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Cort GB-75 vs. Lakland 55-02

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have had a Cort GB-75 since the end of January, and I have been very impressed with it. Some of you may remember a long thread in which I said that I felt it held it's own against some very nice high end basses. This week, I took possesion of the bass that was the inspiration for the GB-75, the Lakland 55-02. My 55-02 is an older one with Bartolinis that I got from Quadzilla, our TB Bass Superstore!:D (Quad, I couldn't help but rib you when I saw your feedback number of 196:eek: before I even put down my own comment.:))

    Here are some basic comaprisons:

    Shape- The Lakland has a very round lower body like an old Yamaha BB2000 or 3000. The Cort is much closer to the a Fender Jazz in it's profile.

    Weight - Cort 10 lbs. 5 oz. 55-02 9 lbs. 12 oz.

    Hardware - This is very close. The GB-75 has Hipshot designed tuners & the 55-02 has actual Hipshots. I can't tell the difference. Both have sturdy bridges. The Cort has a Neutrik jack, and the Lakland has a bigger string tree, but both string trees look alike. I think this one is a tie.

    Neck - Lakland is the clear winner here. The Cort's neck is very nice, but the 55-02's neck is pure butter, not unlike the neck on a nice Sadowsky Metro Modern I played at the STL GTG.

    Electronics- Lakland is clearly more versatile, but the Cort can very effectively emulate the 55-02. The trick is to avoid full treble, because the high end response on the Cort can be harsh. On both basses, I have recently fallen in love with the sound of the controls flat with both pickups on with the rear humbuckers' coil closest to the fingerboard activated. Both get great fingerstyle tone with all coils on or with the rear humbucker on.

    Miscellaneous - the GB-75 is 34" and the 55-02 is 35", I really can't feel the difference. As for the B string, both are very good with a slight edge to the 55-02.

    Conclusion - I love J/MM basses! The Cort comes very, very close to the 55-02, and if you can't afford the Lakland or cannot swing a sweet deal on used like I got, get the Cort GB-75, and be happy. That said, I can tell the Lakland is a better made instrument. I am really blessed to own both!:cool:
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Check it out!
  3. I love MM+J basses.
    I never knew cort made MM J basses.
  4. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Man... I wish I didn't sell my 55-02 :) But, live and learn :)
  5. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007

    man, you keep making me want to buy a cort
  6. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    good review..that's exactly how I felt about my Cort - 55-02....the cort was close, but not quite the Lakland.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    One thing I should mention is that the GB-75 is swamp ash, and my 55-02 is most likely alder. The alder and Bartolini electronics reinforces the mellow nature of this bass. When the bass came, it had very old strings, and it really nailed a nice, Bernard Edwards sort of tone. I seriously thought about leaving those old strings on my 55-02!:D I ended up putting on Marcus Miller Sig DRs plus a separate new .125 DR Lo Beam B string. The 55-02 is now a little too zingy, but I'm sure it will die down in about week or so.

    My GB-75 has the same strings on it that it came with which has the effect of taming that swamp ash body a bit. I believe that with equally new strings, the harshness of the Cort's high end would be stronger that it currently is. Fortunately, set flat, the sound of the GB-75 can be tamed. That said, the 55-02's three band just is more versatile.
  8. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    a couple of months back, i picked up a GB-74,, the 4 string little brother of your 5er, off of ebay, ( luckily they had a 3 day return policy )

    i was hoping it would be in the same class as the Skylines, ( as they're manufactured in the same facility ) but to me, that wasn't the case.
    the neck was way outta wack, ( & would have taken longer than the 3 alotted days to properly bring it back in service ) had unlevel frets / sharp ends, the pre & those Mity Mite pickups were very harsh & unmusical sounding, ( to my ear anyways ) & i didn't want to dump more money into basically,, a turd. :meh:

    the good points were, it looked beautiful,, it was a sparkle blue metalflake that was gorgeous, the licensed Hipshot ( non usa ) tuners & bridge was sweet... but those points alone weren't enough to keep it,, so i opted for the 3 day return.

    Cheese, didn't mean to poo on you're parade,, i'm glad that you're GB-75 is working out for you . But as we all know in the mass produced world of basses,, sometimes they pass along 2nds, and components that should be scrapped & never leave the factory floor,, to the public, for that almighty dollar,, ( they probably hoping that it goes out to a compete noob,, that doesn't know the difference anyways )
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I love the look of that Blonde Cort with black pickguard.
  10. How much do these corts go for?
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You are not bothering me, all you are doing is recounting your experience, and I am glad that you are. As you mentioned, inexpensive or mid-priced mass produced basses can be inconsistent. Your Cort had a messed up neck, mine is straight. I do get some fret buzz, but it is minor, and is not picked up by the amp when I play, so I don't worry about it. As I said, when it came to the neck, it was clear that the Lakland was in a different class of instruments than the Cort.

    As for the sound of the pickups and preamp, I do think the GB-75 can be harsh, but I think it is manageable if one cuts down the treble. Once again, the Bartolini electronics on the 55-02 are clearly superior.

    I want to make it clear that I really like my Cort, but it is a very nice $600 bass. My 55-02 is a nice $1,300 bass; it's just that since mine was used and had a crack that was repaired, I actually got it for less than my Cort!:D
  12. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
  13. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Your 55-02 should be ash too.
  14. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Nice review/comparison, Doc. And congrats on the smokin' deal on the 55-02!:) I'm a passive-bass guy at heart, but one day, one of the -01s or -02s might sufficiently tempt me.
    KINGPIN_88 likes this.
  15. MrMe


    Aug 26, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Oh! Cort-gas!!
    And Laklannd-gas!
  16. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I wish Lakland would make a Skyline 55-63. I'd be all over that with wine and flowers.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  18. I remember seeing a Cort GB series bass for the first time almost a decade ago. Workmanship, playability and overall output of the bass wasn't that good. In 2005 I came across a recent model of the GB series while shoping for a bass and that model was a significant improvement from the one I saw a decade ago (same configuration - active MM/J). I guess Cort quality has improved over the years to the point that Fender and other brands have products made by the same Korean factory. I'm not surprised by what Cheese experienced with the Cort he got. By the way, does Cort own that Korean factory or is it just one of many bass makers that source products from the same factory?
  19. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    A few months ago I was in my local Sam Ash store to try out some basses. They had a few 55-02's and 55-01's. I tried every one of them and they all were terrible. The scale didn't seem right, they had floppy B strings and dangerousy sharp fret overhang problems. You could slice off a few ounces of flesh playing those things. My old 55-02 was made in Korea but these were made in Indonesia. I wonder if Lakland experimented with a trial run of Indonesian made basses. They were definitly not up to usual Lakland 55 series standards. Has anyone had an experience like that? It could be that the store bought a bunch of fakes by mistake. God, I hope that was the case.
  20. I owned a 55-02 that was flawless. It was easily on par with my higher end basses. I'm still not sure why I sold it. It was one of the best basses I've played. I have never heard of them being made in Indonesia. Something is strange there.

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