New Ken Smith Design V705 or Used Lakie 55-02???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by panic_striken, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I can't make up my mind:mad: Please help!!!!! I play hard rock, and run a Genz Benz/Ampeg rig.
  2. Very different sounding basses... both nice. The Smith model you are talking about is very 70's J Bass (i.e., Marcus Miller sound... with aggressive highs and low lows).

    The 55-02 has Bartolini's and is very punchy, warm and has a bid mid-range punch.

    The build quality (fretwork, finish, etc. ) on the Lakland will be better IMO... but the KSD I played was fine also.

    It's really a matter of what sound you like... super punchy warm mids or grindy 70's J Bass.... for 'hard rock'... it seems the 55-02 might be the ticket.
  3. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I have read that the KSD's are really long basses, and I'm a short guy. Are the Lakie's any shorter or are all 35" scales that way???
  4. I think it has less to do with the 35" scale, which is usually just the bridge moved closer to the edge of the body, and more to do with the fact that the KSD70 is meant to cop the 70's J Bass thing... and that era of J Bass has a very big body. If you dig up my new Celinder thread, you can see a picture of me with my new Celinder, which is approximately the same size as the KSD.... it is big, but I'm a little guy also, and it's really not a problem

    The body of the Lakland is much smaller and very comfortable... however, due to the short horn, your left hand (fretting hand) does extend pretty far out from your body. Again, I didn't really have a problem at all with either style of bass.
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I've spent time with both, extensively. Unless the KSD is GREATLY improved, it doesn't even make my list. Clunky neck, noisy electronics, awful fretwork.

    The Lakland Skyline is virtually indistinguishable from the US model for sound and feel. Great bass.
  6. id have to disagree, ive got an older ksd, the electronics are nowhere near noisy, the neck is great, but in saying that i do like the larger necks, well its a 5 string with 4 string spacing...but ill agree of the fretwork sorta, ive only got 1 sharp edge on the whole neck....i played a skyline once, and, well, it did as much for me as a mexican fender did, theres no way i can see the skyline being worth the $2500aus way at all
  7. I'd go with 55-02.
    I once have KSD 60 5 string and it is heavy & uncomfortable to play.
  8. BSR6P-Bob


    Apr 5, 2005
    Both good but very different basses.

    The KSD is an Active Jazz bass clone while the Lakland is Dan's Jazz/Stingray hybrid design. You should really play both to decide which is a better fit.

    I'd have to tip the overall quality control in favor of the Lakland only because EVERY Skyline bass goes through the Lakland factory before shipment.
  9. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Mine was amazing, but then again I bought one of the first prototypes/first batch released, and mine was well taken care of...
  10. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I wouldn't discount the KSD too much. I have one and I've been gigging with it for over a year. It does the 70's jazz thing really well, and playability isn't as bad as some people make it out to be. KSD doesn't have the level of quality control that Skyline Laklands have, so I'm sure there are some bad ones out there.

    I got mine from BassNW and I was pretty happy with it right out of the box. I had to adjust the truss rod, and just recently did some minor fret leveling. Other than that I've had no issues with it. The electronics on the KSD are not as nice as the electronics on my Smith BSR5, but they aren't horrible either. Keep in mind the Smith cost more than twice the KSD.

    Like a 70's jazz, it is a bit heavy and the body is big. I think that the heavy ash body is part of how it achieves the 70's jazz tone. I used to play a Warwick Corvette 6'er that felt much heavier. I've used the KSD for 3-4 hour gigs without any more discomfort then I get from my Smith. The neck on the KSD is a little thick from front to back, some might call it chunky, but it is very playable.

    If I ever decide to replace my KSD it would be because of the 35" scale. I just prefer the feel of a 34" bass better.

    Playability and quality aside, the KSD and the 55-02 sound very different IMHO. You should try to play them before you buy, or at least listen to recordings of them to better understand the tonal differences. I can email you a clip of the KSD recorded direct if you are interested. Just send me a PM.
  11. basske


    Oct 18, 2005
    Menen BelGiuM
    I have both, a KSD705 and the 55-02
    The KSD plays more comfortable.
    The strings can set nearer to the neck than i can do it on the 55-02
    So the ksd plays "smoother" and faster
    The sound is indeed different and the 55-02 has more different "tones" and more allround
    Both very very very OK!!