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Carvin B50 or Lakland DJ5?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jun 6, 2014.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The cheapskate in me has to ask if anyone can compare a B50 to a DJ5? Every time I think of a nice Jazz, I think of the options I can get on a B50 for around $900, and I ask myself, "why not save a whole lot of money?"
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    In my opinion, the Lakland wins on looks alone. Those B50's look so generic to me. The 35" scale of the Lakland is also a big advantage..to me, anyway.
     
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I never bought anything Carvin that I didn't love. I have no practical experience with the B50, but I'd have great confidence if I were to order one.

    What's the string spacing on the B-50? I know you like em wide. My AC-50 is kinda narrow. Great bang for the buck, but narrow.
     
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Both the B50 and DJ5 are 19mm at the bridge.
     
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    That's a sticky wicket..... Carvin necks are super nice...... The electronics are good, but I dunno if they stack up against the DJ.
     
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    To be honest, I love the DJ5 with both pickups on. It had one of the liveliest slap tones I have ever heard on a passive bass. The tone of the back pickup soloed was underwhelming. It doesn't come close to the tone of my fretless MIM Fender Jazz. I also noticed that the headstock paint was uneven on the edge close to the fingerboard. This bothers me for bass that costs close to $1,500 after tax.
     
  7. diglo

    diglo Supporting Member

    May 21, 2007
    SMYRNA, TN
    Get up! Get Get Get Down!
    I know you had quality issues with DJ5, but I think they are one of the best jazz basses out there. Had one, but sold due to 35 inch scale. Now, I want another one and to hell with the 35 inch thing." Lol
     
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The painting of the headstock is minor. The fretwork on that DJ5 is great, and the electronics work fine, I just like more burp and growl when the bridge pickup is soloed. 35" scale is not an issue at all for me. My issue is if Carvin can produce similar performance for $400-$500 less, why not save that money?
     
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    In terms of sheer coolness and looks, the DJ5 wins easily IMO.
     
  10. LaBassGuy

    LaBassGuy

    Aug 26, 2008
    I owned DJ5 for a short period and currently own the SB5000.

    The DJ5 neck felt big and wide. The SB5000 neck, in contrast, is super comfy. If the B50 shares the same neck profile, then it wins in terms of playability.

    Sound wise, the DJ5 is more vintage and growly.
     
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    For ~$1100, you can get the Carvin J five string. Fancy wood costs ya more.
     
  12. I've owned a DJ5 and a B50. I like the 34" scale of the B50 over the 35" DJ5, and IMHO, there was no noticeable difference in the B string that justified the extra inch. Neck comfort, for me anyway, goes to the B50. That B50/SB5000 neck was the main reason I sold my Laklands and went with Carvin. A B50 with the active/passive electronics will give you insane versatility over a passive DJ5. It depends on what tones you want out of it, but both basses are great and I'd be happy to own either.
     
    SwitchGear and frankieC like this.
  13. I've owned (and own) both. The DJ5, with the blocks and binding, wins easily in looks. Both necks are wonderful. The B50 is cheaper by a far amount. At the end of it all, I sold the DJ5 because I just don't like jazz basses. I have to buy one every once in a while to remind myself.

    Both nice basses.
     
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It is looking like the B50 because even if I go active, it is $400 cheaper than the DJ5. The one thing in favor in the DJ5 is that it is a local dealer with whom I have done business, he would probably drop a $150 or maybe $200 for me.
     
  15. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Resale on Carvin's is pretty bad. Or good if you can find one used in the classifieds......
     
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I went back and looked at the DJ5 review in Bassgear Magazine last year. Both Vic Serbe and the tech guy noticed little things are quite as nice as they should be for the price point like the neck pocket, the cut of the nut, and the fact the neck would need to be shimmed to get the action nice and low.
     
  17. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The lakland is better, by a lot IMHO/IME. I had an SB5000 and a skyine JO5 at the same time. The carvin lacked authority and looked goofy. Fresh hi beams strung through bridge will fix your burp problem. Laklands rock.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  18. Skip_NJ

    Skip_NJ

    Jun 1, 2009
    New Jersey
    Get the B50 on the "in stock" page with the flame top and black edges. The price is great and you don't have to wait for them to build it
     
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I like Laklands already. I do think that Skylines don't quite have the fit and finish that they used to. I know there were some issues with the. 55-64 I used to have that we're not on the old. 55-02s I used to have.
     
  20. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya

    Dec 28, 2007
    I've never been happy with an overseas Lakland. With the money that the 5501 cost; I can live with it but the money that the others cost; I can't. The B50 is a plain looking bass. But it has a great tone and is a great value.

    Chris Buck plays a custom one and he slays on it.

    You could also spend a bit more and get their new JB5.
     

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