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KSD proto-J vs. Lakland Skyline joe osborn

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by danmystic, Apr 14, 2004.


  1. Hey guys,

    Fisrt time post -- hope this topic hasn't been posted already. Anywho, I'm looking to move from by current Yamaha RBX 760A II to a pretty affordable Jazz type bass like the KSD proto-J (probably 60) or a Skyline Joe Osborn. Do any of you guys have experience with these basses? Would this be a good upgrade for someone who plays a wide variety of styles (Folk, Alt-country, Rock, jazz, funk, etc). The RBX is a nice bass: lots of bang for the buck, but I want an instrument to serve me for a while with some of that jazz bass vibe. Can't really afford a Sadowsky :(

    Any info would be much appreciated,

    Thanks
     
  2. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Welcome to TB!

    I've played both, but not side by side. One thing that struck me with both was how incredibly well each one was constructed and played! They both had great tones and were definitely winners in my book.

    IMO, you can't go wrong with either one. I'm personally a fan of Lakland, partially after they worked on my Spector and partially because their based in Chicago. My vote goes to the Lakland, but only for my personal regard for Dan Lakin and crew. Nothing against Ken Smith, as his jazz is an incredible bass as well.
     
  3. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    Three other basses to add into the mix, just to keep it interesting.

    The Lakland Skyline Darryl Jones, Modulus Genesis Vintage Jazz and a Lull jazz 4 (vintage, modern or modern V).

    The used prices for the basses you're looking at (with my additions) would be something like:

    Lakland JO and DJ - around $700-750 used
    KSD proto J - around $550 used ($716 new)
    Modulus GVJ - from $700-800 used
    Lull jazz 4 - around $1000-1100 used
     
  4. Thanks for the help guys. I'm also considering going 5 string with one of these models. I know the Joe and the KSD come in 5 string versions. Anyone tried these?
     
  5. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    if you just want a passive jazz, get the JO. If you want active eq options without having to mod the bass, get the KSD. Personally I would get the JO.
     
  6. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Dan,

    I own a Skyline JO5 and love it. It has a really cool, smooth tone. I've tried the KSD and while it felt pretty nice, I liked the tone of the JO much more.

    Happy Hunting,
    Bones
     
  7. Poon

    Poon

    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is a great thread and I'd like to hear more.
     
  8. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I own a Skyline JO5 with a factory installed J-Retro preamp, and I've tried many other JO5s over the past year. I had a chance to try three different Proto Js. All of these basses are a great bang for the buck, play extremely well, and sound great. Generally, they're pretty consistent from bass to bass, but I've noticed some minor variations in tone. You basically have to try them, if possible, and find one that speaks to you.
     
  9. Poon

    Poon

    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Would any of you guys consider the MTD Saratoga/Grendel in this comparison too? How about the idea of waiting for the DJ5 to come out? Both of these look pretty sweet though.

    -P
     
  10. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I "A-B'd" a couple of KSDs and a Lakland Skyline DJ (w/ rosewood f/b) side-by-side last wknd at Earthshaking Music here in Atlanta. Played it through a Yorkville head (which I was moderately impressed by) + 4x10, set to flat EQ.

    While I think the KSD was a very nice bass, I preferred the Lakland, in tone, feel, and look. I also liked the Lakland over a v60j (rosewood f/b) that was there. And I liked the KSD v70j (maple f/b) over the v60j. I suppose I just dig on the 70's J-bass vibe...? And a Skyline JO would prolly be more fair in the v60j comparison.

    Anywho, the KSD's switchable passive/active thing was sweet, but I preferred the passive tone. The neck v60j neck was more chunky like a P neck than a J, but the v70j had a pretty nice Jazz neck taper to it. The 5-string KSD's are pretty nice -- one of the tighter low-B's I've tried (although I play strictly 4-str, so I am not an authority).

    But I'm settled on the Skyline DJ -- it beat pretty much all of them. Worth a couple hundred extra, in my book. The KSDs are fine basses compared with Fenders of various vintages/countries-of-origin, and even G&L's and Tributes -- all of which I've recently auditioned in my search for an ideal J-style axe.
    But the Skyline DJ was the most "playable".

    I'm terrified to even look at a USA-built Lakland....
     
  11. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    did you notice any extra hum in the Skyline Jazzes? May have been an isolated incident, but the Skyline I tried hummed alot more than the Fender Hwy1 and MIA jazzes that I have tried (all with passive single coils)

     
  12. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Great Review! Thank YOU. I am anxious to see Lakland release a Daryll Jones (DJ) model in their Skyline series. (5 String version I mean) What a value leader that wil be based on all I've read! Looks like it will be issued as the more expensive USA Lakland model first. My guess is that the Skyline DJ 5 string will be a major hot seller for Lakland.
     
  13. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    +1
     
  14. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    I'm waiting on the DJ5 myself, that's going to be a nice one.

    The current DJ4 is in the Skyline series, are you saying the DJ5 will be USA first before Skyline? I've lost track of how the new models are coming out.

     
  15. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Yes, I was told recently that the first Lakland 5 string DJ will be a USA model. And yes, I meant I am looking forward to Lakland releasing a DJ in a *5 String* Skyline version.
     
  16. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Nope - the Skyline was pretty comparable to the KSD when I tried it. And the KSD was significantly quiter, of course, in passive mode than in active.

    But all the Fenders I've tried have indeed been pretty quiet -- incl. the MIM's. Maybe even quiter than the Skyline -- I haven't A-B'd them like the Sklyinve vs. KSD.

    The AEROs in the Skyline DJ are supposed to be hum-cancelling, but who knows. IME, I would suspect it was less endemic to the line than just that bass.
     
  17. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Also in the range you're describing are used G&L's, every one of which I've played has been pretty nice. Based on trying a few, and on reading raves from fellow TB'ers, I'd think a G&L L-2000 or a JB-2 would be equally effective (if not more) as a jazz style bass.
     
  18. personally if I were getting a jazz bass I would go with the lakland JO because it is passive. but if you want a preamp in there then the ken smith proto J is great. I played one and thought it was real well built and had some real nice tones.

    I just prefer my J basses passive.
     
  19. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    after testing out some jazzes, I agree. If I want a good, traditional jazz tone. Give me a passive jazz bass. If I want a preamp, I will get an outboard. Friend of mine with a Sadowsky bass and another sadowsky outboard tested out using the onboard preamp vs. passive with an outboard preamp and there was no difference in tone.
     
  20. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I hate to say it but i dont even think they are close in my opinion. The KSD was very poorly done and had frets sticking out, poorly set up and just played bad and the Lakland was as good as most American Fenders I have played. I am a big fan of Ken Smith basses but have not been knocked out by the KSD's.