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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by John Deacon, Jan 14, 2008.
Are Laklands lower quality?
A Lakland skyline sounds just as good or better than a Fender. Don't even mention the USA Laklands. No Contest
Unless you compare them to similarly priced Fenders -- i.e. custom shop; then its six of one...
Can't wait to see how this pans out!!
It should be how does Fender stand up to Lakland. I have never played a Fender that could come close to the tone, playability, and feel my Lakland 55-94 offers me. Just my .02!
+1 Laklands far surpass Fenders of the same price range in tone and quality...IMHO of course. I've never played any fender that was as comfortable as my 55-01, physically and tonally
I've owned both.
Fender Custom Shop, and Lakland USA.
Are both great basses. ( And equal)
But to me, Lakland USA is better than anything.
Below the Custom Shop Basses.
In the Fender line.
As is usually the case in these situations, you are paying extra for the brand name (in this case, "Fender.") Laklands, in my experience, are superior instruments for the money.
I picked the Skyline Darryl Jones and Bob Glaub over the MIA Jazz and MIA P. Both were bought new for $100 less than the MIA Fenders. My Fenders still outnumber my Laklands 4 to 1 but new against new I chose the laklands. I just liked the feel and tone of the Laklands better.
I haven't played a Fender Jazz in a long time, but I still have a '78 Precision. My Lakland Skyline Joe Osborn 4 is a much better instrument (quality materials, finish, construction, sound). You can pick up a used JO for $800, and I think you'd have to play a whole lot of Fenders to find one that is as nice for the same price. To step things up a notch, you can pick up a used US JO for $1500 - 1800.
I own - and like - both.
Without fueling a flame war (hopefully), here's my take ...
As others have said, A USA Lakland will surpass anything made by Fender except their Custom Shop instruments.
IMO, If you take any random 5 USA Fenders and compare them with any 5 Lakland Skylines, the Laklands will be be better overall. I think that's a simple matter of production volumes -- Fender produces far more USA basses than Lakland does Skylines -- it's only natural that Lakland would have a better handle on quality control.
MIM Fenders are not even a part of this discussion -- but at their price point, they shouldn't be.
With those caveats in mind, it then becomes a matter of personal preference. I happen to prefer a Lakland 5-string neck over that of a Fender -- but that's my preference. On the other hand, for me, nothing feels quite like a 4-string Fender Jazz. That was my first bass and it feels like "home."
I only own a Lakland 44-01 and its about the same quality as my MIJ Fender P Lyte which was at about the same price point or maybe just a hair more expensive when new.
The frets are dressed about the same. The necks seem to sit in the pockets about equally well. The hardware is comparable. Both are active. Both use about the same quality woods. Etc...
I do personally like the Lakland a little better because of its neck shape, (it really does play like a son of a b@#$%) smaller frets, clip-type battery compartment, and the hardware just looks cooler to me.
However, I think the Fender sounds better. The pups are just better than the Laklands MK1s. Its a PJ and I find it to be a bit more diverse in the tones I can get out of it.
Of course, all this is personal opinion.
As for a Lakland 02, I don't know. It sounds much better than the 01 but the body and neck are going to be exactly the same minus the different routing for pups and controls. But in all honesty, I haven't really seen any US Fenders that I thought were built any better than my P Lyte either. I've never been into top routed basses with pick guards, so I might just be missing something.
I love Fenders and own 4 (3 p-basses and a jazz, all four strings). In terms of bang for the buck, the 55-01 deluxe is pretty unbeatable. I have a '60s classic Jazz, which after installing Lindy Fralin split-coils and a BA II is really quite fine, but the 55-01 is "more" bass.
That said, when you need a P-bass or a Jazz, you need it--unless you have a P/J!
Stand up to Fender? Surely you jest. More like looks down at Fender.
From what I've owned and played, Fender does not make a 5 string that compares with any of the Lakland 5 str's Skyline or USA. The 4 string Skylines are on par with the Fender USA and Fender Japan. Fender Custom Shop can hold its own with the USA Lakland 4 strings. (jmho)
That pretty much sums it up for me.
On average, I find Lakland Skylines to be superior to MIA Fenders. That's not to say I haven't played some MIA Fenders that were fantastic, but just that while every Skyline I've played (about 5) was at least "very good," I can't say the same thing about the 15-20 MIA Fenders I've tried in the past few years. Most were at least very good, but some had real flaws in construction. If I had to "buy blind" (without trying the particular bass first), I'd go with a Lakland, but if I could try before I bought it, I'd go with whichever one felt and played better (which could well be the Fender).
I have yet to walk in a music store and pick up any Fender that makes me want to sell my 55-02 and buy the Fender. But I am only one.
Haha I love it.....another individual just as full of sarcasm as myself.
Playability and quality of parts goes to Lakland IMO. Tone wise, they both sound very very good. Lakland doesn't appeal to me as much as a Fender does...I'm not sure why, but you can't deny that Lakland does a better job with parts and initial setup. Their fretwork is impeccable.