Lakland Hollowbody VS Epi Jack Casady

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thumper, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I’m looking at these 2 basses, used they are generally available case and all for about $700 (Casady) and $800 (Lakland).

    I’ve done searches with inconclusive results; most owners are loyal to what they have. I’ve read that overall the Lakland Skyline is a better instrument because it has more usable tones, and is more comfortable to play. That makes sense, considering 2 PUPs and the contoured body.

    OTOH the Casady is lighter, and has serious tone and vibe, with variations available due to the output switch.

    What I’m really looking for is a 34” scale bass that played fingerstyle will get me close to the 60’s round thumpy sound (please, no P with flats comments, I’ve got plenty of basses that can cop that vibe, I want a double cutout hollowbody for visual effects). I don’t need a variety of tones; I’ve found that in any given setting, I just need to find 1 good tone that will sit in the mix. I have plenty of EQ available to sculpt the tone to simulate tonal variety.

    All that said, has anyone out there owned them both, or used them both for gigs (I don’t care how well they record, that’s not what I do)? Given the closeness of cost, and the fact I have no access for ABing them, much less gigging with them, that’s the input I need.
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've owned both. I found the JC neck too skinny, and found the black laquer on the back kinda stick. Caveat: I play Double Bass a lot, and have several big fat necked 5 strings with satin finishes more like the Lakland.
    Tonewise I found the JC to middy for me, and that the "500" or loudest of the varitone positions was the only one I even remotely liked. Caveat: I tend to run all my basses wide open and make all volume and tone adjustments with right hand finger style attack adjustments. That aside, you cannot argue that the two humbuckers, with selector and single/dual coil mode provides a broader tone palette.
    I'd be surprised if you could find a good Lakland Skyline Hollowbody for the same ~$550 you can get a used JC sig for.
    There is a Lakland Skyline HB in the dudepit classifieds. Equipped with a pair of Fred Hammons killer DarkStar pups, which make me drool just on principle. However, I find the stock Bart humbuckers very satisfactory.

  3. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I've finally opened up some room (thinned the herd) for a hollowbody. These are at the top of my list.

    I appreciate Chef's input, but wonder if I could get a consensus that the J.C. is mid-rangey. I'm really looking for a deep thump. My rigs are Mesa Boogie 400+ into 2 SWR Goliath III 410s, or a WT300 into a 210XLT and 115XLT.

    Once I decide which of these basses to buy, the getting is the easy part ;)

    Remember, here in Zion I don't have access to demo either.
  4. jz0h4d


    Apr 26, 2005
    The JC is mid rangy at 500 the worst sounding of the 3 posistions. 50 is the keeper, it's the one Jack uses and is well balanced (tonally.)

    The only thing I disliked about the Cassidy was the neckheaveness of the bass on a strap.

    I would try either bass on a strap before buying.
  5. I own a Jackbass*, but have never played the Lakland.

    The Jackbass will definitely fulfill the requirements you've listed above. ;)

    The Casady bass has a tone somewhat like a hollow-body Precision, though its pickup is not as percussive.

    For visual effect, I don't think anything will scream, "1960s," more than a Jack Casady's looks will. I doubt if anyone in the audience will know or care that the bass you're playing isn't a Guild Starfire, or Gibson EB2.

    I will take the middle position (pun intended :D ) between Chef and jz0h4d in saying that I prefer the middle position on the Jackbass' tone switch, as it gives the tone I like best from among the 3 settings. The 50 setting (lowest) will give the most delicate tones, and really is a pleasure to the ears. :cool:

    For 60s rock, Surf, Grateful Dead and even Motown you can not go wrong with a Jack Casady bass. Fingerstyle is what it excells at! :bassist:

    Good luck.

    Let us know what you get.

    * I believe my Jack Casady bass was delivered 5 years ago yesterday! :eek:
  6. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I actually found a J.C. in SLC (private owner) and am going to demo it tomorrow, probably against the Sadowsky V5, the passive tone control makes it sound pretty vintage all right. Or maybe the Les Paul dlx, it's pretty thumpy sounding as well.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

  8. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I own an Epi JC, a Gibson LP Signature and a Lakland HB. No matter which one you buy, you are on a win/win trail. Yep, the Gibson has better tone and build quality than the Epi, but for the money, the Epi is tough to beat. I think the Lakland is built better than the Epi, but it is significantly more money, and should be. Both will do what you want. You can't lose with either one.
  9. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    I have owned an Epi JC and a Lakland US hollowbody. Both have since been sold. Both were great basses, but the Lakland was much more comfortable to play, especially standing up. The body contours of the JC always dug into my right arm. For the money, though, the JC is tough to beat. You can get one a lot cheaper than a Skyline HB.
  10. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Just a quick update here (not much time for Talkbass these days :( ). I bought a black Jack Casady and used it on a gig Saturday without having spent any real time with it.

    The good: after playing 5ers only for the last 7-8 years, the neck on this made the transition to a 4 fairly painless. It is gorgeous, and very well put together for a $700 instrument ($600 paid, case and shipping included). It has some nice woody tones. It is fairly comfortable to play while standing if I slightly alter my forearm placement, especially with a Comfort Strapp to eliminate the inherent head-dive. It’s pretty light. Visually, it really compliments the 335’s the guys use on standard tuned songs, and looks as good as anything I own/have owned.

    The bad: uncomfortable to play seated (this isn’t a big deal; band practice is all standing, as are gigs). It won’t get that Hofner/Guild thump I was hoping for, but I’m thinking of loading it with TI flats which may help. It looks liking setting string height is going to be a bit of a pain, but that’s more my issue than the JC’s. The chrome on the bridge and tuners looks susceptible to chipping or flaking off.

    Preliminary conclusions: This is a lot of bass for the $. Except for my Steinberger Spirit, the rest of my harem is fairly high end, and the J.C. holds it’s own. It’s got several useable tones so it should work in any venue.

    I’ll report back after I try it with flats.
  11. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    JCs love TI flats.
  12. Yggdrasil


    Aug 16, 2001

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have a Friend who put the TI flats on his and it sounded amazing , Go For It ! :bassist:
  14. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I've owned both basses.
    The JC does have it's own sound that is cool.
    Sounds great with TI Flats.
    Good deal, for the money.

    The Lakland was to me, better made, played better, felt better, just better over all bass.
  15. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    I played both and ended up with the Lakland Hollowbody. For me it was no contest, the Lakland was more comfortable to hold with it's softer edges and had a deeper warmer tone, the neck felt better and I just prefer the looks as well, YMMV. Play them both.