SOLD USA Lakland Prototype: 34" fretless 5-string

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by Joebone, May 13, 2019.

  1. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    WHOOPS. SALE SUSPENDED. Bass is too cool. But not "sold," as per the heading.

    Reluctantly selling the bass that led me to taking fretless seriously, and that also led me down the Lakland path, which continues to be my happy place.

    EDIT: See posts 6 and 7, below, addressing the genesis of this looks like this instrument pre-dates release of the 55-94.

    If Lakland had ever released this configuration, it probably would have been called a "54-76." 5 strings. 34" scale. One MM humbucker, in a position similar to the Lakland 55-94, or perhaps more like the traditional MM placement. The usual Lakland/Bartolini 3-band preamp, along with a volume control, and a toggle selecting between series, parallel and single-coil. I replaced the original Bartolini pickup with a Nordstrand 5.4 MM - both are included. Strings are old Sadowsky Black Label flats - maybe a bit tired, but they sound and feel great on this bass!

    The body is ash, the neck is quartersawn maple, and the fingerboard is a generous chunk of black, unlined - and undotted - ebony. However, there are lines on the B-string edge of the fingerboard, along with side dots that are positioned where the usual marked "frets" would be. The body cap is a beguiling quilted maple. Weight is 8.5 pounds on my digital .5/pound scale. PHOTO ALERT - this bass is more of a teal green color than my photos could capture - it's like a black burst border fading into a muted teal green, with a strong blue undertone. Apologies...

    Condition is pretty darned good. Evidence of play wear, but no evidence of carelessness or abuse - although one of the photos shows some roundwound tracks on the fretboard under the B string, up around the 10th to 14th frets, and much lighter tracks in other places. I've certainly seen such things before on other fretless basses over the years. Comes with old-style cream-colored Lakland fiber case.

    If it's so cool, then why am I selling? I found a '97 fretless 55-94 that shares many tactile, ergonomic and sonic characteristics with this bass, and I'm pretty much shifting to 35" scale in general. I've not rehearsed or gigged with this bass over the last 2 years, but have not put it up for sale earlier, simply because it is so darned good. This is one of those instruments that has you smiling as soon as you pull it off of the stand, even before playing a single note - it literally feels alive in your hands. If I was a collector I'd certainly not be selling, but in order to deal with other priorities, I'm selling this axe - and several others - in the coming period.

    Asking $2800.00, shipped CONUS, for a bass that is exceptional with respect to both playability and collectability.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  2. Beautiful!
  3. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    What year was this built?
  4. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    I've not contacted the factory toward determining that. I can say that the neck has a thin and fast quality to it that I associate with pre-2000 items (The main axes I'm keeping, in addition to the Carl Pedigo 34" fretted 5 in my avatar, which was inspired by the bass I'm selling, are a pair of 55-94s: a 1997 fretless and a 1999 fretted).

    EDIT: The serial number does not correlate with any Lakland product with which I'm familiar - it is "X34-03"
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  5. Upstate SC Bass

    Upstate SC Bass Supporting Member

  6. pbass62

    pbass62 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Iron Station NC
    Ahh Joe ,

    My old bass! This is indeed a sweet thing. This bass has the Bartolini NMTB preamp and PU that Lakland is known to use in the 90s era basses. I installed myself the added 3 pos switch that is for Series/parallel single coil tapping of that pickup.
    Yes Carl built that instrument as a prototype when they were experimenting with a 34" 5 string. GLWTS
    31HZ and Joebone like this.
  7. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    Yes, indeed! A truly great's been an honor to own it over these last few fact, it's been 6 years, almost to the day...thank you, pbass62!

    Meanwhile, I've heard from the original owner - a Lakland endorser since the invention of dirt - who reports that he still owns and plays X34-01 and X34-02. Apparently Lakland made about 35 34" 5-string basses before expanding into the 35" design of the the bass on offer thus likely reflects design or construction input from Lakland co-founder Hugh McFarland.

    Dag...I may have to pull this sale...early Lakland product truly is the JAM!
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  8. carlis


    Dec 28, 2005
    So sad Lakland doesn't make 34" 5-stringers anymore
  9. spufman

    spufman Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    Super nice Lakland! Color looks about like my '98. Glwts, someone will be very happy.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    They’ll make one. I’ve been told you just have to ask nicely.

    And if not, contact Carl Pedigo (their original luthier) and have him build you a bass.
  11. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    Ditto on Carl Pedigo for 34" 5-string - that's what's in my avatar!
    JEDI BASS likes this.

    JEDI BASS Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    Carl is the #¥€%in’ man!! I’ve owned one of his personal basses (35” 4 string 4-76) and a handful of early Laklands. And, he’s currently nearly finished building a bass for me.

    Sorry for the derail.... your bass is very tempting, knowing that it’s most likely got Carl’s magic all over it. But, I need frets.

    Good luck!
  13. MattB88


    Sep 11, 2016
    Endorsing Artist: LowEnd basses, DR Strings, Warm Audio, Shaw Audio
    Beautiful!!! Looks a ton like my Willie Weeks Proto.

    08DCDE95-DEB3-4BC2-8CA8-35891F476E07.jpeg DF8B69D9-1924-4083-B234-1F0868AB0F9E.jpeg
    muggsy likes this.
  14. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    Bass now also listed on Reverb...
  15. Joelc73


    Nov 13, 2000
    Wow, awesome looking bass!
  16. Dr. Riddim

    Dr. Riddim In Memoriam

    Mar 2, 2002
    Tampa Bay, FL
    "Dag...I may have to pull this sale...early Lakland product truly is the JAM!"

    You ain't kiddin' brother! I've got an early production 34" scale 5-string fretless, and I wouldn't give it up for the world. It's as if it were made just for me. GLWTS
  17. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    California Republic
    What Dr. Riddim said. Sale suspended.
    Dr. Riddim likes this.