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The Jerry Scheff Signature Bass : Skyline Series

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000

    This is a REmake.

    The Scheff seems to be the less popular lakland model. Due to unusual pickup configuration, i guess. But i am still interested in this bass. No one play one?

    Is this a Precision oriented jazz bass? a Jazz bass with more bootiness?

    I am more interested in the Skyline version but comments on the real thing are really welcome too.

  2. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Yes comments would be appreciated!! I'm gassin for one of these bigtime!!!
  3. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I tried one ( or two) at Rudy's in NYC. They had a lot of them and noine of the other models in stock that day. On another day much later, they had a few other Skylines but they still had every one of the Jerry Scheff basses. The bass is OK no great shakes, especially compared to other skylines and other basses in its price range. The pickups are in a real odd spot and I think thats what ruins the sound for me.
  4. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I had a USA Scheff 5 for a couple months so I can possibly offer some opinions. I would put it's tone in the Jazz bass family but with more depth/lows and sort of a hollowed out sound. Personally, I prefer it to jazz basses. And with both pickups blended in full it gets a real unusual scooped sound. In fact, in that position and with the mids cut and treble boosted I've found it gives a close Stingray approximation, moreso than my 55-94 with the bridge humbucker. And the bass cuts through wonderfully. Really a cool sound, but one that you love or don't love. I've heard of people using them as their primary bass, otherwise they tend to get used more as a novelty. They seem to be liked by country and blues players.

    I really liked the bass, but found someone who wanted to trade me their 55-94 dlx and couldn't resist. They're very different basses and the only reason I've hesitated getting a Skyline Scheff is because I would like a passive bass instead this time.
    BTW, with the right pickguard I think it's one of Lakland's best looking basses.
  5. I have the Skyline version. Just like Bino said, it is very jazz like in sound. After all, the Kent Armstrong lipstick pickups are just single coil pickups lika a jazz bass. They different pickup location gives this bass a wider range of tones than a typical jazz bass. The bridge pickup is really puchy when soloed since it is so close to the bridge like an early 70's jazz (when jazzes had the wider pickup spacing). I have mine strung with TI-flats and it is the easiest playing bass I have ever had. With the Bartolini NTMB-L preamp (I think people incorrectly assume it has the MK-1 pre like the 55-01 and 44-01 since it has the same knobs and no mini toggle switch) you can dial in almost any tone you would want.

    Here is mine before and after I got the pickguard from Jeannie Pickguards . I wish I had better pics but do not have a digital camera.
  6. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Thank you guy's! I might have a chance to trade my beloved 83 P Elite for a sweet CAR 4 banger with a tort gaurd, Just seing if I could get a small review on one.
    Thanks again..
  7. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    Here's a quick invitation to come check us out at:

    Lākland Jerry Scheff Bass Club - No.1

    We're basically attempting to compile as much data as possible regarding the Jerry Scheff bass in one location as well as provide a community where we can get to know one another better.

    I'm sure the others would like to hear from those of you that managed to snag a Scheff and still have it...
  8. Smokin' Toaster

    Smokin' Toaster Supporting Member

    The majority of bass players understand 3 pickup types: P-Bass, J-Bass, and soapbars. Throw something at them that they aren't familiar with and they emit a dial tone.

    My Skyline Scheff 5 string is my main bass, and if I had lots of money I'd buy every Scheff I could get my hands on. But I'm biased as can be. Ed Friedland knows a bit about bass guitars, and I've found his reviews of instruments to be very informative. Here's what he says about the Scheff, along with a sound sample:

    Ed Friedland
  9. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    Nice find Tony!
  10. willsellout


    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    I will own one of these basses, I'm kicking myself for letting that inca silver one go...
  11. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    Oh no need to kick your self... I'm sure Brandon could work you up a deal. Of course, he has some expenses... j/k

    You might have some luck on this one:
    FT/FS FEELER: Lakland Scheff

    The thread was later closed. However, I'm not sure he actually sold it. I suspect he still has it in hand. As I recall, he changed form the default Mid EQ frequency setting in the electrics cavity and pulled the listing afterwards. I'd say hit him up to see if he'd be interested in letting it go.
  12. willsellout


    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    Thanks, I saw that one, and another Scheff in Gold, but after seeing the silver one, I'm going to try and wait it out and see if one pops up:D
    Although that LPB one is second on my list of sexiest scheff's I've seen!
  13. RumbleBeeAL


    Jun 8, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    Yeah, I didn't mention the Shoreline Gold listing because it apparently was sold.

    Based on Brandon's comments upon receipt of my bass, you'd have a better shot at getting The Smokin' Toaster's IncaSilver 5-String Scheff than getting his 4-String Scheff. And that's going to be a tough one to get... j/k

    Maybe stop by your local Home Center and pickup a can of "Rattle Can" paint in Metallic Silver for use on the LPB Scheff. j/k
  14. ajn

    ajn Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I know these basses have now become more of a distant memory, but I just recently picked up a very clean 06 Skyline Jerry Scheff 4 here locally, and I have to say that I am totally enamored with this bass. I used to have a Dano DC long-scale reissue and, while I was never crazy about the construction or feel of it, I really liked the way it sounded. Interestingly, the Scheff pickup spacing is almost exactly the same as on the DC. But the JS is so well made and, to me, sounds and feels so good, I haven't been able to put it down. The day I got it, I restrung it with flats, lowered the action a bit, and then took it to a 4 hour gig that night. Depending upon how I set the balance and eq (this one has the Hanson LH-3 preamp) and where on the strings I played, it had J-bass grind when needed, a kind of Dano hollow "clank" if I wanted it, or even a more modern or vintage sound. (We do covers from 4 or 5 decades.) It sounded great it the mix, and was way more versatile than I thought it would be. Years ago I owned a Skyline JO5 with the j-retro preamp, but never really connected with it. (It was very heavy.) This JS is just about 9 lbs., but balances so well it didn't bother my shoulder at all, even after 4 hours. Right now it's my new favorite toy. And I know the rules, so here's a pic:

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  15. Great looking bass! I will own one of this some day. Interesting that you say it's a 2006. I have to assume it has a replaced neck if the SN points to that year. Does it start with "JS"? The CAR, LPB and Silver were all first run 2002 and 2003. The shoreline gold models was the last special edition run and they were made in 2005. Congrats!!
  16. ajn

    ajn Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    The serial number has no lettering, just numbers starting with 06xxxxxx. I can't say it is not a replacement neck, but my understanding is that in 02 and 03 they came with the Bart preamp, and did not start using the LH-3 (which mine has) until several years later.
  17. Interesting. Well CAR was definitely the first batch and then only made one batch in that color. They discontinued the series after the first run but then did one limited edition run (of 40 I believe) in shoreline gold. That was 2005. The LH-3 was not released until after the skyline scheff series was over and done so as far as I know no skylines should have left the factory with anything other than the bart system. There were at least one US Scheff made later that had the LH-3 but that is the only one I know of. All Skyline Scheffs had SN's that started with "JS". It's likely that the Lakland factory put that together with parts they had around. That has happened on a few occasions. Or someone swapped out parts here and there. Either way you have a great looking bass!
  18. ajn

    ajn Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks. I'm pretty sure mine came with the LH3 installed at the factory. There is a Lakland stamped and initialed sticker on the underside of the cavity cover explaining the preamp settings. Also, I got curious about all this and found this announcement from 2006 on Lakland's website, so it looks like they were already installing that preamp on Skylines that year:

    CHICAGO (Oct. 4, 2006) – Lakland Music Company, a Chicago-based bass guitar manufacturer, now offers its own custom wound pickups and matching preamp. The new system – dubbed the LH3 – is made entirely in-house at the Lakland factory.

    Described in a review by Bass Player Magazine as having a “crisp tone with sweet treble, tight bottom, and contemporary edge,” the LH3 is comprised of two humbucking Alnico magnetic pickups (one MM and one J-style) and a nine-volt, three-band preamp and EQ. It is available only in Lakland’s 4- and 5-string J/MM instruments: the American-made 4-94 and 55-94 and the overseas-made Skyline series 44-02 and 55-02.

    The LH3 system, which is designed and manufactured in a joint venture between Lakland and Chicago-based Hanson Electronics, is central to the next evolutionary phase of the Lakland product line. Most major bass guitar manufacturers make their own pickups and preamp because it contributes to the instrument’s distinctive, defining voice. We realized it was time for Lakland to take this all-important next step as well.

    Current owners of the Lakland U.S. -94 and Skyline series -02 basses can upgrade their existing electronics and other brands of pickups will continue to be available as an option. Contact Lakland for details.
  19. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Major congrats! After years if searching a friend found me a lpb 5er.....going to be mine for life...
  20. I did find out that the 2005 Skyline Scheffs did not have a JS in the SN. But every Shoreline Gold one is pretty much an 2005. I know that no CAR was made past the first year or two. You can see in the press release that only the J/MM models got that preamp. If I had to take a guess they had a CAR left over that must have had a bum neck so they mated it at the factory to a current neck that they had to sell off to someone. Lots of times people would ask the factory if they had something and they would piece something together. If they put it together in 2006 then they could have put in what electronics they had at that time. No reason to not believe it happened at the factory. But I wouldnt be shocked if you found a 2002 date in the neck pocket of the body either.