I’d read what’s left of the D Lakin posts over the last year or so because I was researching those basses. Tonight I felt compelled to testify. I bought JO #1 on eBay a few months ago for $650. I guess it was unloved because it was green. What a great instrument! I not going to tell you that it’s better or worse than a Fender or a Lakland or whatever. I’m just saying I really like it. I played fretless basses pretty much exclusively for decades. About 5 years ago I bought a fretted Lakland 44-02. It is also a great instrument. Took me quite some time to get used to them pesky frets but my intonation live is now greatly improved playing live. This is especially true in a room with crappy acoustics and when singing. The 44-02 felt relatively comfortable in my transition phase I think because Lakland (and Lakin) use thin fret wire. I had never previously paid any attention to fret wire size until I read somewhere about Leland Sklar installing mandolin frets on all of his basses. I think Lakland’s are banjo frets. I was pretty happy for several years with this bass while my poor fretless Sabre lies unloved in its case. After several years I began to yearn for a different sound than I was getting out of the Lakland. Not that it was bad at all but it always has some upper frequencies that just wouldn’t go away even with flats. And it was hard to make growl. And it’s Hard to make it round, fat and mellow. Mind you, no one but me would probably notice any of this (with the exception perhaps of another bass player) in the various dank & dingy clubs that I usually inhabit. So I bought a Ric 4003 on a whim and put flats on it. I dig the sound but it’s kind of an ergonomic nightmare. Same thing I thought when a briefly owned a 4001 in the Pre-Cambrian. Didn’t know they still made flatwounds back then and the spent 20 years wondering what that combo would sound like. Those things do look really cool though, don’t they? Pretty hard to make me look cool these days though. It’s gotta go soon. Then I read such smashing reviews of D Lakin and dreamt of one of his J basses. A rather unremarkable 74 J was the first real bass I ever owned. Saw my future JO on eBay with an opening bid on 650 and here I am. This thing can growl, be mellow, or spit and it always seems to sit in and come through the mix. Got rounds on it and now that they’ve grunged up a bit, I’m even more pleased with the tone. Someday I’ll try flats on it but I’m happy for the present. Like I said, it’s a swell instrument! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.