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55-02 deluxe vs. new Victor Bailey 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by remo, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    I'm seriously torn between these two basses.. but I will have one of them.. what do you guys think?

    I realiase the VB5 is an unknown quantity as they are just out and not "field tested" yet but I can get over how good they look.. and they are spec'ed very well.

    I've read about the 55-02's barts lack of bite in the live setting also the 55-02 is 35" scale and a pretty tried and true model that has great online rep.

    The VB5 is 34" scale, 18v circuit, slighty more expensive, comes with case. I'm guessing the jazz p/u setup will have a bit more bark and bite than the darkish 55-02 barts. Also the VB5 neck has a Satin Polyurethane Finish.. I'm not sure how the 55-02 neck is finished (anyone??). Satin is a must, I can't stand sticky poly laqueur necks..

    any other trade-offs you guys can think of?


  2. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    That VB 5 looks pretty sweet....that would be my choice. Do you know the dims on this, mostly heel width, and string spacing? Doesn't seem to be much info on the Fender site. I see the nut width, but that's it...
  3. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    as with any Fender product, I'd do my best to try to actually sight the neck before buying...or at least make sure you buy from someone with a return policy.
  4. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I bought my VB4 straight from Fender (my rep ordered it). It came perfectly setup and has NEVER had any issues! it is by far bar none the funkiest bass I own!:)
  5. My vote goes to the VB5!
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have A/B the two basses at a local dealer. The Victor Bailey more of a true Jazz sound, but I really like the deeper, rounder tone of my 55-02. The Victor Bailey is absolutely beautiful, I cannot imagine a better looking Jazz style bass. I dang near put a deposit on one today. The electronics on this bass are dead quiet and it can really sing. Personally, I have think my 55-02 sounds great live, it really cuts through well to my ears. I think the Victor bailey is great too, it is just a pure Jazz bass.

    Neck wise, the two are dead even, both have great wide string spacing and both have great B strings. I don't think the 1" scale difference is even noticeable.
  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Lak should be more flexible, tonewise.
    If you want a nice Jazz tone though, that VB is disturbingly nice looking...
  8. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    can someone please describe a Satin Polyurethane Finished neck? is it anything like my SR5? as in smooth and not that sticky poly coating on (for example) reissue p-basses .. you know that very shiny coating.. i don't like that..
  9. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    I'd be leaning toward the 55-02. Bear in my mind I haven't played a VB5, but in general I haven't been very impressed with any Fender 5 strings except for the Roscoe Beck. As always, if possible, play both and let your ears and hands be the judge.

    My 55-02 w/ Barts cuts through just fine in my band, but if it's a real concern for you, you might want to investigate getting Duncans or the new Lakland/Hanson pups installed as factory options.

    As for the satin poly neck finish, you'll probably find it somewhere in the middle on the "stickiness" scale, gloss poly being stickiest, oil/wax (like your SR5) being least sticky.
  10. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    The VB5 is proably the best Fender that's out there for now IMO.
  11. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    can someone please tell me how the 55-02's neck is finished? i couldn't see it on the Laky website..
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    My 55-02 has a pretty light finish but it's heavier than an oil finish. I don't find it sticky at all.
  13. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I wouldn't want to own a bass with too many knobs and strigns which is why I'd rather choose something else over these two. But, if I had to choose one, I'd go with the Lakland just because.
  14. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004

    it´s satin polyurethane. not sticky, but it´s not an oil finish like on SR and LakUS. I sanded the poly off my 55-02, and tung-oiled the neck. Much better, IMO. Also replaced the pups with Seymour Duncans. "Bites" a lot better...
  15. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    If I were you, I might be curious as to how the new Lakland/Hanson pickups sound. Supposedly more edge than the Barts, but less than the Duncans. I'm to this day thinking of getting another one.
  16. janek65


    Apr 7, 2005
    i don't know either of these basses, but :) wow :) the VB looks great :D
  17. The VB is the best Jazz bass I've ever played - hands down!
  18. Bass centre has a VB5 in. I've played it, and man what a nice bass! Just very impressive overall, so well built, and the tone was just jazzin!

    Gotta love the 55-02 though.
  19. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    yeah, i've played the vb5 at basscentre too. it was really nice. it sounds a bit like victor bailey i reckon, funny that :) it has a nice modern hifi take on the back pickup sound. it is also flexible though. i thought the fit finish looked really nice.
  20. Yeah, I put it down after 5 mins, it was too nice to touch, didn't want to scratch it or anything :ninja: I could get Marcus slap tone out of it as well, which was nice.