Lakland experts/fans, weigh in!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MattyH, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Hey guys. I've been in the market for a 55-02 for a while now, but I've never gotten the chance to play one. There aren't a lot of places that carry them by me. Actually, no one does. Until I hit Sam Ash yesterday and there were 2 55-02's and a 44-01! I ran over and plugged in.

    I always wanted the Cherryburst but it was way too bright and flashy. I loved the black, and with an aftermarket pickguard (tortoise or white pearloid), it would be perfect.

    Now for my questions to all Lakland people! Help me decide!

    1 - It looks like my only option is a maple fretboard. I played it and it was great. I've always used rosewood. I know the differences, but does anyone notice a huuuuuge change? I don't want to regret the maple, but there was no extreme crispness to it. It seems the tonal variety on the bass really makes up for it and covers all grounds. So is everyone happy with their maple fretted Lakland?

    2 - Although the floor model wasn't terrible, it had flaws. In the picture below, notice how either the saddles or the neck it self is slightly off. The A is not dead center, and the G is almost off the neck. I'd absolutely ask for money off to at least cover a set up if there wasn't one in a box in the back, unopened. 2 knobs were also somewhat loose. Lakland owners, are these fixable?


    (I really highly doubt I would take this floor model because of these flaws, but I figured I'd share anyway)

    3 - This bass was LOUD! Can I expect that when I take it home and plug it in or was this some weird fluke?

    Thanks for reading guys. Just let me know your opinions, and if I'll love this bass in the long run!
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    The misaligned neck seems to be common. There was a huge thread about it here a few weeks ago.
  3. evhest


    Jun 10, 2006
    Look at the saddles. That bass hasn't been set up at all, I think.
  4. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Hmm that rings a bell. That's not selling me on it.
  5. Black Bart

    Black Bart

    Sep 11, 2010
    I have a very similar 44-02 that has a little issue with a suicidal G string, but found that the G saddle sometimes likes to wander during string changes. So now I always make sure to check that it is aligned properly. Still not perfect, but works.

    That bass does look like it could use a proper setup as I'm sure it's gotten beaten up a little being on the floor.

    Also the LH3 pre is pretty hot, this is normal, be prepared to tick off the neighbors - in a good way.
  6. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    The neck played well but I felt like it was in disparate need of one. I don't think it would be too much to ask to have them set it up to see what I'd be leaving with. I usually have smooth transactions at Sam Ash, and if they want to make sales they need to keep the condition of these instruments better. The Cherry Burst one on the left there was disgusting. And all the knobs on that were about ready to fall off.
  7. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I started the mis-aligned neck thread. Is that bass used? If you want it, I would ask the guys at Sam Ash to set it up before you buy it just to make sure that everything lines up. Or, ask if they have more in the back. If so, get the sales guys to bring all of them to you, go through every one until you find "the one" that you like. Also, don't be afraid to call Lakland and talk to them directly and ask them about your findings at the Retail store. I went through 3 Indonesian made 55-02's, sending all of them back to the online reatiler before buying a Korean 55-02 used. If it is under warranty, I'm sure Lakland will cover it, they have IMO the best customer service in the business. FWIW,

    I was told that the neck shift was due to rough handling during shipping. I do not know if this is the case or not. If so, better packaging is needed. Either way, Lakland is a GREAT company and I think that you would be totally with a 55-02.

    I bought 2) 44-02D's and 1) 55-102D within 3 weeks, sold all of my other basses and now only have Laklands. For me they are the Holy Grail. They cover all of the tonal spectrum for me and I play just about everything there is music wise. These are great basses. I have never enjoyed playing a bass as much as I have enjoyed my Laklands.

    In regards, to the Rosewood Vs Maple, I have both and can't hear a bit of difference and I'm VERY picky about my sound.
  8. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    Every Lakland I've dealt with has been a super quality instrument! I'd say make that shop give it a proper set up and see where it stands. I always used Rosewood necks, as well. Until I got my Classic 55-94. The best neck I've ever played. In the 16 years I've owned this bass, I've never put a wrench to the truss rod. It has stayed true as can be. You will not be disappointed by Lakland.
  9. Holdsg

    Holdsg Father of Pugs Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Agree on the maple v. Rosewood fretboard. Own both and don't seem to feel or hear any demonstrable difference. Chicks dig the maple though, and I've seen grown men soon over black and maple basses. So hard to go wrong.
  10. IMO, there is little tonal difference between rosewood and maple fretboards. I buy based on personal preference in how they look. If you like how it looks and plays then go for it with no regrets.

    Almost any bass will need a setup out of the box in my experience so if you want it makes sure they toss a setup in. As mentioned the string alignment is very common with Skylines. I think the bridges are slightly off BUT the problem seems to be rectified by shifting the neck a touch. The store should be able to do this for you to make sure everything is OK. The knobs are probably an easy fix as well. That would be the last thing I would worry about. Make sure the neck shifting fixes the strings that would be the main thing.

    Not a weird fluke. The Lakland pre is hot!
  11. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    i owned a DJ 5 for about three weeks and it was a looker.
    one of the things that made me return it was the bridge saddle for the g string would bottom out and the action still be too high. even lakand told me that it was an easy fix; just shim it.
    when i spend $1300 on an instrument, i am not going to shim anything. to me it was unacceptable so i returned it for a refund. to me it was like putting a bandaid on a bigger problem.
    you might want to check for enough adjustment.
    just my experience.
  12. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
  13. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL

    I tend to lean towards Ebony, Maple, and then Rosewood as a preference. It's great when there are options. However, the Bass shown here and in question simply kills with the Black/Maple color scheme. Drop dead sexy if you ask me.
  14. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    True. The neck needs a simple tweak/setup. If it were me, I'd loosen the strings followed by the neck bolts. Have a pal assist you and gently/slightly tweak the neck towards the bass side as one of you retighten the bolts. Retune and adjust saddles to your playing style/tastes.

    Nice bass! Jump on it.
  15. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    Don't forget to check out the Lakland Owners Group web site for more in depth discussions and fun.
  16. Loads of Lakland's have misaligned pups/necks/bridges. Poor show IMO. Cool basses but too expensive for the current QC.
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    They are pretty much all like that (vis a vis the dots/string alignment). They should come with a great set up and Plek job right from Lakland. The basses on the Lakland website look basically like that, too.

    Here is my 10 year-old 55-01 Deluxe, with the same offset. The setup and neck alignment are 100% perfect!

  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I don't agree. :meh:
  19. I own a 55-94 Deluxe with maple board and previously owned a Skyline JO5 with a rosewood board. I prefer the maple, although the rosewood was still great. IMHO, the biggest difference in tone came from the Fralin J PUPs on the JO5. I've also owned a Korean 5501 Skyline, the DPLE II Glaub with the Darkstar and J neck with a rosewood board as well as a Korean Glaub with rosewood. I've never had an issue with misaligned neck, although the 5501 was an early model (Gotoh tuners) and had some electronic problems that Lakland fixed, no charge. Overall, the basses are killer, but a good setup on a used one is almost a given.
  20. pb9717

    pb9717 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    Walk away.....I just sold a KILLER 55-02 for just over 8 hundy to a felllow TB'er. Your better off with the OLDER PUPs/Pre, and a Korean 55-02. Plus you"lll save a few hundred to boot. Find a used one, and enjoy.