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Why does my Squier sound better...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dmq89, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. dmq89


    Feb 21, 2006
    Selkirk, MB, Canada
    ...than my Lakland?

    (I'll keep this in point form as my usual posts are WAY too long).

    - I have a Squier DJAV (totally stock except for a BAII) and a Lakland 5501 (again, stock)

    - 5501 went into the shop; had to use the Squier. No effects, as my board was disassembled - straight into the amp.

    - Both bands commented on the tone of the Squier and its ability to cut through. I must admit, I liked the tone better myself. More low end, growlier mids, better overall tone. Feels great to play (but not as good as the Lakland, of course).


    I always bring both to a gig (with the Squier as a backup) - what kind of statement would it make if I played the Squier and had a LAKLAND as a backup?!?!? :D I would feel pretty stupid leaving the Lakie on the wall while I played the cheaper bass...

    Just wanted ya'll's opinions...

  2. Squier's not to be (oh lordy!) with anymore. That's seriously the only reason I could think of.

  3. Sounds to me like you prefer the sound of single coils to humbuckers. Happens.
  4. davec

    davec Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    Maybe it does.......

    however I would guess that the Squier has a fresher set of strings.
    You also mention no going through effects, so you have a shorter signal chain
    when were the basses set-up?

    If you like the Squier better and it fits your needs better go for it!
    In fact I'm almost sure that you could trade the Lakie for another Squier
  5. It just happen.

  6. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    More expensive basses don't automatically sound better (though some would think it does). Tone is so subjective that the cheapest, crappiest bass can sound better than anything else to some people and in some situations. My experience with playing a lot of high end basses is in the fit and finish department as to what's better.

    I'd imagine your Lakland plays and looks a lot better than the Squier does, and is overall put together better. But if the Squier does it for you sound-wise, get it a good fret job and setup (if you haven't done so) and play the heck out of it! Play what sounds good to you and what you have fun playing, not what has a more impressive ($$$) decal on it.

    A lot of what cuts through the mix on your basses has to do with the other instruments in your band, too. Playing with a different band your opinion might be different.
  7. Just goes to show you that name brand and price have nothing to do with playing great music.
  8. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Put some single coils in your Lakland.
  9. dmq89


    Feb 21, 2006
    Selkirk, MB, Canada
    Nope - older strings on the Squier...

    I've AB'd them both thru effects and straight in - Squier STILL sounds better...

    It just baffles me a bit that the Squier has a better overall tone... And it's not just me that's noticed it.

    Maybe I just got lucky with one of those one-in-a-million Squiers?

    And, while I'm sure I could trade the Lakland for a Squier, c'mon dude... it's a LAKLAND!!! :p
  10. dmq89


    Feb 21, 2006
    Selkirk, MB, Canada
    Thanx for the input!

    I've played it with both of my bands (a 5 piece with keys, and an acoustic trio) and the result is the same in both cases!

    But I agree with you totally on the "play what's better" view. After almost 20 years of playing and countless different basses, I know what sounds good to me...

    Just have to get over the whole "Squier" stigma... Yes, I KNOW it's stupid... :p I know it doesn't matter what I play as long as the sound is there; however, I 'm a bit worried about my credibility if I show up at a gig with a Squier (you know how gear snobs can be.)

    Having said that, nobody's ever said anything to me before (in fact, our whole album with the exception of the fretless tracks were done with a Washburn XB400 at the insistence of the producer), so I guess I shouldn't worry about it now. :)
  11. Demon_Hunter


    Jun 8, 2008
    I was told by a sound guy that my $130 SX sounded better than my Kubicki Factor bass....almost made me cry
  12. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    I wonder if it's an active electronics thing. I once asked the bass player with Thunder why he was no longer using his Stingray and was using a passive P and J. His answer was that they sat in the mix better. I've had both active and passive basses, both cheap and expensive, and these days I'm all about the passive circuitry, just sounds better to my ears. YMMV.
  13. "Maybe I just got lucky with one of those one-in-a-million Squiers? "

    It happens, I play (hangs head) guitar too I bought what I thought was a junker 80s korean squire strat as a backup guitar for an RG470 Ibanez.
    The squire blew it into the weeds, I was working in a guitar shop in south wales at the time, put it up against a few Fenders and I still prefered the squire. Still do. I still have it.
  14. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Use the Squier for all recording and gigging, and keep the Lakland for those essential press photos and (lip-synched) music videos! :p
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    You are have the Lakland eq'ed wrong.

  16. Nothing against SX, but he was high... and clueless.
  17. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The 5501 is not exactly the cream-of-the-crop Lakland- I have heard of very few people who were happy with the stock pickups and preamp. Several people have changed the pickups out with Nordstrand Big Singles and any decent preamp swap with good results. It sounds to me like you just prefer the sound of edgy single coils over smooth humbuckers, so the Big Singles might be a good change for you...

  18. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Yes a Squier bass can sound better than a lot of other more expensive basses. It's not exactly rocket science to make a good solid body electric guitar or bass, nor does it involve pixie dust or appealing to occultic forces. Granted I expect to see better materials and a superior fit and finish in terms of build quality on an expensive instrument than what's found in general, but in this day and age of CNC machine made, mass production instruments, just because it was cheap, doesn't mean it's crap.
  19. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    Not necessarily your issue, but I have learn't the following:

    Some pickups have lower output and this can be misunderstood as sounding not as good (lower output) when in fact they just need more buffer from your preamp stage.
  20. dmq89


    Feb 21, 2006
    Selkirk, MB, Canada
    Care to expand on that?

    Both basses have three band EQs (in different configs), and I have a pretty good idea how they work... I also know what sound I like from my amp (I'm a "set it and forget it" guy)...

    Maybe the "single coil" theory is the right one - in which case I'd never be able to get that sound with humbuckers, EQ or not.

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