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Sibob

Lakland Appreciation Thread

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Hi all,

Seeing as I have a particular penchant for Lakland basses, it was suggested that I might start somewhat of an 'appreciation' thread for Lakland Basses, as we have for a few other brands.
This isn't quite the 'porn' thread that we have in the gear forum (although please do feel free to post your Lakland bass pics here too), but a bit of an information resource, chats about what you'd love to order, dream basses etc etc.

While I don't represent Lakland on any level, I am a big fan, and know a fair bit about their processes and capabilities (custom-shop etc), so happy to answer any questions on that front.

With that in mind, and without having too prescriptive a brief for the thread, have at it :)

Here are my current crop, with my oft-commented on 'signature' passive P/J 44-94 (it's not a real sig as you might have guessed, I just like to call it that haha):
L-R: Skyline DJ5, US 44-94, US 44-64, Skyline 55-01

IMG_5436.thumb.jpg.f98fbf772728c1523e20404f4ae64900.jpg

Si

 

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Lakland are fantastic instruments.

This US 55-94D was my main bass for nearly 14 years. It wasn't the lightest bass I've owned, but in the end it had to go so I could save my shoulder and back. It was a very sad day when I boxed it up and handed it over to FedEx. 

image.thumb.jpeg.f95aabc1d6031851b6ce3a096445eedc.jpeg

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Here's my 55-01 with switched out electronics. My first serious venture into 5ers. Previously any time I tried getting into 5ers I'd be drawn to my 4s..most of them are locked away. 

These are not only aesthetically pleasing but play fantastic. Great balance,  super nice, flat necks and the replacement preamp and pick ups provide a fantastic tonal range. 

The Skyline models are another of the entry model ranges that deserve more respect. 

More than happy to recommend them to anyone considering thinking of getting one. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Love the look of that 44-64, Si, right up my street that is.

Edited by Lozz196
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...and he's just up the road so you can borrow it..🤩

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My only current lakland, my 55 14. I've had 5 skylines before this, brilliant basses and the mm/j combo can cover any tone needed! The skyline necks are excellent but the US ones are a different level 😍

DSC_0787.JPG

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8 hours ago, Bassman666 said:

My only current lakland, my 55 14. I've had 5 skylines before this, brilliant basses and the mm/j combo can cover any tone needed! The skyline necks are excellent but the US ones are a different level 😍

DSC_0787.JPG

Totally agree with you on the necks. Although I have to say that I’ve never liked pickguards on their 44-xx/55-xx models, just my personal preference.

Si

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To be honest my thoughts on which I prefer change weekly. One week the pickguard is the best thing since sliced bread, a week later I'm in favour of ye olde natural!

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End of 2019 I see a bass advertised that looks nice but discount it as it’s a 5 string. It’s also in the next village from where I work.

So my first 5 string. Was really struggling with the preamp (to the point I was going to sell the bass) but liked it enough to try switching in a East Uni pre which transformed it. It just sounds great and for the same level as my Sadowsky metro sounds a lot louder - big wide warm low mids with a lot of harmonic richness coming from the bartolini pickups
_DSF5971.thumb.JPG.dc50bcdc003badaf82e6b193a93edf4a.JPG_DSF5972.thumb.JPG.3daa9f18dd7a1ed995d871bf9e655157.JPG_DSF5973.thumb.JPG.23cb5132aeb3cc5eb092de38f7c7cea5.JPG_DSF5974.thumb.JPG.78667ee71b483f69fd834f3b13c5dc27.JPG_DSF5975.thumb.JPG.23943b2acf998efe3c4f2ce807e0e3c7.JPG_DSF5977.thumb.JPG.d7c842ac04e1dd11f2a05df3e37847df.JPG_DSF5978.thumb.JPG.5238e6854a2f36b32756ba54ea53d2ee.JPG

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I'm really happy that this thread appeared - as a proud owner of a 55-02 I'm surprised that there is not much Lakland love on this site. I wonder why? Is it that they are just not popular, or that it is our hidden secret?

I picked mine up second hand about a year ago, as I wanted a bass that would be an easy transition between 4 to 5, and most 5ers have much more narrow string spacing. Played a few of them in the Bass Gallery and fell in love with the neck and the tone. For quality is easily on par with my MIA Fender Jazz. It is so rich and full in tone. It doesn't have a unique tone, I admit - It doesn't imitate other basses - rather it gets in the ballpark but then adds some high-fidelity with the LH3 preamp. Compared to other 35" scale basses it doesn't feel all that different to 34" (that said, technical playing down the lower frets does feel a little bit of a stretch and can be a bit tiring).

One thing I have noticed is that most of the 55-02s I see around on the web are on maple fretboards - it's almost like this is the default fretboard material for 55-02s. But interesting that many Lakies on this thread are rosewood. I always wonder whether the maple is that much better for this pickup combo (and no, I don't want to get into that debate)? 

Anyway, thanks for the thread!

Toby

WIN_20210502_13_23_31_Pro.jpg

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I'm in, I have two Skyline's & if one of these with the ebony board ever turns up on the UK market I'll have three 😁

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1 hour ago, Horizontalste said:

I'm in, I have two Skyline's & if one of these with the ebony board ever turns up on the UK market I'll have three

I would have preferred an ebony board on my Lakland. IMO they just look great.

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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

I would have preferred an ebony board on my Lakland. IMO they just look great.

Totally agree, unfortunately tho it's only ever fretless ebony Laklands I see on sale here.

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I really want to get hold of a 44-01 fretless, possibly a 44-02, but they’re pretty rare now it seems.
Something like these:

D93911E4-FF08-4140-BE9D-92A43A54239C.jpeg.e9cfe3a131383d76c9875b5a7c38a340.jpeg

3E475F9E-0BFE-4C98-B5F0-03C8613D036E.jpeg.d274b0cc66778381fedab3b7ecf6bfd3.jpeg
 

Also really want to get a Hollowbody shortscale in black:

E19271BD-4DF9-4896-BA72-904D28094E20.jpeg.65d8c873e41aaf9e65775db95160614a.jpeg

Si

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Dear Santa......

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Posted (edited)

I've just noticed from this photo that the headstock on the 4s seem off centre (check the dark bit above the nut) where the 5ers don't.

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In fact, doing a comparison the lines are different. The lower curve on the 4 being much higher. I hadn't noticed this before.

Edited by TheGreek

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13 hours ago, Sibob said:

I really want to get hold of a 44-01 fretless, possibly a 44-02, but they’re pretty rare now it seems.
Something like these:

D93911E4-FF08-4140-BE9D-92A43A54239C.jpeg.e9cfe3a131383d76c9875b5a7c38a340.jpeg

3E475F9E-0BFE-4C98-B5F0-03C8613D036E.jpeg.d274b0cc66778381fedab3b7ecf6bfd3.jpeg
 

Also really want to get a Hollowbody shortscale in black:

E19271BD-4DF9-4896-BA72-904D28094E20.jpeg.65d8c873e41aaf9e65775db95160614a.jpeg

Si

I love that black short scale ! Never seen one in that colour before.

I really like Lakland basses, and regarding the fretless versions, I've got a 44-02 Deluxe fretless with an epoxy- coated  ebony fingerboard and it's a wonderful bass. Lightweight, easy to play and with loads of really useful fretless tones. Does the Musicman thing, does the Jazz Bass thing and lots of other sounds of its own as well. I  usually use the front coil of the humbucker with the mids and highs slightly boosted  to get a uniquely Lakland  kind of a sound and it really cuts through the mix.

I'm a big fan of Lakland pickups too. I think they are very underrated. To my ears they sound as good as anything on the market, and they help give Lakland basses their own distinctive personality. I love the ChiSonics and the NeoPunch P Bass for passive basses, and the MM humbucker on the active ones sounds great as well. It's not quite as heavy in the bottom end as a Musicman, but it's got a bit more midrange support.

I suppose another thing that defines Lakland basses is the small vintage-style frets. They give the basses a different feel, and some would argue a slightly different sound, i.e a bit more woody , for want of a better term. They don't suit every taste, but I have learnt to love them.

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2 hours ago, Misdee said:

I love that black short scale ! Never seen one in that colour before.

I really like Lakland basses, and regarding the fretless versions, I've got a 44-02 Deluxe fretless with an epoxy- coated  ebony fingerboard and it's a wonderful bass. Lightweight, easy to play and with loads of really useful fretless tones. Does the Musicman thing, does the Jazz Bass thing and lots of other sounds of its own as well. I  usually use the front coil of the humbucker with the mids and highs slightly boosted  to get a uniquely Lakland  kind of a sound and it really cuts through the mix.

I'm a big fan of Lakland pickups too. I think they are very underrated. To my ears they sound as good as anything on the market, and they help give Lakland basses their own distinctive personality. I love the ChiSonics and the NeoPunch P Bass for passive basses, and the MM humbucker on the active ones sounds great as well. It's not quite as heavy in the bottom end as a Musicman, but it's got a bit more midrange support.

I suppose another thing that defines Lakland basses is the small vintage-style frets. They give the basses a different feel, and some would argue a slightly different sound, i.e a bit more woody , for want of a better term. They don't suit every taste, but I have learnt to love them.

Well if you ever want to sell the fretless 😄.
Got a picture?

Si

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Posted (edited)

Really helpful to have the collective wisdom of Basschat re: Lakland in one place - whilst the Lakland site is pretty good, there's some information that I've struggled to find in the past.  I have just one Lakland now, a 44-64 with a J taper neck and bound fingerboard, large pearl dots and factory Lollar pickup.  A really lovely P bass with extraordinary playability.  I've had a 44-64 PJ (J taper) and a JO in the past - both superb instruments.  As I suspect with many others, it's the necks that set Laklands apart - for me, the best Fender type necks available.  The only necks that have come close were a Sei J and a Celinder P (with a J taper neck).  The less attractive element of Lakland Fender types for me is the body contouring.  All of the Laklands I've had have sported rather 'blocky' bodies - the edge carving is somewhat minimal for my taste and the tummy and elbow carving is quite shallow.  I much prefer the organic 'sea-washed' pebble contouring that one sometimes finds on older vintage Fenders.  That said, not a big deal aesthetically.  The other thing that I love about Laklands is the original (?) cream case.  I had one in perfect condition and stupidly sold it.  I'm always on the lookout for another      

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Edited by three
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I had a 5502 Skyline. I went out fiver shopping and tried many at The Gallery in my price range, the Lakland was the only one that ticked all the boxes (just needed a truss rod tweak from their workshop to make it the winner by far). However, in the band situation live, whilst being totally acceptable and fitting in well, failed to excite. In retrospect, perhaps I should've swapped out the pickups for some Nordys, or something to make it tickle me in all the right places and put that big grin on my face that I need for a keeper. If I were looking fives again, I'd rather like to get a 5501 in cream and swap out the pickups for some Big Singles/Splits.

I'm sure my bandmates were shaking their heads when my 5502 went the way of so many other basses (but I don't regret it), but at least I still have the memories in photographic form...

 

5502 2.jpeg

5502 1.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Horizontalste said:

Did someone say Cream? With Big Singles?

 

You won't be disappointed!

IMG_20200609_182559.jpg

Hubba, hubba 😍.

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5 minutes ago, TobyC said:

That is sweet! If it had an extra string I might be all over it!

 

There's a nice purple 55=02 in Guitar Guitar at the minute with the ebony board. I keep looking at it but always talk myself out of it.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ezbass said:

If I were looking fives again, I'd rather like to get a 5501 in cream and swap out the pickups for some Big Singles/Splits

This is on Reverb currently (nothing to do with me), near Chelmsford:

https://reverb.com/item/40217240-lakland-55-01-skyline-2020-cream?utm_source=rev-ios-app&utm_medium=ios-share&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=40217240

I briefly enquired, but will just stick with, and mod, my Black/Maple 55-01. Seems like he might go down on price a little, it weighs 4.5kg.

Si

Edited by Sibob
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