LAKLAND USA VS SKYLINE?

Discussion in 'Bass Central' started by Beaver Felton, Jul 3, 2007.


  1. Beaver Felton

    Beaver Felton

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    Feb 25, 2006
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    Bass Central
    Anyone care to share their opinion on the diff. between the Lakland USA and Skyline models? We get asked about this every day and while we can give our take on it, I'd like to hear some of your experiences/thoughts....
    :confused:
     
  2. saxnbass

    saxnbass

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    Mar 9, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
    They're both great; Skyline is more affordable and built overseas, though great sound and great build quality. USA is built domestically and has more options. USA uses nicer woods, has more finish availabilities, slightly upgrade in hardware and electronics, and has a bone nut. You really can't go wrong with either one.
     
  3. Beaver Felton

    Beaver Felton

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    Bass Central
    Yeah, as their #1 Dealer for the last decade, I'm aware of the physical diffs, but was trying to get opinions on sonic comparisons, and/or perceived value of the two. I agree, they're both great.....
     
  4. grayhawk1853

    grayhawk1853

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    Leesburg, Florida
    The way someone else here stated the difference is "A Skyline is all you'll ever need, an American is all you could ever want." I would agree with this.
     
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  6. saxnbass

    saxnbass

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    Ah. OK. Umm.....I guess that very much differs on the model and pickups and electronics....
     
  7. saxnbass

    saxnbass

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    I agree with this too. That's a good quote. If I had room in my signature, that would go in it.
     
  8. jazzy grille

    jazzy grille - Arrogant Bastard

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    Aug 15, 2006
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    Palm Bay, Florida
    I have a skyline JO 4 and a friend of mine has a JO5 American. We both have maple boards and the only real differences are the fact that he has a Birdseye maple board and its a custom shop color. I think his has the Lindy Fralin pickups and mine are the Lakland brand pups. Anyway, they sound almost identical, there are little differences here and there but for the most part they sound identical (both basses are passive as well).

    Now as for fit and finish.. The USA takes the cake, but the skyline is better than most American Fenders I have ever played. The fret work on the Skyline is for lack of a better word perfect. Of course the Lakland USA has got it going on as far as the looks, but almost everything else that really matters is just about the same level of quality on the skyline (frets, neck, quality components used..etc), except I think the nut is made out of something different on the USA and the tuners might be a little better on the USA as well. (not that the ones on the Skyline are bad)

    Basically if you dont need a custom color dont hesitate to get a skyline.. :D
     
  9. BassikLee

    BassikLee

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    Deltona, FL
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    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I agree, the Skyline series is everything a person needs in a bass, and then some. The fit/finish is great, the feel is there, etc. The US models have arguably "better" wood, but what does that mean anyway?? Leo's wood choices for the basses that are now the "Holy Grail" basses, often fetching as much $$ as a decent automobile, were bases on "cheap" in the first place! I'd say for a working guy, a pair of Skyline basses beats a single US, and is still less money! :)

    Lee
     
  10. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

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    Jul 6, 2001
    Location:
    Clinton, MD
    and this is only MY opinion, the skylines are cheaper for a reason....don't know if it's the electronics, the wood, the pups, or what, but the average USA 55-94 spanks the pants off any skyline any day. In tone, in feel, in mojo, call it what you want, but you get what you pay for. There is a reason the 55-94's cost more, and there is a reason they sound better. It's in the fingers and the tone.

    They don't sound the same... the skyline's sound thinner and less meaty... could be my ears, but I've done the A/B thing at least 5 times looking for a reason to buy a Skyline and NOT hold out for a 55-94... everytime. I've come away with the same result... the 55-94's are simply better basses.

    Bottom line.

    Hope I don't get flamed too much,

    and I am sorry if I offended any skyline owners...not my intent, but again I say, you get what you pay for.

    Skylines are still good basses. USA's are more on a pro's level.
     
  11. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

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    New Orleans, LA
    Beaver, I asked this same question in-store in 2003. You suggested I try both and see if I could hear a difference.

    I tried both and left Orlando/Disneyland with a 4-94 that's now my #1 4-string bass!

    The Skylines were nice basses but the American had that little something extra in there. Maybe it was wood, maybe it was my imagination, but I felt that perceptible difference.
     
  12. BassikLee

    BassikLee

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    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    Is the US model better?? Yes. It is over Two Thousand dollars' better?? Depends. To me?? Nope, I'd be just fine with a skyline, thankyouverymuch.
     
  13. Beaver Felton

    Beaver Felton

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    Guys, thanx for the feedback. Predictably, the opinions are All Over The Map, so as usual, it comes down to the individual's personal preference and experience.

    For every guy who can tell a difference, there's a guy that can't. Some feel that there's a marked diff, others consider it a small one.

    So, at the risk of sounding cliche', "A person's reality is their reality, which may or may not be someone else's!".....Nothing New, really.
     
  14. BassikLee

    BassikLee

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    Beaver,

    I don't think anyone said there is no difference. I think (my opinion, entirely) that the difference between the "one thousand-ish" dollar bass and the "three thousdand dollar-ish" version of "the same thing" is not so great as to justify the extra $$. Maybe that is 'cuz the Skyline is already pretty damn good, dunno...
     
  15. Beaver Felton

    Beaver Felton

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    Lee, sorry, I should've clarified. Actually, we've had a few people in the store who played both and couldn't Feel or Hear any difference in a "blindfold test", although they could see the diff in finish and quilt quality.

    Many customers agree with you regarding the greater value of the Skyline, while we have many that insist on the superiority of the USA models and are willing to pay the major difference in $$$....

    Thanx again for the feedback.
     
  16. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

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    Clinton, MD
    I'm game for a blindfold test... I never compared the two blindfolded and that, I think, would level the bar. With my luck, my buddies would stick a Wish Bass in the mix and insist that it was the USA~~~just to get me to eat my words...
     
  17. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    Sutton, MA
    A blindfold test would be great. Put a blindfold on Dave LaRue, stick a bass in his hands and record. Then with the "other" bass (play same line). He won't know which bass he's playing so as to not influence his playing. Then post the sound clips here and see if anyone can tell the difference. Perhaps several different clips so that it's not a 50/50 shot at getting it right. If there's truly a difference in the sound, then it should be noticable 100% of the time.
     
  18. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

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    This isn't about how it feels and sound in D.L.'s hands... this is about me, the buyer/end user/player and my preferences... If I feel better about what I'm playing, and it feels good to me to play it... how you (the hearer) feel about it is secondary... bass playing is a totally self gratifying exercise.

    This is all said in fun. But I can understand the challenge for the justification of the extra expense for the USA model as opposed to the Skyline model. I'd buy my son a skyline... and save the USA model for myself... It may come down to a matter of pereference for some... ME... I prefer the USA.
     
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Brighton, England, UK, Europe
    I've tried both and the one big difference for me was :

    I could afford to buy a Skyline, whereas I couldn't even justify spending the kind of money US Laklands were going for in the UK!! :eek:

    I can remember a few years ago - when I had a Roscoe Beck sig - I tried a few US Laklands in the London Bass Centre. I thought - hmm pretty similar, maybe slightly better - nicer finish. But the price tag was 3 times what I paid for the RB5!! :meh:
     
  20. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

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    Exactly my thoughts.

    Would I like to have a US Lakland? You bet!

    Since I'm not rich, would it make a lot of sense for me to buy a US Lakland when I could buy 3 Skylines? IMO, no especially when the Skylines quality control and fit/finish, fretwork, etc. are so good for it's price point.
     
  21. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

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    Jan 11, 2004
    USA All the way. But you already know how I feel Beaver
     

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