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review of my Lakland 55-01 Skyline

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brian gingrich, Jan 15, 2002.


  1. brian gingrich

    brian gingrich

    Jan 14, 2002
    Since there's been some chatter about these new Laklands, I thought I'd give my impressions of my new 55-01.

    Just to be straight, keep in mind the 55-01 is the one with the soap bar p/u's and not the MM/J set up.

    My bass is pretty much stock off the rack, but I had the preamp that comes with it replaced with the Bart preamp as found in the 55-02 and other various active Lakland instruments. I haven't played a 55-01 with the stock preamp, so I couldn't begin to make a comparison on that level.

    My bass has a clear finish over the plain ash body with a rosewood fingerboard. First impressions were that the bass wasn't all that heavy, but it wasn't super light, either - - somewhere in the middle. And most importantly, it feels good in an ergonomic sense - - no neck diving, string spacing that was too narrow, etc. etc. I've used it now on several long gigs (standing up for 5 hours a pop) and not experienced any undue shoulder fatigue or left or right hand strain. This is important for a geezer like me.

    What I was looking for was a bass that could reasonably emulate a good, active modern Fender J tone with a clear B string that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I can say without a doubt that this was the right bass to have chosen. I didn't really need to go with a MM sound to any degree, which is why I decided to go with the 55-01 and not the 55-02.

    Sound is a very subjective thing, so I even hesitate to even describe the sound. It's close to a very nice Jazz tone, but with the active preamp it's more 'open' and modern, if that makes any sense at all. I haven't really noticed any dead spots on the neck, which is not true of another Korean manufactured bass I owned now being sold by another famous maker (it was a nice bass, to be sure - just not for me). Maybe the most important question - how does the B string sound? The answer is - great! with a few important points. One - be sure the B string is always strung through the body on this bass (the bridge allows you to go either through the body or through the bridge). The other strings don't seem to matter that much, but the clarity of the B string is improved fairly dramatically if strung through the body. Two - use a taper core string. The strings that came on the bass were a set of Lakland Stainless roundwound strings. The tension was a little much for me, so I decided to try a set of Elixirs I had around the house. This softened things up a bit and was more in the ball park of what I'm used to tension and tone wise - - - but the B string just didn't cut it. It wasn't long enough to string through the body and it wasn't a taper core........so back to the Lakland stainless for the B string. This won't be a long term answer, but it's close enough for now. I plan to experiment with strings on the bass over the next few months before settling on something for the long term.

    I also had a chance to play a 55-02 Skyline and one of the American made 55-94s, side by side. Same finish, fingerboard, etc. etc. - more or less the exact same bass. All I could say is that if I was blindfolded, I couldn't have told the difference in tone or feel. It was that good.

    I'm happy enough that I put an order in for a 55-02 fretless.

    Insert the usual disclaimer about not working for the company, etc. etc.

    Brian Gingrich
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Nicely written review, can you play Korn on it? Seriously welcome to the board and when you get the fretless, please post your findings.
     
  3. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Hey Brian, it's good to see your name over here at talkbass. I'm looking forward to your contributions here as you've done in the past over at TBL.

    Peace,

    - Frank.