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Musicman Sterling HS vs. Lakland Skyline 4402 Deluxe

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by StrangerDanger, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Musicman Sterling HS

    45 vote(s)
  2. Lakland Skyline 4402 Deluxe

    39 vote(s)
  1. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hello there TB!

    I got the GAS for a J-Ray. Please compare and contrast these two models for tone, playability, fit and finish and all the other geeky details that we obsess over.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
    Lakland without a doubt!
  3. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    I wish they made a 44-02 with a jazz neck
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Lakland, baby!

    I went through the same thing recently, and actually ended up with a 4401 but with upgraded electronics which makes it actually more versatile than the 4402 (hate being limited to a J pickup at the neck).

    Both basses are top notch, but I couldn't stand the lack of a blend knob on the Sterling.
  5. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    EBMM Sterling. Every Lakland Skyline I have played has been quite lacking, and I have yet to play a bad EBMM bass.
  6. Sterling. No question.

    Ernie Ball Musicman makes some of the finest instruments out there at any price point.

    And if it's just the slim neck that you're looking for, EBMM makes a Stingray SLO, which is basically a stock Stingray body, pickups and preamp with a nice slim Sterling neck.

    Do yourself a favor and check out their basses, you won't be disappointed.
  7. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    I love my Sterling, I can't play the 44-02 so I can't A\B it for ya. Cover gigs where you need to cover all the tones? Sterling with the position switch, its awesome
  8. I like both. I can't decide.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    They both play very different so I'd go on comfort & feel & let that be the deciding factor. Tone is going to be great either way
  10. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    The 44-02 would be my choice. I prefer the fretwork on Skylines and think they're generally a little lighter than MMs. I also like the voicing of the LH-3 pre better than the MM pre. The -02's neck is only 1/8 of an inch wider at most. I find it a little more comfortable than a jazz width myself.
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I voted for the EBMM - I have a Sterling 5 HS, and it's a great instrument - lots of tonal variety available... I think Lakland makes a great instrument, but think the Skylines are priced a bit high, and not equal to an EBMM...

    - georgestrings
  12. ChetChetney


    Apr 25, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I definitely believe the Lakland is superior; from fit, finish, construct, electronics, neck, fret job, sound! IMHO
  13. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Tough call but I would give the edge to the Sterling-made in USA at a much lower price than the 44-94. Big difference on the import 44-02 is the neck. I'm not a J guy but the Sterling neck is easier to play and has better build quality.
  14. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I still havent decided . . .
  15. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I have owned both and base on tone I prefer the 44-02 over the Sterling. Both are great basses though.
  16. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    CT, New England
    The neck width difference is like 1.58 on the Lakie vs. 1.5 on the Sterling so not a lot. The OP said the Lakland he was looking at was a Skyline so the price of a new US Sterling is definitely more than the 4402 though I'd buy used either way. You might even find a US made 4494 used around 1800. IMHO the J pup on the Lakland sounds more like a jazz than the Sterling HS neck pup. Lack of pickup blend and finding a really light 4402 plus the vintage style frets, feel and preamp made the Lakland an easy choice for me. Love the Sterling 4H though, just not the HS!
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    What's the better J-Ray?

    Well, honestly, the Lakland might be a better J. But, the Sterling is always gonna be the better 'ray!

    And a Sterling H might the best J-Ray of all. The single H is the only Sterling that has a switch setting for Single Coil. If you want a J bridge pickup sound, plus Ray sound, the Sterling H is where it's at.

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