UPS delivered my almost-new fretless Lakland 55-02 Deluxe yesterday! TBer JeffRam shipped the bass like a seasoned professional, and it arrived in perfect condition – looks and feels factory new – except for some mild wear on the ebony fingerboard from Lakland nickel steel round-wounds. This 55-02 has an oil-rubbed neck and a glossy swamp ash body with a quilted maple veneer top. Very nice! The entire purchasing process was a breeze; Jeff’s a fantastic seller. Last night I used an iAmp800 and Dr. Bass 2460 to audition the 55-02. It had been a long day at work, and I was apprehensive about the 55-02 living up to so many favorable reviews and wonderful sound clips. First listening - ganky, clangy, and buzzy, with annoying harmonic overtones, i.e., round wounds. This afternoon, I installed Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats; aaaahhh, much better. The notes now have sonic integrity, congruent overtones, and no extraneous noise; they’re plenty bright, but never brittle sounding. Loosening the truss rod a third of a turn provided all the relief I needed. I like top-loading bridges and string retainers that are accessible from the sides, and dislike threading stiff wires through narrow openings on a bass with a nice finish. The job’s done for now, but I’ll worry about damaging the finish every time I change strings; one demerit for Lakland. On to set-up. Normally, I lower each bridge element until I get buzzing, and then start raising them, string by string, until I have fairly consistent string height without annoying buzzing; other players usually say my action’s been “fairly high” on my other basses. I had to lower the height of each string much more than I anticipated to make the 55-02 buzz; wow, this fingerboard is just about perfect! I’ve never owned a bass capable of such low action without buzzing – at least with my playing style and TI flats - Fantastic! This fingerboard is so good it makes the bridge and string tree easier to tolerate. I like the way this bass hangs on a strap with a naturally upright headstock position; the 55-02 has shown no propensity for diving with a Comfort Strapp. My left hand falls naturally into position without any painful or awkward reaching, but I’m still getting used to the 3 + 2 tuning machine arrangement. The body has a nice silhouette, but it's a little fat and clunky [machine-shaped] compared to the way I usually contour my basses; it’s been comfortable so far, if a little heavy. I still plan to experiment with the pre-amp gain – there’s an inordinate jump in volume when switching from passive to active. I’ll also try several of the user selectable mid-range frequencies. A few questions: 1. Are the bass and treble center frequencies fixed, or can they be tweaked via the LH3 pre-amp? 2. Is a “VTC” retrofit available?