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Need help with 35" 5 stringer

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tortoise.sg, Mar 10, 2004.


  1. Hi guys,

    I've been looking for an average priced 35" 5 string bass and it came down to these 2. I've never tried any of them but heard quite a bit about the Lakland. What do you all say? I'm open to other basses.. just that I wanna take advantage of the free shipping worldwide by BassNW. heh

    Ken Smith Design V70J5 5 string Bass

    http://www.bassnw.com/New Exotic Basses/ken_smith_design_V70J5.htm

    Lakland Skyline 55-01 Standard 5 string Bass

    http://www.bassnw.com/New Exotic Basses/lakland_skyline_5501_Natural_RW.htm

    Thanks
     
  2. OrionManMatt

    OrionManMatt

    Feb 17, 2004
    Houston
    shoot me if you want but i think that Ken Smith is ugly. I'd pick the Lakland just based on looks because they both perform.
     
  3. Those Ken Smith Design basses are extremely nice. If you like jazz basses, I would really recommend that thing to you. I've never had any experience with Lakland basses (though I would love to try one), but I really don't think you could go wrong with the KSD. Just look at that fingerboard. Gorgeous!
     
  4. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I own the KSD, can't really compare it to a Skyline, haven't really played em long enough, I'll tell you I love the KSD its pretty bright though, but what do you expect from an ash/maple combo? Its a beaut too! Just trying to find a gigbag that fits it was causing me some trouble :p
     
  5. Yeah, thanks guys.
    I must agree the ash wood grains on the ksd is really ugly, but I'm not given much choice there... I already have a maple/ash combo with my G&L 5500 that why I'm more inclined to the Lakland with rosewood... It's just that I have this assumption that the 55-01 not as good tone wise compared to the 55-02. Could I get some help here.. Oh yeah, BassNW doesn't carry 55-02.... sigh. Would you all recomend any other basses?
     
  6. Gsxtasy99

    Gsxtasy99

    Jul 10, 2003
    Boston, MA
    They might be out of your price range but have you looked at the japanese Sadowsky's? I've heard only good things about them.
     
  7. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    NJ
    haven't played a lakland, I have an American model, so the comparison wouldn't be fair. I have palyed the Smith bass though. Very very nice for the money. Easily the equal of a Japaneese (and possibly MIA) Fender quality wise. I think you'd like it.
     
  8. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I also own one of the KSD basses and it's really superb, especially for the price. Killer slap tone, well-balanced and easy to set up. It's a big ol' thing, tho! As has been pointed out, most gig bags won't fit. I found one but it took a bit of looking. The B string on the KSD is also very good, something that is certainly not a given at this price point. And personally, I think it looks great.
     
  9. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    If you want to go cheaper, I'll sell you my DeArmond 35" 5er. ;)
     
  10. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Good 35" Fiver at a reasonable price: Rumblefish!
     
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Dean makes some nice 35" fivers. If you can find one of the old Czech Improv mnodels you'll be gold.
     
  12. where can i get them? i tried searching... couldn't find any... but i heard they are priced close to the american ones? is that true?
     
  13. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I can't tell you anything about Ken Smith's...

    However, I CAN tell you,,, I LOVE My 55-01!
     
  14. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Another option is the V60J5, which is in a sunburst and rosewood, with the 60s style pickup I believe but no inlays.
     
  15. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I've tried the Skylines and they're very nice especially for the price.. My question is I know the Skylines are made in Korea.. Could the KSD's be also made in Korea and possibly from the same factory as the Skylines.. None the less, I don't think you can go wrong with either...
     
  16. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I owned a Lakland 55-02 for a few months. Excellent quality and it played very good. Make sure that you get one that has the US electronics. I haven't played the 55-01 but a lot of TB'ers prefer it over the 55-02. I personally like the MM/J pickup configuration and I think it would give you some different sounds than the GL-5500 bass.
     
  17. Acepiloto

    Acepiloto

    Aug 25, 2000
    Basically, the features are almost the same. Only differences being that the Lakland has Barts, and the KSD has a 2band instead of 3band eq.

    I really like my 55-01, I prefer it over my Stingray 5. That KSD looks nice, but huge, my Lakland is nice and light.

    I have the natural w/Rosewood board, I like the tone, bright but not harsh.
     
  18. I just purchased a 55-02 about 3 weeks ago. Definitely go with the Lakland! The 55-01 is ok, but it sounds just like a standard active jazz bass without alot of different sounds. Much like the Cort/Elrick Josh Paul (they have the same electronics BTW). The 55-02 can get a great Jazz sound, BUT....then you flip it to the MM pickup and you got a whole new world of sounds. Definitely would be my choice.

    Go see www.basscentral.com and when you call, ask for Gard!

    Best purchase I've ever made.....
    SB
     
  19. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    No experience with the Ken Smith but I'm liking my Skyline 55-01 a lot.

    One advantage is its structural integrity. I also have a Fender American Precision and a Godin BG-5. The neck on the Lakland required less adjustment during the dry winter months up here in the Great White North than either the Fender (with graphite rod reinforcement) or the Godin.

    The string spacing on the Lakland is nice too. It's very fan-shaped (wide at the bridge like my Precision and as narrow as my Godin up by first fret).

    The 35" scale gives a clear attack and tone to the B and E strings. I have the MIK Barts and electronics which many advise to upgrade from, but I'm quite happy. This thing has lots of sounds in it. The high end is not brittle at all, like I found on a Peavey Cirrus I test-drove the same day I bought the Lakland, but is mellow even with treble or midrange bumped a bit.

    I admit to liking the aesthetics too. The tuners are retro-looking but are the light Hip-shot licensed type. The bridge is top-load or string-thru and has a nice vintage MusicMan look to it.

    I got a cherryburst (grain could be better, especially on the back, it has quite a few dark mineral grain patterns) with rosewood fretboard and I am quite pleased with the bass. Even though it's a 35" scale, the body is short, so it doesn't feel too big. I will admit that it's a bit on the heavy side (not as heavy as my previous Fender Jazz V), but with a wide strap, there's no problem, it balances nicely for me.

    I also like the passive / active switch which allows you to turn on the "kaboom" with one tap. It does have an audible thunk though as you engage the 3-band tone circuit.
     
  20. What about the Cort Elrick Josh Paul?
    It's a really good bass. You may want to consider it.
    Moreover if you're located in Singapore, you should be able to find one of these babes in your area.
    So you can try it. If you can try a bass before to buy, Do It! Sometimes even if the bass looks perfect for you, the neck shape or anything else, doesn't fit you...I would be a pity.