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Lakland compares to Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Ok, thinking of buying a Lakland 44-02 unplayed. I have never touched a lakland. I hear it is very vesatile, and is a little mellower than a musicman which is a good thing, because I play with acoustic guitarists.

    Now Seeing as I dont have a lakland to compare it too maybe you guys could help me out. I asked someone this through PM already and got a good response, just looking for more oppinions.

    How does a Lakland 44-02 compare to a Fender(Geddy, J, P, MIA,MIM). I ask this because I can go play a fender anytime so I can kinda get an idea of the tone if you help me out.

    as far as....

    String Spacing
    Neck-Finish, width, chunkyness, finish
    tone... Specific settings on the fenders to get an idea if any?
    overal feel? or extra comments.

    Is it kinda like a stingray with the bass boosted and the mids/treb cut?

    I hear the Laklands have extremely good build quality even though they are made in Korea, true?

    Thanks Bigtime.
  2. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I have played a couple of Laklands and Fenders but it was a while back. But the point I was going to make would be to wonder if the store you are buying sight unseen from has a return policy of some kind. That way if you have 48/72 hours or a week to try it and don't like it you can ship it back. As long as you don't mind paying shipping and insurance to return it then you are good to go.
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Most reputable dealers will offer you an "audition period" of some length. Ask about that...
  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'm not a big Fender fan, but I'm a huge Lakland fan. I figured I'd let my biases be known in advance.

    There's all kinds of Fender's so it's hard to compare. They have different neck shapes, quality, etc.

    The 44-02 neck width is between a Jazz and Precision at 1.6"
    The neck in terms of thickness is like a Jazz bass. It is pretty slim.
    I'm not familiar with string spacing with Fenders, but the string spacing on the 44-02 is perfect for me to slap or finger pick. I tend to like wider spacing.
    The 44-02 has a satin finish on the neck so it feels slick, not sticky. Once again, Fender has many neck types so some can be satin finish, laquered, etc.
    Tonewise, the 44-02 is less noisy and more versatile than most Fenders. The tone is not quite like a Stingray in that the tone is mellower, and not as aggressive as the Stingray.

    As far as construction is concerned, Lakland USA or Korea is top notch. The fretwork on these basses are second to none, regardless of where they were made. Everything from the woods to hardware to electronics are top notch and fit together flawlessly.

    In my opinion, you can't go wrong with a 44-02. You just have to pick a color and fretboard you like.
  5. you say it is mellower.... is it a Pbass mellow with a round bassy tone, or jazz neck solod mellow? I mean, stingrays are totally unmellow kinda thin if you ask me, so I'm not sure what kind of sound to totally expect
  6. imay want to buy used as wll,more oppinions?
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    FWIW, I have a Lakland USA Joe Osborne and it is, without a doubt, the nicest Jazz Bass I've ever played. I know that's not the model you were looking at but Lakland quality is terrific. While I can only speak with good experience to my USA Lakland, I have played a Skyline JO and thought it to be a nice bass, as well.
  8. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Hi, In my opinion, if you are looking for a mellow sound, the lakland active EQ basses won't cut it. They are more mellow and versatle then a Stingray, but you may not be able to get the jazz fusion treble cut bridge pickup sound (The Jaco tone).

    However, the Joe Osborne skyline would be excellent for just about anything.

    I had an EB musicman sterling musicman, and I eventually sold it. Although it looked great, and sounded great for rock..I found it to be virtually unuseable for jazz and other applications were I wanted a less aggressive tone. To my ears, the active laklands are more comparible to the sterling then stingray, again, super aggressive sounding.

    Have you thought about the Bongo? The tones are way better then most active mid-priced basses out there!

    I played one a couple times, and absolutely wanted to leave the store with it. Not crazy about the shape, but the quality of the sound and the construction is incredible!
  9. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    You're really trying to compare apples to oranges. Although they look the same they are totally different animals. And I am just referring to the tonal capabilities. As far as construction is concerned, Lakland is at a level that few companies can match.

    While I have these positive things to say about Laklands, they are not for me. I purchased a brand new 55-94 deluxe and did not like it after a while and sold it. Just because it is high end, does not mean you will like it. If you buy sight unseen, buy from someone that you can work out a trial period with. Plan for your bass so that when it arrives you have pracitices, or even a gig lined up. If you don't mind paying for shipping both ways, then try it out. Another TBer once suggested to me that I take a flight out to the store where I was going to buy my next bass. If it is feasable, it is not a bad idea. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  10. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    nice words and you tell the truth
  11. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    +1 - Not only that, but it's the first bass I've owned that I consider a "keeper".

    In regards to the 44-02, I've owned a -94 and it straddles the fence between a Fender and MusicMan. Set flat, the bridge pickup sounded the way I like to eq a Stingray, that classic mid-heavey/treble off/flatwounds tone. It's not "thin" and the highs are mellower than a Ray. When blending in the neck pup it's sort of a modern take on a Fender, more even and not so round and bouncy. The Barts have a tone that sounds "plain" playing alone, but really shine in a band IMO. That translates into a tone that appears less aggressive than Fender or MM. But they still sound great.
  12. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
  13. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Nice words my NoVA brother, now let me have a turn...

    I recently traded my Lakland 44-02 for a KSD proto-J 70's. It certainly wasn't because the Lakland 44-02 was a bad bass, in fact, to this date, it is one of the best I have ever played, but I just wanted to try a new sound.

    The tone and versatility of the -02 and -94 series are unbelievable. If you're looking for anything other than slap tone (P.S., Lakland has you covered their too w/ the same series w/ Basslines or Skyline JO or DJ) this is your bass.
  14. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I forgot to mention that Laklands have small vintage style frets. If you prefer big, fat jumbo frets, then a Lakland is not your bag.
  15. DeadPoet


    Jun 4, 2003

    I have just bought a 55-94 Deluxe two weeks ago. I'm someone playing for a living, and owning a Stingray5 and a Ken Smith BSR6.

    Before last week I had only played one Fender in my life that i actually liked, but it was the shopkeepers' own never-selling-tear-it-from-my-dead-cold-fingers'-axe.

    Went to the store for a cable, and saw 3 laklands, 2 -02's and one -94 (mint secondhand).

    When in neck pickup, this thing sound like the fender sound i have in my head. It does however NOT sound like a stingray at all.

    Stingray: heavy, almost blunt sound (i play it with bass and mid fully boost)
    Ken Smith: subtle, round, hi-fi sound. Cuts trough mixes a little too much
    Lakland: fills gap between the two above perfectly.

    Depends on style for me. Since I only have it for a relative short time I'm gigging exclusively with it (always have the appropriate bass as backup) but fits into most styles i do for now.

    Oh yeah, the -02's sound really good, but to me the USA one sounded way better, and more importantly: it feels like butter (that has been out of the fridge for 5 minutes :D )

  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I bought my first 55-94 never having touched one. When I got it, I was blown away by the fit and finish, and by how easily it plays. Tone-wise, the 55-94 is very versatile,but, in my opinion, it doesn't nail the Jazz Bass. Its tone has a little less of an edge than the J-bass, but can get a nice growl of its own. Last night I took two basses to the gig; the 55-94 and an Am Jazz Deluxe FMT. I doubt you'll be disappointed with the Lakland, but tastes differ.
  17. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I would strongly suggest trying one first. I speak from experience. I got a 5501 in a trade just based on the reputation of the bass. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough!!! They are very well made basses but totally different from a Fender Jazz V. Very wide string spacing ( good for slap). Very mid scooped tone (good for slap) Boosting the mids on the bass to compensate for the scooped tone just made the bass sound worse to me. The small frets drove me nuts. I guess I'm just a Fender style kind of guy. All that being said, I know several players that just love them. So try before you buy!!!