Why are Lakland instruments considered so great?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    AKA: What's so great about Laklands?

    I mean, All other manufacturers have at least built a reputation as builders first, Fr'instance, Roger Sadowsky used to do repair work, So did Mike Pedulla and Mike Lull. Dan Lakin, however, was formerly an instrument dealer who came out with his own line of basses. I guess my question is, what, besides advertising up everyone's wazoo, did the Lakland people do to warrant the reputation that they have?

    Extra credit challenge:

    Try to explain Lakin's position in the industry without making an analolgy to Leo Fender or Hartley Peavey.

    Edit: Wrota "a" reputation instead of "the".:mad:

    Will C.:cool:
  2. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    I've had nothing but bad experiences with Lakland. As far as where they reputation, they bought it. Just like most everything in our society, if you hype it enough it will sell and be considered good. I'm sorry but I don't see anything substantially better about a Lakland than many other $1000 basses. I've owned a Lakland and one of about everything else out there, I've been playing for twenty years and know a good bass from a great one. Lakland is good but not great.
  3. the luthier that designed the lakland bass with dan was hugh mcfarland, who is in my opinion a master builder, and certainly an expert in repair work. dan is the lak, and hugh is the land in the name lakland. so there was certainly an expert luthier involved in the design. dan is really good at knowing what he wanted in a bass, and hugh is really good at building them. although hugh is no longer with the company, dan has built a niche in the market by continuing to make an extremely versatile bass in terms of sound and playability. it is a well made bass, which i'm sure a lot of you lakland owners will attest to. carl pedigo and crew continue hugh's work, while dan has gotten good at marketing and customer service.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    There's a certain amount of hype in most things...however. Lakland came out with a well thought out, versatile, well built alternative to Sadowsky for less money. Demand allowed the price to creep. Mike Lull's prices are creeping, too. As Herm said, there was a builder involved at Lakland.

    You can advertise up the wazoo with any product but does anyone think Lakland's success is predominantly because of ads and endorsers? Is so, I have a question for Lakland owners past and present: which ad or endorser made you buy one? This kind of stuff probably is a factor in lower price ranges but I think that in the $2k price range the competition is stiffer and the buyers are probably more informed. I could be wrong.

    I bought mine because I had tried several Laklands (and just about everything else) and they played and sounded good in the context I used them. You either like the sound or you don't, nothing clandestine about that;) Over the years they have proven to have good resale value, another factor in me taking the plunge.

    Anyone familiar with Surine basses? They're named after the designer, not the builder. Ned Steinberger has designed bass without building them, too.
    Personally the sound and playability are way ahead of who or how a bass is built for me.
  5. 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 think Dave Pomeroy's use of Laklands in the studio was the biggest endorsement for me. My band plays a lot of country music (and western, too), and the Lakland just seems to have the right sound for that. I didn't hurt to see Jason Scheff and Matt Bonelli using them on stage, too. Not to mention Rhonda Smith and Keith Horne (who switched over from Xotic).
  6. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    big wheel you know where gelb music is right?
    we'll I go in there to just look around like I normally do,damn I love ed hell of a guy anyway there's like 5 guy's sitting in a circle hey the circle of fifths haha,these guy's are each taking a turn played this 55-94 bass salivating at the mouth talking about the evenness,the playability,the tight ass B string,the variety of tones,bass player had just given it high praise so I played her and it was love at first site.we'll worth the money to me.
    and then there's Rhonda smith from prince,Keith horne from trisha yearwood,Aaron Edwards from cameo,and by boy's Eric smith,Darryl Anders',and uriah duffy all bay area bassist who are all BAD.hey bw Dan wanted to create the most versatile bass he could.so he took the best of what Leo created and added his twist to it.think about it jazz-musicman,jazz-musicman,jazz-musicman had a baby and the end result is
    something beautiful.
    now this peavey thing i hope you're not talking about that
    minilium thing.
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Over the years, I've owned many, many basses in search of something I can grow old with and that will serve me as well 25 yrs from now (if I live that long) as it does in the present. I've just grown tired of buying something that seems perfect for today's project and then finding it doesn't cut it when my tastes or musical situation changes. I only own 2 electric basses now...both Laklands. I can say that the advertising initially turned me off, but after seeing how many Nashville studio guys were using them, I decided to ignore the hype and give one a try based on the fact that those guys need the same versatility that I wanted. Between a 55-94 Deluxe and a passive 55-63, I believe I've got the bases covered for anything I might get into (except stuff I'd do on my upright). I guess everyone has a right to their own opinion and have varying experiences, but I just can't agree with Ka-Tet here. Lakland may have started an industry buzz with advertising and such, but you can't keep that rolling for this long without the product measuring up to the hype...especially if the product is as pricey as the Laklands. I suspect that most detractors don't realize where the true values lie. I mean, if you want radical innovation or big flash value, Lakland ain't going to be your bag. And yeah, the resale value is helpful, especially if you buy used. Face it, there are some very nice high-end axes out there that are virtually un-sellable if you find that it doesn't suit you any longer.
  8. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    I bought my Lakland at Gelb's, and yes, Ed is a great guy. I LOVE my Lakland. :D When I bought it, I was completely unaware of their advertising, and I didn't care who was or was not playing them.

    That's easy. They made a bass that's extremely versatile and very well built. Advertising alone just fosters brand-name recognition and creates awareness of product availability, and may even sell a few units. But I'd like to think that most players can make up their own minds about what works for them and whether or not the value is realistic.

    I think Lakland does make a great bass (and I've been playing a little while myself. :) ) My experience with Lakland has been first rate. Of course I realize that what works for one person may not work for another. That's why the bass gods gave us so many builders to choose from. :)

  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I bought mine (barely) used and needed some fretwork...it was shipped from Alaska to Maryland and stuff happens. I contacted Lakland and not only did they do an immaculate job on the frets, they completely repaired a couple of nicks on the back of the neck that were caused by the original owner and that I did not expect to get fixed for free. Then they threw in a set of strings.

    That's service. Some companies do actually get it.
  10. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    hey man,

    lakland is a great buy if you're really considering
    one. just out of curiosity, what lakland
    adverstising are you talking about? they are
    one of the very few builders that doesn't advertise
    in bass player mag for instance... ????

    i do think lakland is a bit pricey - you get more
    for your money w/ G&L, reverend, MM..but
    hey...I figure buy one bass (yeah, right) might
    as well do it right.

    shine on, you crazy diamond and join the lakland
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Hey Big Wheel, Have you ever played one? I think they play & feel great. They were top quality. The ones I've played had Barts in 'em & I'm partial to EMG's, so I wasen't to thrilled about the sound.
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    No. I'd like to try one sometime, but I've never seen one.

    Maybe it's for the best. I'm pretty happy with my setup. no use goin' 'round lookin' fer trouble.

    Will C.:cool:
  13. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    are u sure you're happy with what you have now?
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    A Pedulla Pentabuzz,
    a '69 Fender Precision,
    a white Steinberger XL-2 fretless autographed by Michael Manring,
    A Zon Sonus,
    A Tokai Jazz Fretless that looks like Jaco's,
    a 5-string Warmoth Jazz that was custom built for Scott Henderson.
    A german upright.

    How can I be happy with this stuff???:D:rolleyes:;)

    Will C.:cool:
  15. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Mr. Wheel, nice stable! To answer your first question, it's because they are. Advertising didn't get me, playing one did. I've got 2 untouchable basses, a Roscoe and my Lakland. Anything else is subject to change. The Lakland has the best neck I have EVER played, Fodera be damned ;)
  16. Hey Big, that sounds like a nice collection to look at while you drink Cognac by the fireplace.

    Mike J. ( jealousy here )
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'm definitely getting the wrong visual here, Mike;)
  18. Brad, I forgot to mention the bare breasted women
    feeding me grapes as I survey all of my empire


    I drink cognac by the fireplace and peruse that
    beautiful bass collection.

    Careful though...

    Cognac + too many grapes = The runs!

    And I don't mean the kind we do on the fingerboard!

    I think I deserve a cognac, it's my 100th post!

    Mike J.

    Public Service Announcement: If you must drink...
    Give your patch cord to a friend or have someone
    else play your bass !
  19. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oh man! Duncan pickups!!! I've never heard one of these babies, but I have heard that they are much more aggressive sounding than the Bart equipped Laklands!

    And dig that see through white blonde finish!

    Too bad I don't need another 5 string! The price is definitely right!