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New BTB vs. 55-01..Help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joel the bass player, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. I am having a tuff time deciding. I played one of the new BTB 515 with the Bartolini's and preamp and liked it. I have never played the 55-01 but like what I am hearing a lot. I just can't decide. The 55-01 seems like I could get it for cheaper, but I have never played one. Anyone have any comments to offer on the tone?? i.e. similar or very different?? Build and/or reliability?? Thanks for any comments!

  2. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I can't compare then exactly, but I can come close... I have a 55-01 as well as a BTB405. I can't speak for the sound, as the 55-01 is on it's way back from lakland after having the preamp upgrade, and I got the BTB after the 55-01 shipped out. But I can say they have a similar feel as far as playability... I feel like they are similar, even with the deviation between the body styles and the electronics... I think that the tone for the 55-01 will be a little warmer, a little smoother... I think that both are really well built, and surprising deals for the money.... I don't think that you could really do wrong going either way.... Of course, you should probably know that the BTB is really the backup for the Lakland. I am sure when I get the 55-01 back the BTB woll probably start collecting some dust...

  3. Thread revived from the dead..

    Anyone compare a BTB to the 55-01 recently? Specifically a BTB555? Thoughts?
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    They both have Bartolini MK-1 pups, but the BTB has a more flexible preamp because of the variable mid control. It weighs between one and two pounds less. I also think it's better looking, but then I like a contrasting combination of woods. Another thing I think the BTB has going for it over the 55-01 is that the pickups are farther apart. I found that there wasn't enough of a tonal difference between the pups on the 55-01. These things sold me on the BTB.


    The 55-01 has a killer B string! If your goal in getting a 5-string is to have a great sounding B that balances well with the other strings, then the 55-01 is your choice. I also think that the construction details on the 55-01 are better. There was a couple of gaps around the neck pocket on my BTB - nothing that detracted from the sound or threatened the stability of the neck, but it didn't look good. I also like the foil shielding in the control panel. Finall, the 55-01 will have a higher resale value than the BTB.

    Overall, I like the features, looks, and sound of the BTB better than the 55-01. I think the 55-01 is a more "professional" instrument.

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