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Bright US Lakland DJ 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tescott, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. tescott


    May 6, 2008
    Hi guys,

    I'm after some advice. I've got a US DJ Lakland #35, and its an awesome bass. Love the feel of the neck neck, it's light, and is has beautiful natural finished ash body with blocked (not bound) maple neck.

    My problem is that I've always found it lacked a bit of oomph. It has quite an aggressive, bright, cutting sound, which I like having the ability to get. The problem is that it doesn't seem to do much else! I had an audere installed, but I didn't like the active controls so went back to passive. I replaced the lakland pickups with aeros. That gave it much deeper, stronger lows, but its still really bright without a whole lot of punch. The other factor is that my main bass is a P, but I'm sure I've played Jazz basses with more punch than this one.

    I'm thinking of a few solutions
    1) trying some split coil (nordstrand or fralin) pickups
    2) trying some difference strings (currently GHS boomers, and some DR sunbeams are on their way)
    3) selling or trading it for an alder/rosewood jazz (lakland, lull etc)
    4) getting an additional alder/rosewood jazz!

    What do you think?
  2. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    You need mids... IME ash maple has a naturally scooped tone.

    I would.. Sell it and get a alder rosewood.

    But if you want to chase this bass. I would get some trad wind fralin's. Wire it passive (maybe one of those re-deamers I'm intrigued by them) and load it with DR low rider nickels and wait for them to die a bit. I would try to run the amp as flat as possible or bump low mids or what ever creates that thick punch.

    Incidentally that is how I'd set up the Alder Rosewood.
  3. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    yup, I know your feel. DJ lakland has a great construction and feel,but when it comes to gig it live,you miss that punch,especially if you familiar with P bass.
    but you know what, I listened few of my gigs I had played with Lakland,and my DJ always sounded right. Maybe for some reason it sounds thin and lost at the stage but in front, it kills.
    My advice is get the new strings (I like GHS boomers on my P tho) and some good outboard pre.
  4. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Fralins !
  5. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Install a series/parallel mod. Completely reversible, not noticeable from crowd and very inexpensive.
  6. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    I could see that working. Changes the character of a jazz but... so what.
  7. I think the beauty of a jazz bass is its bright tone.
  8. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Is the VTC working correctly? Check the cap also, or possibly replace it to make sure it's dumping the highs correctly when rolled back 25-50%. That's a very cheap thing to try. If that doesn't cut the top end off then a pickup swap might be in order.
  9. tescott


    May 6, 2008
    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

    I believe that the series/parallel thing makes it sound like a different bass altogether. Is that right? I'm after a similar Jazz tone, but just with more.

    It really is bright, but the problem isn't so much the brightness (which is useful in some circumstance, and can be rolled off), as the 'scooped' lack of punch.

    I'll look for rosewood/alder alternative, and I'll investigate pickup options.
  10. RaginRog

    RaginRog Last guy you want to see is Employee Relations guy

    Nov 29, 2009
    Formerly Staten Island
    Nordy's over Fralins for more mids.
  11. tescott


    May 6, 2008
    Really? I've heard the other way around...
  12. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    IMHO if they are both their "traditional" wind. The difference will be "negligible" and they'd be parallel moves.

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