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Lakland 55-02 or Fender Roscoe Beck 5???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by afroman, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've decided to sell my Stingray5. I like the bass but have been using it less and less recently and I've never loved the sound. I like it's powerful punchy mids but I dislike the highs. Anyway I want to have another bass and I've narrowed everything to these two basses.

    I own a Lakland 55-01 which I upgraded to "real " Bart pickups and preamp. The sound is very balanced, very clear and beautiful highs. I love the neck and the sound. I think I'd love the 55-02 due to the MM/j pickups. I could get clear, articulate sounds and also more powerful punchy sound from the MM pickup.

    Or get a Roscoe Beck 5. I t seems to be able to get a variety of sounds from its pickup scheme. I think it could be a good complement to my 55-01, cause with the RB5 I could get more aggresive punch if needed as well as other sounds. The thing I'm scared about is that from what I've read, the neck may be chunky or too bulky. The Laklands' neck is very wide, but thin and the SR5 was less wide but chunkier. Both were comfortable to me.

    Even though it seems contradictory (I sell a Stingray5 to choose between 2 basses with similar MM pickups). I want to get a very good bass that gives the ability to get clear and articulate sounds, but also the meat and punch needed for rock.

    Which one is the best overall bass in your opinion.?????
    Please give me the pros and cons.
    Thanks in advance...
  2. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I have a 44-02, and it is plenty good for rock. I don't think the RB5 provides clear and articulate sounds, though it is quite meaty and puncy, more so than the 55-02. The 55-02 is a pretty fantastic instrument, it's pretty hard to beat, and I can't imagine an RB5 even coming close to it sonically.
  3. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for your help.

    Anyone else have any opinions.
    Please feel free to express yourself.

  4. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Have you read this (now famous) article on the RB5 yet?

    I can appreciate Mud's enthusiasm for the 55-02, it is a great bass, but Lakland being a great bass doesn't mean the Roscoe Beck isn't clear and articulate too.

    The RB5 is so versitile that it does prestine, clear and articulate very very well -- in addition to the tones Mud alluded to.

    Also, because the RB5 is passive, a whole world of preamp choices are available to you, and that plays huge when you are thinking about tones at your disposal.

    In my opinion, the only concern with the RB5 is the one you voiced: the neck. Actually, if you have a bad back, its weight might be a concern too.

    I love the Fender Jazz neck for 4 string basses, but for 5 and 6 stringers I prefer a thin, flat neck -- like the Lakland.

    If it were me, I'd give the RB5 some quality time in a store -- remembering that most things aren't bad nor good, but rather a matter of personal taste and getting used to it. If I found I could like the neck of the RB5, I'd go for it. There are some really gorgeous ones up on ebay right now too.

  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I'll put in a plug for the Peavey USA Millennium Five. I just swapped by Millennium four for the five and I'm quite pleased. The has a sweet pau ferro fretboard and a neck with graphite rods. The scale is 35". These basses can be thought of as the bolt on equivalent of a Peavey Cirrus. The pickup layout is indentical to that of the 55-94/55-02 with a neck postion j and a bridge MM. They sound very similar to Lakland but the don't have the coil splitting switch. This bass can get a fingerstyle tone very similar to that of the bridge pickup soloed on Jazz without the hum. It also can come close to approximating the slap sound of a Stingray V. The neck pickup soloed delivers a solid P-bass tone, but you probably will have to turn it up a bit to compensate for that pickups' relatively low output.

    Not only do these basses sound great, they are also very good looking. Mine has a green finish with a flamed maple top and an alder body. The neck is one piece maple. I understand that Peavey is about to reintroduce this model, but I recommend that you look for the original version because most stores have this at a discounted price since they have been discontinued. They can be had for $600-900 new and considerably cheapeer than that on Ebay. This is a great bass with a build quality that is comparable to a Musicman or G&L, and better than a Skyline from what I have seen. In my opinion, the USA Millennium compares favorably to the USA Laklands which should be surprising since Peavey is a huge manufacturer and it can produce high quality product at a lower price point than a small shop like Lakland. Their Cirrus neck throughs clearly attest to the quality that Peavey can produce at a pretty modest price. As you can tell, Ireally like these basses! :bassist:
  6. Jordan


    Feb 22, 2004
    Having owned three 55-94's, two Roscoe Beck 5's, and three Stingrays, I feel qualified to respond.
    The Lakland will have a better B string (one of the best), but the RB's is still good. The RB is probably more versatile than the Lakland, though the Laklands have more than a few nice sounds as well. The RB can do a really smoking Jaco bridge tone if that's your thing. The Lakland has the advantage of having a preamp with a 3 band EQ, plus it can be run in passive mode, but it doesn't have the passive tone roll off of the RB which I like. Still, you can roll the treble down on the Lakland and get a similar sound if you want.
    The RB definitely has a very wide and chunky neck, plus it is a glossed neck, which may bother you. I have small hands and I loved the feel of the RB (it looks and feels big, like a bass should sound). Laklands have a non-finished neck that is slightly more narrow and thinner (the string spacing is.. perfect. not too wide, not too narrow).

    Other than the chunky neck thing, I think you could go from a Stingray to either instrument and be very happy. That's what I did.

  7. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    This is very hard to decide. The only problem is that I alreday own a Lakland 55-01 and I love its neck. But the RB5 looks very interesting. The problem is that I can't try an RB5 here in Puerto Rico and I'm kind of scared about the neck being too chunky or unconfortable.

    Also, is the sonic diference of the 55-02 vs. the 55-01 big enough that I could have both and they would sound diferent or is it better get a completely dif. soundind bass like the RB5????

    Tell me all you can.
    Thanks in advance...
  8. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX

    Is the difference in sound between the 55-01 and 55-02 enough that I could have them both and get two different sounding basses??? or will they sound just about the same??

    Remember I put "real" Bart pickups and preamp in the 55-01.