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Lakland Skyline's JO v. DJ

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

  1. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    I've read information on both of them but the majority of what I read usually talks about the looks, and little reflects the characteristics of the tone of these respected Skyline series. If there is any mention of tone, the words used are always in the "awesome" category. Well, duh..but why?

    That said, is anyone able to say what they like and don't like about each of these models? Even if you've only had experience with the four-string models your input is extremely helpful. I've basically narrowed my choice down to a five-string, although trying to pick between a Fender V, these Lakland's, and a SR5 is not an easy choice. So any help you are able to offere with this is an amazing help to me.

    For reference, I play in an acoustic/jazz/funk/rock band that "sounds like" Phil Keaggy, The Police, and John Mayer.
  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    JO vs DJ the differences are cosmetics and pickups. Otherwise they are essentially the same. To make things even more confusing, I've got a DJ5 with the fralin pickups that usually go in the JO. It sounds great. It sounds like a good J-bass with a low B, which is exactly what I wanted.

    The SR5 is also a great bass with a very different sound, IMO the Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 is a notch below the other two, but they certainly have their fans.
  3. I think you should look toward the Joe Osborn, as the DJ might be a little more aggressive than you want. I like my Darryl Jone 4 quite a lot, but I do think I would want something a little mellower if I played in mellower bands. The SR5 might work for you, though. Is it possible for you to try out any of these basses? I think that the DJ and SR5 will work best for standing out in the mix a bit, while my limited experience with the JO leads me to think it would blend in to the mix a little more (I've only tired them in stores). Good choices, though, I'd like to own one of each!
  4. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    I actually would prefer some distinct growl capabilities. I've played on SR5's enough to know that I love the tone, but sometimes I really, really want that good ol' jazz tone. I'm headed downtown as soon as I'm able to check out a few stores but I'm not sure if they carry the Signature models of these Laklands.

    In what way is the DJ aggressive? Like Jimmy Haslip aggressive?

    One of the things I have heard about Fralin pickups is that the top end can be pretty brittle and harsh. Is this true for the JO pickups? I like roundness and sweet highs in a jazz.
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    You could hold out for one of the two pickup SR5s that are coming out in january!

    The fralins are bright, but so is any single coil J-bass pickup. I think they sound great.
  6. Sorry, I've never heard Jimmy Haslip. I can definitely understand "brittle" as a description of the highs on my bass, although I don't find it to be unpleasant. The highs have seemed a little smoother on the JOs that I have tried, but they have also been rosewood models and my bass has a maple fretboard. I don't know how much difference the fretboard material makes. At any rate, a little twist on the tone knob usually does the trick when I need to sound a little "sweeter."

    By aggressive, I suppose that I mean my bass has a pretty noticeable upper-mids presence (think "Lateralus" by Tool). This can be EQ-ed out (around 8kHz) if desired, leaving my bass to sound like pretty much every other jazz bass out there.
  7. Two-pickup SR5!!! I forgot! That would definitely be my choice.
  8. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004

    Well, you should check out the above link then.

    Two pickup SR5's are coming out in January? Oh geez. Crap. Way to make this even harder on me. Well, if the highs are no more brittle than a Stingray, I'm sure they're controllable enough. I usually play SR5's in series. Now to find some way to try out the JO and DJ...

    Anyone in Houston want to help me out? :D
  9. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I own both a Darryl Jones 5, Joe Osborne 5, owned/played plenty of fenders, owned and played plenty of Stingray's and Stingray's 5. I feel like I can give a pretty objective answer.

    I think your best choice for
    would probably be the Joe Osborne 5. I have some recordings that my roomate did with his band (on my JO5) that sound really aggressive and growly, so don't discount the JO5. I think in terms of overall feel and sound, it really sits best with the acoustic/jazz sound because it's a little mellower. It's much more in the 60's jazz bass era sound. The Darryl Jones sounds (and feels on the one I own) much more aggressive. It defintely has more low end (which may or may not be a good thing), definitely more of an overall aggressive sound than the JO5. I've owned Sadowsky's as well, and I think the Darryl Jones 5 sounds much more like a sadowsky than anything else in the lakland camp. I think it's a gorgeous bass, but for me, it wouldn't be my first choice for the type of music you are playing. However you mentioned that you wanted
    If that's the case, I'd recommend looking at the Lakland 55-02 and having the Duncan Pickup Set put in. I still think the Lakland's 55 series are some of the most versatile basses I've ever played. I've owned the ones with Barts (which were great) and I still don't know why I ended up selling them, but I'll probably get a 55-94 at some point to replace them. I think this describes what you want to a T. You want distinct growl similar to what's on an SR5, but you want to be able to get that good ol' jazz tone when you want. The Bart EQ is great, the coil tap is great, you can't really lose with this combo.

    I've never been a fan of the modern Fender products. They don't seem to play/sound right to me. The SR5 is a great bass, and I think everyone should own one at some point. They are great for particular types of music, but I think they have ONE distinct sound that you can sort of tweak. Bottom line for me is get something in the Lakland family. They are great sounding, looking, performing, and they are at a price point which is obtainable for most people.

    My dos centavos.
  10. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Well you have to understand that Jimmy plays his real early Tobias, MTD,Roscoe basses,and every now and then his old Yamaha BB 5000,however you have to remember that the 1st 3 mention uses Bartolini Soapbar pickups and electronics ( with the exception of the Yammy) and they're also crafted with beautiful exotic type woods while the JO & DJ are basically your tried and true Ash bodied type Jazz basses that give them a very distinctive Jazz growl i.e 60/70's as mention by previous postings....
  11. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    I did a side by side comparison of a JO4 and a DJ4 last week. See the following thread for my thoughts....


    In the end, I think I'm going to buy one of each. String the JO with flats for blues and roots stuff, while the DJ with roundwounds will serve as the rock and pop bass.