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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nspbass, Jul 14, 2005.
Just curious as to which you guys would prefer or recommend. Thanks.
They're very different instruments--one is an imported bolt-on with a 35" scale, wide string spacing, and primo (though not to everyone's taste) pickups and electronics, while the other is an American-made neck-through with a 34" scale, fairly narrow spacing, and ho-hum (IMHO) pickups and electronics. Both do have very good construction, and the ebony board and multitude of options on the Carvin is nice, but personally I'd take the Lakland in a heartbeat.
I have a USA 55-94 and it's my main axe. The Skyline is very close in quality. You will never regret the desicion. If you slap you are better off with the Lakland- the string spacing is much better for this. It also sounds great for rock and blues.
55-02 all the way: the choice of materials is superb and the electronics (pre and pickups) are THE VERY SAME OF THE 55-94 USA made brother. They are even assembled on the same working bench and set up by Dan Lakin & co there in Chicago.
The pre is superbly quiet and versatile (mid freq is selectable: 4 center frequencies available) by two dip switches inside; bass/mid/treble, Bartolini pickups and wonderful ergonomics (neck and body shape/balance).
Another "bonus": the Skyline 5 strings neck also have internal graphite strengthening bars inside as the 55-94!!! (This instead does not apply to the 4 strings Skylines)
P.S.: the customer service they offer is unmatched!!!
Anyone know the difference between the regular 55-02 and the deluxe version?
quilted maple top, mainly cosmetics
I admit that I really like the look and feel of skylines, but from experience I must say that I'm going to buck the trend and say get a Carvin! I have had mine, with great success, for 5 years and tons of gigs and I love it. They sound great, and ability to customize and thier attention to detail and craftsmanship is just awesome. Neck through and an ebony board is just for starters, and from there you can pick your scale length (you can get 35" scale neck), color woods, finishes, hardware, and they recently added a two MM humbucker option to their pickup line which includes two kinds of jazz and piezo options. If the lakeland is your boat then that's ok, but I don't see any way that a Carvin is going to let you down. (they are having one of thier frequent sales on options/cases right now.)
By the way.... People pick on carvin electronics as not having an unique character, but it is important to note that inside you can do fine adjustments to the centers of all 3 bands of eq inside the control cavity. Though I have never felt the need to do so.
I've got an LB75A Anniversary series, 1997 vintage (older style bridge...but it did have the 3-band EQ).
Don't have any direct experience with the Lakland, but I can tell you that the Carvin build quality is superb. The bass plays wonderfully.
The pups and electronics are adequate. I took 'em out and put in Bart 59Js and an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp.
The result is awesome. It sounds fantastic and is incredibly versatile. I find the shape pretty boring, but the wood is really nice (the Anniversary series has a five-piece neck and a nice quilted top...the original owner went full-pimp and got gold hardware and abalone block inlays, which I think is a bit over the top...I'd prefer black hardware and no neck inlays).
Given that you can get Carvins real cheap on ebay, and that the pup/preamp upgrade will cost you only a few hundred at most, it's a pretty amazing deal.
FWIW I've also got a BB75 fretless with carvin's full-boat electronics (including the piezo bridge pickup). Tonewise it's pretty cool (and better than the original LB75 electronics), but I can't get over what the Barts and OBP-3 did to the LB75A. Really big difference. It's an upgrade I'd recommend to anyone.
I had a 55-02 and loved it. Great bass. Kinda wish I still had it. Oh well.
I also have a Carvin fretless 6 string. Superior build quality, poor (in my opinion) electronics. I relaced everything with Bartolini and am much happier.
i have a Carvin LB75 and LB76F i love both instruments and highly recomend them, I've never played a lakeland so I can't relly compare the two, I dont really have a problem with the electronics, but i never tried anything else
I used to LOVEmy Carvin 6 string, but my 55-02 kicks the crap out of it. Mostly on the B string. The lakland has a much fuller sound on the B string. That is the shorter scale and the electronics.
Carvin stringspacing is nice if you are not a slapper. I am asloppy slapper so i like the wide lakland necks.
I have a Carvin LB75. Great bass, great construction, great feel (love the ebony board), and I have no issues whatsoever with the B string - a good setup and the proper gaugue string is all you need. You can order the Carvin with a wider asymmetrical neck (19 mm string spacing). The standard neck string spacing is identical to a Sting Ray (17 mm). I'm a smaller guy (5' 5"), so I prefer a 34" scale as opposed to the 35" scale.
As far as Lakland goes, they are great basses as well, but they are a totally different animal - 35" scale, bolt on neck, bartolini and aguilar electronics, etc. Where the basses are similar is in the attention to detail and quality. I've played Laklands and liked the tone, but I do not want a 35" scale, so they are out for me.
You can pick up used Carvins relatively cheap, and then mod the hell out of them if you like, but I wouldn't do that right away.
The electronics are a subjective thing. I have all stock electronics in mine, and I get tons of compliments on my tone both live and in the studio. If you were to get one, I would work with the stock electronics for a good while and form your own opinion, as opposed to those who may be giving second and third hand advice with no direct experience.
Bottom line - it's your money. Spend it as you see fit. Buy the bass that speaks to you - make up your own mind, and you will be happier. I don't think that you can really go wrong with either choice.
Carvin...no question about it!
Lakland all the way. Carvins are just OK but the string spacing is too tight and the electronics would have to be replaced.
I had a Carvin 6 string and a 5 string bass. THe 6 string was Walnut with mahogony neck and the 5 string was all Maple. Both necks continued to bow in on me until there was no longer any truss rod adjustment left to compensate with. I had a Carvin 7 string guitar tht had a very stable neck. I still own one Carvin DC145 guitar that has a finicky neck that moves substantially more than any of my Ibanez guitars.
So in my opinion, Carvin is using some green lumber to make instruments or something to this effect.What's more is tht I found hte Carvin on board preamps in my basses to suck pretty bad.THe preamps were quiet which is good. but tonally, when activating the preamp, I could instantly hear the midrange dissapear. I think the pickups were about a 5 out of 10 but the preamp was about a 3 out of 10
I think that Lakland is a much better bass all around.I'd take one very quickly over any Carvin bass.
As always happens in these threads, you're getting every possible answer.
Useful, ain't it?
Normally, I would say Lakland without even thinking about it but,
The Carvin that Ed Friedland uses and has sound clips on his website of sounds spectacular.
i love my Lakland, but Ed does make those Carvins sound awesome, but I think Ed could make an SX sound awesome....
All goes back to what is stated a lot around here and everywhere else in the music world - the instrument is a tool - your primary tone comes from your hands, technique, feel, and experience. Great equipment helps, but a lousy player will sound equally bad on an SX or a Sadowsky. BTW, Ed Friedland's (and Bunny Brunel's) Carvins are all STOCK, electronics included.