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Lakland vs Fender...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by John Pierce, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. John Pierce

    John Pierce

    Nov 6, 2016
    The time has come for a new instrument and I’m finding myself extremely torn between two directions. In an effort to keep this concise, I’m essentially looking for the best ‘Precision Bass’ for around $1000.
    I’ve got my eye on a couple of the more recent series of Fender Precision basses, but I’ve also heard fantastic things about Lakland basses. There are a few listings online of the Lakland 44-64 model and it looks to be right up my alley. The only issue is the fact that I have never touched a Lakland bass. I don’t want to make a big online order only to be disappointed and regretful in the end. If I could choose, I would like an American made instrument but with my budget I recognize that might not be possible.
    I’m wondering if anyone has any first-hand experience with Fender Precision vs Lakland 44-64, or any similar Lakland models. Thanks in advance!
    Youngspanion likes this.
  2. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
  3. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    There was a time when I would have always voted for the Lakland Skylines but I have found that since the move to Indonesia I find the Skyline series rather generic and heavy. The price is close to a TON of great Fender stuff. If you want to spend time looking for a Korean Skyline prior to 2005 then you will have a bass that kills pretty much anything Fender puts out in that price range but if you are looking new go Fender.
  4. Zoolion


    Oct 31, 2014
    You might be able to find a used G&L LB-100 for about that price.
  5. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I agree. Those Korean skylines are spectacular, I've found the Indonesian ones more hit or miss (but there are still good ones).

    I haven't played a fender Vintera bass yet, but I played one of their Teles a couple weeks ago, and it was a spectacular instrument.

    The other thing would be to look used. You ought to be able to get any number of used fenders or laklands under a grand
    JimB52, MattZilla and Ric Vice like this.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've owned several Laklands but never a P style. Having said that, I'll take a Lakland over a Fender any day of the week. To further clarify, I'll take a Lakland 'Skyline' over a US Fender any day of the week.
    MTN.bass72, kentiki, pigpen1 and 20 others like this.
  7. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I would very rarely take a Skyline over a USA Fender - I have owned multiples of both.
  8. Mister Magic

    Mister Magic

    Sep 6, 2019
    I’ve owned plenty of Fender P and Jazz basses. I currently own a Fender MIM P and a Lakland Skyline P as well as a Fender MIA Jazz and a Lakland Skyline Jazz. Both of the Laklands were made after 2010. I guess that means they were made in Indonesia.

    Although I am biased in favor of Fenders, I have found the Laklands to be nicer basses. I don’t know what the guy above is talking about when he says Skylines are “heavy”. That’s not true. My Lakland Jazz is a feather. The P bass is light, too. My Laklands are definitely lighter than my Fenders. I also like the additional 21st frets you get on the Laklands.

    My Skyline jazz, which came Pleked from the factory, is probably the best playing bass I’ve owned. I just bought a brand new Fodera and the Lakland plays better. Yes, really.

    I love the cosmetics of Fenders. Better looking headstock, better looking (but cheaper) bridge and the classic Fender logo. But, the I think the Laklands are “nicer” instruments.
    dkelley, JimB52, pjbassist and 9 others like this.
  9. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Cheers... same.
  10. Trouztrouz


    Feb 6, 2013
    I own an Indonesian skyline and a US fender. It's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, as the lakland is a fretless jazz and the fender is a fretted P. Anyway, IMHO the build quality of the lakland is plainly superior.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I have never encountered a heavy Lakland. Skyline or US. I've owned several (2-55-02's, JO5, 44-60, 2-55-01's) and still rock a modified 55-01 which is probably the heaviest at 9.5lbs.
    JEDI BASS and DrThumpenstein like this.
  12. Team Lakland
    tomich, JEDI BASS, GregC and 4 others like this.
  13. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would go Vintera and grab a 63 Pure Vintage picku plus an Emerson prewired pot kit. They will get you really close to perfect.
  14. hardtop

    hardtop Supporting Member

    Lakland here too. I had a Korean P and was superior to every US fender I have laid my hands on.
    dkelley, tomich, JEDI BASS and 3 others like this.
  15. Mister Magic

    Mister Magic

    Sep 6, 2019
    I should note that I’m happy with all my Laklands and Fenders. Fender does give me that warm and fuzzy feeling, but only because of the name. If I’m gonna play a song like Chick Corea’s “Got a Match?” that has crazy fast runs in the upper register, I’m undoubtedly using my Lakland. It’s next to impossible for me to play a song like that on a Fender.

    You will most likely be happy with either bass.
  16. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    You will either love or hate the Lakland neck. Try if you can.
  17. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    I've had both and I like both.

    One of the things I like about the Laks is that if I've ever had a problem I could call them up or email them and find a remedy for the problem pretty easily. I've ordered or been sent replacement pots, screws, knobs, etc... from a live person at the factory in Chicago. I've asked them questions about replacing PUs and preamps and have always gotten honest advice, and that's for Skylines AND US models. All that goes a long way for me.

    But that's not to say that I'm not still jonesin' for an Fender Elite, lol!
    tomich and GregC like this.
  18. A dozen Korean Skylines over the years here....several models. Only one light weight one in the bunch (a 4402 Dlx @ 8lbs, 2oz), a couple that were pushing 10lbs, the rest in the 9 - 9 1/2 lb range. The only Skyline that's still here is a 4401 with its import Bart MK elecs. Oddly, it met my tone goals much better than the others, despite their more expensive elecs packages, including one with a pair of Darkstars. At a portly-ish 9lbs, 4oz.....if it was 8lbs my 4401 would be pretty close to perfect for me.

    Skyline better than Fender? Certainly a cut above a typical MIM Fender. In the same class as a Fender Roscoe Beck?...or a Fender American Deluxe Dimension? For me...no, not even close.
    eff-clef and FRoss6788 like this.
  19. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    I just played the Vintera the other day at GC and it's a pretty sweet bass. I can't vouch for the newer Laklands but I've heard nothing but good things about them and their customer service.

    I did own a first-run ('01) Korean Skyline 55-01 for about 10 years and it was a very good instrument, no real issues to speak of.
  20. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Take a look at the new Fender Players Series P bass, I recently bought one to replace my 59 P. Really a nice bass, and at around $650 brand new hard to beat. I was prepared to spend alot more but the one that I got will serve my needs very well (buttercream P with maple neck)
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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