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Laklands.. too polite?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tranceFusion, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. I recently got a 55-02.. As much as I love the neck, fit and finish, etc. of this instrument, it seems a bit too tame.. I don't seem to get much of the jazz growl with the rear coil selected..

    Listening to the audio on the Lakland website, I found the Joe Osborn to also sound a bit tame, but that might be just due to the playing style of the guy that records the audio..

    How similar does the JO5 sound to the 55-02's jazz sound? Is it a completely different animal?

    EDIT: BTW, I have the Lakland pups / LH3 preamp.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Do you have one with Barts or Lakland pups? Many feel the Barts are too tame. Also, they very from bass to bass. I have owned two 55-02s. The first got a great active Jazz Bass sound that could hang with a Fender Victor Bailey Sig. My current one sounds fine, but nearly as jazzlike.
  3. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    My 5502 gets a great both pickups on jazz bass sound.
    Mid switch at 250HZ.
    Treble at 3/4
    Mid just over 1/2
    Bass just below 1/2
    My Fralins are growly and aggressive and open in my other Lakie
    But I think The 5502 wins by a slight edge in sound, but I do love the passive JO5 too
  4. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    The new Lakland preamp is anything but tame.

  5. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    IMO Laklands (with MM/J pups) are for people who like the Fender/Musicman look but want a smoother, less agressive sound.

    That's what they sound like to me.
  6. My '08' MIA Jazz V has a def distinct growl to it. I recently swapped out the American Standard pups for Bartolini 57J1's and that gave it an incredible low-midrange growl, but I went back to the AS pups, because I like the deep lows that the AS pup give; and it still growls but not as much as the Barts.;)
  7. E-Mac

    E-Mac Guest

    Aug 30, 2008
    i can only speak to the JO. I have older JOs with the Fralins, and it def can sound smooth and laid back. But, I have a heavy right hand (until my landlord gets home) and this thing snarls and growls. I usually roll off the treble a bit because it gets too aggressive sometimes. It is very cliche, but it's in your hands on the JO. It's an instrument that allows your sound to come out. That's why I love passive basses.
    But, that's just my experience on my bass. I've heard people complain about the LH3 pre being too aggressive, but I have zero experience with it. I hope I helped some.
  8. I think with the new electronics in the 55-02 you can get just about any kind of tone you wanted, tame, aggressive, heavy, etc. I know the Barts are generally a warmer and darker pickup by nature and if you have one with the Barts in it then you may have to tweak your amp more to get what you're asking for.
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a fralin loaded JO5; passive. I'ts nice and grindy with the tone wide open, and leaning on it with your right hand.
    I have an older, Bart loaded 5502. The Bart preamp is not as aggressive as the newer LH3 preamp. Lakland will install the LH3 for you, for a reasonable cost. i have one in my 5501 (loaded with Nord DC5's), and it's a great preamp.

    I moved to Sadowsky stainless rounds on my 5502, and left all the Bart stuff in there.
    Try stainless rounds of your choice first; if that don't getyou there, trythe LH3. I think it would pair nicely with the Bart pups...
  10. I have the LH3, and the Lakland stainless steel rounds..

    Maybe I shouldn't call it "aggressive" since the term is fairly subjective - if you want a tone that is boomy and immediate, you can certainly get that.. and I can certainly get a wide range of tones out of the 55-02.. but I just don't get that dirty, growly, complex jazz tone like I get out of a Fender Jazz..

    Looks like murphy has some good suggestions though w/ boosting up the treble and monkeying with the mid switch.

    Would adding a JO5 to my collection complement the 55-02 nicely, or does the jazz tone out of the 55-02 pretty much approximate what you get out of a JO5?
  11. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Providence, RI
    Senior Product Manager, Akai Professional
    my lakland with an ebony fretboard and basslines will take your head off! :D
  12. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    I sold my 5502 (LH3 equipped) after I bought a JO5 with Lakland pickups.

    IMO the 5502 in jazz mode cannot compare to a JO5.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    no active J-be will ever sound like a passive J.
  14. IanAllison

    IanAllison Supporting Member

    May 27, 2006
    Absolutely right.

    To the OP - I think you're responding to the difference you feel and hear with the active electronics vs. a passive J setup.

    For me, there's nothing like a great passive J. YES - it would be a killer compliment to your 55-02.

  15. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I don't own any active Lakies myself, but this is the first time I've heard the LH3 system described as being polite, IIRC.

    FYI, Trance: Ian is the guy who records those clips.:)
  16. E-Mac

    E-Mac Guest

    Aug 30, 2008
    Is that so...
    Where are the Decade CS Clips?!

    Just kidding. Kudos on recordings well done. I'm digging the J-Sonic clips. It's hard to compare the CS to the Dark Stars because of the pickup placement difference on the two basses. Oh well.

    Trance, those links above have some good settings. I would recommend reading this as well:
    especially where it says "Secrets of Tone" and so on.
  17. bigsnack


    Aug 24, 2005
    Los Angeles
    To the OP, I had this exact same sentiment. The 55-94 I had was amazing in build quality, but the tone just lacked the bite that I was expecting. I've heard other 55-94/02 basses that sounded a bit different, but I never got the edge that I wanted with any of them. On the other hand, I now have a DJ5 with Lakland pickups that can rip faces off if I dig in. It's my go to bass without question for this exact reason.
  18. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I'm a minority among Lakland owners, both my Laklands have the Barts and I love them. I used to be a Stingray player and I always found the Stingray a little too bity, so when I got my first Lakland I loved the less-harsh highs. The Barts also have a an agressive low midrange which is where I like the agression to be. And yes, this is all very subjective. I tried the LH-3 and the Lakland pups, but I think the Barts' frequency points and cleanliness of tone is much more attractive to the ears. Just my 2 cents.
  19. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    The older passive Lakland JOs with the Fralins are the closest thing to pre-CBS Jazz basses that I've ever heard. In fact I A/B'd my ash body Lakie with an ash body 62 J (also stack knob) and the difference was remarkably small. I preferred that 62, but not by enough to warrant the $17,000 price tag difference....

    Those old Lakie JOs are killer -- great tone, and very responsive to right hand attack.

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