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Johngh

Lakland quality

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I recently bought a new Lakland Darryl Jones Natural 5 string from Guitarguitar. 
When it was delivered I took it out of the box all exited like, as you do. 
The body was it turns out made of  2 pieces, the book matching was awful. For a £1200 bass it was shocking.

Never even plugged it in, sent a mail to Guitarguitar and got a phone call within 5 minutes of sending the mail. They were brilliant, took the Lakland back and I’ve had a new Fender Jazz ultra bass American 5 string which is awesome. 
 

God knows who’s in charge of Lakland quality, it’s shocking. 

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Is that seriously all that was wrong - that the body was made of two pieces of wood?  That’s hardly unusual.

What about the rest of it, the stuff that matters - the fit of the neck pocket, the nut, the fretwork, the electronics, the general build quality, and how it sounded?

 

 

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I'm having serious thoughts about grabbing one.

Love the looks, love the tonal palette and heard nothing but good things about the playability.

Hope that your experience is an exception.

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18 minutes ago, bassbiscuits said:

Is that seriously all that was wrong - that the body was made of two pieces of wood?  That’s hardly unusual.

What about the rest of it, the stuff that matters - the fit of the neck pocket, the nut, the fretwork, the electronics, the general build quality, and how it sounded?

 

 

If you think it’s acceptable to pay £1200 for a bass that looks rubbish then fine, in 40 years of playing bass it’s the worst one I’ve seen by a mile. 

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I had a couple of 5501s, and (debatably) the neck was out on both of them in that where the neck meets the body on the underside there's a small lip. Everything else was lined up accordingly so they played fine, but this meant that the A string didn't consistently line up with the central dot markers on the neck. It bugged the hell out of me to the point I got rid of them. Every 5501 I've seen is the same. Otherwise they were great. I was looking at a 5502 too but found that was the same. I guess they're marketed at people less anal than me. 🤣

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Have a look at some old Fenders for shonky neck pockets, yet nobody blinks an eye over paying ludicrous sums for them, regardless.

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I bought a Fender Elite Precision from Guitar Guitar. It has an ebony fretboard. The fretboard is all black except for a weird pink grain, at about the 12th fret, it really bugs me. The guitarist in my band pointed it out and he likes it. 

I suppose if it ever gets stolen, I'll be able to identify it easily enough.

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Posted (edited)
On 03/10/2020 at 20:34, Johngh said:

If you think it’s acceptable to pay £1200 for a bass that looks rubbish then fine, in 40 years of playing bass it’s the worst one I’ve seen by a mile. 

WOW..  40 years of playing and its a 2 piece body and your shocked and never even plugged the bass in. I would be amazed if its that bad. Got any pics.? Lakland are usually awesome on their build quality. Hey guess what some fenders are 4 piece bodies. 

Edited by bubinga5
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7 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

WOW..  40 years of playing and its a 2 piece book match body and your shocked and never even plugged the bass in. I would be amazed if its that bad. Got any pics.? Lakland are usually awesome on their build quality. Hey guess what some fenders are 4 piece bodies. 

Be amazed then ! Sorry no photos 

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Posted (edited)

I mean, bad book-matching of bodies and tops annoys me a bit, but it happens frequently on £3k plus Les Paul guitars though so it isn’t always a sign that the whole instrument has been constructed shoddily.

A natural or transparent finish is going make the body joins very obvious unless the matching is done very well. Obviously here it appears it wasn’t. However, I would probably at least plug it to see what the other QC was like in terms of general fit and finish and fretwork and at least take a photo of the top to attach to the resultant email to Guitar Guitar detailing that ‘this is not acceptable on a bass at this price point’.  

If the top just looked awful I probably wouldn’t keep it either to be honest, unless it was so bad and not matching I thought it looked cool.

To me the Fender Ultra should be a better instrument but it is priced accordingly so for me it isn’t a like for like comparison. So long as the OP is happy with the bass they ended up with though that is the main thing. Those ultra Fenders look like cracking instruments.

Edited by thodrik
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8 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

WOW..  40 years of playing and its a 2 piece book match body and your shocked and never even plugged the bass in. I would be amazed if its that bad. Got any pics.? Lakland are usually awesome on their build quality. Hey guess what some fenders are 4 piece bodies. 

In all fairness its johngh's 1200 quid so if he's not happy it's up to him if he wants to send it back 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Johngh said:

If you think it’s acceptable to pay £1200 for a bass that looks rubbish then fine, in 40 years of playing bass it’s the worst one I’ve seen by a mile. 

Sorry - I didn’t mean to sound harsh. If you’re unhappy with it then that’s reason enough to send it back. It’s your money after all.

The use of multiple pieces of wood, not always brilliantly matched, is far from rare in mass produced instruments and doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Glad the shop was happy to take it back tho. 

Edited by bassbiscuits

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Johngh said:

The body was it turns out made of  2 pieces, the book matching was awful.

Probably because it wasn't. Book matching, in luthiery, is usually only done with decorative tops and veneers - which are split along the length, and then folded open like a book so the two pieces exactly mirror eachother.

Two-piece bodies are the norm in solid body bass and guitar building (and often more pieces, Fender has already been mentioned). I can imagine it being disappointing if the wood selection doesn't match up to the price point, and maybe the body on yours was better suited for a solid colour. But then again these new Skylines are Indonesian factory-made, and not built by a skilled luthier who loves his job and takes great pride in his product. I think you can hardly blame that on quality control, that has much more to do with fit, finish and playability. 

Edited by LeftyJ
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Seems to me the OP just doesn't like the look of that bass. Which is fine.

IMO there is no reasonable way to extrapolate that dislike out and start questioning the quality and build of a manufacturers whole output.

Lakland is a quality act, but we are talking about a manufacturing process and in QC things can slip through the net. You can even order a bass and not like the look of it when it arrives. Is that covered by QC?

The OP is happy now, ironically, with a bass from a company that historically has had serious QC issues.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Seems to me the OP just doesn't like the look of that bass. Which is fine.

IMO there is no reasonable way to extrapolate that dislike out and start questioning the quality and build of a manufacturers whole output.

Lakland is a quality act, but we are talking about a manufacturing process and in QC things can slip through the net. You can even order a bass and not like the look of it when it arrives. Is that covered by QC?

The OP is happy now, ironically, with a bass from a company that historically has had serious QC issues.

This about sums it up. Plus, as mentioned, it seems the OP has misunderstood the meaning of ‘book matching’ in it’s usual context. Slating a manufacturer for something that you personally don’t like the look of, is a little odd. Sounds like it’s personal taste and nothing more. Is it this one that they now have on offer?

 

74B73198-3629-4792-BAD2-261460B4BCE7.jpeg

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker

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Obviously without a photo no-one can form an opinion as to whether the “quality” is or is not acceptable for a £1,200 bass. Fender, Warwick and many other manufacturers make basses where the body is made of 2, 3 or more pieces, and quite often the grain is not matched at all and doesn’t look great. I had a candy apple red precision where, when the light hit the body at an angle you could see the wood joins very clearly, and most of their American basses with natural finish have little or no grain matching and odd body joins, suggesting that any old bits of wood have been stuck together. And that’s instruments costing 50% more than this Lakland. 
Wood rarely has a consistent grain, even in the same tree, so with reduced wood stocks worldwide over time it’s not a surprise that maybe the wood isn’t available at this price point (or at anything below high-end prices).

What I’m less clear about is how this impacts Lakland’s quality as a brand. But as I said, a picture paints a thousand words. Odd you didn’t take one if it was so bad?

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To be fair In my recent 70s fender quest I saw some natural bodies where the woods looked completely different , to the extent that they looked like ‘cut and shut’ jobs. Some had woods that reacted to the light differently so at some angles they looked similar but tilt it one way and the top half is totally different. It put me off definitely. Those ones should be painted!

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6 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

This about sums it up. Plus, as mentioned, it seems the OP has misunderstood the meaning of ‘book matching’ in it’s usual context. Slating a manufacturer for something that you personally don’t like the look of, is a little odd. Sounds like it’s personal taste and nothing more. Is it this one that they now have on offer?

 

74B73198-3629-4792-BAD2-261460B4BCE7.jpeg

Didn't we have a thread a year or so ago, where someone didn't like the way the grain fell on the 2 body pieces of a naturally finished bass? I guess wood goes further if you make something out of multiple smaller pieces. That matters to some people and no to others. 

There's a great bass out there for everyone, you just got to keep looking. It's good that the OP has found that bass.

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An example from the interwebs 

(NOT a Lakland)

0EDB9532-7CF3-4549-AA7B-90909643937F.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

I've just gone to look at my natural finish DJ5 as I'd not ever seen a join line, turns put it's a three piece body, but the grain lines have been very well matched and I could only tell from looking very closely at the end of the bass.

So, suffice to say, Lakland Skyline can do it, it's just unfortunate that this time they did not.

I love mine, so it's a shame the OP's didn't work out, glad he's happy now though.

Edited by Graham
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55 minutes ago, ped said:

To be fair In my recent 70s fender quest I saw some natural bodies where the woods looked completely different , to the extent that they looked like ‘cut and shut’ jobs. Some had woods that reacted to the light differently so at some angles they looked similar but tilt it one way and the top half is totally different. It put me off definitely. Those ones should be painted!

Exactly Ped, this one should have been painted for sure

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44 minutes ago, ped said:

An example from the interwebs 

 

0EDB9532-7CF3-4549-AA7B-90909643937F.jpeg

TBH that’s not far off how mine was only on the other side of the body

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

This about sums it up. Plus, as mentioned, it seems the OP has misunderstood the meaning of ‘book matching’ in it’s usual context. Slating a manufacturer for something that you personally don’t like the look of, is a little odd. Sounds like it’s personal taste and nothing more. Is it this one that they now have on offer?

 

74B73198-3629-4792-BAD2-261460B4BCE7.jpeg

I actually thought it was this one I was buying, they had 2, I must have had the other one obviously 

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2 minutes ago, Johngh said:

I actually thought it was this one I was buying, they had 2, I must have had the other one obviously 

I was gonna say, that one actually looks alright. As long as it’s sorted for you, that’s all that counts 👍

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