Improving the Lakland Decade

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Oct 9, 2011.


  1. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    So I recently took in a Skyline Decade as part of a trade. I really like this bass, but, in my mind, it could do with a few refinements. Normally if I'm not 110% happy with a bass, its out the door. However I really like the tone of the Decade. Its quite unlike most things on the market. :)

    So there are three issues I'd want to address.

    -Single Coil noise. Solo'd the pickups are noisy as hell. Do they shield them at the factory, or would some copper tape fix this?

    -Output. The pickups are each great and blend together well. However, I would like the option of playing the bass in stereo and sending the neck pickup to another amplifier. Sorta like a Rickenbacker.

    -Control layout. Personally I never liked VVT and have always preferred Volume, blend, tone. I don't think either control configuration would work for stereo. I sorta want to avoid the cumbersome control figuration of Rickenbackers. Maybe stack knobs and a selector switch?

    -Other things to consider. I think the black pickguard really darkens up the overall look of the bass. Would someone with photoshop maybe make a mock up with a gold or mint guard?
    Has anyone put an active preamp into one of these? If so, recommendations, sound clips?
     
  2. It sounds like alot of mods. Decades don't have fantastic resell as is so if this doesn't work out for you it could be a money pit. IMO if you wanted to stick with Lakland I would find a used Scheff. They don't have the same retro cool look that the Decade has but other than the stereo output it sounds like what you would be going after.
     
  3. lowfreqgeek

    lowfreqgeek

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Whatever you do, please don't wait till you're drunk off your behind to make these mods... ;)
     
  4. lfbassguy

    lfbassguy

    Jul 4, 2010
    west texas
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    Kinda sounds like to me you want a different bass. But if you think the mods would work, might be worth it.
     
  5. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I actually like this bass a lot, which is why I plan on keeping it.

    I'm just not a fan of the control layout. I change the layouts of my jazz basses to V/B/T too, so that is the very least that is being done to it. I love the sound too but I like the way the bridge pickup sounds over driving a low watt tube ampeg and the clean bass from the neck pickup through my LMII. I figure, with stereo, I'd have the best of both worlds.
     
  6. lfbassguy

    lfbassguy

    Jul 4, 2010
    west texas
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    Well, it would be worth a try. At the end of the day, its your bass, make it how you want it.

    Lakland also makes those p/u's in hum canceling. You might try those. I do see where a blend knob could be better than vvt.
     
  7. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I shot lakland an email about the sheilding and hum cancelling pickups.
     
  8. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    Having owned a Skyline Decade with the humbucking version of the Chi-sonics (it came stock with these at my request), their tone is very cool--but it's different from the single-coils. Even fatter (kind of like a Dark Star), but with less growl. If you dig the tone of the singles this much, I wouldn't switch.
     
  9. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    good call!

    I am sure they will come up with something...

     
  10. MarkusBass

    MarkusBass

    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    Yeah... The singles have more mid texture...if you love the tone as much as I do from my Decade, I wouldn't change them. Also shielding probably will not help if it is the single coil 60 cycle hum. Just the way hot single coils are from what seen. I know that Mr. Matt runs an Audere pre in his and loves it...maybe pm him.
     
  11. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Wow! Awesome to have someone from Lakland post in my thread. :)

    I got a return email shortly after I emailed Lakland asking me where I was and if I bought the bass new. I told them I got it used and am waiting for a response still.

    While I do love the tone of the pickups, the hum is a real deal killer for me the more I play it. It gets louder the closer I am to my amp, or if I'm facing it. All my other basses are dead quiet and this just irks the hell out of me!
     
  12. MarkusBass

    MarkusBass

    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    I don't think a Scheff sounds like a Decade IMO.
     
  13. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    No, but the Scheff sounds awesome. If I were ever to get another bass, it'd be a Scheff. Pity that they discontinued them.
     
  14. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    There is an active version of the Decade.
    My complaint with the Decade, besides the coil hum, is that the lower horn is too short to sit comfortably on my leg while playing seated.
     
  15. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    How is the active version?

    I didn't have a problem with it sitting when I used it. However my bass is at the same height sitting or standing so its been a non issue. I can see how it'd be a problem though. When I don't have a strap I play on my left knee so my right anchors the body.
     
  16. No, but it too has a unique sound. It is also has single coils, is active, and has the control layout he likes. The Scheff is very versatile. It just sounded by his definition of what he was after that he would like the Scheff stock (minus the stereo thing).
     
  17. MarkusBass

    MarkusBass

    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    Definitely a unique sound. With the Decade, the very thing that gives it that tone, produces the hum...hot singles (and pickup position). Like a Porsche with a stiff ride or a loud Hemi Cuda:)
     
  18. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Well Lakland never got back to me after their initial response. I guess I won't be hearing from them again.

    Anyone know where I could get the humbucker version?
     
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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