Stingray 5 vs. Lakeland 55-02 "straight up"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by redwood, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. redwood


    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Nothing fancy. No extras (piezo, quilt top, etc.).
    I'm more than curious to hear from some folks that may have both in their arsenal. Just thoughts, different situations for different basses, nitpick, best feature......
    And I guess I should specify a SR5 with the single MM.
    Besides, not too many have played a double hummer.
    (please insert crude remark here :D )

    If it's of interest I do mostly blues and rock. A little jazz when I can find the time.

    Thanks, you guys rock. :bassist:
  2. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    StingRay 5. No question.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I just got a 55-02 and I have had several Stingray 5s. The Stingray 5 is a much more aggressive and punchy sounding axe. The 55-02 looks like a Stingray since it has the big humbucker, but it is a much more Fenderish instrument. The 55-02 can do a decent P-bass imitation, a very good Jazz bass imitation and it can get a sort of super P-bass tone both the front J pickup and the big humbucker with the coil switch pointed towards the bridge. The J and humbucker with double coils is a nice thick sound and the humbucker by itself faintly echoes the Stingray.

    Both basses are versatile. The 55-02 has several distinct, usable tones that will fit in well with a band. The Stingray has a distinct tone, but a player who takes his or her time can get a good P-bass type of tone out of the SR5 and one can also approximate bridge pickup J-bass burp. I love the series setting with the tone controls on full, it is a very funky sound.

    I think both basses are great, and I would not be the least surprised if there is another SR5 in my future! :bassist:
  4. I had an SR5 as my main axe for 5 years, and my current #1 is a Lakland 55-94, which has the same electronics as the 55-02. Both basses are great and versatile in different ways. The SR5's tone is appropriate in several different applications IMO, whereas you can coax a lot of different tones out of the 55-94 as the doctor has already appreciated. For blues/rock/jazz, however, I'd go with the Lakland. IME, the Lakland (with barts) is inherently meatier/warmer which is great for those styles. The SR5 is a great instrument tho, so I don't think you can go wrong.
  5. I have owned many SR5s. They were some of the finest all purpose 5s I have ever played/owned. Great tone, brilliant construction and timeless design. My SR5 always worked in every band that I played with from Blues to Jazz to Smooth R&B/Funk the Musicman always got it done. Fact: There is and always will be 3 constants in the bass world, P-basses, J-basses and Stingrays. Having said that, I have also had the pleasure of playing a few Lakands including the 55-94 and the Skyline 55-02. The 55-94s were in the "as good as it gets category" enough said about those. The Skyline 55-02 however was extremely versatile, very well constructed and very affordable. The 35 inch scale B on the Lakland was fantastic, the SR5's B string is no slouch either. These are both professional level instruments that have proven themselves with many bassists. IMHO the choice comes down to this: Stingray 5 - a very definable, solid, proven tone that seems to always work, this isn't a fad bass or flavour of the month, it's purely balls to the wall here. The Skyline 55-02 - flawlessly built, very versatile tone that can go from a roar to a soft whisper, well thoughtout modern bass design that will also work in any musical setting, with this one you can blend in or out of the mix as much as you want, but you won't have the unmistakable slice of the Musicman tone that only a Musicman bass gets. I would say that owing both an SR5 and a 55-02 would be all a bassist needs in the toolbox, aside from maybe a vintage P-Bass. There really is no bad choice here. Yabo! :spit:

  6. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Comparing the SR5 to the Lakland DJ5 (which is quite simmilar to the 55-02), I can tell you both are great, the SR5 is built better, but I prefer the neck, string spacing, and thumb anchor options on the lakland.
  7. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    +1 Nailed it. My exact experience and feelings.
  8. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I can't comment on the sr5 or 55-02, but I have a sr4 and a 55-94. They are both great. I just recently got the 55-94 so I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I absolutly love it. When I got my stingray I thought I would never get rid of it, and I probably wont. However after playing the 55-94 for a while I rarely want to play the sr. I played the sr with a rock band last weekend and it sounded great. It really cuts through and is very aggressive. I kept wishing I was playing the 55-94, but I know the sr sound was working well. The 55-94 has a lot of really usefull sounds, but so does the stingray. I think you really just have to see which one speaks to you.

  9. I should also add that while the B on my SR5 was more than adequate, the B on the Lakland is just awesome.

    And for what it's worth, the Lakland also gives you the option of string-through or bridge loading, preamp-bypass for those unexpected battery-dying moments, and mid-frequency shifting capabilities. Again, either way, you're getting a fine, fine instrument. :)

    EDIT: Another difference is the string spacing at the bridge - the SR5 is a bit narrower, whereas the Lakland has 19 mm spacing. Both necks felt comfortable to me.
  10. redwood


    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanks guys.
    As usual, the responses are fantastic. Although I think I'm being told what I already was pretty sure of....Can't go wrong either way :D
    Let me pose these additional q's:
    1. Is there a dramatic difference in the fingerboard and/or neck radius? I'm not a big fan of the Yamaha-type flat fingerboards. Something just doesn't feel right to me with them.
    2. One issue I have with the SR5 is the right arm "resting" location. It feels like it should be rounded more (so as to not cut off my circulation (because it's bad already :crying: )). Is it any better on the Lakeland.

    All those responding, put yourselves down on my Christmas card list.
    Thanks Again
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The 55-02 has a considerably wider neck and string spacing than the SR5/ It is much closer to Yamaha TRB territory, although the closest match would be finger spacing on Fender fives.
  12. redwood


    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Dr. Cheese, what can I say.
    That's probably the most important fact (for me) that I've gotten.
    Unfortunately, it's been quite a long time since I got my hands on a Lakeland, and that brings back what I wasn't fond of about the instrument.
    Muchos Gracias.
    (and what exactly do you do to the cheese?)
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I take it you will get an SR5. You can do differently, but you can't do any better than a Stingray 5. :D As for the Cheese, I am the Cheese! :bassist:

    Good luck on your choice. I'm waiting to get my 55-02 back from the Bass Tech this Friday. It needed more work on it's setup than I could do. :oops:
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have an SR5 and a 55-94. The SR5 spends a lot of time in its case. I refer to its neck as "club-like" because it's, well ... like a club; too thick from front to back. The Lakland neck, on the other hand, plays itself. Very comfortable and fast.

    Further, while the SR5 is the only bass I've found that nails the SR5 sound, it's not very versatile, and the 55-94 has beaucoup (buku for all you 'Nam vets) tonal variations.

    No sir, I'd definitely and defiantly go with the 55-02.

    OK, I'll take my card now.
  15. redwood


    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    Sure....I thought I had finally made up my mind.
    Well, I guess I'll have to find someplace that has both and sit down with them for a couple of hours.
    At least I have narrowed down to two ;)
  16. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    In some player's hands, that is true.
  17. Z-Bass

    Z-Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Exactly! I second that. I feel that the Stingray 5 and the Lakland are both unique sounding instruments and until you actually spend some time with the instrument, and by that I mean in a live band setting or recording, all our comments will only get you half way there. I spent lots of time in music stores demoing many a Stingray 5 both used and new and it wasn't until that I took the plunge and bought one that I finally had a full appreciation for what the Stingray 5 sound was all about. Not that you have to do that with all basses but the Stingray 5 was so different than what I was used to hearing/playing. Although I don't own one, I get the same vibe from demoing many 55-02s. Sure sounds great, but how will I like it in a band setting. I think the major things to think about (some of which have already been mentioned) have more to do with neck profile and scale. Body style preferences, etc...

    I agree with what others have stated about the Lakland B-string - AWESOME! But I've found the Stringray 5 neck to be one of the most comfortable 5-string necks for me (wider necks give my left hand a bit of grief).
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I have played many (possibly in excess of 50) Sr5's. They have great tonal range, good build qualilty and playability, and a distinctive look. Then I played a Lakland 55-94.

    NO contest. The Lakland was a more tonally versatile, instrument with a more comfortable playing neck (wider yes, but a much slimmer profile), a better b string and an equally attractive look.

    Admitedly that was the US version of the 55-02 import, but after buying a 55-01, (same bass with cheaper pickups and electronics) I can say that the comfort, playablity, and look is definately of the imports is still over the sr5 and with the same electronics in the 55-02 as the 55-94 you can't go wrong.

    For hard, agressive music (hardcore, metal, heavy rock) the Sr5 will still probably dominate a 55-02 with barts, but if you are playing rock, blues and Jazz, the Lakland is definately the way to go.
  19. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    SR5 without a doubt. Iv'e owned both and the Stingray's superior quality is obvious when comparing side by side.
  20. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I don't that you can get ANY type of J bass tone out of a SR5,a Ray is a Ray,it has it's own destinct sound,although it may be limited in LIKEABLE tones to some people I feel that it is a bass that can do some things that a lot of other basses can't do,and that is hang right in there with an obnoxious guitar player who refuses to sit in the mix with the band,and although I hardly play mine anymore, it is nice for me to know that if I needed it for such shennanagains then this is the weapon of choice,(because it's loud enough to irk the **** out of most of them)and if need be hit him over the head with it !. Now if you want the Fenderish tone then you may would want the Lakland