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NBD Lakland 55-02D Fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jazzdogg, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    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. :D

    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. :bag:

    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; :meh: 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. :p

    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?

    Attached Files:

  2. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    They are fixed and, sadly, there are no provisions for conveniently (sic) altering that center frequency the way there are for the midband.

    Presumably there's a component or two on the circuit board that you could desolder & swap w/ another value to change those center frequencies, but since those are all surface-mount that's beyond the scope of the typical bassist, and totally antithetical to the intentions of the LH-3's designer.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    ^ Thanks. I didn't think it could hurt to ask.

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