Is the Lakland 55-01 a good bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by osuok88, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. I am planning to buy one of these. How is the 55-01 compared to the expensive 55-94, big different in the sounds between the two?
  2. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Its my main bass. All I did was put an LH3 setup in her and a buffer. and a pickguard. Im taking her to Lakland to have them make me 2 ramps and put a humbucker in the neck position.

    Wonderful basses and for the money..look out!! As far as the onboard pups and eq..they're not bad at all...upgrades are a plenty too, if you want.
  3. Thanks a lot Mike for your input
  4. I had a 55-01 for 6 mths, sold it. Dead spots all over the neck, the off shore Barts didn't cut it at all. Beautiful build quality and the low B sounded good, but just wasn't what I expected from a lower class Lakland.
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    First, go to Lakland's site and read what the differences are between the Skylines and US ones.

    Only you can decide if the differences are worth the extra money to YOU. I've got two US Laklands (both Deluxe 4-94), owned a US Classic 4-94, and own a Skyline 55-01 which I bought new in 2003. My 55-01 doesn't have any dead spots, and I like the way the pickups translate the sound of the bass to my amp. It's a great bass and I'd play it more if a 5 was what I needed. As it is, the fretted Deluxe 4-94 is my main bass. In 1999 that bass supplanted my Fender Vintage Series '62 Precision which I bought new in 1983 as the "first-call" gig bass.

    Now I didn't buy the 4-94 because it had a quarter-sawn neck, or because it had a great looking quilted maple top, nor because it had a birds-eye maple fingerboard with ebony dot position markers, or any of that stuff. I bought it because it simply sounded perfect and it felt like home. It's the second bass in my life (I've been playing bass since 1976, I managed a guitar store where I regularly attended NAMM and had a lot of instruments come through our store) that said "Hi, honey- I'm home!!".

    MY 55-01 sounds wonderful, it's one of the few 5's I've ever played (been messing with them since I first came across them in the '80s) where the B string sounds like it's the same instrument as the other four strings, and has a comfortable string spacing that doesn't crowd me.

  6. John,
    Thank for your inputs. I never heard of a dead spot on the 55-01. I have heard more good things about the 55-01 than bad ones. I just want to get some ideas from people actually own it before I go out and buy one and I will order one today. I want a 5-string bass since the rest of mine are 4-strings: Fender Roscoe Beck, G&L L-2000 USA, Fender USA Jazz bass, Fender Aerodyne, Fender Precision Bass (USA). I do not want to spend any more money on bass as I have enought basses to play. I just want to buy a 5-string for fun.
  7. I actually own a G&L tribute L-2500 and sold it since the B string sounds sloppy. I have heard the low B on the Lakland is clear and much better
  8. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    The 01's haven't really done much for me. To my ears the 02 model is a lot nicer.
  9. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I would strongly encourage you to listen to the soundclips of the 55-01 and the 55-02 on Lakland's site and see which one is more appealing to you. The 55-02 has the same electronics as the 55-94, is a fine instrument in its own right (as is the 55-01) and can be found in the used market for not much more than a new 55-01. Good luck!
  10. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I had a USA L-2500 and didn't really like the right hand spacing. I've got a 55-01 and it seems right to me. I haven't heard any dead spots. I've replaced the MK-1's with Nordstrand DC's. Mine already had an NTMB-L preamp, but I'd like to go passive with it.

    In short I think it's a good bass.

  11. Thank All. I do not want so spend more money on the 55-02 as I may buy a used 55-01 and save $300-$400. I am buying this just for fun if I want to use a 5 string sometimes, not my main bass. If it is my main bass, then I will buy the 55-94. My main bass is the Fender Roscoe Beck IV
  12. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    For me, the 55-01 is superior in that I want dual humbuckers (Nordstrand DC's) not a J/MM set up. YMMV, but I think they're just different beasts and the one that's "better" is the one that fits your needs.

  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The 55-01 is well built and quality in those regards. I won't go as far as saying it sounds bad but its tone didn't do anything for me. I like the 55-02 much better. I can also say that when I was shopping around I played several different 55-01's and dead spots were not "all over the place."

    IMO, I think if you swap out the MK-1 preamp in the 55-01 it'll sound much better. Then down the road I'd suggest replacing the pickups to something better.
  14. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    IMO...I have played both the 55-01 and the 55-02 and the 55-02 is worth saving up for over the 55-01. I really dislike the electronics in the 55-01, they have a brightness to them that sounds "artificial", for lack of a better word, IMO. The 55-02 has the USA electronics and are much better.

    Now, if you buy a 55-01 with the intent to make some mods to it, that is different. One thing I've seen here at TB is some people buy the 55-01 and put some Nordstrand pickups (Fat Stacks, Big Singles, and Dual Coils all fit without drilling or routing) and a nice preamp (Bart NTMB, Aguilar OBP-3, Audere, etc.) in it and they are really happy with the results of that...kind of a Lakland Super-Jazz with 35" scale and 19mm spacing. I've even thought about doing this myself, in spite of my feelings about the stock electronics, because they are definitely usable as-is even though they aren't my cup of tea. But, with the right upgrades, they can be sound as good as they play, or even better.

    Also, to be honest, I've never noticed dead spots on the 55-01, but I've only played 2 of them ever, so that is a pretty small sample size. Still, they enough good reviews on the playability that I would feel comfortable taking on a chance on it if that was my only concern.
  15. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I owned a 550-01 for a while. As far as fit, finish, and overall quality, it was better than I expected at the price point. I bought the 55-01 with the intent of doing a full electronics mod (Nord Big Splits and Nord pre), and upon completion of the upgrades it went from a good sounding bass to an excellent sounding bass.

    Unfortunately, I never could get comfortable with a 5'er, so it got traded for a Fender J that I love.
  16. 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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