time, roughly 5 hours at a session at a producer's request, the other being about 30 minutes at a sit in gig with a friend of mine) so my experience is not as extensive with it but I wil give it a shot.

    The Glaub that I spent the most time with had Sadowsky flats on it which were put on at my request before the session :D . The producer owned this bass and used it on most of the sessions he did. Overall, I was very impressed by the playability but I have gotten a bit spoiled by the 7.25" radius of my Fender and that was one of my complaints. The bass was also very heavy compared to all of the Sadowskys I have ever played. I did not weigh it but I would guess it was in the 11 lb range or so. My Sadowsky NYC is only 8.4 lbs so it was a fairly significant difference. The neck itself seems a little more chunky than the Sadowsky but I found it comfortable enough with only minor adjustments in my technique.

    The session was for a Songwriter's demo (Writer Showcase of several songwriters) with a mix of material ranging from "New Country" to Contemporary Gospel/Christian with one of the tunes REALLY straddling the fence of Crossover Country Pop (Think Shania). I was wanting the flexibilty of my Sadowsky on a couple of the tunes (and really could have used a 5 string but did not push it) but knew that I was being paid to play what I was given. I did insist on at least trying the Sadowsky on a Jazzy mid tempo Gospel tune that I was asked to come up with a line for and the producer agreed that it was perfect. This was the third song in and from that point on we did 1 take with the BG and 1 with the Sadowsky on separate tracks. I had a convert....

    We tracked a total of 9 songs (all pro players with charts) over a 10 hour booking (2 or at most 3 takes for each song with a couple of overdubs flown in at the end). I was asked to change only the one Gospel tune mentioned (aside from the different basses between passes) but I did an extra "creative" pass on 2 others (both on the Sadowsky) including a bluesy tune that highlighted a sax player friend of mine). At the time I was not there for the mixes but was asked to listen to the final roughs for my opinion by the engineer who is also a friend of mine.

    The first song I heard I knew was the Sadowsky right off the bat. Turns out they used the Sadowsky tracks on 6 out of the 9 tracks :D . The biggest difference was clarity. The Sadowsky just cut through so cleanly without any mud but with a lot of depth and definition. There is also an "apparent" difference in the loudness of the tracks with the Sadowsky seeming to "jump out" of the mix a little better. I have to say though that the BG is perfect on the tracks that it was kept in. Very meaty P sound that it does so well. I really want to get across to that the BG was a pleasure to play with only minor complaints that I could easily overcome with a little more time.

    The one thing that I think is important is that I can get my Sadowsky with the Vintage Tone Control to get that Old School (almost a P!!) tone but I could not get the BG to brighten up as much as I really wanted to. The Sadowsky is just a touch above the rest in my opinion. It is very flexible and it does a lot of things. Fortunately, it does them all VERY well!!

    I think the bottom line is that if you want a REALLY good P (better than most Fenders I have played) bass that is set up well and nails that type vibe, get the BG. If you want a flexible jazz with a flawless setup and unbelievable recording tone that can give you a number of different sounds, get the Sadowsky.

    I should add that I also have gotten bitten by the Lakland bug!! I have a white Darryl Jones 4 coming this week (7.25" radius!!!!! :hyper: ) and I have a Black DJ 5 on order. In my opinion, the DJ is a home run in a passive bass. I finally got a chance to play one after hearing so much about them and was knocked enough to get 2 of them!! Good Luck on your quest and may you find the answers you seek...


  16. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    I own both and Love them both. The Lakland BG P/J setup is killer though. Especially with a JO neck. I say get the Lakland and buy a Sadowsky outboard preamp so you have the best of both worlds!
  17. That is also a very good idea...I have used a Sadowsky outboard preamp for a couple of years now. The producer would not go for it on this session (I tried! :D ) But I typically use it on any bass I use other than my Sadowsky. I am considering getting the U-Retro on the DJ's I have coming but I am going to try the outboard Sad first....


  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    for the money and value, i doubt you can go wrong w/ a Lakland of any sort. USA made, and with an eye on classic fendery designs. from the headstock to the body proportions, its fast becoming a great fav.

    for the straight up bling, Sadowsky's are it. its the ferrari of jazz basses for a reason. ;)

    btw & a little OT:

    i recently ordered a Bob Glaub, and should have it in a matter of days! my local dealer had called at just the right moment, cause Dan had just gotten off the phone w/ another dealer who cancelled an order for one. so, instead of waiting 3-5 months, i'm getting my BG in 10 days.

    awww yea... :hyper:
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have a Sadowsky 5-24 and two Lakland 55-94s. Fit-and-finishwise, they are nearly identical. Neither is significantly better than the other. Both basses have superb feel and playability. As for versatility, I prefer the Lakland's 3-band EQ over the Sadowsky's two-band with VTC. The basses have noticeably different tone spectra, both pleasing in their own way. I agree completely with the others who have said play them both and pick the one that sounds best to you. Whichever one you buy, you will own a keeper.
  20. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    There's also Mike Lull........ :bag:

    Anyway, back on topic, you really can't go wrong with either. I myself prefer Laklands because I love their vintage style frets. As far as fit and finish, they are both top notch. Same goes for tone and playability - they are both great.

    Here's a little breakdown:

    Lakland US Bob Glaub P/J
    - Slightly chunkier neck with a P bass width (1.75"), but you can order it with a Joe Osborn Neck which is slimmer and thinner (1.5") like a J bass.
    - Nails the vintage vibe with the awesome sounding Lindy Fralin pickups.
    - Excellent fretwork, small vintage frets
    - Birdseye maple w/ Ebony dots or Indian Rosewood neck w/ Birdseye maple dots
    - More choices of finishes than the Metro
    - Passive, unless you add an aftermarket preamp
    - Dual access bridge (string thru, or top loaded)
    - Hipshot tuners
    - Quartersawn neck w/ graphite reinforcement

    Sadowsky Metro
    - Hum cancelling pickups
    - Excellent clarity of tone, and amazing amounts of bottom. More modern sounding to my ears.
    - Excellent fretwork, medium frets
    - Flatsawn neck (still excellently crafted)
    - Active preamp is standard. VTC is optional
    - Slightly slimmer neck
    - Sadowsky tuners and bridge. Bridge is top loaded
    - Excellent reputation and resale

    Personally, I'd choose the Lakland over the Metro. They have similar prices, but Lakland has some of the extra appointments that the Metro doesn't like the birdseye maple fingerboards and quartersawn reinforced neck. If you want a fancy top and finish for a similar price range with active electronics, consider a Lull. But, if you want the Sadowsky sound, you gotta get a Sadowsky.

    Just my two cents