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GAS attack (5501 vs. 5-string J-Bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hoodrow, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    I've decided to make the leap from four to five strings and am having trouble deciding between a Lakland 55-01 and a Fender 5-string Jazz Bass. While I am leaning towards Lakland because I think I like the tone better, I found a pretty decent deal on a J-Bass on eBay (namely a 5-string in great condition with a hard case for $500).

    Can anyone lend me some insight? For what it's worth I've been playing about a year and a half and have played a Schecter Diamond Elite 4 for most of that time. I wanted to make the jump to a 5-string before I got too set in my ways with a 4. What points should I be looking for when making the final decision?

    Sorry if this thread has been repeated a billion times. I searched a couple different keyword combos and didn't find exactly what I needed an answer for. Thanks in advance for your answers.

    edit: And please recommend me any other 5-strings in the $500-$800 range if you know of any better values. I play mostly rock/alt rock stuff and love basses with deep, growly tones - think Carlos D from Interpol. Thanks again :)
  2. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    Anyobdy? I hate to bump my own stuff but this disappeared quick and I was kind of looking for opinions since that deal might disappear soon. Thanks again guys
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    55-01 has a tighter B-string.
  4. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Yeah, you can mess around with tone all sorts of ways, but you can't change the B string. Laklands are all great in that respect. I'm an endorser, and my 5 is a modded 5501.
  5. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    lakland for the win!
  6. go lakie! i have the 02 model, but both sound great.
  7. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005

    That's and easy choice.

    Unless it's a 2008 or 2009 American Standard, then it's not such an easy choice, but the Lakland will still have better B string.

    One thing on the Fender you'll want to check is the weight.

    I've played several MIM Fender J5's and they must have weighed in the 12 pound range...
  8. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch. Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I'll go against the crowd and vote for the J bass. It's a great solid bass and there is nothing wrong the B string on them. I love my lakland and won't part with it for the world, but there is something about those MIM J deluxes that sound great. I know two very very busy bass players here in Nashville that use them as their work horse basses. As for the MIM J Vs occasionally weighing 12 lbs....let me say that my Lakland 55-02 weighs between 12-13 lbs. I don't play that mug live very much if I can help it, but it sounds like a million bucks in the studio.
  9. Remember Lakland fivers have 35" scales, while Fenders are 34" (standard long scale). The extra inch puts the strings under more tension, which contributes to the better sounding B string, but may be uncomfortable if you have small hands.
  10. I had a 55-01 and now play an '08' MIA Jazz V, the Lakland doesn't even come close to sounding as good as the Jazz. The Lakland has a nice B string, but as far as tone goes that's about it. There were dead spots all over the neck on the 55-01, I had 6 months and sold it. Go with the Jazz, you def won't be disappointed.
  11. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Go Lakland for the versatility and quality...best B in the business (all the way across the models!).

    I would say, if you can save a little more $$$$, get a used 55-02....These are more versatile and the upgraded elecronics are fantastic (IMHO)....however if you like the 55-01...get that now and look into 55-02s later.....

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