Lakeland 55-01 vs Ibanez MTM 1400e

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MarkM13, Dec 24, 2015.


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  1. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Greetings,

    I'm in the market for my first 5 string. I thought I had settled on a Sire V7 but, the wildly varying weights turns out to be a deal breaker. I've seen reports that range from 9-14lbs. I don't want to wait six weeks just to find out its' 12lbs which, is a real consideration for me.
    The two in the title have the string spacing I'm looking for (18-19mm) and a slim neck. I have played an Ibanez SR and ESP B-5. Love the necks, hated the spacing.

    My thoughts on each:
    55-01: +'s Lots of positive reviews here for Lakland in general. Top quality often cited.
    -'s Criticism of the pre-amp. Bart MK-1 don't get a lot of love. Seem to be replaced often

    MTM 1400e: +'s The neck through design (always been curious; never played one), Nordstrand pups, Slim
    bubinga neck.
    -'s Several references to low output even with 18v pre. Hate the look of the large top horn.

    Both can be had for close to the same price.

    FWiW My other basses are SBMM SB14 and a MIM Fretless jazz with DiMarzio Area J pups and active/passive pre.

    Thoughts?

    Mark
     
  2. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Well if its me I'm going with the Lakland. But in the interest of full disclosure I play a 55-02 as my number one. Fantastic bass. Only difference between the two is the electronics and the pups. Makes for an easy mod platform.
     
  3. 5544

    5544

    Dec 1, 2015
    Are you able to find a place that has both of them to try out yourself?
     
  4. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    I wish I could. That would be the easiest way. Although, I could order one and if it doesn't do it for me return it for the other.
    On paper the ESP B-5 looked great then as soon as I played it, I learned about string spacing. Had never thought of it before.
     
  5. 5544

    5544

    Dec 1, 2015
    Since you are not able to play the exact basses, check your local shops inventory online. Make a general list of what they have, no need to split hairs like a P and PJ. Go to the manufacture's site and check the specs against the two basses you are interest in. Eliminate any basses that are not in the specs of your desired basses.

    That will get you closer to how the neck feels and the string spacing. Even though the neck & bridge spacing may not be both on the same bass, your left and right hands will give you a better idea on what it feels like.

    The other thing you can do is go to the local shop, try everything and make a list of what feels good and why. Then check the manufacture's website for the specs. Who knows, your hands may like something that is completely different than what your eyes are telling you is good.
     
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    My initial thought is go Lakland, but that's mostly because I prefer their ergonomics and have one. Honestly, you've got two very different instruments there.

    If you can't find them locally, I'd try and find two instruments with similar nut and string spacings and see which you like better. I don't know about the MTM specifically, but Ibanez tends toward thin necks, narrow nuts and tighter spacing. Lakland is the opposite. My guess is that one will fit you MUCH better than the other.

    One thing I would mention is that if weight is an issue, I might lean toward Ibanez. Lakland bodies are a bit bigger. I don't know the weight of my 55-01, but it is not a lightweight.

    If you order a Lakie from sweetwater though I've heard that they'll weigh each instrument individually.
     
  7. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    I've got a 55-01 and an SR1206e. Like has been said before, these are pretty different basses but both are nice. Since it looks like you can't try before you buy, I would approach them based on what kinds of sounds you like. If you like a more vintage approach, go with the Lakland, if you like more modern tones, the Ibanez may be what your looking for.
     
  8. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Thanks guys all great advise. Weight is a concern which, is why I am no longer considering the Sire V7. I had a SBMM Ray34 and it was a bear after 2.5 hrs. And, that's with a 4" Italia strap.
    Eilif, I hear you about Ibanez' narrow spacing. I tried an SR and hated it's 16.5mm spacing. But, the BTBs are 19mm as is the Lakeland. Both have 42mm nuts.
    It may come down to the neck. Can anyone compare a Lakeland 55-01(02) to a Jazz neck? The reason I sold the Ray34 was the neck was too chunky and was hurting my wrist. I loved the sound and tone shaping options but, the neck just didn't work. However, I was fortunate to find a new left over SB14 which had everything I dug about the Ray but, just fit better in every dimension. The neck is a tiny bit bigger than my fretless MIM Jazz but not enough to matter. I'm wondering if the thin (front to back) neck of the Ibanez may make for a more comfortable 5 string.

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  9. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    How do the necks compare?

    Thanks,
    M
     
  10. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Do you mean BTB, what's a MTM?
     
  11. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    YIKES! Meant BTB. Just edited it. Thanks
     
  12. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    I've never played a BTB so I'm not sure. The Lakland neck is awesome to me, I have two and they both feel awesome and are rock steady. The SR1206E is a 6er so it may be designed a little different than the 4 or 5 but it's a little more shallow but it's not a drastic difference. I hardly ever slap so the string spacing doesn't bother me and it usually only takes me a moment when going from 35" to 34" scale. Now if scale length is a deal breaker for you, I'd just take the one that fits best. Both are great basses and can do any kind of music you want with ease.
     
  13. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    Sorry, just saw this. I don't have any experience with the BTB but folks that play them seem to love them a lot so...
     
  14. vmabus

    vmabus

    Nov 1, 2013
    7200'
    I recall reading somewhere that the BtB necks are wider and thicker than SR.
     
  15. I'd go with the Ibanez....I love Ibanez necks! Plus my first bass I learned to play on was a 5 string Ergodyne, so I may be a little biased...
     
  16. se8.jpg Sean-Yseult-White-Zombie.jpeg Plus, I believe Sean Yseult from White Zombie played an SR800. That girl could sell me ice if I lived in Antarctica....
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    MobileHolmes likes this.
  17. MarkM13

    MarkM13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Done! I went with the Ibanez. The $900 price tag was just too good to ignore (they had other 1400s that were priced at $999) Plus, the neck through design really piqued my interest.
    From the sound samples I listen to the 55-01 seemed like it would be sonically similar to my SBMM SB14. I liked the idea of the BTB1400 being a contrast. Plus, the one I got came in at under 9lbs (4kg).
    Sweetwater is really fast on shipping so it should be here early next week. As with most of their products, their photos are better than the manufactures and can
    be found here:
    Ibanez BTB1406EVNF BTB Premium - Vintage Natural Flat

    Thanks for all the advise.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    CatSplat and BurningTheAltar like this.
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