I was in a local chain music store last night looking for the latest vintage modified offering from squier (not there) and saw a Lakland Skyline 4401. It was the first lakland I had played. I was pressed for time, so I didnt run it through its paces, so to speak, but played it for 4 or 5 minutes nonetheless. Initial impression- YIKES this thing is nice! great action wihtout having to be super low, no buzzing, very even volume level from lower to higher frets. great ergonomics, and beautiful finish. There seemed to be a zillion tonal possibilties, and this is where I spent the least time. WHAT is the function of all of the knobs? I didnt figure it out. I am generally not overimpressed by the offerings at the chain stores. I try a lot of basses since I pass two such stores en route to rehearsal every week and I generally find most of the fender/squier/schecter/musicman offerings on the racks adequate to pretty nice. My reference standard is my KSD protoJ and american deluxe P bass. It is a rare case indeed that I play something that I find superior in tone, fit, style, and overall "playability" to either of these basses. comparable sure, but superior, no. BUT, I think the Lakland Skyline I played last night (listed at $750) bests my reference basses in terms of feel and action/playability. I'd have to mess with the tone controls some more, but it seemed very responsive and promising. This was a REALLY nice bass. Admittedly I dont play boutique basses (ever) like many of you. Is this about typical for Skylines or Laklands or, based on my comparison, o you think I grabbed a gem? What the heck do the control knobs do? Nice bass!