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So I went to the Lakland factory on Saturday...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eilif, Feb 20, 2006.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    and I finally got to try a hollowbody with darkstar pickups. It was everything I ever imagined, which makes it all the more frustrating that I won't be able to afford on for another year or so.

    The Whole Story...
    I was actually there for an openhouse testing of the new Lakland pickups and pre, which also lived up to expectations. Very clear, almost too clear, but with a very adjustable midrange.

    It was my first experience at a bass factory and I was floored at just how open the whole experience was. Dan Lakin was friendly and helpfull, and we were given free reign to go just about everywhere. There were 3 stations setup with lots of basses lined up to try. I got to try a Decade, a Glaub with darkstar, the aforemetioned hollowbody, and a bunch of others, including the first Lakland ever made!

    They treated us very well. Snacks of course, but the freebies we recieved for testing were especially great. We were able to select any kind of lakland strings (4/5, round/flat, steel/nickel) or a strap (a nice,comfortable, VERY wide Levy's black leather/cotton weave "Lakland" strap) and those of us who brought an active bass to try got two sets of strings and the strap! It's kind of sureal to get almost 80 bucks of (usefull) swag for coming by, playing a couple of basses and wiriting a 5-10 sentence review.

    One final note, it was a review of the new electronics and pickups but, they didn't leave out those of us (like me) who own the cheapest -01 series of instruments that would benifit from only the preamp and not the picups, due to the mk1 pickup routes. In a separate room, where Hanson electronics (the group that does the elctronics) was about to be relocated to, they had two identical 44-01's setup with the only difference being that one had the standard mk1 pre and one had the new Lakland/Hanson pre. So as well as helping out Lakland to test and review the electronics, it felt like I got my own question (should I upgrade my 55-01 to the new pre?) answered conclusively as well.

    All in all, an experience that exceeded my expectations in every way. The attendees also reinforced my opinoin that bassists are about the friendliest, most personable type of musicians out there.

    Were their any other TB'ers there who might have some pictures?
     
  2. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  3. Rumzini

    Rumzini

    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    More details on the pre for the 01 series please!!!
     
  4. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I was there too. Awesome event. The Chicago bass community is a great bunch of guys, no egos and all willing to share-unlike the guitar players I know. I too have a 5501 that I am happy with but I was very impressed with the new Lakland PUs and preamp. I will get a 5502 when they are available. Hey, I was one of the 1st ones there and brought my Pedulla to compare. I got the 2 sets of strings but no strap. I guess I left too early. Dan and his crew were very gracious and easy to talk to. Carl even gave me a few tips.
     
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Sweet. I am going to be buying my first Lakland soon. I'm happy to hear good things about them. Thank you for the report.

    Did you happen to see a white DJ5 with a maple board getting a J-Retro installed? :D

    -Mike
     
  6. Could you all describe the sound of the new pickups and pre... I assume the DIP switches are similar to the original pre... for mid adjustment. Are the new pickups closer to the Seymour option versus the original Barts? How is the treble response... I always found the original Barts and Bart preamp kind of clanky on the treble end.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a Lakland Skyline hollowbody. It's passive;)
    I haven't tried a darkstar anything yet, but my D/S2 ships Wednesday. It'll be going in an OLPMM2 stingray kinda thing.
    I like the Barts in the hollowbody very much. It does have lakland flats on it, but I can't describe the high end response as anything but smooth....
     
  8. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sounds like a great time !
     
  9. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I'd love to hear about this too, from anyone.

    Thanks,
    Marshall
     
  10. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I was at the Lakland company Saturday as well(and literally the last to leave)I brought my 79 MM Stingray and my 6 string Dingwall for assistance in comparison.I spent a lot of time with the Lakland pickups and electronics in comparing them with the more familiar bart's.I can say for sure that what the Lakland pickups and pre are bringing will be a much welcome addition to the Lakland line of Basses.they(at least to me)were able to dial the already familiar versatility that the Bart's bring to the Basses but the Lakland pickups and preamps seem to bring a lot more tonal options to the table(and I am not exaggerating).the Laklands have a sound(to my ears)that are between Transparency with just the right touch of color,very similar to having a high end track from a studio mixing console on the Bass.again I spent a lot of time comparing the Basses as well as some in depth time with the Garret brothers,Mike & Frank of Garret technologies
    http://www.garrett-tech.com/navigation/home.html
    the guys that along with Dan Lakland are bringing you these very very high quality electronics.if you're a fan of Laklands already proven track record in quality then this will only concrete that belief even more.Dan sincerely wants to bring a true innovative and extremely qualified product to the players that not only he can stand behind proudly but the player as well.two thumbs up for Dan Lakland.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Is the new stuff going in Skyline series as well?
    What about things like the DJ bass that use aero pups (don't they?)???

    kewl news, thanks for sharing...
     
  12. I believe these pickups and pre are going to be standard on the US 55-94 and 44-94 series of basses... the other basses in the line will have the same pickups they currently have.

    I would still like a more detailed description of the sound from somebody that was there versus the Barts and Seymours.

    The original Barts had that massive low mid bump in the sound, and a rather 'clacky' treble response, whereas the Seymours had an extended low end and much more sizzle in the treble side. Can anyone describe the new pickups' sound (and the preamp) in more exact terms.... what are the center frequencies of the pre.... are the DIP's the same as in the original Bart.... is the treble response aggressive like the Seymour option or more muted like the original Bart, etc.
     
  13. dsanders

    dsanders

    Jan 22, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The lakland site says that the new pickups and electronics will be available for the 94 series as well as the 02 series. I think that the preamp will be available for the 01 series as well.

    That being said what I want to know is the new preamp, is it 9 or 18v. And how does it sound. Is it more forceful in the treble range, or does it sound laid back like the current Bart preamp.
     
  14. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Again the preamps seem to bring a lot more tonal options to the table than the Bart's and again the overall sound was between Transparency with just the right touch of color.very similiar to a studio mixing console,which allows a drastic amount of tonal options and from the new Lakland pickups and pre that is what I got.if you want a little more thump and the ability to add a little warmth if need(The Barts in the Lakelands are great for this and were already giving this)but if you desire a razors edge of treble believe me it's there right at your finger tips,there is no need for an 18v system with the lakeland electronics because the pre is desighned from the ground up with a vast amount of head room to begin with and there is a dip switch board with 4 switches,one being a midrange boost.but please don't take my word for it just try them for yourself.
     
  15. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm still trying to get an idea of the sonic difference between
    the Barts/Bart electronics, and the new pickup/preamp.
    I'm thinking mainly about the 55-02, 55-49 basses here.
    Don't quite understand the "transparency" thing. If the
    current pickups tend to get a little lost in the mix, and
    the new electronics are more transparent, would that
    mean the bass would get even more lost in the mix?

    Are the lows more or less focused?
    Are the highs sweeter or more harsh?
    Does the sound have more punch with the new electronics?
    The Barts are sort of "mild" sounding, which helps them
    blend in with an ensemble. The Duncans are more aggressive.
    Are the new electronics more like the Barts or the Duncans?
    Is the Jazz sound more convincing with the new stuff????
    Thanks for any opinions from the guys who were there.
     
  16. I am a recent convert to Lakland (44-01) from Fender (J+P) and couldn't be happier. Let's keep this thread going for more details on the new set-up.
     
  17. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.


    The Lakland pickups & pre,has the ability to nail the Bart's exactly(that comes from Dan having had the Bart's since day one that were made to his specs
    so it would be a no brainer for the Lakland pickups & pre to have the ability to go beyond the Bart's spectrum.what I mean by transparency is,some times electronics can have a mild/very subtle color to the sound which can possess a certain level of muddiness that I do not care for.example if you have a bass that you feel is to warm and you can't seem to get a level of clarity out of it and no matter how much treble you add the sound just gets worse,that's usually because the pickups or pre or a combination of both has a subtle level of muddiness to begin with,therefore not allowing the upper clarity(not to be confused with highs)to breath.like being in a recording studio and the monitors are transparent enhancing the ability to have a proper mix,so in a live setting or in the studio you would not get lost in the mix(again think of having a one track mixing board right at your finger tips).


    the lows are very focused(and I love clear lows)

    the highs can go from open air sweetness to,again a razors edge in treble output

    The laklands have a wealth of punch compared to the Bart's which lean more toward the warmth of sonic output but the Bart's have punch also but not at all like the laklands


    from what I got from the Lakland pickups & pre,they have there own flavor but again they seem to be a lot more versatile than the Bart's and the Duncan's(but remember we are talking about what is in The Lakland basses whether it be the all ready Bart's or Duncans
    equipped Lakland.


    when you say jazz sound,could you be more specific?
     
  18. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Now THATS what I'm talkin about!!! Thanks JAQUO III-X!
    What I meant by the "jazz" sound was.... When a sales
    guy was explaining how to use the switches and pan on
    the 55-02 and 55-94. He explained how to get a "jazz
    bass" sound. The Barts weren't too convincing. I've never
    heard the Duncan pickups in the Laklands, but I hear they
    are very aggressive. I'm hoping the Lakland electronics are
    sort of a middle ground between the two. If so, it could make
    the 55-02 or 55-94 one of the most versitile basses made.
     
  19. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    Anyone want to talk a little more (or maybe a LOT, lol) about the DarkStars? Really interested in them.
     
  20. djcruse

    djcruse

    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    To clarify: The new pickups and preamp are slated to be available in Lakland -94 and -02 models around April. Barts and Duncans will still be options for those models. Over time, more Lakland models will incorporate Lakland pickups and the preamp.

    Jauqo-IIIX, thanks for your analysis. Good stuff. And I still owe you a record review.

    Dark Stars are very different animals than the new Lakland pickups and pre. For starters, they are single-coil passive pickups rather than an active MM/J configuration. That alone means we're not comparing apples to apples. Drop by the Dark Star forum at The DudePit for more info. That's where Dark Star manufacturer Fred Hammon hangs out.

    Lastly, for anyone who wants to try the new Lakland pickups and preamp and is anywhere near Boston, I'm hosting a taste-test also. There's a thread about it here: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=227579