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Lakland quality

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When they released the Fender Okoume jazz, the promo pics had a very badly mismatched body.

Edit -> You can't see the pic? Ok, I'll try a different one

highlight-electric-deluxe-okoume-body.jp

lg_1_1_433755.jpg

Edited by Doctor J

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I've had a total of 6 laklands (2 USA and 4 Korean skyline models). All the skyline models have been the older Korean versions (now made in Indonesia) which I could not fault. Both my USA ones had very slight paint wear/damage around the neck bolt heads. Obviously where the bolts are wound in must have rubbed slightly on entry. The first one I bought new from guitarguitar who when I contacted them about it were excellent and organised getting it collected and sent back to lakland who happily refinished it FOC. My current one I got used and it is a stunning bass. Lakland customer service/relations are excellent and the owner is even active on there owners page on Facebook. I would happily recommend lakland to any player and wouldn't let one bad experienceput you off as you'll be missing out! 

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Last year I was briefly in the market for a Lakland DJ5 in the natural finish, and GuitarGuitar were my first port of call, since they tend to have a good stock of Laklands. It looked like they had several in stock across their various branches so I thought I’d be cheeky and ask if they’d be able to send me photos and weights of all the natural DJ5s they had in stock.

To my surprise they did it, no questions asked! So I could choose the bass which had the nicest grain and/or weighed the least. They even then shipped my favourite of the DJ5s to my nearest branch (in exchange for a small refundable deposit) so I could test it in the flesh. At no point was I pressured to purchase the bass.

Have to say, I was most impressed by that level of customer service.

And I didn’t even buy it in the end xD

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On 05/10/2020 at 12:29, wateroftyne said:

I'm still amazed that a bass built on a production line in Indonesia can cost 1200 quid.

Does where it's made/what nationality makes it really make a difference to what I imagine is a pretty standard CNC machining process? I appreciate  there is a big premium to US made product but what difference can one American make over an Indonesian?

That said, I am more snobbish about acoustics than electrics/basses because of the extent of individual craftmanship needed.

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4 minutes ago, TJ1 said:

Does where it's made/what nationality makes it really make a difference to what I imagine is a pretty standard CNC machining process? I appreciate  there is a big premium to US made product but what difference can one American make over an Indonesian?

That said, I am more snobbish about acoustics than electrics/basses because of the extent of individual craftmanship needed.

Are you being serious? Why do you think Fender etc. shipped manufacturing to the Far East..?

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1 minute ago, wateroftyne said:

Are you being serious? Why do you think Fender etc. shipped manufacturing to the Far East..?

I'd imagine labour is much cheaper, but, again, on a standardised, well controlled production line - why is nationality/location important?

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15 minutes ago, TJ1 said:

I'd imagine labour is much cheaper, but, again, on a standardised, well controlled production line - why is nationality/location important?

In addition, cheap local raw materials. Cheaper infrastructure. Cheaper loads of other stuff, probably.

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8 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

In addition, cheap local raw materials. Cheaper infrastructure. Cheaper loads of other stuff, probably.

Yes this could be a practical consideration. But all other things being equal, in terms of value for money I'd go for the Indonesian made over the American. I think a US made Lakland costs over 3,000 and my understanding is that the pick ups are the same as the 1200 Asian ones.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, TJ1 said:

Yes this could be a practical consideration. But all other things being equal, in terms of value for money I'd go for the Indonesian made over the American. I think a US made Lakland costs over 3,000 and my understanding is that the pick ups are the same as the 1200 Asian ones

Ive owned a few of the cheaper Lakland p and J basses and they are great value for money.

I now have 2 Lakland Bob Glaub USA basses and the build quality is chalk and cheese. They are a much, much better instrument in both feel and sound. Thats in my most humble opinion. 

Edited by walshy
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Interesting....I'm very happy with my Skyline 55-01 despite people advising the need to change the pick ups and pre-amp - both of which the previous owner had upgraded.

How is the USA "better" than the Indonesian?

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13 hours ago, walshy said:

Ive owned a few of the cheaper Lakland p and J basses and they are great value for money.

I now have 2 Lakland Bob Glaub USA basses and the build quality is chalk and cheese. They are a much, much better instrument in both feel and sound. Thats in my most humble opinion. 

+1

Having owned Skyline series Laklands in the past, I was really impressed by the quality - I'd have no problem owning and playing one again and secretly keep an eye open for one I let go of over a decade ago. 

However, having played one of @walshy's USA Bob Glaub models, I was a really impressed. Had it not been a bass close to his heart, I would have had it off him.... and I'm not a 4 string player!

Now it may just be a special bass, but I really like Lakland basses and quality shows across the product range!  

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I have had A lakland 55-01 and a US Joe Osborne. Both were excellent basses. Some years ago I was in a shop in Dublin where there was a used but immaculate US made Darryl Jones 4 string. Without doubt the nicest bass I ever had in my hands.

Weight, balance, finish and the feel of the neck was outstanding. The salesman asked me would I like to plug  it in and I refused, knowing that if it sounded as good as it felt in my hands, I would have to take it home. The deal breaker was the fact that I had just taken delivery of an NYC Sadowsky the previous day and could not justify another significant purchase. 

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17 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Interesting....I'm very happy with my Skyline 55-01 despite people advising the need to change the pick ups and pre-amp - both of which the previous owner had upgraded.

How is the USA "better" than the Indonesian?

When you see the necks, you'll immediately get it. Poly vs oiled finish - and quarter sawn vs flatsawn. I guess the rest of it down to licensed vs US hardware... and the fact one is subject to US manufacturing costs and the other isn't. The US market are very keen to buy US - even if that means paying a lot more for minimal gains it would seem.

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For what it’s worth, my near £2.5k Xotic XJ has an oiled neck finish. I much prefer it to poly, personally.

Oil vs. poly necks can’t be a reason for stating one bass is more premium than another, surely?

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, CameronJ said:

For what it’s worth, my near £2.5k Xotic XJ has an oiled neck finish. I much prefer it to poly, personally.

Oil vs. poly necks can’t be a reason for stating one bass is more premium than another, surely?

You wouldn't have thought so. But people do. I guess its the time involved on building up the coats over time as opposed to spraying poly.

 

Either that, or marketing.

Edited by EBS_freak

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You’d think the same argument would apply to oil/satin vs poly/gloss finish on bodies then, but I’ve never seen that myself. And I I can’t say I’ve ever seen a guitar manufacturer claim a poly finished neck to be a premium feature.

In reality it’s down to personal taste and whether it fits the feel and aesthetic of the rest of the instrument. You’re far more likely to see a gloss bodied guitar with an oil neck than a satin bodied guitar with a poly neck. The latter would seem a bit weird to me. Obviously nobody would bat an eyelid at poly on poly and oil on oil.

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20 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

In addition, cheap local raw materials. Cheaper infrastructure. Cheaper loads of other stuff, probably.

A lot of people fall for this old chestnut and actually believe it to be true. The reason why manufacturing has shifted to the East is NOT primarily because of cost. That's just one factor. The main factor is the availability of talent and the value chains within a small localised area. That doesn't exist in Europe or the USA.

Another old chestnut that people, even now, continue to believe, is that products made in China/Indonesia/Vietnam are of poor quality. The truth of the matter is that the quality is determined not by where it's made, but by what the (Western) parent company has asked of it. If they ask for low cost skimping on this and that, that's what they get. If they ask for a well made product, that's what they get.
 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

A lot of people fall for this old chestnut and actually believe it to be true. The reason why manufacturing has shifted to the East is NOT primarily because of cost. That's just one factor.

...but a pretty big one. They wouldn't move there if it was less cost-effective, would they?

 

3 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

Another old chestnut that people, even now, continue to believe, is that products made in China/Indonesia/Vietnam are of poor quality. 

Not a chestnut you'll hear from me. But I do believe QC can suffer (*points finger at parent company*).

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1 minute ago, TheLowDown said:

Another old chestnut that people, even now, continue to believe, is that products made in China/Indonesia/Vietnam are of poor quality. The truth of the matter is that the quality is determined not by where it's made, but by what the (Western) parent company has asked of it. If they ask for low cost skimping on this and that, that's what they get. If they ask for a well made product, that's what they get.
 

100% agree.

Let’s not forget that Apple products are made in China, yet they are regarded as being a premium product with a price to match.

All of the Lakland Skylines I’ve laid my hands on have had top quality fit & finish. I would have serious difficulty justifying spending 2 or 3 times more for a USA version.

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When I bought my old Skyline 5502 from The Gallery, I tried a whole slew of premium 5 stringers before settling on the the Lakland. This included, amongst others, Sadowsky, EBMM and Dingwall. The 5502 was the best sounding and the nicest to play that day and it came home with me.

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20 minutes ago, ezbass said:

When I bought my old Skyline 5502 from The Gallery, I tried a whole slew of premium 5 stringers before settling on the the Lakland. This included, amongst others, Sadowsky, EBMM and Dingwall. The 5502 was the best sounding and the nicest to play that day and it came home with me.

Were you able to compare the Skyline directly against a USA made Lakland?

For me there's something intriguling attractive about a guitar costs £3,000,(but looks the same/similar to a £1,000 one), for me this price tag spells mysterious, untold magic.

 

But, then I am idiot.

 

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36 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

A lot of people fall for this old chestnut and actually believe it to be true. The reason why manufacturing has shifted to the East is NOT primarily because of cost.

Seriously?

The reason that manufacturing moves from a "western" country to any country in Asia is 100% about cost. Low wages, non-existent workers rights, low taxes etc. The Chinese can put a man on the Moon, and get him back again. There's nothing wrong with Chinese ability, but their workers are on very low wages and in the case of the Uighurs, probably no wages at all. The reason the Cort factory moved from South Korea to Indonesia was poor working conditions, low wages and aggressive management. So low wages, poor factory conditions and, lack of workers rights are the reason we have low cost items in our shops. 

I was made redundant in 2005, when my job was outsourced to South Africa. I told my manager that I would work for the same salary as the South Africans, and was told, I could work for nothing and, with all the regulatory stuff, NI, sick and holiday pay etc, I would still be too expensive in comparison.

Old chestnut my derrière.

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I would be interested to hear @three's thoughts on the differences between the USA and Skyline basses. The USA I bought from him is just stunningly good, clearly better in fit and finish than the couple of Skyline's I've tried since, but I'm aware that's only a couple of comparisons so I don't think I'm in a position to judge.

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