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Rick Turner or Lakland?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FritzM, Jun 28, 2001.


  1. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    I've narrowed my search for a 5 string down to the Rick Turner Electroline 5 w/piezo and 2 soapbar Turner pickups or a Lakland D55-94. They are really different animals, but the Lakland feels wonderful and the Turner sounds wonderful. Anyone with any experience with either? Advantages/Disadvantages?
    I play Jazz and R&B, play with a high 5 stringing, and solo quite alot. I would appreciate your help!

    ____FritzM
     
  2. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    I've never tried a Lakland, but I do have the Turner model you're interested in.

    My guess is that the Lakland probably handles the mids a little better than the Turner does, but the Turner probably does the lows and highs better than the Lakland. Mine still never ceases to amaze me: the hottest output of any bass I've ever owned, and not a buzz or crackle... dead quiet. Flexible as all get-out. It's light, and very comfortable to play standing up.

    I had some problems with mine early on, and corresponded with Rick, very nice guy. I ended up having to send the bass back to him when the piezos just died, but he had it back to me within a week, better than ever. It's been perfect ever since.

    My only niggle is that I can't get the action as low as I'd like via adjustment, but within the next couple weeks I'll try replacing the Thoms with a less-elastic string, and see what happens.

    Very expressive bass, reproduces every nuance of your playing. Surprisingly, of all the basses I've ever owned, this one has gotten the most positive notice from bandmates and audience members alike.

    Both Lakland and Turner seem like they're good folks to deal with. I won't be selling mine--ever--and I know that Rick stands behind his products.

    Happy hunting!
     
  3. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    What problem did you have with the action on the Rick Turner? I played one with medium gauge nickle wounds and the action was slightly higher than I liked. Is it an adjustment problem or fret buzz? The Bass I played sounded great and I thought it would be a nice compliment to my Rob Allen fretless ( both piezo instruments with hot output).

    ____FritzM
     
  4. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    Hey FritzM,

    I'd like to be able to get the action a little lower on my Turner, but with the elastic Thoms on it I get some fret buzzing on the higher frets. Most people would probably be pretty happy with the action on mine, but I've got a pretty light touch. I wouldn't call the action bad, just not optimum! With some new strings in a slightly heavier gauge, I might be able to get it lower... I'll be experimenting in the next couple weeks.

    Even if the action were higher, I'd still keep this bass for the sound...superb!

    How do you like your Rob Allen? My brief foray into fretless convinced me that I need to permanently add one to my collection, and I've heard nothing but great things about them. Sweet looking, too!

    Good luck on your search, my vote goes for the Turner!
     
  5. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    The Rob Allen is as good as it gets for fretless. But, you really need to use the Labella tapewounds with it. The bass was kind of designed for these strings. It is really very uprightish sounding with days of sustain. Really nice for Jazz, Blues, and Folk.
    How is the Electroline's string spacing? That is what I really liked about the Lakland, it was fairly wide. The neck felt really nice and the Lakland was very light weight. But, the Electroline piezo sound was so clear and defined, kinda like being Hi-Fi and warm and traditional at the same time. One other thing, can the Turner get a nice low mid growly type of sound as well?
    I'm kinda beating a dead horse, but it is a major decision/purchase. I think I can get the Turner for about 1750, Lakland maybe 18 or 19.

    Thanks for the help___Fritz
     
  6. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    Hi Fritz,

    It seems that the string spacing on the Turner is quite p/j-like. I'll measure mine tonight when I get home and let you know.

    One thing I've never tried on the Turner: slap and pop. I'm almost 100% fingerstyle these days, so it might be a consideration for you.

    As far as the middly-growl goes: I think you can coax some nice J-sounds out of it, with the neck pickup backed off 3/4, and the piezo backed off almost all the way. I suppose some of the sonic signature might be related to the strings themselves. My last experiment was to take the Thoms off the Turner, and put them on a Warwick Thumb NT 5... didn't feel too strikingly different, yet these strings feel really elastic on the Turner!

    I know what you mean about the purchase. Not having played them (yet), the Laklands LOOK stunningly beautiful, but the Turner is still the bomb for me!

    Good luck!
     
  7. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    I'm about 0% pop and slap. I grew up with Jaco, Jeff Berlin, Steve Swallow, Anthony Jackson, none being slappers. I do admire the ability to slap, however. I'm looking forward to trying the Turner out tomorrow ( like those hot output basses). Also, I bet a set of stainless steels' would give that Turner some real serious low-mid punch and perhaps a lower action. I play with a light touch also, more room for dynamics.
    Two more questions:
    1.) Balance, sitting and standing? (getting old, the old back ya know)
    2.) And, where did you get yours?

    Thanks for your help! Fritz
     
  8. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    Hey Fritz,

    The balance on mine is perfect; the only better-balancing bass I've played is my Dingwall. Light and easy sitting or standing. Wish I could say that about my Warwicks! I'm 48, so I agree with you that they have to be comfortable!

    I got mine at BassNW; great folks to deal with, I've done quite a bit of business (buying and selling) with them and always been happy. I think I managed to pick it up for around $1400, but it wasn't the "matching headstock", top-of-the-line model w/birdseye maple neck.

    And I think you're right re: the steels, that's what I'm going to try!

    Happy hunting!
     
  9. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    I appreciate all your help! I'll let you know tomorrow what transpires. I'm 43, play jazz mostly and do alot of session work. I live in Dallas, not a whole bunch of high end bass stores in these parts.
    I bought my Rob Allen from Evan at Bass NW. Great people! Wish I could get this Turner for 1400.
    They slowed down production and are getting hard to find.

    Thanks___Fritz
     
  10. kezekiel

    kezekiel

    Sep 24, 2000
    I spoke with them a few times in the last month, and they are actually ramping up production. Give them a call... they'll tell you what shops have what on order near where you live. I have been interested in an Electroline myself, but it seems everybody wants fretless 5's these days, for that's about all that anybody near me ordered. I'd love to get my hands on a fretted 4 with the diamond pickup, but I'm not going to go so far as to put one on order and wait six months for it.

    Kevin
     
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Larry Morgan Music in Garland carries Rick Turner's basses.
     
  12. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    fritzM, heres my answer. buy my like new lakland deluxe 55-94 with ebony board for 1650. sure im biased, but ive been trying to sell this thing for a almost 2 months
     
  13. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    I went with the Turner and I love it. I got it from, ironically, Larry Morgan music. I got a really nice deal too. I'll be experimenting with strings on it. Since I play with a High C stringing, the Thomastic Jazz roundwounds might work pretty good. The only set I could get at the store were DR highbeams, and they feel a bit on the tight side, with the 35" scale. I think the Thomastics, with a "looser" feel, might be OK. Any ideas? Also, Do the Thomastics have a green winding? The strings the Turner came with had a green winding.
    It is really nice, one piece body, piezo and 2 soapbars. Probably the best craftsmanship I've seen. I've played Fodera, Smith, MTD too! The locking pickup idea is brilliant! great looking piece of swamp ash! No buzzes anywhere. I also tried an inexpensive G&L 1505 (700 w/case). I may pick up one of these boys too, after a while. Not bad at all for the money!

    ____FritzM
     
  14. LowRanger

    LowRanger

    Dec 24, 2000
    FritzM:

    Congratulations on your new bass! You've got to be pleased!

    The Thoms I'm familiar with are the Rock Bass, and they have a purple wrap. It could be that our basses had different gauges factory-installed perhaps? I ordered some backups, and they also had the purple wraps.

    One way I think works well to distinguish these Thoms besides wrap color is the actual wire wrap of the B and E strings, the B has a smaller gauge wrap than the E (that is, unless mine was strung incorrectly when I got it). Usually I can tell the B from the E just by looking at them, I should get calipers just to check that they're correct.

    I ended up putting on a set of Warwick Black Label medium that I had laying around, and they did permit me to get a more comfortable action setup with quite a bit more mid. Now that I've GOT mids, I'm not sure I like them on this bass, so the Thoms may go back in the near future. I would think any brand with at least a 35" scale length wrap would do, but those Thoms really do have an elastic feel quite unlike any other string I've ever played.

    I did measure the bridge, I get 19mm center-to-center string spacing, going to about 9mm at the nut. I think he uses Hipshot bridges with customized piezo-added saddles.

    I'm sure you'll love your new bass. I think they have a real understated elegance, and one of the best sounds in bassdom.

    Congratulations!
     
  15. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    LowRanger,
    I ordered a set of the Jazz Electric Roundwounds (Thoms), so I'll see how they work and let you know. I think the Thoms definately work well for this particular bass. Actually, the D'addarios might sound alright, they have less tension than most. I'm really getting into the sound of the piezo. I've been experimenting with a pick lately (playing Jazz) and the piezo sounds great. It has a real full bottom end with singing highs. keep in touch!

    Fritz