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Sandberg California VM5 vs. Lakland US 5594?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mad_hungarian, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I am very curious if anyone ever compared these two basses (or played and tested them both).

    I first saw the concept or mixing MM pickups with single coils at Lakland, and I bought a US 5594 too... hands down one of the best two basses I ever played! (the other is my USJO4 from Lakland :D )

    I am wondering how the California VM5 fares. It uses the MM-P combination so there will be a sonic difference to MM-J. However, the concept is similar: mixing MM pickups with others.
    What is the build quality? How "usable" is the sound in the mix?

  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I just did a run through some vids on YouTube to get an idea. I think I prefer the Sandberg. I want one, now. :(
  3. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    I never played a Lakland but I can say that my VM5 is the best sounding, best built, bass I have ever owned. Can't see me ever selling it.
  4. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    I also checked vids on the Sandberg (great sound), but YouTube videos in general are usually very misleading.
    Main thing I get a bass for is how it sounds in the mix. A random guy playing his ass off in a video won't tell me that :) (OK, it will give me a general idea, but unless I hear it in the mix, it's never for sure)

    THis is why it would be great to get the opinion of someone who played both these basses.
  5. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    But the same random guy's opinion on a forum will?

    I've only ever played the Laklands. One was a U.S. model (absolutely loved how it felt) and a couple were imports. Only one of those was in a live setting. It was a 55-02. Honestly, I didn't care much for it, at the time. I played 7 or 8 songs on it, through my own rig. I'll blame my lack of familiarity for my not caring for it, though, the controls were pretty straight forward.

    I don't know of anyone around me that carries Sandberg basses.
  6. mad_hungarian


    Sep 1, 2008
    The same random guy playing the bass with a musical background (drums, guitars and/or keys) would be perfect. Solo'd bass sound is misleading although can give you a basic idea.

    Never played a Korean Lakland myself (no lefty versions) but my US 5594 is perfection.
  7. Just in case a broader comparison helps...

    I've got a Sandberg bass: TT4. Single coils of Haussel. Compared to my Fender basses (expensive 75 reissue & standard) this bass cuts through the mix a lot better in the upper register. Very solid tone. It's civilized though in general. Fender sounds harsh to me. Dig in on a Sandberg and it gets gritty. Dig in on a Fender and it gets too harsh for good tone IMO.

    But can't tell how that compares to Lakland, sorry.
  8. Ibby


    Jun 24, 2013
    I have the 4string version of the california, so feel free to ask any questions you may have.