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Jazz Decisions - 2010 MIA Deluxe or Lakland Skyline?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by prophet178, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. prophet178


    Mar 13, 2009
    Hey everyone. I'm planning on buying a jazz style bass after I sold my Geddy Lee a few months back and I've been stuck between these two basses, the 2010 American Deluxe and Lakland Skyline 44-60 (Joe Osborn).

    The biggest factor for me would be the playability of the neck as well as the build quality of the instrument. From what I've been reading even though the Skyline is a Korean made instrument it still maintains a high quality build. I'm still a bit weary though, as I would be buying the Lakland sight unseen, and would just be going on testimonials. I've been able to play a bunch of Fenders but they always seem to be missing something for me. The new 2010 could be different though.

    I guess I would like to hear opinions on which would be the better buy, or even if there is some other bass I should be looking at. My price range is around $1500-2000, not much higher. Thanks in advance!
  2. I got a Lakland Skyline Duck Dunn model P-Bass when they first came out, sight unseen, and it is fantastic. Mine is Korean, but I think they're Indonesian now. Don't know if that impacts the quality.
    I haven't seen the new American Deluxe Fenders, but they're pricey, and some folks hereabouts have reported that they're noisy. Have you tried the new (2008-on) American Standard Jazz Bass? I've been very impressed with them.
  3. velalv

    velalv Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Woodbridge, VA

    I've played a couple of Fender Active Jazz basses (older ones, since they don't make the new ones left handed), and most likely will be getting one since I am being offered some good prices for them.

    I have typically found the Active Jazzes to have no problems with noise, may be I just got lucky, but that is what I found. The neck was good too, thin and narrow like a jazz bass should be. The action had to be adjusted a bit, but that is nothing a good set up could not take care of. I wish the older Fender Jazz deluxes (06-08) had active/passive switches, but I also felt that I could adjust the electronics and mess with the EQ to almost, but not exactly, get a passive tone.

    I also really liked the bridge on it, not a G&L, but much better than on stuff further down on the Fender line. I don't think I would replace the bridge on it, as I found the sustain on it to be fitting of a bass in that price range.

    For my money, I would pay between $1000-1500 for an older one, and no more. I am quite excited about getting one, but couldn't tell you about new ones.

    Hope this helps.
  4. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I would say go with the lakland for the reasons you mention....consistent build quality and feel/playability. I have played several MIA Fenders both before and after owning my Lakies and I love my Lakies hands down!

    Also - you cannot beat the customer service IF anything should be amiss! I bought most of my early Lakies site unseen and have never been dissapointed!

    The Skylines are now built in Indonesia and actually, Indonesian Lakies seem to be a tad lighter overall (on average) than the Korean Skylines. Also, ALL Skylines now get PLEK'd which makes for a very consistent and wonderful fretjob.

    for more info on PLEKing see here:


    you should be able to get a new one for the price you are quoting or a used one for significantly less.

    Lakland is now also coming out with some limted edition colors. there are several of the teal ones on TB now so you can see those. here is a link to the other limited edition colors:


    I think the trans white will be absolutely killer!

    also - if you are into a more "modern J" style, Lakland will soon be manufacturing a Skyline J which will be back loaded (no control plate), no pickguard and a flamed maple top. this may be next year sometime.....

    good luck with your decision and make sure to check out: www.laklandowners.com for more info and thoguhts!


  5. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    I personally really like Lakland basses. I've had multiple Skylines, and just recently bought a new 44-60 custom, and it's fantastic. I like the feel of the neck over Fender along with the tone. The construction and playability are great as well.

    That being said, I've heard good things about the new MIA deluxes, but they are a bit more expensive than the Skylines.
  6. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    5 string Lakland darryl jones (one of the best I've ever played...the longer scale length was great)
    Musicman Sterling 4 or 5 - SC/H, (swap out the pickups for the delano hybrids if you NEED a traditional jazz bass thing)
    USA AM.Std Jazz 4 or 5
    Dingwall Combustion (again, electronics can be swapped...but a dingwall in your proce range...pretty ideal)
    Mike Lull
    Warwick Rockbass Corvette (swap out the electronics and controls)
    Yamaha BBNE....probably the best deal if you can find one.
  7. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    You can't go wrong with either, but IMHO...

    Given the choice between a MIA Deluxe Jazz and a Skyline, I would go for the MIA Deluxe.

    Given the choice between a MIA Deluxe Jazz and a Lakland USA - Lakland all the way.
  8. prophet178


    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks for the advice all. I think I'm leaning more towards Lakland now after hearing the Indonesian made ones are still top notch instruments.

    Hmm, well the USA Lakland is way out of my price range, but could you give me some reasons why you would go with the MIA over the Skyline?
  9. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    The Lakland is more comparable to the American Standard, because both are traditional passive J-basses with modern refinements. If that's what you want, consider the American Standard and, for that matter, the G&L JB which IMO is better than both. (I just bought one, and it's great.) The American Deluxe, with its active electronics and noiseless pickups, is a slightly different beast.

    I generally prefer tradtional passive J-basses, but even so I'd take the American Deluxe over the Lakland. American Deluxe models tend to be beautifully constructed and finished, and are a cut or two above most Skylines IMO. (The wonderful Hollowbody is an exception.) The current American Deluxe has active/passive operation, which is a huge plus. I generally like noiseless pickups too, though I haven't had enough time with the N3's to form an opinion on them. The Lakland's biggest advantages are price and the Plek fret-levelling, but even without Plek the American Deluxes have outstanding playability.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Don't forget G&L. You can get a hand made USA Made G&L for less than a machine made Asian Lakland, and personally I feel they are much better. I mean LOOK at this thing:

  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    One thing to note with the Skyline JO's:
    you can only get an ash body.
    I've never been a fan of ash body, rosewood neck, 60's pickup placement, but, maybe you are.

    I've, overall, been happy with most of the Laklands I've owned.

    The G&L is a great alterna-choice, and worth mentioning.

    The Fender American Standards that I've played were a nice step forward in overall quality,

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