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Skyline vs. Metro

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by emblymouse, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Both offshore budget productions of fab premium USA basses. How do they compare? I know my Laklands but am Sadowsky ignorant.:meh:
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I've played and owned both. To me, the Sadowsky Metro quality is better than Skylines. I've played a ton of very nice Skylines across all model ranges, and while I honestly believe that Skylines are the best bargain in basses today, they are not without their flaws. I've seen a lot of stuck-out fret ends, and the weight varies all over the place. I've played far fewer Metros, but they've all been very good quality... from what I hear, the quality is very very close to the NYC Sadowskys.

    Of course, Metros also cost more. For my money, I'd get a Skyline of tonal reasons, but I do think that Metros are a bit better built.
  3. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I think the sadowsky metro gets closer to the US version than the Skylines get to their US version. (and I love my Skyline. never owned a Sadowsky, but played plenty of them.)
  4. I have a Skyline BG and I've played a UV70-5 Metro along with a few other Skylines at the Bass Exchange.

    First, I'll say that they are probably not comparable considering that the Metro is ~$1000 more expensive than a Skyline the Metro SHOULD be a better instrument. For the 5 strings I played, the Metro definitely had one of the best B strings I've ever felt. Even with the 35" scale of the Skyline, the Skyline JO5 didn't really compare. The strings on the Metro were a lighter gauge though, so that might have made a difference.

    Were the Metros twice as good as the Skylines ... Well I'll just say, leaving the Bass Exchange got me thinking about getting a Metro.
  5. Laklandlover

    Laklandlover Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA BABY

    I own both and I feel they are 2 different basses. I Bought my Metro M5-24 about a month ago and everything abou it is different. Although I love my 55-02 it is not being played much anymore. The Metro has a more powerful, tighter, hipper sound than my Lakland to the point that I am seeling it.
    So if I were youI would try them both as often as you can. If I had play the Metro first I probably would not own a Lakland.


    Be Blessed
  6. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Having owned both, I would say that they aren't even in the same ballpark. The Skyline was equal to most of the Corts I have played. The Metros were better than any US Fender that I have experience with.

  7. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Wow , I hear ya. They are all active am I right? Is the old school tone available or is it instant Marcus?
  8. rodneyat


    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I have owned both....If you are looking at quality, consistency etc. The Metro is the way to go. If you are looking for a Jazz style bass, you can't go wrong with a Metro. You can get some great bargains on the used market right now and resale on the Sadowsky is going to better, if you are concerned with that.
  9. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    I own a Lakland DJ5 that I love, but I played a metro the other day that made me want to trade my Lakkie in for a Metro.

    I gotsta have one someday!

  10. The Sadowsky basses (Metro and NYC) are active, with passive bypass. They are modern but surely not anything like Marcus Miller's tone. With the stock HC pickups, they are smooth, big down low and rather pure and hi fi up top... not particularly the 'raw Fender with preamp' sort of thing that most define as 'Marcus like'.

    The Sadowsky's don't sound particularly 'Fendery'. They have their own signature 'modern J tone' that a lot of us really dig.

    If you want a high quality, passive J that is quite aggressive, the Skyline Daryl Jones is hard to beat. I agree that most of the Skyline 'line' is further below the Lakland USA models compared to the Metro's versus the NYC Sadowsky basses. But man, that Skyline DJ is among the finest J type basses I've played. I like the 4 string neck profile better than the 5, but they are KILLER for the price, and IMO and IME every bit the quality of a Metro. The 55-02, etc., not so much IMO and IME.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Ken, do you feel the Skyline JO is the same quality as the DJ?
  12. No. I've yet to play a JO that I thought was in the 'Metro' or DJ class. I can't quite put my finger on it. They are great for the price. The DJ's are just simply great. Just IMO there. Something about the feel and fit and finish of the DJ's just makes them feel like $3,000 basses to me.

    Edit: I must admit there was one Skyline JO 5 at Low Down Sound a while back that was on consignment. The owner had swapped the Fralins for the old style Bartolini stacked coil J pickups, and it sounded KILLER. Of course, it didn't particularly sound like a J bass with those pickups, but it was fat and warm and full sounding. Really nice!!!! The other 6 or 7 that came through that shop as new did nothing for me.
  13. Always thought the same. I've yet to see a JO that made me go wow. But I've tried a couple of DJ that really impressed me.

    Back on topic, Metro aren't made to be cheaper instrument or such (like the Skylines which aren't really made by true luthiers). Metro's are supposed to be the same as US Sads (same wood, pu, electronics) but the only thing differing is that the options are limited to produce them without having to wait for orders. They just constantly produce basses for the shops. But the guy making them in Japan were hand selected by Roger to be the best guy he could find from Japan to work on them.
  14. phatduckk


    May 24, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I cant compare the 2 cuz I've never played a skyline but I do have a Sadowsky Metro and it's a pretty killer bass. great fit n finish... and sound's subjective, but I like it a lot :)
  15. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Don't forget, this is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

    The Metros are built in a small Japanese shop to Roger's exact specs, whereas the Skylines are mass produced and built on an assembly line, then shipped to the Lakland shop in Chicago for electronics and the setup. Two very different processes, which explains the price differential.

  16. Yawn.......this has been debated here MANY times.

    Skyline: Production line built basses built in a factory. Great basses for the money.
    Some are very killer. Like the hollow body Skyline- WHEW!!!!

    Metro: Hand built by a small shop of guys personally trained by Roger Sadowsky. You want the "Sadowsky" sound, but don't need a fancy top or your hearts desire of wood combo's- ash/maple or alder/rosewood is perfect, even Roger himself will tell you to get a Metro.

    Yes they are both "offshore". The Metro series isn't going after the same share of the market as the Skyline is.
    Apples to oranges IMO.
  17. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    So it's not as direct a comparison as I thought. I went to the Sadowsky site and saw the Japan/Metro link. A seriously freaky crew! I'd bet they know their stuff.
    Are their necks quartersawn? I ask because Skylines are not, but US Laklands are. They are just beautiful feeling necks! Even though I get the good guy price I still can't swing a US model, hence this inquiry. It appears a Metro is middle ground quality-wise from what you all are saying.

  18. All Sadowsky's (NYC and Metro) are flat sawn, in keeping with the 'Fender tradition' thing. The necks are among the stiffest and most stable that I've experienced. The NYC Sadowsky basses have graphite reinforcement, the Metro's do not.
  19. Middle ground? :confused: No, it's top quality. Compared to my Smith and my Dingwall it's right up there.
  20. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    It's funny that you say that. the interesting thing is the best Skyline JO's I've ever played were fivers. In fact most of the JO Skyline fours I've played have been like, meh. LDS had a JO 5 right when they first opened that killed. And I'm still kicking myself for not buying that passive one with Barts that your talking about. The DJ's on the other hand seem to come into their own as four strings, the fivers have neck profile issues, although I heard Lakland was changing that. The DJ's are truly great passive basses, and really nail that passive 70's vibe (think Vedine White not Marcus).

    Does anyone have an opinion on the new Skylines (DJ and JO) with the Lakland pickups? I also heard they changed the neck profile on DJ 5. As far as JO's I've played a few killer 4 US models that really nail 60's Jazz, one was owned by Lenny Kravitz's old bassist (red matching headstock). The RW/Alder JO US Laklands are very cool.

    As far as a comparison, the Metro's are really in a different league in both fit and finish then the Skylines. Although both are excellent values. In most cases I would take a Skyline over a comparable US Fender, although I haven't played many 09 Fenders (I hear the QC has really improved).

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