LAKLAND 55-01 V.S. 55-02

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jason Hollar, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Howdy hey.

    I got lots of thumbs up for the Lakland Skyline series for an affordable 5 string option. I need a 35" scale because my band detunes a half-step and I don't wants no floppy B!

    So, I can get a great deal on a 55-01 that keeps the bass well within budget...or a 55-02 for another $400 more. I don't want the Deluxe model -- as a highly figured wood top is of little concern to me.

    I'm told the only key differences are that the Bartolini pickups and electronics are made & assembled in Korea on the 55-01 and the 55-02 has US made guts. As well, I understand the pickup configuration on the 55-02 is more versatile with Jazz & MM design as opposed to 2 soapbars on the 55-01.

    In all honesty, I don't want bell & whistles...coil tap switches and push-pull active/passive, etc. I just want a simple to operate, good sounding bass...a pan knob between front and back pickups is just fine with me.

    So here's the real question: Does anyone have experience with the 55-01??? How is the low B string (anyone detune???) and how are the electronics? Any noise, hiss, quality issues I should know about? Do you get a strong, clear output on the 55-01 worthy of recording and constant gigging? Many thanks!
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I owned a 55-01 briefly! The instrument as a whole is a beautiful looking and sounding bass! The 55-02 has the American pickups and pre-amp in addition to the huge Musicman style pickup! Both basses have a active passive knob (pull up/push down) but it's not true passive. I.E. if your battery dies, you have zero volume! The pre-amp on my 55-01 had some serious boost in treble and bass but I still plugged into the passive input on my amp as the signal wasn't that high! My issues were regarding the 35" scale, super wide neck and the tiny frets! I have a very aggresive fingerstyle and the combination of the small frets and extremely low action that I desire, it made way too much fret noise for my taste. No matter what I did, I couldn't get past it so I traded it! The wide string spacing wore me out although I bought the bass desiring wider string spacing.
  3. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    I have a Skyline 55-01 and a JO5. Both 35" scale. My band does drop D tuning, so I tune mine ADADG. The low A is clear as a bell with both basses. I recently traded my SR5 for my JO5, mostly because I didn't like the B as much on the SR5 as I did on my 55-01, so I decided to get another Lakland.

    Good clean clear output on the 55-01, I recently recorded with it (the day before I got my JO5), one of the best sounding bass tracks I've done. The recording isn't complete or else I'd complete this post with clips.

    I think that taper core B strings help a lot with clarity, along with the 35" scale, maybe that's just me though.
  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    DWBASS --- thanks for the report. I'm actually looking for something with a bit wider neck (but not too darn wide!) I tried a nice new EB MM -- very comfortable to play with the narrower spacing and 34" scale...but not tight enough on the detuned Low B. Otherwise a killer bass. Apart from that, I do tend to use a medium action and like to dig in -- mostly from my upright training.

    Yo ACE! Thanks for the positive feedback. I'm glad to hear you go all the way down to A and the low string is still happening. you have to use a special kind of extended length or tapered string for these basses? The strings can go thru the body right? Forgive me, I've been a "Fender bass flatwound string" guy for a long time and am not hip to many of the new products on the market -- especially bridges and strings.

    And I'm glad to hear you feel the electronics are clean and punchy. I've always had Bartolini pickups in my basses and dig them completely. So the Korean manufactured pups and preamp are worthy?...that's good to hear. I also use an Aguilar DB924 outboard pre or a Boss Bass EQ to fatten up my other instruments.

    Thanks fellaz!
  5. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    My 55-01 is a pretty complete bass. I don't find the neck to be especially wide, although the bass has ample string spacing. As has been stated, the low B is crystal clear and plenty deep. The electronics are pretty clean too, and very aggressive-sounding. I think they're a great deal for the money.

    I also prefer the smaller frets.
  6. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a 55-01 Deluxe with a factory installed Bart USA NTMB preamp. It's an excellent bass, easy to play, great tone, and perfectly acceptable for constant gigging and recording. The B string is fine. I string through the body so that I get a sharper angle with the string going over the bridge saddle. IMHO, this helps to achieve a more articulate B string tone. If you do a search of TB, you'll find a number of threads comparing the stock 55-01 to the 55-02. some players actually prefer the tone of the stock 55-01 over a Bart equipped 55-02. in short, the stock 55-01 is slightly brighter and perhaps more agressive sounding, while the Bart 55-02 is more polite sounding. The stock 55-01 might be a little more noisier with the treble control turned up. Neither basses' tone is considered worse than the other, just different.
  7. lonotes

    lonotes A place for everything, & everything out of place

    Oct 15, 2003
    Port Richey,FL
    I have a 55-01 and I don't think I could part with it now. I've played a Fender Jazz for about 20 years now because I like the skinny neck and string spacing. The 55-01 is definately wider, but it was pretty easy to get used to. It's great for slap, but I still prefer my Jazzes or my MIK Spector NS2000 for fingerstyle. That being said, when I'm gigging, I play the Lakland most of the night, rather than switching back and forth all of the time. Mine has a maple fretboard, so it was pretty bright. To the point that I thought it was a little bit harsh. I replaced the pre with a U-Retro Deluxe. Some people like the Retros, some don't. To me, it took a very good bass and made it awesome. I think the 55-01 is absolutely up to the task of constant recording and gigging unmodified, right out of the box. Sometimes I just change things because I can. ;)
  8. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Thanks guys -- I really appreciate the advice. I did search some of the other Forums for comparisons -- but wanted to start an updated conversation.

    I now have a line on a used 02 which puts things very close to the 01 in terms of price. Otherwise, I'm still going to weigh my options -- so if anyone else wants to chime in, its much appreciated! I'm learning a lot.
  9. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I have the 55-01 as well. Absolutely love it, fits me perfect! I tune to ADADG as well...sounds great, no mud. I string thru body as well with DR Low Riders right now. Nice lows but not as bright as the High Beams I had. I think my favorites where the Long Necks I tried on it before the Low Riders. They seem to just sing and I'll get them for now on. Anyways for down tuning ya just can't go wrong with it. The tone comtrols seem to be just fine to me as well. I can dial in plenty enough low mid to cut through or run it lean to just give a bottom foundation.
  10. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy.

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    I love my 55-02D. Great tone and the huge palette of tones can be used for any style of music. It's my main bass now :).
    madjazzbass likes this.
  11. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Rumzini -- Thanks for the testimonial. I have used Lo Riders and Hi Beam too on my four string and agree that in general, DR strings are superior in sound in durability. So, the Long Necks are a tapered core this a better fit for the thru-body design??? And also, a gauge question: For your "drop A" tuning what gauge strings do you prefer???
  12. Let me get this straight.
    There are some who likes the 55-01 over 55-02.
    And then there are those who can't tell the diff, between 55-02 & 55-94.
    Does that mean Lakland basses have very little difference between a skyline 55-01 and a MIA 55-94 in terms of preceived sound and built quality......

    WOW :eek:
  13. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The 55-02 and 55-94 sound pretty much identical as they share the same electronics and pups. On the other hand the difference between the two is cosmetic, The 55-94 has a better finish, slightly lighter body. The 55-01 is a different bass due to the soapbar pups and is more agressive sounding than the more polite 55-02 bass.
  14. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy.

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    There is a world of difference between the 01 and the 02, but only maybe a small country of difference between 02 and the 94. As already stated, the difference between the 02 and the 94 is cosmetic and wood quality. The 01's are a completely different animal. Some like them more, but honestly.. I'm an 02/94 guy all the way. I love the J/JJ setup. The JJ (It's not a MM pickup :p) is tonally one of the most flexible pickups I've ever used. I <3 it.
  15. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI

    Ya know this answer is gonna suck...but I really don't have any idea what gauge they are. i had a few sets of strings thrown in the deakl when I bought the guitar. i never even bothered to look at what gauge they are. Now I can't wait to go back and get them agina and have no idea. :confused:
  16. There's more to it than that.
    - The 94 has a quartersawn neck, whereas the 02 is flatsawn.
    - The 94 Classic has an alder body, an item not available with the 02.
    - The 94 offers a birdseye maple fingerboard; not available with the 02.
    - The nuts are different.
    - Fret markers are different
    - Different rosewood on those with rosewood fingerboards.
    - The 94 uses Hipshot tuners, and the 02 uses Hipshot licensed tuners.

    So there are some differneces. Typically, the 94 is quite a bit lighter. Some 02s do get inder 9 lbs., but it's kinda rare.
  17. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Which is why I'm toying with the idea of buying a black fretless 01 and putting the maple fingerboard neck from my 02 on it. That way I'll have a really aggresive fretted bass for harder tunes and a smooth n' sweet fretless.

    And yes, I'll go to any lengths to justify buying a new bass. :D
  18. I don't know, but maybe the standard 55-01 MK-1 preamp is like that. My 55-02 does work in "preamp bypass" mode with no battery at all. The only controls that work with the preamp bypassed are the volume and pan.
  19. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    I use the Lakland medium gague strings. I just buy 'em direct from I string thru body, with all strings. Sounded good from the start, so I never saw any reason to change it. The electronics are very clean and clear, granted, I really never use eq, except if for some reason a song sounds a bit too boomy or thin, I'll adjust the bass just a hair to compensate.

    I have found that the Fralins in the JO5 are more agressive and punchier than the 55-01, but the pups in the 01 have more grind. But, this is my first J, and they just have that punch when you dig in that I could die for. I can get a good smooth, modern tone out of the 01, but I can dig and get the grind too.

    Ok, enough of my rambling.
  20. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    The Lakland catalog lists the pickups for the 55-02 and the 55-94 (as well as the 44-02 and 4-94) as "Bartolini MM-J Config."