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Lakland 55-02D vs. Thumb BO

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matt326, Jan 20, 2005.


  1. Hi to all; I'm relatively new here, but not new to playing bass. I'm having a terrible time deciding between these two basses. I play a lot of different types of music, and I'm currently in a band that plays mainly hard rock. I have played both these basses at length and love both of them. I really like the Warwick's tone, but the neck is a little thick; maybe it just takes some getting used to. The Lakland with Barts has a tone I like equally well, but it's different from the Thumb. The neck on the Lakland is extremely comfortable. I'm driving myself crazy trying to make a decision. :help:
     
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    This is easy, get the 55-02. IMO, no Warwick can come close to the 55-02/55-94.
     
  3. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I'd go with the 55-02. But if you were talking thumb NT5 and 55-02, I'd go with the thumb.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    There are several things to consider here.

    One is the tonal differences. The Lakland is very good at traditional 'fendery' tones. The Thumb is more modern and growlier than the Lakland.

    The Lakland is more versatile, with the coil tap on the bridge pickup and the 3 band preamp. The Thumb gets pretty much two or three tones, that all sound like a Thumb. Which isn't bad if you like that tone.

    The third thing is ergonomics. The Lakland is medium weight, has a very comfortable neck, and is well balanced. The Thumb is on the heavy side, has a deep, square neck profile that a lot of people find uncomfortable, and is very neck heavy.

    I always advise anybody considering buying a Thumb to play one, standing up, with a strap for two or three hours before they buy. For me, that is a deal breaker. I have already almost had my left wrist damaged permanently by playing a thick profile neck heavy bass, and don't want to do it again.

    But I do love the tone of the Thumb.
     
  5. Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like the Lakland is the way to go here. I had myself pretty much convinced to buy the 55-02 already, but needed some input from others. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help.
     
  6. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Definatly, if its uncomfortable, chances are you won't like playing it. Thus, you won't enjoy creating music.

    Though I it is probable that I have not been playing bass for as long as you, I have learned this lesson the hard way and I wish to sing it out to the world, so to speak. I made a very premature switch to 5 string bass after only playing bass for about half a year. Over the course of another half a year, I learned you can play pretty much anything on anything with enough practice. However, I didn't enjoy doing it. Consequently, I swallowed my pride and went back to 4.

    Approximatly three years later, I am now searching again for a 5. But this time, read my thread "Choosing a 5", and you can see the great pains I am taking in making sure it is comfortable.

    Unlike you, if I go with the wrong choice, I won't even be able to play the thing!
     
  7. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Why a thumb? If you like the "warwick" tone, you may like another "more comfortable" model. I've done the Lakland thing, I had a 55-94 deluxe. It just didn't do anything for me, really. I also had a Thumb NT5, which I thought sounded absolutely wonderful (wenge neck), but the weight and body size were CRAZY. I'm talking around 13 to 14 pounds, and I couldn't reach the first fret easily. So, I finally decided to revisit the warwick products, and I picked up a (used) Streamer Stage I 5 string. Much better, for me, than both the thumb and the 55-94. It's light, around 9 to 9.5 pounds, has great ergonomics, and sounds great. Try some other warwick, you might like 'em.
     
  8. I've never played a streamer. The closest I've come to that shape is a Spector Legend 5; I wasn't crazy about the string spacing on the Spector. How does the Streamer compare to the Spector? I have to ask because the music store options in this area are limited to say the least. Maybe a trip to Bass Central is in order?
     
  9. 1954bassman

    1954bassman

    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Lakland every time... :p


    deManBass
     
  10. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Well, if you are talking about 5 strings, then my streamer isn't your "normal" warwick string spacing. The Streamer Stage I 5 has stock string spacing of 20mm. I believe most Warwicks have 16.5mm string spacing on 5 and 6 strings. Some of the models have optional wide neck, which bumps it up to 20mm. I've tried to deal with the tighter string spacing before on a number of basses (Modulus Q5 and Flea 5, MM SR5, and a couple others). I liked 19mm best until I got my streamer. The 20mm really works well for me in combination to the flat fingerboard radius they use.
     
  11. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Hey Sean, did you try out the funkmasters?
     
  12. Eggman

    Eggman

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Matt - I have owned plenty of Warwick basses - and in my experience all of them have had the same neck dimensions. I liked them at first - but then after trying Dingwalls and Laklands - I found the thinner neck profiles of the Dingwalls and Laklands more to my liking and easier to play. All of my Warwicks are gone. I now have a Dingwall 4 and 5 and a Lakland 44-02 and 55-02.

    Out to the Warwicks - my Streamer was the most comfortable to play - and I enjoyed the LX with the solid maple body. I thought the maple bodies produced the best tone.

    Back to your decision - out of the two you listed - Lakland 55-02. If you haven't tried one - try a Dingwall too.
     
  13. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Not yet! As soon as I recondition the body, I'll string 'em up.

    To each their own. You really won't know which one you prefer until you spend some time with both. Eggman likes the Lakland neck dimensions better than the Warwick, but you'll find just as many opposing views. I haven't spent enough time with the Warwick to say if I like it "better" than anything else. Right now, it's working for me.

    You may also want to consider the scale length question. The Thumb BO you are looking at is probably 34" scale, and the 55-02 is definitely 35" scale. Some people say they can't tell the difference, but I certainly can (on most basses). I actually think I'm sold on the 34" scale, again. I bought into the 35" scale hype, but the 34" is just more comfortable for me, personally.
     
  14. I've made a decision. I'll get the Lakland now, and in six months or so, buy a Warwick of one flavor or another. Now I have to figure out how to explain it to my wife. Thanks again to everyone who replied; you guys are great!
     
  15. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Great choice, but if you check my gear page, you'll know I'm biased. :)

    Also, while it is a 35" scale, the bass is very well designed, so there is no "reach" problem. However, when spanning 4 frets (1/finger) below the 5th fret, you'll notice the slight extra stretch it just like on any 35" scale bass (if you're used to 34"). FWIW, I have relatively small hands, and have no problem with it whatsoever.

    FWIW, I love the Warwick tone, but after spending even a mere 10 minutes playing one, I knew it wasn't for me. Same as the other poster here... just too heavy/neck heavy, and the main deal breaker... the neck profile. Just way too baseball bat like for me.

    I will admit I didn't spend as much time with the wider spaced Streamer, but frankly, I don't think that would've changed things. My problem with the Warwicks is not their extra narrow spacing, but it's something to think about... especially if you wanna' slap, and even more so if you wanna' double thump. .5mm may not sound like much, but you will feel it.
     
  16. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I'm solidly in the Lakland camp, and have a pair of 55-94s. I've found the Lakland with the Duncan Basslines gives up a little bottom (very little), but you can dial in an infinite amount of growl. If you get the 55-02 for the right price you might want to think about dropping in a set of Basslines down the road if it's growl you want. Of course having another bass is always fun, but the PUP change would be cheaper and easier to justify to "she."
     
  17. I would go with the Lakland. I have had a few negative experiences with Warwick in the past. Laklands quality is great, and I think youd be more satisfied with the Lakland.
     
  18. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    55-02

    Easy choice.

    But without a good amp/cab your b string will fall off a little.
     
  19. pools

    pools

    Feb 28, 2004
    i've bought a 55 02 2 days ago it's a bomb!!!!
    it has wonderfull tones excellent playability and punch!!!!
    ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM WITH THE LOW B!
    I LOVE IT.
    go for it you will like it!! :D