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Lakland 55-02 - Nordys - Pope Flexcore

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chadhargis, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    My trusty Lakland 55-02 has been my go to bass for 7 years. No complaints with it...until...I installed a John East preamp and Nordstrand NJ5fs pickkups in my Jazz bass. Holy moly...what a difference. My Lakland got relegated to #2 status as my Jazz became my #1. Then it hit me. What if i put Nordy's in my 55-02? What if I put in a killer preamp?

    And so it began...

    First step was to order the pickups. A single NJ5s for the neck position and a MM5.4 for the bridge position. This gives me hum canceling regardless of the pickup selector. The I ordered the Mike Pope Flexcore with passive tone, bass, treble, low mid, high mid, and two mid frequency selector switches. The bass already had five holes for the pots, and one hole for the pickup selector switch, so I'd need to drill two more holes.

    From the factory the Lakland has always been dead quiet, but if I'm going to modify it, I'm going to shield it with copper foil as I've never been a huge fan of the shielding paint. I covered the cavities with copper foil and made sure it was all properly ground.

    The Pope pre is 18v which means two batteries. I could run it 9v...but...well....MORE POWER! I used the existing battery compartment and planned on putting the other battery in the control cavity. This means unscrewing the control cover to change batteries. No bueno! So I enlarged the screw holes and tapped in some craft magnets. I slotted the cover and glued in some metal plates. Now the cover comes off in less than a second and stays on just fine. To cover the no longer needed screw holes I used some carbon fiber "wrap" I had laying around. I did the battery cover to match.

    The Pope preamp has what they call a coil "tap" feature...but it's really a coil selector. Sadly, it only lets you select both coils on, or only one on...which is great...but you can't have EITHER one...you have to pick which one. Lakland from the factory has a switch that lets you select the coils, so I retained that instead.

    While waiting for parts I had my friend Rick Wilson dress the frets. She plays extra sweet now! Thanks Rick!

    Once all the parts arrived, things went together easily. The Pope preamp is about as transparent preamp as I've ever heard. Set flat, it sounds the same as in passive mode except for a bump in output level. THe Nordy's sound great passive. Better than the Hanson pickups thanks to a lot thicker bottom end. Engage the preamp and start twisting knobs and you can get about whatever tone you want combined with the ability to select from three pickups. It was a very worthwhile mod to make a great bass even better.

    IMG_2048. IMG_2049. IMG_2050. IMG_2051. IMG_2054. IMG_2055. IMG_2056. IMG_2057. IMG_2070. IMG_2071. IMG_2072. IMG_2074. IMG_2075. IMG_2076. IMG_2077. IMG_2078.
    31HZ, moonshinegtrs, Fred312b and 2 others like this.
  2. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Nice work!
    chadhargis likes this.

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