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Are the new USA Lakland's the same?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Seagull, Jan 7, 2012.


  1. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    Actually, the neck contruction to be specific. They always did a "fallaway" fret job on the old USA basses. This drove me nuts. It works well for acoustic guitars, but not so well for basses IMHO. If you play above the 12th fret, you know what I am talking about. Other than this issue ( for me at least ) I think they are the ultimate.
     
  2. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

    Sep 9, 2008
    I'm not sure what you mean, but just email Leo at Lakland and ask. And, the USA basses are the ultimate.
     
  3. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    By " fallaway" I mean that the bass is fretted in such a fashion that when the neck is adjusted so that frets 1-14 or so are dead flat, the higher frets are lower, or actually "fallaway" from the straight plane of the lower frets.

    USA Custom Guitars ( who used to make Lakland necks and may still make them I guess..) does this with most of their necks from what I understand.

    It may seem like a minor point, but I utilize the entire neck when I play, at this drives me nuts. On some of the older Joe Osborne basse I had, it literally felt like you were playing a different bass above the 12th. fret.
     
  4. I am not aware of USA custom ever making necks for Lakland. And Lakland installs all of the frets themselves. I am not sure I have encountered what you are describing but to address the intial question, all of the same techs work there so I assume it's all still the same.
     
  5. boristhespider9

    boristhespider9

    Sep 9, 2008
    My US Joe Osborn doesn't have this at all. I've been to the Lakland factory a number of times. They install the frets there on the US made basses. You can see the guys working on them by hand. Everytime they let me try out one the US basses that are complete at the factory, the fretwork is completely normal (and awesome).
     
  6. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    I was told by both Carl Pedigo and Dan Lakin back in '05 that USA custom made their necks. At that time, the necks were all built with fall away. In addition, virtually all of the work on their basses was contracted out, including the finish work. They essentially were bass assemblers. Just wondering if things are the same since they assumed new management.
     
  7. lfbassguy

    lfbassguy

    Jul 4, 2010
    west texas
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    As far as I know, they do have someone else cut there necks and body. They fret them there at the shop and all the detail work is done there. They also have another company do there finishing. The Same that sadowsky uses.
     
  8. The bodies and necks are bought and cut elsewhere and Pat Wilkins paints the bodies. The frets are installed at Lakland and always have been. They also finish the necks at the Lakland factory. The only thing they don't do is CNC cut the neck and body and paint the body.

    As far as I know Dan and company have never publicized where they got their stuff and having talked to Carl and Dan a few times I have never heard them mention USA Custom but I suppose it's possible. But whether or not USA customs does something is beyond the point because Lakland does all fretwork including installation. Check out youtube there are videos of it.

     
  9. I also want to find out more about this. How is a neck built for this? It sounds like you are describing a fret issue. They level the fretboard and then install the frets. I am not familiar with any necks purposely making the frets un-level. I have played US Laklands and have not experienced what you are describing.

    Edited to add: I did see on the USA Custom site where they mentioned this feature. I still don't understand if it's frets or fretboard related. It seems like it would be hard to level the frets although they do mention it's extremely slight and hard to notice. I don't believe any of the US Laklands I played had this.
     
  10. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    I saw Carl today, and he mentioned in passing who cuts the bodies and necks for the US models. I don't remember the name, because I'd never heard it before, but it definitely wasn't USA Custom.

    I've had US Laklands that were built as long ago as '99 (I have a Glaub built in '05 next to me right now). Never had an issue fretting the highest notes.
     
  11. ON the ONE

    ON the ONE

    Nov 20, 2010
    Maine
    Sadowski uses "fallaway" on all basses as reported by Roger himself in a video someone recently posted. Roger explains it very clearly and also describes the issue that is addressed by sanding in fallaway before fretting. Its on YouTube. Great vid about the man and lots of info about an amazing product.
    This technique is not uncommon or geometrically at odds with even playing frets.
    If Lakland uses it too, props to them. Their products are also at the top of the game.
     
  12. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    This is correct. Wilkins does the finishes, as he is a true master of his craft. The bodies and necks come "rough" and are final sanded, shaped and fitted by hand. The company who provides the rough necks and bodies is not USAC. It's a small family company that sources the best woods & uses state of the art machining. They do not offer products to the public, but rather provides this specific service to several boutique and hi-end bass & guitar manufacturers in the US and Japan.... including another very popular maker out of New York which the Laklands are often compared and contrasted to.....

    :bag:


    :D
     
  13. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    This really isn't a fret issue per se, and I want to make that clear. It is really a preference I have for a more traditional fingerboard. I love everything about the Lakland, the fret wire, the way they are leveled and dressed. I just do not care for the fall away. It is not that the bass is difficult to fret up high, it's just that it's noticeably different up high. I have owned approx. 18 USA Laklands, ranging from '98 till '06, and they've all exhibited this to one extent or another. The basses all play well, I just find that I can get the action lower on the Skylines than the USA models because I don't have the slope to deal with.
     
  14. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    The problem is that you are actually prepping two separate and distinct sections of the neck. And these two sections need to be fretted and dressed as two separate sections. This works OK if the neck is kept exactly as it was once the bass left the factory, but if you want that neck to deviate in either direction you may not be happy with the results. I like my necks just a bit flatter than Lakland sets them, and it just hasn't worked well for me.
     
  15. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    NC Solutions (based in Montana) is the company that does Laklands bodies and necks.
     
  16. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya

    Dec 28, 2007
    Are you still a Lakland Endorser?
     
  17. Seagull

    Seagull

    Dec 7, 2009
    Thank you Jauqo!!
     
  18. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Yes I am.
     
  19. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    You're welcome.
     
  20. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya

    Dec 28, 2007
    Cool. :cool:

    I've seen you posting about Xotic J basses and wasn't sure.

    I've got a Lakland 5501 right now and I'm about to modify the electronics. Such a great design. I'd like a US Lakland with the Chi's or single coils like this one:

    [​IMG]

    Really dig the Lakland body shape!
     

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