Are the Skyline Joe Osborn/Bob Glaub basses better than MIA Fenders? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Beefbass, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey guys, just curious, since no one in my area deals with Lakland. For the prices of the Skyline Joe Osborn, and Bob Glaub basses-do you think it would be better to to get one of those over an MIA Fender (the non deluxe models?)
    Just curious. See, I'm not sure whether to upgrade a MIM Jazz, or save a bit and replace it with either the Skyline, or MIA Fender.
    Thanks for your opinions! :)
  2. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I was not blown away by the JO/5 string that I had for a day. To be fair, it turned out to have a dud B string. I would not say that it was better than a MIA Fender, but definitely different. It's going to depend on you believe better means. It probably would have a better B because of the 35" scale, but that also makes it a little more difficult to play (yes I can tell a difference in the playability). The JO also has better pickups. The fit/finish of the JO I had was decent, but not perfect. A MIA Fender would probably be similar. One thing to consider is that the JO/5 I had was probably 11+ pounds, closer to 12. yipes!
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm admittedly not a fan of Lakland basses. That said, a trip to Bass Central showed me that Dan Lakin does know what he's doing.

    Gard had a Bob Glaub and a Skyline Bob Glaub each for me to try. I thought the Skyline was an excellent P-bass, probably better than the best non-vintage Fender I've come across. The American version was even better!:D

    Laklands are not cheap, and if you're planning on spending that kind of cash, I'd go for a Lakland before a Fender, any day. But, there are other basses out there that also "do Fender" really well.
  4. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I think the Skylines in 5 string models are much better than the MIA's in terms of the B string. I really haven't haven't found a Fender 5 that I like, but the 4's are great. Just my preference though, I'd go with the Skylines. They'll feel pretty good for a lower priced bass.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I own a Skyline JO 5, and I've played a half dozen of them over the past two months. The quality control is pretty consistent, it's actually pretty good for the price. Do a search of this forum for Skyline basses and you'll get an overall positive picture. These basses are a great value for their street price, assuming that you're looking for that Fender vibe.

    On the other hand, I've tried out a countless number of American Fenders & American Deluxes over the past several years, and a few FMTs more recently. Fender definitely has a quality control problem. I'm not saying all their basses are crappy. It's just that I've noticed that more than 50% of the basses that I've played have a significant problem. Problems like significantly bowed necks that can't be corrected, neck heel warp, and a number of finish problems (marginal fretwork, mis-alignment of strings and pick ups, bridge, nut, etc.). Don't get me wrong, I have a great deal of respect for the lineage of the Fender brand ( I started playing back in the '60s and '70s). It's just that the factory manufacturing line is putting out a good number of marginal quality basses today, and over the past few years. I wish that they'd make improvements in this area.

    I have to agree with halftooth, the Skyline Bs are much better sounding than most Fender 5s that I've played.

    I'd pay a bit more than the MIMs and get a Skyline, you'll be happy with it. The Lindy Fralin pick ups that come with the Skyline Jazz basses sound great! vintage growl with nice top end!
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    My Skyline JO is my main bass. I just love it, but I should also point out that it is a Dudepit Limited Edition JO with the Fralin pups and J Retro preamp. The DPLE's are just amazing basses for the money. Mine was more expensive than an MIA Fender, but then I probably would have upgraded the electronics in Fender as well bringing them to an equal price.

    I'm extremely impressed with the feel of my JO. The workmanship is amazing for a Korean made instrument. I think it is definitely on par with any American made Fender.
  7. Beefbass, I have found that you have to go into this with an open mind! Do not think one bass is better than another because of name reputation, word of mouth. Try both basses, and you can determine which one feels better for your style of playing and which one sounds better. I did that, and walked away with a MIA fender Deluxe Jazz. I honestly walked into the store thinking P BASS!!!!
    There is no right or wrong. It is true that the more expensive basses use better woods, electronics etc, however depending on your needs and your sound, it could all be wasted money.

    Good luck and let us know what you buy, post pictures.

    :) :) :) :) :)
  8. Hello Bassplayers!!
    I have been playing my Fender Precision 57 vintage (r) bass for some years and I like it a lot, but now I want something new, or a original old Fender Precision (but the price!!)

    I was thinking maby a Laklan Bob Glaub (USA)?

    Help me out guys.

  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I have recent Am. Ser. Fender P and J basses, and in each instance I considered the Lakland Skyline equivalent. For the J, I went Fender because I preferred its neck and wanted the S-1 switch and hardshell case. For the P, I went Fender because I found an outstanding black on black with maple at an amazing price, and I love the 1.625" nut width which isn't available on the Skyline Glaub.

    I might be in the minority, but quality wise I think U.S. Fender and Lakland Skyline are very close. This is true whether you're comparing the passive American Series to the Glaub/Osborn or the active American Deluxe Fenders to the 55/44-02. (In fact, I'd probably give the edge to American Deluxe Fenders over the active Laklands, but IMO they're not directly comparable.) I've played outstanding examples of all, and can't recall any duds. Fender's quality gets unfairly bashed, and I think the perception comes from horrendous setups and shop damage in places like...well, you know where.

    Lakland's main advantage lies in the Lindy Fralin pickups. I think most serious players would view them as an upgrade over stock Fenders, and I've installed Fralins in my Fenders with outstanding results.

    So apart from pickups, and with quality as a dead heat, it comes down to personal preference for feel, finishes, fret size, etc. I prefer the finish and rolled fingerboard edges on Fender necks to Laklands, so I've never regretted going with Fender.
  10. From the MIA Fenders I've tried, the Lakland Skylines all felt and sounded better, and I tried the Glaub, Jones and Scheff models.

    But hey, apples and oranges, really.

    I personally like Läkland better.
  11. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I can't tell you if they are better, but I can tell you they are top quality instruments. I own a Glaub and I'm stunned at the quality. Of course with the Laklands, they are made in Korea, but the final finishing and pup install I believe is done in Chicago. Plus, most if not all have the same electronics as in their American brothers.

    Here's one:
  12. Thank you Guys! Then I think I go for the Glaub Skyline bass, if the skyline basses are just as good as the USA made basses.

    Have any one of you tryed Mike Lull or the Nash precision basses?

    Keep it cool!!

  13. My 2 cents:

    I own neither brand but have played top of the line Fenders and the Lakland Skylines.

    The Laklands far and away surpass the Fenders in terms of build quality, feel, and tone.

    GASsing for a Skyline Daryl Jones
  14. Because I'm going for a 5-string, I'm going for a Lakland. I'll struggle with the 35" scale and love it because I'll finally have a B-string that counts.

    but I think that the main reason I'm going for the Skyline is because I just find Laklands to be exciting, whereas Fenders don't do that for me.

    I'm sort of thinking about a Fender Jazz (passive) for a 4-banger slap-axe. For now, though, and for the band I'm in, a great fingerstyle machine with a B-string is more what I need.
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I have a Skyline JO5 and a MIM Fender V, and I've owned a Skyline JO4 and CIJ Fender. I've played MIA Fenders but not a US Lakland.

    The specs on the JO5 and Fender V are different, so definitely a different feel. Fit and finish they are on par. However, I'd have to agree about the pickups and hardware, as I prefer the Lakland. I've modded my Fender V and JO5 to be different animals, so they both get use.
  16. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I think there are several things to consider.

    1) Laklands are different from fenders, and even with their superior IMHO quality control, from the standpoint of finding a bass that fits you, it is always a risk buying sight unseen. I bought a used skyline here, but only after playing a similar bass in a store.

    2)I have a 55-01, and personally prefer the Laklands for sound, feel and consistency, but the MIA fenders are by no means bad instruments. If you find a MIA that speaks to you, it wouldn't be a bad purchase.

    3) Whatever you do, if you can wait a bit, don't buy the MIM fender. Again, it's not a bad bass, (I have one) but I have yet to play a MIM that can hold a candle to a Skyline, or a well made MIA Fender. You will be much happier with waiting for the better bass.
  17. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have owned 4 Fender 5 strings and still own two of them. I have also owned a Fender 75 RI. In addition, I have owned a Lakland Bob Glaub and a JO5. I sold both of those basses.

    Personally, I did not find the Laklands to be superior to the Fenders. The Laklands have a slightly better setup from the factory than the Fenders, but that's about it. Both are fine manufacturers, but I simply couldn't tell you that one is superior than the other.

    I constantly hear about Fender's quality control issues, but I simply haven't seen any evidence of this. While I have seen instruments that need a setup, or have been mishandled at the guitar store, I've never had the experiences that many claim to have here. Bear in mind, I've actually owned 5 Fenders manufactured from 1996 to 2006, so I've seen my share.

    I have, however, seen some quality control issues with Laklands. Nothing dramatic, but definitely noticable. Misaligned fret markers, misaligned body seams (that were visible through a painted surface) and the like. Most Laklands are great, but I wouldn't give them the perfect rating that many here do.

    I've also never had any issue with a floppy B string on a Fender. I didn't not find the B on my JO5 to be superior to the Fenders in any way. The B on my Sadowsky is SLIGHTLY better, but I came to that determination after about 20 minutes of A/B comparison. When tuned and setup properly, Fenders have great B strings.

    Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with either bass. The Fenders do tend to be slightly less expensive and are easier to find and have repaired under warranty.
  18. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Evanston, IL
    +1 on all the quality control statements. every lakland ive played has been great, and fenders tend ot be hit and miss. i love the hits though, as an owner of 2 jazz basses.
  19. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    If my Fender American Standard P, which I've loved for 10 years now, ever got stolen/lost/broken/etc. I would replace it with a Lakland Skyline Bob Glaub, no question.
  20. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003