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Replacing Bartolinis on Lakland

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassbloke, Sep 18, 2003.


  1. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    I'm thinking of replacing the Barts on my Lakland 55-94 with Seymour Duncans. I like the Bartolini sound on ballads and slow material but just find it too diffuse for funkier stuff on the bottom strings - can't get the definition tight enough.

    I'd end up with a Bartolini preamp and SD P/Us. Anyone else done this? Did it achieve what you hoped?
     
  2. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    On my first Lakland, I did just that - had Dan swap out the Barts for the Basslines. It gave me exactly what I was looking for - more of an agressive, biting, in your face tone that I wasn't able to get with the Barts.
    For my second Lakland, I knew enough to just order the Basslines, and also have them being installed (with a Lakland preamp) into my new Curbow.

    If you are looking for more bite to the tone than what the Barts are giving you, you can't go wrong making the switch.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    I ordered my second 4-94 with the alnico Basslines pickups and the standard Bartolini-Lakland preamp (with added mid selector switch). My first Lakland (with Barts) was too mild for my taste. Now I can make my Lakland's tone go from aggressive to warm.

    see pics here

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  4. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    The cost from Lakland is $200 for the pickups and two tone pots (need different value for Basslines). Lakland will do the install for you, but I didn't get a price. I would vote for getting the mids switch added if you have them do the install.
     
  5. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Thanks guys - appreciated - Dan has quoted me $200 for P/Us but I'm in UK and will need to get someone else to install.

    I'm a little confused though - what preamp is supplied if you order a bass with SDs in the first place? Is it different? Any opinions on how it would affect the sound having the Bart pre?

    Frandiaz I'm impressed with the colour of your bass's maple neck, mine has started to discolour with us, how do you keep it so pristine?
     
  6. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    bassbloke,

    I've had that bass only for 6 months (altough I have to say that my other basses have seen almost 0 playing time) but I'm afraid that it will get dirtier and darker with the pass of time. You can check the pics of the StingRay that I've played almost exclusevely for 8 years to get the idea (its fingerboard was originally as white as the one in the Lakland that's also in the pic).

    I always wash my hands before I play, but I sweat a lot and it's impossible to keep that kind of finishes (wax and oil) clean forever. Dan Lakin recommends to clean the neck only with a dry, clean cloth, but I've used a little bit of True Birch oil (the one that Ernie Ball uses for MM basses) and it looks and (what's more important) feels much better.

    The preamp they use when you order Duncans from the factory is the same Bart NTMB-L (L stands for Lakland since its slightly modified regarding the eq freqs) but there is a couple of pots that change in value.

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  7. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Thanks Frandiaz - I must admit mine looked pristine at 6 months old as well. I tend to have my bass lying around and pick it up whenever the mood takes me, sometimes only for a couple of minutes, I don't always wash my hands first. I'm a bit of a newspaperaholic as well so sometimes I'll have newsprint making my hands a little grubby. (Typical Saturday or Sunday morning, read newspapers, pick up bass).


    Never having owned a maple necked bass or guitar before I didn't appreciate the effect this was going to have after a year or so. Your Musicman has yellowed very nicely, my Lakland is currently a greyer colour, very noticeably whiter under the strings and in the less often played parts of the neck. I've thought of having the stains removed professionally, but not only would that be expensive it'd involve a refretting job and I'm worried that the most playable bass I've ever owned well end up losing some of its sheer perfection (unbelievably low action without any deadspots or fret buzz).
     
  8. Saw this post and it got my attention.
    I have a 4-94 deluxe with maple neck and absolutely love this bass. It plays like a dream and looks fabulous. For sometime now I have been increasinly disappointed in my live sound with the Barts I have. Lakland really designed this bass with the Barts in mind and only offer the alternatives to keep the choices open. I'm finding my bass with the Barts harder to get a clean sound since I started using "cleaner" equipment. Since I got my Bergantino cabs and Demeter 201s rig my 4-94 has some tones I don't really like as much as I used too. My equipment is known for producing the exact sound your bass sends. I have a hard time cutting down the midrange tones that seem conjested and sort of muffled sounding. I favor the neck pickup all the time now to get a clean sound. I have to add treble and usually cut the mids now. Never used too.

    So, I'm thinking of trying the Duncans. I live near Chicago so it's easy for me to take it right to Dan and Carl. They take real good care of me. My main question is: I don't know if what I'm looking for is more "bite." I know the Duncans are much hotter than the Lakland Barts, and that might be good too. I just don't want a real steely sound. I play finger style RB and Blues mostly, so it might be good. Please submit a more detailed explaination between the Barts and Duncans on a Maple neck. Thanks.
     
  9. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    bassbloke,

    I like the way my MusicMan has aged, but I think your Lakland (and mine) will go down the same road. My MusicMan was also whiter under the strings and in the upper part of the neck and much darker in the first position. But it seems that it stopped getting darker in the area where my hand stays most of the time (1st-7th frets) and it continued getting darker in the rest of the fingerboard to a point where the difference is not as pronounced as it was 3 or 4 years ago. I love the look and feel of this neck now and I hope that my Lakland's neck will look the same in a few years. I wouldn't recommend you to refret your bass just to clean the fingerboard, be patient and you'll end up with a great "rock and roll looking" fingerboard :p

    Big String,

    I don't find the tone of my Lakland with Duncans steely at all. It's hard for me to do a good comparison between the Barts and Duncans because I traded the one with the barts before I got the one with the Duncans, but I can tell you that I play mostly rock, country rock, blues, R&B and stuff in that line and I have found my perfect bass. I remember that the barts Lakland cut through the mix well, but the Duncans Lakland cuts very well too and the notes are more defined. I had one demo song with thick guitars recorded with my 94 StingRay, my '79 StingRay, the Barts Lakland and my Duncans Lakland and this was the one that stood out. Unfortunately I deleted the other three bass tracks to clean the hard disk. If you live near the factory give the duncans a try.

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  10. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Yeah, it's very difficult to make a decision about the P/Us because I can't hear the SD pickups. It's just possible I have the only Lakland in Scotland, so finding another for comparison is just about impossible.

    There's a very interesting thread in the Lakland basses section of The Dudepit. This was revelation to me, because the uniformly great reviews the Lakland gets for sound just didn't square with my experience of the bass. I seriously thought my bass might be faulty. It's hard to describe what I was hearing but it would include:

    aggressive (but not tight) and slightly ugly nasal mids with new strings, most noticeable on D string; once strings wore in, a softer, fatter, richer sound, quite diffuse with a hint of it being slightly sandpapery or broken up; this sounded wonderful on ballads played mainly on the top strings, but for funk on the bottom strings there was near uncontrollable sustain and a lack of punch or definition.

    From the descriptions at the Dudepit, many people are experiencing the same reaction to the Barts. It isn't a fault, it's personal taste. I think I could get used to the Barts, and certainly when I played a recent rehearsal with my Yamaha I missed the Bart's sounds on some of the material (but the Yamaha has much tighter definition on the bottom strings). Also a couple of bandmates said they preferred the Lakland sound. I think I'd like something in between the Nathan East's sounds(wonderfully useable but slightly lacking in character) and the Barts.
     
  11. Thanks you guys for getting back. Here you are on the other side of the Planet and I'm only 60 miles from Chitown, Ha! Yes, I should just go up to Lakland with my rig and A/B myself.
    Those guys know me pretty good. I've had quite a few different Laklands in the past couple years. As I said I just started noticing that the Barts are not my favorites any more, but they sure do sound great in some applications. I'll have to make the time.
     
  12. I forgot to ask if you have the Alnico Basslines or the standard Lakland offers?
     
  13. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    I've got the alnico version, AFAIK this is a custom order because Seymour Duncan has to do a special 4 coil pickup to accomodate the coil tap. The standard alnico pickup that Duncan sells is not suitable for this.

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  14. Thanks Fran,
    Another question. did you keep the bart preamp in your 4-94 when you switched to the bassline/alnico ??
     
  15. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    yeah, I kept the Bart preamp and Lakland installed the mid freq. selector switch that I wanted. IMO this is a great preamp, when I run it flat it gives me the same tone that the bass has in passive mode but louder. It's also very powerful, when I need to adjust my eq I just turn the knobs a little and the tone I'm looking for is there (if you know what I mean).

    let me know if you have any more questions.

    keep groooovin'
    Fran
     
  16. Flanker

    Flanker

    Feb 12, 2002
    UK
    Bassbloke

    There's one in Milton Keynes!

    I have a Lakland 55-94 with Barts but I am no longer enjoying the bass, I'm going to sell it and get a GB5 Standard to go with my GB 4 string.

    Where are you in Scotland?I'm from Dumfries.
     
  17. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Flanker, I'm in Aberdeen.