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Fender Vs. Lakland!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cigi, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    This is not your run down typical fender vs. lakland thread. It's actually not even a fender vs. lakland thread. It's my fender vs. my lakland thread, but I bet I got your attention. :)

    So here's the deal. I have a 4402 with ash body and maple fb. The bass plays awesome and sounds good. I just bought a used mim p bass. Fully stock. The fender doesn't have the high quality hardware, setup and fit and finish as the lakland dus, but... the fender sounds very FAT!

    It has an azaming fat bottom p-bass sound. Even when played unamplified I feel the bass resonating at lower frequencies. I was wondering now. Is this because the lakland is an ash/maple bass and the fender is an alder/rosewood bass? Or is it just that the woods sound more deep and resonant on that particular fender than on the lakie. It's my first ash/maple bass, so I don't have a lot of experience with these woods, but I know they are known to be less warm sounding, but I think the difference is quiet big, even with the active Eq.

    I'm nog trying to bash lakland and idolize fender. Both make amazing basses, but I'm talking about my two basses. So what do you guys think? Is this the Alder/rosewood and Ash/Maple difference, or just these particular pieces that sounds deeper (fender) or shallower (lakland)?
  2. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003


    Both are great basses.

    Play the one you like ?
  3. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    That will be both, but it's not an answer to my question. :)
  4. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene

    You'd have to compare the P to a Glaub to be a good comparison.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It is not because the woods. My sterling ash/maple resonates very deeply. My stingray fretless ash/pau ferro *pau ferro is so similiar to maple, that the fingerboard wouldnt make much of a difference ,especialy open strings) resonates NOT very deeply. My fender jazz fretless alder/rosewood resonates deeply, and my fender jazz fretted alder/rosewood is somewhere in the middle.

    Pretty sure its a specific case type of thing.

  6. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Actually, IME, Fenders typically have a more raw sound than Laklands and its a matter of preference which one you prefer. I A/B'd a Fender MIM 50s P-bass against a Lakland Duck Dunn, which is more of a fair comparison than a 44-02 against a P-bass. The Lakland looked fantastic and the neck on it felt great. But, it seemed to lack something sonically that I couldn't put my finger on, I didn't like it as much as I thought I should. When I plugged in the Fender, I heard what I was missing from the Lakland. The DD was cleaner and more articulate with an even response, which is not what I want from a P-bass. I want that big, burly, bassy, raw tone that you can only get from a P-bass. The Fender had it in spades, the Lakland DD didn't. Not that the Lakland sounded bad. Just different in a way that didn't appeal to me, but might appeal to someone else.

    From what I know about tonewoods, the ash should have more actual low end than alder. The alder may have more percieved low end because it usually has punchier mids, where ash typically lacks midrange. This is why slappers tend to prefer ash bodies over alder, its already scooped. Of course, these are only generalizations because no two pieces of wood, even of the same species, will sound exactly alike. I think it has more to do with hardware (different pickups, bridge, etc.) than with tonewoods myself.

    I would like to play a Glaub next to a good Fender one day. But, for now, I know that I prefer Fender over Lakland. I can see why someone else would prefer the Lakland and that's cool too.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I agree. Fenders tend to have a more complete sound as far as frequencies go. It seems a lot of other basses with more modern tones tend to pick and choose which frequencies they emphasize, which may result in a more cutting tone, but it is just different. This is even moreso the case when you consider active electronics vs passive.

    I used to prefer the Musicman tone to Fender. I also used to be into different music than what I play now. (technical stuff versus the now groove oriented jam/jazz).

    Different basses work for different situations.
  8. richarab


    Jan 19, 2009
    I bet both these basses sound beautiful

  9. edubb


    Dec 6, 2006
    and Fender "highway 1 or freeway 1", I forget the name, side by side. The Fender had that raw, powerful p bass sound with a lot of bottom. The Lakland was more refined and articulate with less bottom. The build quality of the Lakland blew the fender away, no contest but I preferred the fenders sound.
    FWIW, I own a DJ5 (white, ash body w/maple board) and felt it sounded better than the American Standard 5 and had much better fit and finish.
  10. ac11367


    Apr 26, 2007
    Flushing, NY
    I have both Skyline 55-02 and DJ4, and I ended up swapping out both bass's pickups for Nordstrands. 55-02 had Barts, DJ4 had Lakland Jazz pickups (I originally thought they were Aeros). Both basses did not sound raw (especially the 55-02) until Nordstrand pickups were installed. Now I couldn't be happier because both basses are great sounding as well as great playing. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but at the Skyline's price range, no other brands build a better playing bass.
  11. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Comparing a P bass to a 44-02 and wondering why they sound different is a bit unusual I think, especially when making comparisons on wood selections.
  12. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    Thanks for the replies.

    A lot of things that have been said sound familiar with what I'm hearing.

    More scooped sound, less bottom, more focussed sound.

    I'm not surpised that the 4402 sounded different. I don't suspect the p to sound the same as the 4402, but I was just surprised that the lows weren't als big.But I've noticed this with most laklands. All the jo's, dj's, the dunn and 4402s all had this sound. I'm not that they are not as good as the fenders, the laklands idd were very well made, but missed the fat sound.For example, my tokai p had this, my tokai jazz had this, my fender p has it. But none of the laklands had it. They have more refined focussed sound like some have said here.

    And I'm talking about the woods, because I feel this difference unplugged. The same sonic difference you can hear in the amplified sound. Offcourse you have the pickups and pre amp vs passive, but the wood is the first soundsource.
  13. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    No doubt about it. Alder is going to get you closer to that old vintage tone. I guess for some people that's a plus. Of course you can order a US Osborne or Glaub in Alder to get that same tone, or you can order them in Swamp Ash. Skylines are Ash (not Swamp Ash) only.

    I don't think this is a Fender versus Lakland thing at all. Even if the woods were the same, any two basses will sound different, even if they were both Fenders.
  14. edubb


    Dec 6, 2006
    The Skyline DJ5 is swamp ash. It says so on the sight and Dan told me this himself in an email.
  15. CElton

    CElton I'm a new note finder...

    I believe Jason was talking about the Skyline Glaub and Osborn models which only come in Ash.

    I will say that my DJ5 had more native booty in it than my 5502 and I attributed some of this to the Swamp Ash.
  16. edubb


    Dec 6, 2006
    the 5502's I have heard dont seem as growly and grindy as the DJ5. They sound very refined, focused and articulate to me.
  17. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    You basses might sound resonate to you and not to me, regardless of the wood. Hell, I might be an idiot and think that your action is a hair too high or too low and your basses might be "terrible" in my opinion.

    Your basses are different: Your basses sound different, thankfully. Variety sure is nice and life is good. One afternoon I played 30 different P-basses and they all sounded different. I bought the one that sounded "best". ;)
  18. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    My Ferrari can take corners really fast but my monster truck can crush cars. Which one is better?
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I don't know that the "Apples/Oranges" thing works here...

    Laklands are, for the most part, a variation of the classic Fender design; I've owned both, gigged with both and found them to be very similar.

    Where they differ, to me at least, is in quality. The best Fender I've ever owned (and I've owned quite a few) didn't play as nice or sound as good as either Lakland I've owned. Yes, you pay a premium for that stuff - My used and quite imperfect 4-94 case $900 - and I'm told I got a killer deal.

    No, I don't think Laklands will ever had the 'collectability' factor of a Fender - but I don't care about that. I play, I don't collect.
  20. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island

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