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Seeking Lakland comparisons

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bino, May 25, 2005.

  1. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Anybody compare the 55-94/-02 to the DJ5 (or their 4-string counterparts)? I've got a very nice 55-94, but have been gassing for a DJ for ages solely for it's looks and reviews. I mainly play my 55-94 these days because is feels so damn incredible and has a rich, woody tone, but in many ways I prefer the fat/hot/more vintage sound of my L2000. The G&L and 55-94 are actually good complements and I'm wondering if the DJ would be too much like one or the other. As for musical uses, pretty broad but not extreme (no hardcore rock or muzak). Also, despite owning 2 versatile basses I'm not a huge knob fiddler - pickup blend is my main weapon.

    So, if you could just choose one... ?


    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    i'll be watching the responses to this, because i've been having similar gassing problems.....only for a joe osborn 5, instead......haven't had an opportunity to play a JO to compare it to the 55-94...
  3. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    I'm waiting on my DJ5 so I can't comment on that, but I just got a USA JO5 and I immediately sold my 55-94. The necks and balance are very similar, the weights happen to be only 0.1 lbs different. The 55-94 has lots of things it can do that I just don't need or use - the active tone controls, the coil splitter, etc. The JO5 has this awesome tone that sounds like what I dialed in on the 55-94 but I can play with the passive tone controls to cut the highs, which isn't possible on the 55-94 (at least to the degree you can on the JO5).

    I'm very happy with the JO5 and don't think I'll miss the 55-94 even though it's a great bass. The JO5 just fits my mood these days, I'm in love with simple passive basses. The only downside of the JO5 is the pickups hum a little. It's not enough to bug me and I really hate hum so I don't see that as a big deal.
  4. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Thanks for the input, Brad. I think the only reason I'm hesitant is that I've never had a better playing/feeling bass than my 55-94. I recently owned a Skyline and USA Scheff, but neither held a candle to this bass in regards to feel. On the other hand I personally don't find the pickup/preamp configuration as versatile as everyone else. All pickup combinations sound nice but pretty dark. My Precision covers the neck pup thing better and I don't care for the rear humbucker alone. That seems to leave me with using the blend at center or just the front bridge. I suppose I just don't monkey with the pre enough (I'm so accustomed to cutting treble on passive basses). I'm thinking I may be able to replace it with a JO/DJ and an SR5 and get a little broader variety. Of course, I could sell everything else and learn to use this Lakland. :meh:

    BTW, Brad, was the 55-94 you sold the one with Basslines?
  5. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    You should try the 55-94 with Basslines. I'm a hardcore Lakland guy , so you know I'm gonna root for them in this comparrison. I've never really liked any G&L basses. They just don't do it for me. They are a great product, but really have no resale value at all. Wonder why?
  6. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I could never figure out why...
    The build quality is well above the norm for a "mass-produced" bass. But opinion is opinion, and that's cool.

    Back to the topic: If you love the 55-94 why get rid of it?
  7. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Well, again, it's just the tones. I like Precisions, I like Rays, and sometimes Jazzes. The 55-94 gets close to each, but very mellow and only in the ballpark. I'm going to try and brighten it up with some strings and see what happens. Besides, gas is forcing me to have more basses, but an expensive USA Lakland that I can't seem to part with is in my way.
  8. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Yep, the 55-94 I just sold has the Duncan Basslines and it really made the bass. I owned two Bart 55-94s before that and this one sounded much better. The only downside with the Duncans is they aren't as hum-free as the Barts due to the Barts cool multi-coil design. I played a friend's Scheff and didn't like it as much as the JO5 I have, but I just got the JO5 and tried out the Scheff at least 6 months ago, so the comparison is by memory which is usually the worst way to do it...
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Was it a tone thing with the Scheff? I like the looks of it, but am not sure about those lipstick pick-ups. Probably will get a DJ5 and install a J-Retro.
  10. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Definitely tone, the playability and construction was just as good as every other Lakland I've played.
  11. GRoberts


    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I have a DJ5 and it plays VERY nice. The neck is shaped nicely and I love the Block Inlays. Mine is black Sparkle with Rosewood Fingerboard. I put a Tort Pickguard on it and it looks even better!

    The Aero pickups on the DJ5 are outstanding. They are very responsive, loud and punchy for a passive bass. I would love to compare a JO5 with my DJ5. Anybody done that? I played a friends USA JO4 recently and was blown away. The neck was like a CLASSIC vintage 60's Fender! SOOOO Fast.

    I briefly compared a 55-02 skyline the day I bought my DJ5 was very impressed. It was punchier and louder due to the active electronics with Barts. Very nice sounding bass. Ultimately, I was jonesing for a Jazz style bass and the block inlays just called my name. End of story.

    I would still love to compare my DJ5 with a JO5 though. I hear the JO5 is more 60's and the DJ basses are more of a '70's vibe. I might be a '60's guy afterall. Hmmm
  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Thanks. Figured that was probably the answer ;) :smug: . I may pick a Scheff Skyline 5 up anyway just to have that old school vibe (maybe install flats) and the fact I've seen a couple go by really cheap on eBay.
  13. drgregn

    drgregn Granddude Supporting Member

    May 13, 2002
    Denton, TX
    Anybody ever played a DJ5 with a J-Retro installed? If so, what did you think - was it worth the added cost?

    I have a nice 55-94, but also like the looks of the DJ5 - reminds me of the natural '78 Jazz I used to have and sold :crying:
  14. To be honest, I couldn't imagine parting with my Lakland although I don't play it often. It's a great bass for recording a lot of different styles and when I need the MM tone, I play the 55-02 with the bridge soled. I picked up a DJ5 and to be honest was not impressed enough to consider it better than a Fender Deluxe American Jazz 5 or a G & L. I'm sure it's a very useful bass, but all these Lakland Fender copies run together in tone in my opinion. Owning a 55-94 or 55-02, to me, is important for versatility reasons and I can always sound like a Stingray with it as well.
  15. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    There's some truth in that. But I'd rather take my chances with a Lakland than a Fender. I've owned some nice Fenders though.

    I play only fivers - and Fender's 5 string neck is to wide for me.
  16. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'll let you know in a few weeks when mine arrives. :D :D :D
  17. jonathanl


    Jan 12, 2003
    Orinda, CA
    I have (since I own one). I think it sounds great and can get some "great" tones out of it, and I like having those extra controls at my hands. So for me, it was worth the extra cost. Although I haven't played any of the others to compare it to since it's my first Jazz (that I've owned).

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