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Lakland vs Ken Smith (Urgent!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JRBrown, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    I'm about to make a purchase. I want your input. Lakland 55-94 vs Ken Smith BT5G
    Both are 5-string. Wood options are good on both. BT5G is neck-through.
  2. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    my opinon? - Lakland. Its an EVERYTHING Bass.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Smith. More articulate than a Lakland.
  4. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Thanks! They are in the same price range because the Lakland is new and the Ken Smith is used.
  5. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Smith= Absolutely more handmade- and more expensive. i have no idea what you are paying, so i cant tell you if you are getting a fair deal- but the Smith is a very definitive sound where i think of a Lakland as a chameleon- i am always pleasantly surprised when i hear a Lak- wether its me or not. Ive never been smitten by a Smith, however- now, if you had said MTD....
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I would take the Smith, but with two quality basses like that, it is really nothing but personal preferance. Both are outstanding.

    I would call the Lakland a little more aggressive in feel and sound, while the Smith is a little smoother, clear tone. Boogie's word "articulate" is a very good one.

    IME, Lakland basses play very well.

    Smith basses play unbelievable!!!


  7. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Thanks again. The Lakland 55-94 is $2,500 and the Smith is $2,700. Lakland is natural maple quilt with maple fretboard. Smith is walnut on mahogony with purple heart fretboard. Picture of smith is attached. You've all seen the Lakland before.
  8. Go with the Smith.. for serveral reasons :)

    1) Kenneth Smith is a Talkbass member
    2) 'smiths sound better.
    3) lakland is overpriced.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This being an apples-to-oranges comparison, which do you prefer...

    apples or oranges?

    Both can be set up to play extremely well. They sound nothing like each other. If you ask around you'll find people who like the Smith sound and don't like the Lakland and vice versa.

    I have a 55-94. While I've heard others make nice noises with Smiths, I've never found one that I "had" to have. YMMV
  10. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    im wit ya, Brad- never been knocked out by a Smith
  11. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Agreed on #1, although he only joined when there were allegations flying that he felt the need to defend against. It remains to be seen how active he remains. Glad he's here, though.

    I'd say completely the opposite on #2 and #3. If I'm going to pay over $2K for a bass, I want it to do everything well. I believe the Laklands do that better than any neck-throughs, which feel compressed and processed to my ears (they don't supply the punch I need in most instances).

    Laklands overpriced? That's strictly a matter of opinion, but I think not. They have one of the best customer service records in the business, and many times even extend that service to buyers of used Laklands.

    I happen to also think that the Laklands look better than the Smith, but then again, I like traditional styling and don't care for the "hippie sandwich" type basses.
  12. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    My opinion is this-- Why do you have just these 2 to pick from?? $2000-2700 range covers alot of instruments. You really need to play one of these to decide which is your cup of tea. (Sorry for the pun Bruce!!)

    I would hate to see someone make a $2500 mistake.
    These are two very different basses
    If I was to pay that much for a bass, especially if its used I would have to play it. If it was coming direct from a luthier/maker like Tobias(MTD), Smith, Spector I would trust the quality. But used Im not too sure about.

    Play the basses that your looking at or interested in then buy it.

    If you've allready tried a bunch, and these two are the ones you've narrowed it down to. Then you should be able to tell which ones "talk" to you more since they are so different.

    good luck!!
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well said odie. Personally I've never liked Smiths. I appreciate the quality and understand why others would love them, but they've never done anything for me. I'd buy the Lakland. But I'd look at everything in my price range (including stuff well under it) and play everything I could get my hands on before buying. Though I understand that if there's a used bass there's a limited time of availability!:eek:
  14. flames

    flames Guest

    Jun 30, 2001
    my house
    if never cared for the smiths then dont get it get the lakland. what other people said are opinions
    laws are opinions and half of them are bullsh!t
    choose whichever one you like better
    but i know nothing about theses basses. so i cant say this one is better.
  15. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Flames your an angry person are'nt you!!! :)
  16. I wonder if there's some sort of story behind that statement.:p

    Anyway, as far as the Smith/Lakland comparison. I've never played a Smith but, as another poster stated, I've never been a big fan of 'hippy sandwich' type basses. I do own a couple Lakland 55-94s and I can say they're wonderful basses with a wide array of usable tones.

    You might want to check the used market on the Laklands. I've found there are a few available at most times and the D55-94's usually go for about $1500-1800. You might be able to get the bass you want and save a couple bucks to boot! ;)
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Simple question for ya':

    Have you played either or both of 'em? If so, what were your opinions?

    I'll give you my opinion, but, as you can see above, my opinion is different from others.

    First of all, both are extremely well made, so it's not like you're looking at buying a piece of crap. Then all it comes down to is tone and feel. For me, I just think the Smith has a better feel. That's me.
  18. flames

    flames Guest

    Jun 30, 2001
    my house
    never really broken any laws and been caught for it
    im jsut saying alot of drug laws expecially on marijuna are just pointless and the people who came up with the laws read a biased report on it
    no im not an angry person just a pissed off teen who is trying to play bass and make some different music
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Breath, flames... breath.
  20. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own both Ken Smith and Lakland basses. They are both top quality and neither is likely to be a dissapointment.

    I owned a beautiful Smith neck thru 6 that I sold after buying a bolt on 6 string Smith. The bolt on bass does have a more punchy tone but the neck through had the sweetest clear tone all the way to the highest C.

    The Smith basses play great and have great tone for the jazz that I play. My 5 string has jazz PUs and is a very warm and punchy sounding bass.

    The Lakland 4-94 and 55-94 are much more traditional looking and sounding basses. They are also very punchy sounding and I prefer them over the Smith basses for slap.

    I can take a Smith or a Lakland to a gig and I'm always pleased by the tone of the bass. They sound different but really great to me and I never find myself wishing I was playing something else.

    The finish that is on Smith basses is minimal, to say the least. Mr. Smith believes that a thick finish is detrimental to the tone of the instrument. I live in Texas and do not take my oil finished Smith basses to a sweaty outdoor gig in the summertime. The finish on my basses simply does not provide good protection from my sweat. The BT-6G that I previously owned had the lacquer finish and it was a very fragile finish.

    The Lakland basses, on the other hand, have more conventional finishes that provide much better protection to the instrument.

    Good luck on your decision.


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