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Lakland Osborne J-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mlstephens, May 18, 2005.

  1. mlstephens


    Oct 30, 2004
    I am interested in the Lakland Skyline Joe Osborne J-Bass. A luthier friend of mine looked at pictures etc. and thinks that these basses have the smaller J-Bass body instead of the regular size. Does anybody know the answer to this question. Also I'd love to hear from current owners as to the tone and playability.
  2. They are smaller (at least compared to the 70's JBasses). The body style feels like an early 60's JBass to me. It's a GREAT bass for the money, very well made, and the Lindy Fralin pickups sound very vintage. I know you can order one with the JBass Retro preamp 9(since the stock bass is passive). I heard this sounds good, but have only played the passive model.
  3. Eggman


    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    It is very similar in size and feel to my 63 Fender Jazz. I love the JO line. I have a fretted and fretless 4 and a 5. Both the fretted 4 and the 5 have the J-retro preamps - killer tone!!

    As for playability - the 4s necks are thin and fast. The 5s neck is one of the most comfortable I have played. All three of these basses get the majority of play time right now.
  4. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    I have a Skyline JO4 with JRetro preamp and really dig it. It's the very last one they made in Lake Placid Blue. You can see it in my avatar and profile image.

    The body style is based on an early-60's Fender Jazz. Specifically, it is based on Joe Osborn's early-60's Fender Jazz. Some refer to it as the "Million-Dollar Bass" because of all the hits it was played on and all the signatures of folks Joe played it with. You can see a picture of it on the Lakland site.
  5. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I love my JO Skyline! I also own two Pedullas, so I actually had my mint baby up for sale here on TB for several months (for a very reasonable $600 I might add). I had no takers, so I decided to keep it. Am I ever glad I did. I have since "rediscovered" it and it gets as much playing time as my Pedullas. The neck on mine is perfect-no dead spots! The playability is incredible and the tone kills (great slap bass too!). Mine is natural ash (now discontinued) with black pg and maple fretboard. Sorry I am unable to upload a pic due to the size of the file. :D
  6. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    It is very close to the 60's Jazz shape... the difference being that the JO's neck has a few extra frets, so the treble-side cutaway is a little deeper, making the shape look slightly "off".
  7. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    Well, Lakland's stated goal for this model was to create what would feel and sound like a broken-in vintage Fender Jazz bass.

    And a clarification: The 5 string JO has 22 frets, while the 4 string has 20.
  8. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    "And a clarification: The 5 string JO has 22 frets, while the 4 string has 20."

    Ooops! That's what I get for only GAS'ing for the JO 5! :smug:
  9. mlstephens


    Oct 30, 2004
    This was my first use of the forum and it rocks. I am so appreciative to all that responded to my questions. I am a new bass player and am still learning the concepts of tone, feel and playability. Thanks so much for making my decision to purchase this awesum bass an easy one :hyper: .

  10. pgurns


    Dec 26, 2003
    Northern, IL
    Damn after reading all these posts I'm starting to regret selling it :(
    Oh well I guess I have to start shopping for a new bass now. It's amazing how much more GAS you get when you actually have money to spend. I'm shipping it out tomorrow and I'm sure you will love the bass as much as I did.
  11. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a Skyline JO5 with a factory installed J-retro, and the bass is capable of a diverse range of tones. I highly recommend having the preamp installed as a factory upgrade. If you buy one, see if you can get one of the "heavier" ones. My bass is just over 11 lbs, and I believe that its heavier weight is a contributing factor to its great tone, IMHO. Most of the other JO5s that I've tried are much lighter in weight.
  12. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas

    IIRC, the Darryl Jones model is the one with the smaller body.
  13. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Correct! (I own a Lakland DJ5) The DJ shape has been modified and is smaller than the JO.

    On another note, when I ordered my first F Bass I specifically asked for a heavier wood because I was told that the low note fundamental might be a bit stronger. Then 6 months later, I bought another F Bass, the same model, BN5. It was clearly lighter. While both basses share sonic similarities and sound very close to one another, the lighter weight BN5 sounds better. It has more growl and mis punchier in the mids. Go figure. I don't believe just because the wood is heavier, that makes it sound significantly better. My aging back prefers lighter weight basses these days.

    I played a USA JO 4 string this week and it was very light and it sounded INCREDIBLE!
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Interesting observation and a good point Roscoe5. I was told the same thing about heavier basses and superior tone by several people who I consider credible. On the other hand, my BN5 is only 8.5 lbs and sounds great regardless of its light weight. :confused:
  15. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Whether a heavy or light bass would have better tone might depend on the tone you're looking for.

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