Which would you choose and why: Modulus Q5 or Lakland 55-94

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Halftooth, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I just played both of these basses this weekend and could have the opportunity to acquire one of them in a trade. I'm curious what the jury has to say between these two basses. I've never really played either for long periods of time. Both basses sounded good to me in their own way. You could get more sounds out of the Lakland which I liked. The Q5 had a great sound and the graphite neck to me is intriguing. Both are very good and I'm just curious if any of you that have owned these basses could say what was good and bad about each.
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    There are two main reasons why I would take the Lakland over the Modulus :

    1/ I am more on the Fender-like side of bass, and the Lakland seems to be much closer to Fender's than Modulus is.

    2/ I prefer wood than composite. I love deeeeeep low-end, and I have some doubts about composite sounding deep enough for me.

    Just my personal opinion, of course.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Both are very very nice basses IMO. My choice was the Modulus Q5 because I already owned a Fender RB5 (which offers a wide variety of Fender-y tones) and wanted something that sounded very different. My current Q5 has EMG electronics including the semiparametric midrange control, which is extremely versatile.

    The coolest thing about the Modulus (IMO) is the B-string. I haven't played all the high-end basses but I've played a lot of 'em, and haven't heard a bass with a better B.

    One thing I prefer about the Lakland: string spacing at the bridge is Fender-standard 3/4" (19mm) which is my ideal, whereas the Q5 is 17mm. Only 2mm narrower per string, but enough to keep me from being completely comfortable (hopefully I'll get over it). Modulus offers a Wide 5 option (2" wide at nut instead of 1-7/8") but I don't know whether bridge spacing is affected.
  4. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    If you opt for the Modulus, the EMG option with the sweepable mids is my and it looks like others preference. However, I kept my Lakland 5594 and sold the Modulus. If you're looking for a more "traditional" j, P, or musicman vibe, not a perfect match mind you but darn darn close, and need versatility of tone on different songs you're playing, the Lakland is a better choice. If you like a modern, super clean and punchy tone on a bass that can make that tone happen consistently in most venues, then the Modulus may be better for you. I did not find my Mod's B string any better than the Lakland's, but the Mod's notes are all even sounding and volume, the Lakland's are not quite but it's really not that noticeable live.

    Again, look at whether it's a solid more singular voice or the need to change characters that floats your boat. I decided on the latter.

  5. I love my Q6, although, comparatively, I've only been able to play a skyline...
  6. arcopizz

    arcopizz Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2002
    Halftooth, my first response to your question is; What a great choice to have!:)
    Either Bass you choose, you're gonna end up with a good one. As for the electronics, both of these Basses have a lot to offer. Both are versatile and will stand up for you in just about any situation whether it's having to cut through the mix on stage, or those times in the studio when you need a clean, PHAT tone being sent to the board. With all that already in your bag, the deciding factor, I would think, is the neck; Both are 35" scale, so you're not gonna have to work very hard getting a solid sounding B string. I own a Lakland 55-94 Deluxe. I've never owned a Modulus, but every time I have a Bass in the shop they loan me one. I once had a Q6 for a couple months and really got to play it. I would be comfortable taking either Bass to any gig. I would think, IMHO, that you need to decide whether you prefer wood, or composite necks. For me, wood is the choice. As the neck on my Lakland ages it changes in tonal color and is really helping me develop my own tone. That's an important aspect for me. Anyway, as I said earlier, either Bass you chose will be a good one! Good luck.
  7. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I would think, IMHO, that you need to decide whether you prefer wood, or composite necks. For me, wood is the choice.

    The neck issue seems to be the biggest factor in the decision right now. I've, like I mentioned, not really played the Mod's for any real extended length of time. My knowledge of graphite necks are slim and none. The fact that they don't alter with humidity changes is almost enough for me to go with that one. I only played the two basses for no more than 20 min. each. There was a definite sound difference between the two. I suppose the only concern with going with a graphite bass is maybe getting tired of the sound. What a tough decision! But I'm sure I can't miss with either of them.
  8. herrspektor


    Dec 21, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    Have no fears about a composite neck not getting a deep tone...granted, inherently speaking if you put a wood neck and a graphite/composite neck side by side on an aural spectrometer or some gadget like that, the wood probably would have a slightly deeper natural tone. But that's nothing, with all of the compression or EQ tweaking you can do. I have a Mod Quantum Prime with EMG Jazz pickups (not the bigger soapbars that are standard on Moduluses) and it positively thunders through my SVT/Mesa 4x10 rig. I've never played a 55-94, I hear great things about them. But you'd really have to A/B them to see what you liked....but just don't be put off by the perceived lack of tone from a graphite neck!

    But like arcopizz said, either choice you make will be a good one! :cool:
  9. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I've heard very good things about the Zon. Unfortunatley, a Zon wouldn,t be an option on this deal that I have going. The more I think about the Graphite neck issue, the less it concerns me. Correct me if I'm wrong, it shouldn't be much different tonaly than a very rigid wood like Wenge. The densities are what alter sound. The more inclusions to the wood, the more open the sound. I have seen Flea play his Mod's live and they sound great. Actually he sounds great! I read however that he record primarily with his Wal's. It's ossible that things are different now contractually though.
  10. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    I'd take the Lakland. I have a skyline 44-02 on its way and they are such beautiful basses. They feel great and I love how its almost like a great between an EB stingray and a fender jazz. Best of both worlds. Great for any sound.
  11. amac


    Oct 9, 2002
    Commerce, Georgia
    here's the specs on the wide neck Q5
    5-string wide - nut= 2.00"; 24 fret=3.25"; string spacing = 22.25mm

    You can see that it is basically the same neck as the Q6 - 6-string 2.00" 3.25" 17mm

    I was going to get the wide Q5, but I got a great deal on a Q6. It is the best sounding bass I've played to date (bartolini pickups). But everyone has a different sound they're looling for. So, to each his own.
  12. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    I've got a VJ4 and I can't put it down. The carbon Fiber neck gives sustain for days and you can actually feel every note on the neck resonate fully. It seems like when I am playing my Modulus the notes jump right off the fretboard and head straight to the back of the room. VERY clean tones...
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member


    Thanks very much for the specs... that's a *truly* wide 5! I hope to play one of those sometime... the widest five I currently have is a Warwick SSI (20mm).
  14. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Do the Mod's have a good Midrange tone? Are there certain wood combo's and fingerboard woods that would aid in this area. The I played seemed to lack in the mid department. It needed some tweaking to get a sound that could cut through. This would be the only reason to lean toward the Lakland.
  15. herrspektor


    Dec 21, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    Well, mine does, but then again, it's a composite neck, with EMGs to boot. The mid sweep control is pretty effective, as well. I'm not sure if the VJs have a mid sweep, but I'm guessing they do....a perceived lack of mids could be due to the amp you were playing through, too.
  16. I have a couple Lakland 55-94 basses and I think they're awsome. My biggest beef on a fiver is string spacing and the Lakland is perfect for me in that respect. They are also very versatile and have great tone.

    With that said, I've also had an interest in getting a composite neck bass but I've been focusing more on the Zon basses. They have the Sonus 519 (19mm spacing) which is the same as the Sonus but with wider spacing that is about the same as the Laklands. Bass NW had a sweet one a few months ago but someone quickly snagged it and I didn't have the funds at the time.

    As far as the Modulus tone, I have Widespread Panic's- Live in the Classic City. Dave Schools plays Quantum basses throughout that recording and the tone is great- real clear and direct. I don't think you could go wrong with either, but they are two different beasts.;)
  17. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I don't understand why people doubt the power of the Modulus Quantum and its bass characteristics. I have a Q5 and had a Q6. They had EMGs but I have played the Bart equipped ones. One of the best qualities that these basses posess is a clear and defined low end. If you have an amp that will translate it, you are golden.

    The neck lacks more in the "midrange" category, but like Larry said, get one with a 3 band EQ and you are doing yourself a favor.

    From what I've played (and actually, it's just Larry's), Lakland USA basses have a really nice tone. The difference between the 55-94 and a Q5 is almost inconsequential. The Lakland was a bit more mellow with a flatter response (when set flat). That may be more of a "Bartolini" thing (and I hate barts for that reason). The mod has clearer highs and lows when set flat, despite having EMGs or not. The best part of both is the 35" scale and any bass that has a 35" scale just has a tone that can't be matched with a 34".

    With that being said... Being the huge Modulus fan that I am, I'd vote for the 55-94 :eek: :confused:
    Both are nice... both sound awesome. The lakland is worth more money! I just saw a '93 Q5 go for $910... I got a '90 Q6 for $750... sold a '96 Q5 to a dude for $1100.
    Laklands can't be touched for under $1500. It's a logistical thing. And if you are like me and hate barts, replace the barts with Seymour Duncans and sell the bart setup on Ebay. You'll probably pay less for the new SD setup than you'll sell the barts for used.
  18. herrspektor


    Dec 21, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    Good point, the Mods are less expensive on the used market...I paid $1050 for my '87 Q5 Prime, which is in great shape for being as old as it is. Tobacco sunburst even, tough to find on a Mod. The cheapest I've seen a 55-94 actually change hands for is $1600. Just depends, on that front, how much dough you can pony up. The Lakland will probably hold it's value in the long run better, methinks.
  19. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    That point is very well taken, although both basses have taken a bit of a hit lately. With the introduction of the Skyline, 55-94's have dropped some because the Skylines are so good. My feeling on the Mod's would be that I would prefer one with the Grandillo board. I think that this would give the bass a little more in the mids. Modulus is really the first bass that I really had to tweak with mid control more than just a slight boost or cut. Do the Q5 3-bands have the adjustable mid sweep. I can't remember now. I would think that would almost be necessary. It might be better to trade for the 55-94 and hold tight for a used Mod. I've never been so unsure before.
  20. herrspektor


    Dec 21, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    That depends...the standard Q5 is a two-band, active bass and treble, master volume and pickup blend. There is a Bart 3-band preamp option, as well as an EMG 3-band option, that claim to have "active mid" which is probably a mid-sweep function. Wish I could tell you more. The Genesis comes, standard, with the same preamp setup as the Q5, as far as I know. Once again with a Bart 3-band option and the new Villex preamp that has a mid-sweep function and a passive tone control, but I think it'd be tough to find one of those used.