Sandberg California VM5 vs. Lakland US 5594?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mad_hungarian, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I am very curious if anyone ever compared these two basses (or played and tested them both).

    I first saw the concept or mixing MM pickups with single coils at Lakland, and I bought a US 5594 too... hands down one of the best two basses I ever played! (the other is my USJO4 from Lakland :D )

    I am wondering how the California VM5 fares. It uses the MM-P combination so there will be a sonic difference to MM-J. However, the concept is similar: mixing MM pickups with others.
    What is the build quality? How "usable" is the sound in the mix?

  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I just did a run through some vids on YouTube to get an idea. I think I prefer the Sandberg. I want one, now. :(
  3. aasti3000

    aasti3000 Supporting Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    I never played a Lakland but I can say that my VM5 is the best sounding, best built, bass I have ever owned. Can't see me ever selling it.
  4. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    I also checked vids on the Sandberg (great sound), but YouTube videos in general are usually very misleading.
    Main thing I get a bass for is how it sounds in the mix. A random guy playing his ass off in a video won't tell me that :) (OK, it will give me a general idea, but unless I hear it in the mix, it's never for sure)

    THis is why it would be great to get the opinion of someone who played both these basses.
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  6. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    But the same random guy's opinion on a forum will?

    I've only ever played the Laklands. One was a U.S. model (absolutely loved how it felt) and a couple were imports. Only one of those was in a live setting. It was a 55-02. Honestly, I didn't care much for it, at the time. I played 7 or 8 songs on it, through my own rig. I'll blame my lack of familiarity for my not caring for it, though, the controls were pretty straight forward.

    I don't know of anyone around me that carries Sandberg basses.
  7. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    The same random guy playing the bass with a musical background (drums, guitars and/or keys) would be perfect. Solo'd bass sound is misleading although can give you a basic idea.

    Never played a Korean Lakland myself (no lefty versions) but my US 5594 is perfection.
  8. Just in case a broader comparison helps...

    I've got a Sandberg bass: TT4. Single coils of Haussel. Compared to my Fender basses (expensive 75 reissue & standard) this bass cuts through the mix a lot better in the upper register. Very solid tone. It's civilized though in general. Fender sounds harsh to me. Dig in on a Sandberg and it gets gritty. Dig in on a Fender and it gets too harsh for good tone IMO.

    But can't tell how that compares to Lakland, sorry.
  9. Ibby


    Jun 24, 2013
    I have the 4string version of the california, so feel free to ask any questions you may have.