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Which Hollowbody? Lakland Skyline Hollowbody(w/Darkstars) vs. Gretsch Broadkaster

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassin' 'Round, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    Obviously can't go wrong with either, but what do you think? :confused:
  2. I've only played the Gretsch, but here's what I know...

    The Gretsch is short-scale, built in Japan. The pickups are Gretsch Guitar Humbuckers (there are Gretsch hollowbody basses with Tv Jones Thundertron pickups, but I haven't heard them). The Gretsch sounds smooth and round and sits in the mix nicely. With Pyramid flatwounds it has a slight double-bass vibe.

    My Gretsch has had problems with the screw that holds your bass strap. It has unscrewed and seems too delicate to me, but as I play sitting down I live with it.

    My gut feeling is that the Gretsch is slightly too expensive for what it is. If I were in the market for a hollowbody, I would also look at the Epiphone Jack Casady, and the Ibanez Artcore.
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a Lakland Skyline Hollowbody. I bought it after not diggin' a Epi Jack Casady. The Lakland has two switchable dual coil humbuckers. This provides great huge fat tone in several nice varieties. Also, the Lakkie is 34" scale which was important to me.
    *I really like the Lakland.*
    Build quality is super high, it's extremely playable, very pretty, balances well on a strap...gushgush....
    There was one f/s at dudepit with darkstars on it. I talked to Fred Hammon, and he said he thought that this bass was not the best candidate for d/s's because the stock pups are very good, and the install would be complicated and expensive.
    Do whatcha want in that regard tho.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Lakland ! Those Darkstar pick ups are awesome.:bassist:
  5. Yggdrasil


    Aug 16, 2001
    I've had all 3- a Lak USA HB, currently still have a Casady and a Gretsch.

    1) I found the stock Barts on the Lak too tame. YMMV. I have a Guild Starfire with Dark Stars that I really like - I would follow Fred Hammon's guidance on whether it's worth darkstarring a Lakland.

    The lakland is by far the best constructed and ergonomically designed of the 3.

    2) I've had 3 Casadys, still have one, even though I've gone all short scale otherwise. Simply superb tone and above average construction for a bass in its price range; the best buy of the 3 .

    3) the Gretsch has a real snarly growl with roundwounds (I have Dean Markley Blue Steels on mine). I had flats on it (TIs), but prefer the aggressive tones of the rounds on this bass. You can also change the pickups to TV Jones Thunder'trons, but I haven't felt the need.

    I would buy it used. If you're patient, you'll get one mint with a case for 900 - 1000 or so, although I've seen them go used as high as 1300 on eBay.If you don't like orange, the walnut (?) is is very tasty.
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I've played a Lakland HB with standard Barts, and Tom Bowlus' Gretsch. Two very different beasts really. The Lakland is much more versatile, and will probably feel more familiar, due to the standard scale. I was blown away by Tom's Gretsch too. Great vintage tones and a very cool look to boot.

    If I could choose just one, it would probably be the Lakland, but both are great basses.
  7. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Just played a Skyline Hollowbody with Dark Stars in it Friday night. It killed... I nearly walked out with it. The Dark Stars give it a huge sound, and it's got a wide range of sounds. I have no experience with any other Hollowbodies, but it was really a great bass.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I used to own the Gretsch, nice bass, nice look, soundwise a one trick pony. The strap holders are a problem with this bass.

    I own a SkyLine Hollowbody, just got a hold of one after lusting for one since they first came out a couple of years ago. The Lakland, to me, has more flexibility soundwise than the Gretsch. It has superb build quality and sounds great. I've recently done a recording with it and it had just the sound I was looking for. Think old school motown with flatwounds.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Lakland, definitely.
  10. MiniMic


    Sep 29, 2001
    Syracuse NY
    Here's another vote for the Lakland

    I have one Lakland Hollowbody (USA) Fretted-3 years
    and one Lakland Hollowbody (Skyline) Fretless-1 year

    and I just got myself a Lakland (Skyline) Daryl Jones-4 for Christmas, you cannot go wrong with any Lakland Bass

    I also agreed the Gretsch is kinda limited . . sonically.
  11. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    Yeah, I think they are both truly nice instruments. Probably going to have to go for the Lakland first & do the Gretsch sometime later. But I definately feel the Broadkaster(especially the orange one) calling my name. Although I think both look fantastic, the Gretsch is the look that I slightly prefer of the two. Still, like you say, I'm sure that the Lakland is the more versatile.

    What strings does Tom have on his Gretsch? Also, do you know if TI makes a set of short scale flats?

  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I honestly don't know off the top of my head, but I believe they are TI flats. I scored this bass for way too cheap to pass up, and I agree, that the Broadkaster in orange just looks too damn cool!

    But, from what y'all have said (and from the consistently high quality of every Lakland I have picked up), I'd love to look into a Skyline Hollowbody some day. But for now, that Gretsch just puts a big old smile on my face! :D

  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I was going to comment on how smokin' Tom's bass looks in orange, but he beat me to it! It's a real beauty! Oh..and Yes, TI does make short scale flats.
  14. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    O.K., riddle me this...What would you say is a fair price on a pretty late model in mint or VERY near mint(w/hollowbody hardshell, of course)? Would $1300 clams be reasonable? Too high?

    Also, what's the deal w/TV Jones Thunder'Trons & how do they differ from the Gretsch FilterTrons? Are the TV pups worth it(about $250 smackers)?

    Still will probably do the Lakland first, but just can't get the Broadkaster off my mind.
  15. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    IMO $1300 for either the Lakland or the Gretsch is too much. The Gretsch I owned I paid less than $800 for in mint condition and the Lakland that I own I paid $800 for in mint condition.
  16. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    I was talking about the Broadkaster when I mentioned $1300. $800 is great. Congrats. I'd love to find one in mint or very near mint for $800. But the retail is $1800 on a suggested $2300 for new. You really think $800 is ballpark for a late model in mint/near mint?
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I sold one two years ago for $800 and that was sort of what the going price at the time was.
  18. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    Thanks. O.K. then, I guess it shouldn't be so much higher now. I think I'd be willing to plunk down a grand. Suppose I need to just keep my eyes peeled. Seems that there are not too many used orange Broadkasters available on a regular basis. Thanks again.;)

    Does anyone else have any info/opinion on price for a used in mint/near mint? Appreciate it.;)
  19. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia's Bluebond Guitars has a beautiful mint condition orange one for sale on consignment. (At least they did on Saturday when I brought in my Jazz for some work.) They're asking $1,300, and I don't know how much negotiating room there is. I didn't play it through an amp, but the neck felt great.

    I've played the Lakland too, and it sounds absolutely gorgeous with the Barts. It's probably too dark for the stuff I typically play, but if I could have a large bass collection, I'd get one.
  20. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    Thanks for the Bluebond lead. Have emailed them. Wish they had a website.