1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Lakland 55-94 Seymour Duncan Update

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KJung, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hello guys. As some may remember, I had my 55-94 Deluxe with Bartolini's for sale a while back, due to my having too much stuff :D , and that I was a little tired of the Bart sound. Well, a fellow TBer purchased it and noticed that the A string was slightly under volume vs. the rest of the bass. I had never noticed that in many years of playing it (and others had never noticed it either). However, when he checked with Dan Lakin, under certain playing situations (primarily using a pick up toward the neck.. which I never do), the A string did have a problem on the early models. Wow! Ok... being an honest guy, I immediately returned his money and took the bass back. I talked to Dan, and he graciously said he would swap the old Barts for new ones at his cost (this is a really good company, by the way... great people). I decided on getting new Seymours vs the Barts, since I always loved the playability of the bass and was primarily tired of the Bart sound. Well to make a long story slightly less long, less than a week later and for a very good price, I have my 55-94 back... cleaned up, adjusted and with brand new Seymours.

    Very cool... the Seymours are much more aggressive... with really grindy mids and an aggressive treble end... but the bass still maintains the Lakland 55-94 character.

    So... the reason I'm posting... if any of you love your 55-94 but maybe need the sound freshened up a bit... I would highly recommend this swap. These pickups are definitely not for everyone (I think 90%+ of the 55-94 ship with Barts), but I like them a lot.

  2. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    nice bass!
  3. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I've wanted to do this mod on my 55-94 for a while. I do want to change the sound, but love the bass. Does it still have a good slap sound??? From the descriptions I've read, it seems to be more of a 'rock' modification. Right now I'm playing more blues/funk/lounge music crap with added slap (maybe I've created a playing style?). I don't want to create unwanted signal distortion from overly hot pickups. Anyway, you mentioned that the sound was not for everyone - could you please expand on this???
    [/CO :confused: LOR]
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hello. I have not had it on a gig yet, but I actually never liked the Bart's slap sound... I like a punchy slap sound with some mids, but the Barts in that bass to my ear just had too much mid punch and too low of a treble frequency response. So... just playing it at home, the slap sound seems much better... a little more sizzly but still not overly scooped. They are MUCH hotter than the Barts... I'm getting ready to PAD the output down a little, assuming there's an output volume control in the cavity.

    Give me a couple weeks to get it on a few gigs, and PM me... I'll have a better feel for it then.
  5. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    I´ve been thinking of going duncan also... Do you have any soundclips of your bass? If you do, please post some...
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I unfortunately don't have recording capabilty. I just lowered the output of the preamp, and the Duncan's sound great... man that preamp was set hot from the factory.

    A note to you Bart 55-94 users. I found that changing the center frequency of the mid control using the internal DIP switches made a lot of difference. The Barts have such a strong 500hz bump (IMO), that the factory setting of 500hz for the mid control seemed not that usable to me... it got very honky when boosted and took way too much low end out when cut. I switched the center frequency to the highest point (800 hz). That really made the mid control more useful, to me anyway. It was great to cut just a little to get the slap sound a little less 'nasally', and didn't overlap at all with the bass control when boosting.

    Interestingly, I'm finding the 500hz default setting works wonderfully for the Seymours.. since they are a touch scooped vs. the Barts.

    The good news is, you can swap the Seymours in with absolutely no routing... so other than the cash, there's very little risk. If you need a little more sizzle in your slap... this might be the way to go.

  7. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    congrats on the upgrade...its funny how gear can find its way back to you sometimes :)
  8. So now you're basking in your 55-94's very eViL j-ish tone huh???


    I wish I had enough money for this beast of a bass! I really want one bad, but I'm going to have to settle for now, and go get a Spector Legend. But, Someday, I will own one... or two or three, whichever I see fit :D ... and what my girl allows, of course! :smug:

  9. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    This is how I recall my former 55-94, as well... a good sound that many like, but not my particular favorite for thumbing.

    How are they in passive mode? IIRC, the Lakland Barts are deliberately underwound slightly to provide more high-end response, hence they sound so 'weak' (i.e. big volume drop) when you bypass the preamp. Just wondering if the Duncans in passive mode sound 'stronger'.
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The Duncan's have a stronger output than the original Barts... but IMO are still rather thin and weak in passive mode. Not even close to, for example, the DJ model... with those Aero's for some reason providing massive passive output (that's a really good sounding model, but the way!). I think the passive mode for the 55-94 is really a 'fail safe' mode in case of battery failure, etc.
  11. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Ahhhhhh ha! This is exactly what I want to do with my 55-01! I've sanded the paint off the top and back of the bass so far...gonna be a natural look now with the black paint still on the sides. Looks killer. i just need the exact same pup upgrade. Pray tell...how much would those pups cost...I can't seem to find them anywhere on line???!!!! Also would I be able to use the stock preamp for now? (Cost restraints)
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    PM sent
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Uh-oh, sounds like you didn't quite do your homework.

    The pickups on the 55-01 aren't the right size, the duncans aren't going to fit without routing, and that will also leave holes that need covered up by a pickguard. If you want that same pickup upgrade, you'll need a 55-02, not the 55-01.

    The preamp in the 55-01 is a weaker link than its pickups, IMO.
  14. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    FWIW - those Duncans look really cool in that bass too! I love the look of the exposes poles.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Thanks Joel... it actually freaked me out a little when it showed up... given how different of a vibe it gave the bass... but I like it a lot.
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I wasn't familiar with those Skyline numbers. So it sounds like the 55_01 is the one with the two soapbars and the 02 is the 'copy' of the 55-94? If that's the case, you are correct... he is out of luck. It was my understanding that the preamp in the 55_02 is identical to the 55-94. Is that correct?
  17. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Yes, yes, yes, and.....yes. :p
  18. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    OK...iI understand that I have soapbars and that it would require routing. However...what do you mean by holes? the holes left behind by the old soapbars that won't match up with the MM pup??? Wouldn't they be covered up by the MM pup when installed??? Would they be a hinderance to the MM pup???
  19. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I don't think the 55-94 style pickups would fit at all if you have the Skyline with the two equal size humbuckers. I wouldn't think it would be worth all the routing, etc. you would have to do.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I'll stick with my Barts for now but I will take your advice and tweak the DIPs for the 800 hz response.

    Thanks...and nice bass!