Lakland Skyline 55-02 quality vs Carvin

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by count_funkula, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. I have not been able to find a Skyline series 55-02 anywhere in Dallas.

    How does the quality of construction compare to Carvin? I'm not talking about quality of the electronics. I know Bartolini is better than what Carvin supplies. I'm talking about fit and finish.

    How do they sound (aggressive, smooth, warm, etc...)?

    Any sound clips anyone?
  2. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    i got the chance to play a skyline recently.. and judging from the carvins I've played, the Skylines rule... no contest.. the only difference is with carvin, you get more choices with your woods and what not...
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    count, how far down the road is your bass purchase?

    We will be paying off Uforia's 55-01 in a few weeks. Once we receive it, we could probably arrange for you to check it out and see for yourself.
  4. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    Well, I just spent about an hour today playing the 55-01 and the 55-02. Tone: Everything MusicMan can do and more. I play hard rock and I really liked the aggressive tone I could get out of this bass.

    Other thoughts. Pretty light bass all in all. Very tight neck joint. Great electronics. The coil tap switch feels nice for such a small switch. I hate the large Fender style switch in the Music Man. The hardware on the Lakeland is pretty nice. Closed tuners -- unknown brand. Bridge that mimicks the Music Man. Fret's are small but seemed well seated. The board is W I D E -- did I mention the fretboard? -- uhm it's pretty wide. That was the only thing I had trouble getting used to. Finish wise -- looked nice nothing too special. Neck finished in a satin finish not gloss. I also played the USA model Lakland. Allthough the electronics and bridge were the same as the 55-02 the bass had a certain smoothness that the Korean model didn't. But hey it was $2700! All in all I think you'd like the Lakland. Oh, the B string felt very tight. Focused and growly.

    Hope some of this helps. I've seen them for $995 on the net.
  5. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I owned a pimped-out LB-75 (made in Nov. of 2000) and I've owned a 55-02 since the beginning of this year.

    The Carvin's quality of construction is superior, IMO, for a few reasons;

    - the control cavity of the Carvin is textbook perfect with total copper foil shielding. The 55-02 just has some black gook, (no copper foil), and the application is sloppy.
    - the Carvin's control cavity has threaded brass sleeves for the brass screws. The 55-02's cheap black screws just go into bare wood. One of the holes is stripped and I have to pry the cover off because one of the screws won't come out
    - The knobs on the Carvin have a solid feel and are thick metal. The 55-02 has those cheap black rubbery knobs, one of which comes off rather easily.
    - The Carvin neck is butter if you like a thin, fast, neck while the 55-02's is more like a club

    In spite of those aspects, I'd rather play or listen to the 55-02 any day. It has other things going for it such as a 35" scale, better fret dressing, smaller fretwire, a more substantial headstock, and wider string spacing just to name a few.....(you said not to mention electronics, which is where the 55-02 really whoops the Carvin's ass for tone and volume).

    Finish on both is flawless with that candy coat urethane.
  7. Thanks for offer Jeff but I think I'm on hold again. I took my basses off eBay because I didn't feel I would get what they are worth. I did however sell my Carvin rig and will be purchasing a new combo.
    I'm trying to decide between the SWR workingman's 15 of the SWR Black Beauty. A new post will follow.
  8. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I would weigh in on the Carvin side. I thought the Skylines were nice, but noticeably inferior to the real thing. The Carvin's I've owned have been very well made. I agree on the Barts. That's where the Skylines have the leg up. I sympathize with you on your attempts to retool. Nothing's ever worth what you think.
  9. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    I'm with everyone else on the Skyline. The electronics absolutely sound fantastic. The neck does leave something to be desired. All in all, though I'll be buying a 55-02 for the tone and trying to live with the Korean feeling neck. Damn Samick!
  10. I think what I'm going to do for now is put some heavier gauge strings on my Carvin to tighten up the B string a bit and upgrade the electronics.
    That Carvin is screaming for a better preamp. I'll probably go ahead and put new pickups in it as well.

    I may never get rid of the Carvin just because of the resale value. Not to mention the fact that when the light hits that Koa it's hard to take your eyes off the thing.

    Thanks for the input everybody!
  11. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i am in the vast minority who doesnt really care for lakland all that much. i bypass the pre amp on my 6 string fretless and use a sadowsky pre amp. it's like buttah. all i miss is a mid boost but i rarely ever miss it when i use the sadowsky. i tried a lakland(american) versus my 'ray and didnt really like it more. i'd play one but i am not in line to sell stuff to get it.
  12. Darrelpr


    Feb 2, 2002
    Texas, USA
    I've wondered why more manufacturers don't use inserts for the control cavity - especially on models that require the cover to be removed to replace the battery.

    It seems like even on high-end basses, threaded inserts for the cavity cover are the exception rather than the rule.

    Or am I just being anal? :confused:
  13. Kurt M.

    Kurt M.

    Dec 11, 2001
    Reading, PA
    The USA Lakland uses the threaded inserts. The Korean Lakland doesn't. It's a cost issue. The Korean Lakland skylines have a flip out battery compartment anyhow. No tools necessary. You rarely have to take off the cover to the control cavity. Only to adjust the preamp. I heard no noise problems on the Lakland unlike other Bart equiped basses.
  14. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't think you're being overly picky at all, Darrel, because they are a functional asset. That's why I mentioned that I have to pry off the cover of my 55-02 due to one screw that won't come out otherwise.
    It's a hassle - I need a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws and something like a pen point to insert into one of the holes and pry up the cover so the screw that doesn't unscrew from the hole comes out.

    If I'm playing around with the variable dip switch/volume pot in the cavity, it's just easier to leave the cover off.

    I guess we don't see the threaded brass sleeves as much as we'd like because most people don't look for or appreciate these finer details.

    The Carvins just show that "Made in USA" remains to be valuable as a marketing edge. Their construction has nailed some "Bass Player Magazine" awards for the brand.
  15. Darrelpr


    Feb 2, 2002
    Texas, USA
    I had sent a note to Modulus customer service about this very issue a couple of days ago but haven't heard anything back. (I was at a local Peavey dealer this past weekend and someone had totally stripped out 2 of the screw holes on the cavity cover of a relatively new Cirrus. Thus the reason that whole subject came to mind.)