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Lakland USA vs Skyline

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Soulfigter, Apr 25, 2009.


  1. Soulfigter

    Soulfigter

    Mar 8, 2007
    I had a 44-94 and a 55-94 deluxe that I played for several years before giving the 55 to my dad and selling the 44. I've been playing warwicks lately, but I want to go back to Lakland because the Warwicks are just so stinking heavy and killing my back. I am looking at the 55-02 and was wondering if they are a good bass true to the Lakland feel and sound, or if they are a cheap version of the 55-94. Is the 55-94 worth twice the price of the 55-02?
     
  2. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I'm a Lakland USA player and owned a Skyline for a short time, and IMO the USA's are definately worth the price difference.

    The '94's are built to a standard much more exacting than the '02's. The woods are nicer, lighter, and built to amazing tolerences, whereas the '02's are built with the typical off-shore cookie cutter standards that many entry level basses are built to.

    If you've played '94 models before, I'm afraid you'll be spoiled to the USA series and will find the Skylines not up to par, at least that's what happened to me.

    I have in all fairness read testimonials on the forums to the opposite of what I feel towards the Skylines so be sure and entertain all other opinions as well, as I may just be really anal about build quality.
     
  3. Soulfigter

    Soulfigter

    Mar 8, 2007
    Did you find the playability and sound to be much different than the USA models, or just the craftsmanship?
     
  4. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Playability on the Skylines isn't bad, but the necks don't have that vintage broken-in feel that the USA's do. As far as sound, it was close but I wasn't convinced it was as good, in that the pups and preamp were identical but the tone starts with the woods chosen (keep in mind this a very subjective thing).
     
  5. Soulfigter

    Soulfigter

    Mar 8, 2007
    I also see that Lakland switched their electronics on new stuff. Do you prefer to Barts or the Lakland for you Pups? What's the difference?
     
  6. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    I too have owned both the USA, and Skyline models.

    The USA is better all around. ( Tone, construction, playability)

    Don't get me wrong, the Skyline are nice, for the price.

    But, if you play a USA, you won't go back to the Skyline? JMO.
     
  7. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I strongly prefer the Barts, although most people on here prefer the Laklands. The Barts have a smoother overall tone, with a nice low-mid bump set flat, I like to call the tone "velveteen". The Laklands are more aggressive and have a more emphasized high-end. Also note that the Barts are now a $400 upcharge to the Laklands.
     
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    +1 to all that phat daddy said, although my experience is limited.

    i went a shoppin about a week ago looking to fall in love with something out of my price range. laklands were on the top of my list and I got to AB a few skylines with the USAs. I wanted badly to like the skylines just as much, but they really felt like altogether different animals. Aside from looking the same and sounding a lot the same, they felt like they were made from 2 completely different bass companies. The sound differences were negligable (in the store), but I couldn't get past the feel thing. The USA were incredibly hard to put down, they screamed for me to play them. The Skylines felt like any other bass.

    The only way I'd be able to tell the sound differences is if I gigged with them, but I don't think the opportunity to compare the 2 live is coming any time soon for me.

    if the feel is just as important to you as the sound (and you love the feel of the USAs like I do), I think the 2X price is worth it. If all you're interested in is the sound and you're comfortable with the feel of the skylines I wouldn't go for all the extra bucks.

    at the end of my bass shopping day I picked up a dingwall. a word of advice. don't ever pick up a dingwall. if you do, you'll know why. damn! the gas is freaking killing me now, and I even hate the way those things look.

    last note. I've always liked laklands, but the amount that are in the for sale section here on any given day makes me question them. anyone have any idea what's up with that? i sometimes get the feeling that people think they love them till they have them a little while, or gig with them... then they're letting them go. Not saying this is the case - just wondering why so many are always up for sale.
     
  9. mattygbass

    mattygbass Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Stafford Springs, CT
    i own both, ihave 4-94 and have owned a really nice 44-02 and the dimesions are the same and the sound is pretty close to my ears, the difference really lies in the feel of the neck. im sure if you finished the 02 the same way the u.s. are they would feel almost identicle, but with the used market the way it is right now, id also keep an eye out for a used U.S. model. ive got some killer deals on used u.s in the past few months.

    but to answer your question, now that the skylines are plek'd you cant really go wrong with either, the skylines are a fantastic value and i dont think you could find a nicer bass for the money.
     
  10. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    I'm with phat daddy on this one.

    I've owned a bunch of US Laklands. Two I had built for me by the Lakland crew, the rest were bought used. I've also owned a handful of Skylines.

    The US ones smoke the Skylines in feel and construction. They also tend to be lighter weight. Sounds is freakishly similar, of course.

    But I never had a hard time putting down the Skylines. I bumped them off the Owl Farm without a second thought. Never missed them. The US ones, though, I thought long and hard about before I sold them, and I still have pangs about them.

    Look for used ones. I've bought several used US Lakies for under $1600.
     
  11. Soulfigter

    Soulfigter

    Mar 8, 2007
    Wow, you find those deals on ebay, here, or somewhere else?
     
  12. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    I should add that I haven't bought a used US Lakie in a year or two. But they do still pop up now and again for $1800 and down, especially the 4-94s for some reason.
     
  13. tycobb73

    tycobb73

    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I own a skyline and played a US in the store. I played it for 5 minutes unplugged before I put it down. It didn't feel as good as my Skyline. It had to be 9+ lbs while my Skyline is under 8 lbs. I guess maybe I have the only under 8 based on what everyone else is saying. I would't spend the money.
     
  14. Soulfigter

    Soulfigter

    Mar 8, 2007
    When you guys say that they feel like a typical cookie cutter bass are you talking like a Fender, or a nice cookie cutter bass?
     
  15. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I would say like a Fender Squier, Cort, Shecter or other typical offshore factory bass.
     
  16. mattygbass

    mattygbass Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Stafford Springs, CT
    i wouldnt put squire and skyline in the same sentence:rollno:

    i truely believe the skylines are a cut above, most of the offshore basses, and i think most poeple that have owned one would agree,BUT i really love the U.s. models and i would rather just save my money a little longer and get a used one before i would buy just about anything else though
     
  17. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    WOW!!!!:eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Laklands US models may be far superior to their skyline but I've never heard anyone compare the Skyline to the Squier line. I've read they rival US Fenders which IMO is completely opposite of what you're saying. If you don't mind please explain.

    God Bless, Ray
     
  18. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I'll be glad to explain. I'm not trying to offend any Skyline owners, simply let me point out that Squires and Skylines are made in the same factory in Indonesia now, and Skylines used to be made in the Cort factory which has now closed.

    I'm aware and have no trouble stating that the Skylines have better traits than Squires including better features, hardware, woods, you know the basic elements and all I was stating was that they are built in a similar fashion to the Squires and in the same place. I'm only speaking of build tolerences, which IMO aren't light years apart on the two bases.

    The original question refered to "cookie-cutter" feel and build quality, which are the only things I'm refering to when comparing the two brands.
     
  19. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Also-- the Lakland Skyline I once owned had the biggest neck-pocket gap, the heaviest weight, and the worst post-finished factory polyeurethane smell I've ever dealt with. I was not in any way impressed with that bass other than it's tone, which I did think was pretty decent.
     
  20. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    Phat, I don't yet own a Lakland. I was just reading the thread to see the consensus of what folks thought to be the differences. Fact is I'd probably have to snag a used Skyline if I were able to try a Lakie at all. I actually was under the impression the fit, finish, feel and build quality were superior to most manufacturers. Especially others made overseas. I haven't been researching Lakland long but this is the first I've heard of there being such a vast difference. I've never touched any Laklands so I'd have no clue. No dealers within 100 miles of me.

    Thanks for the responce,
    God Bless, Ray
     

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