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NBD: Heavily Mod’d Lakland 44-51 (Lipsticks, Relentless, EMG)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JEDI BASS, Jan 12, 2021.


    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I bought this bass direct, as a demo, and had them keep it so Carl Pedigo (aka Chicago Bass Dr) could modify it. I have since modified it even more.

    Some back story: I’m 49, been playing 32 years. I only recently started liking P basses, and that was mostly due to the Dimarzio Model P pickup. But, that’s another story. I now have several Ps, a few PJs, two dual Ps, and this Lakland 44-51. I also love the Ric bass sound but can’t stand the string spacing, scale length, and some other Ric things.

    I had been missing my Lākland Scheff that I reluctantly sold a while back while gathering funds for an engagement ring. So, I bought a set of Kent Armstrong Lipstick J single coils with plans of building my own Scheff clone someday. When I saw the 44-51, I had an idea to have Carl Pedigo put the lipsticks in it. The Scheff neck pickup is actually positioned too close to the E and A half of the P pickup route. So, Carl and I discussed placing the neck lipstick in the Ric location, under the 24th fret harmonic. Carl tested the idea and a couple days later said it was a good choice. A Scheff’s bridge pickup is fairly close to the 70s J spot. So, we stayed with that location for the bridge pup. I would have hated the aesthetics of having two shiny chrome pickups and one old style black P pickup. So, I started looking online and Dimarzio releases the Relentless like 2 days later... it was meant to be LOL! I ordered one and had it shipped directly to Carl. I also ordered a 3 hole control plate. The plan was to have 3 volumes with at least one being stacked with a tone. I never really use a preamp much and leave my tone wide open all the time. I’m not a knob tweaker at all! Some wiring complexities/issues that I don’t understand lead Carl and I to change to a 3 knob and 2 mini-switch layout: volume only for the P, master volume for lipsticks, tone for lipsticks, one switch to select Lipsticks only, P only, & all 3. The other switch was for the lipsticks: Br, both, neck. After wiring up all that, Carl found a phase issue when running all 3 pickups. He battled it and tried several things with no luck. I had an idea to use two output jacks, like Billy Sheehan, 1 for the lipsticks and 1 for the P. That would remedy the phase issue but leave me needing to play through two amps simultaneously, or use a mixer. Also, we would only need 1 switch, leaving the 2nd disconnected. We went with the dual outputs.

    Here’s some before and after pics w/ one of the Scheff that inspired the mods: 25C0FD2D-BC58-4E05-BB9E-7AE1BBEDD91D.jpeg 04936DB5-0014-404F-96CD-03DCBF139744.jpeg FA0139C1-BE42-4A83-8A39-7E05F27C5AC3.jpeg
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    That's funny to me. I have always loved P basses but always end up removing Model P's when I run into them. I like your P-Scheff, though!
    nixdad and JEDI BASS like this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    A friend and fellow Scheff lover tried the bass out through 2 rigs and it definitely captured much of the Scheff magic! Playing the neck J and the P together gave a very good Ric sound. I’ve owned a few and I was pleased! The P pickup is a monster and totally overpowers the lipsticks... like 3 times louder! And, there’s the expected volume drop when switching from a single lipstick to both.

    This volume drop, and having a switch that did nothing, got me thinking about the EMG BTC HZ preamp, and using the two miniswitch holes for mini pots for Vol and tone for the P.

    So.... I spent a few days planning, a week waiting on parts, and a full day with my drill press, router, and soldering iron. Here’s the results: 29C8F504-6078-4F90-8C24-BE5C8C59419C.png 9F8831D1-8924-4F40-ADDB-79599CC6530D.jpeg

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    My problem was that I didn’t care for the typical P sound when noodling at home. So, I never gave it a chance at band rehearsals or gigs. I had a few great P basses that I sold due to this... stupid! The Model P isn’t a typical P pickup and sounded better at home. So, I took it to a few rehearsals and was hooked. Now, I can appreciate other P pickups knowing how great they’ll sound in a band setting.
    MAXSPINRUN, basspraiser and nixdad like this.
  5. bajaandy


    Apr 25, 2010
    That thing is sweet! Very clean. Love the chrome bling!
    basspraiser, nixdad and JEDI BASS like this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks! I’m very happy with my results! 1st time using the new drill press, and 2nd time using the router. Being careful doesn’t come close LOL! Measured and checked everything probably a dozen times before removing wood, and I still had some close calls and chewed up my template a bit.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    So sharp. Enjoy.
    basspraiser, nixdad and JEDI BASS like this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    49380CFF-31BE-4CD5-9680-B1B1E64C2457.jpeg The EMG BTC HZ’s active balance control works well at helping with the volume loss when playing both lipsticks, and the EMG solderless system goes in so neatly! But, I had to chisel out some wood to get those wide boards to fit in the cavity. Don’t Tell The Wife Guitars is THE MAN to buy EMG products from! He gets all my business! He threw in some extra wires to help me convert the lipsticks to solderless connectors, and I received the preamp in two days- Cali to east TN. That’s crazy fast! The 4 other vendors took a week, and they were much closer.
  9. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    That is really cool! It has a Hot Rod type of aesthetic with the Candy Red and chrome.
    You already had a solution, but Danelectro does series for pickup combinations to combat the volume drop.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Don't hurt anyone with that thing! :roflmao:
    basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.
  11. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    That looks and I bet sounds great. Nice job!
    JEDI BASS likes this.
  12. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Always liked the Scheff basses.

    That chrome and red is one of the hottest combos I've seen. Really well done.
  13. Wow that looks sharp. Nice job!
    basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.
  14. She's a beaut, Clark. :)

    Reminds me of my Fender Urge...love it.

    basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.
  15. stretch80


    Jan 31, 2005
    That looks really cool and I bet it sounds powerful.
    basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.
  16. That really looks sharp! :thumbsup:
    basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks! I need to pose it with my red 64 Tbird!

    As for series, the Scheff isn’t wired that way so I would not have gotten the sound I was looking for.
    bigtone23, MAXSPINRUN and basspraiser like this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    It’s super heavy, so I’ll probably hurt myself playing it LOL!

    Thanks everybody! Lowendlobster will be doing a review/comparison on YouTube, sometime in the next few months... maybe sooner. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you should be! He does some of the most informative and entertaining bass content on the web! He has a Scheff, a Ric, and a Fender P to compare and contrast with. His honest review will let me know if my efforts were a success or a miss. Either way, it’s a Swiss army bass of tones.
    MAXSPINRUN and basspraiser like this.
  19. deepestend

    deepestend Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Looks great!
    JEDI BASS likes this.
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    That came out really really nice congrats and that's not a cheap platform to experiment with congrats on the courage it took to do that
    MAXSPINRUN, basspraiser and JEDI BASS like this.
  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.

    Jan 25, 2021

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