lakland 55-02 do you dial in the Stingray sound??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by charlemagne, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. charlemagne


    Nov 5, 2003
    I've been playing the same old (wonderful) Stingray V since 1991...time for something new!! So I bought a used 55-02 deluxe. I really like the bass...but I kind of miss the Musicman sound. It just sounds ballsier, especially on the low end.

    Can anyone give me advice on how to get a close-to-stingray tone? Is it even possible? I haven't messed with the midrange switch inside yet...the bass has the stock Bartolinis and I'm wondering if Seymour Duncans would help.

    Any advice appreciated!
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I don't own a Lakland but I have fooled around with them enough in shops. I recommend that you turn all eq controls on full then dial back to a bit more than half on treble. That comes pretty close to a Stingray to me. Part of the problem is the Bartolinis. They simply don't have the output of stock MM pickups. I read on Lakland's website where Dan Lakin tested his basses and he found that Seymour Duncan Basslines are better at getting the true Stingray sound than Bartolinis.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    IME, it can't be done with the stock Bartolini setup. The first reason being that the bridge pickup isn't a MM style pickup at all. It is a twin Jazz pickup under a MM cover.

    With the Duncan Basslines pickups and preamp, it can most definitely be done. I have played a 55-94(USA model) with the Duncans, and a 44-02 with them, and they both pretty much nailed the Stingray 4 tone. Even better than the Stingray 5 does.
  4. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I've had several 4-94s. The first one had Bartolinis and the StingRay tone wasn't there. My current 4-94s have Duncan alnico pickups and you can nail the StingRay tone (I know it b/c I've got an SR too and I've done several recording comparisons). Blend all the way to the MM pickup, coil tap in the middle and add some bass boost (becasue the pickup on the Lakland is closer to the bridge and then the tone has less bottom). I sold my first Lakland becasue I was so used to the StyingRay tone that the Barts were way too mild for my taste.

    keep groooovin'
  5. charlemagne


    Nov 5, 2003
    Thanks for the advice! I think I'm going to order some alnico Duncans and see what happens....from what I'm reading it might even be an improvement on my '91 SR V...I used to play a '77 Stingray and the SR V never quite matched the output...I didn't know about the alnico vs. ceramic issue but maybe that's the difference.

    So thanks everybody for helping me justify yet another purchase!! :D :D
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As embellisher says, it's a different animal with the Bart pups, (same as I have on my "hard-ass sounding" ash/maple 55-02).

    BUT don't forget two things;

    1. The variable preamp may give you a sound you like even better than a `Ray. As you say, you haven't messed with it. Plus, amp/bass preamp settings can make a large difference

    2. Why buy a new bass that duplicates the tone of a bass you already have ???? :confused: -------- (rhetorical question).
  7. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Youre really killing me, now i know that there isnt a bass made for me for under 3500 euros. :crying:
  8. Can't be done! That's why I got rid of mine....

    The Bart's just aren't the same and the positioning is too far back towards the bridge to get a full sound. You can try a SD, but positioning is everything. Try measuring the distance from the bridge to the p/u and you will see the MM has it slightly more towards the neck giving it a distinctive sound. The Bart pre-amp is too strong on the boost at the wrong freq (40hz) to be useful for the same sound.

    Use the 55-02 as a versatile modern sounding bass, because it won't ever be a MM, a Jazz or a P-bass....close but not really there on any of them....

  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sure there is! You can get the Duncan electronics in the 55-02 as an option, too. Not limited to the USA model. That is one of two basses that I GAS for. A 55-02 with Duncans, and a dual humbucker Bongo 5.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Rick, I know some people will think that I'm(we're) crazy for believing that fingerboard wood makes a difference on a fretted instrument, but didn't you say one time that your maple boarded 02 gets closer than the rosewood board Bart version?
  11. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Scott hit it on the head. I became frustrated with my 55-02 with Barts and my 44-02 with Duncans, realizing that neither one *perfectly* nailed the MM sound, so I sold them both.

    However, for some of the playing I do at church, the 55-02 is perfect for dialing up a tone that is similar to the jazz/music man/p-bass et. al. The B strings are solid and the "Lakland tone" (MM+Jazz together) is a great sound in its own. I'm actually going to buy another 55-02 knowing that it is what it is "a versatile modern sounding bass" that is a true do-it-all in one case kind of bass.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Pretty doggone late to get back on this with you, Jeff........BUT have been working a locked-up deal with booking agent that has had me on the road for the last couple of weeks.

    Anywho - Let `em think we're crazy. You know you can hear it and I know I can hear it. As you see stated here, time and time again - the longer you play and the more basses you have owned, the more the subtleties become apparent. (You know - the threads you've seen where a newbie says, "I tried a (insert mega-dollar bass here) and I don't see any difference between that and my MIM Fender"

    Those maple fretboards have such a "snap" because they're so hard and dense, the string just bounces off of them like a kid on a new trampoline.

    Gabon ebony foxes me, though. I love it because I can get warm and mellow with it or I can get nastiness out of it. Too bad it's so rare these days.
  13. I'm going to sit in the 'You can't dial in the Stingray tone on a 55-02' camp. At least not with the Barts. I did some pretty exhaustive listening tests with the 55-02 and my SR5 and I couldn't dial the tone in on the Lakland. Not even close enough to put it in the ballpark, IMO. However, the default tone of the 55-02 (both PUs on, both coils of the MM on, EQ flat) is totally bitchen (to cop Munji's word ;)) and unique. I want one, though not badly enough to sell my SR5. :D

    Yes, you can hear the difference between fingerboard woods on fretted basses. It's quite apparent on Musicman basses.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    And IME, on Fender Jazz basses too. And most other J types.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    It's cool, Rick. I haven't been able to spend much time on TB for the past couple of weeks myself.