Skylines Receive Stateside Attention To Detail
How Skylines Are Prepared to Meet Our Playability Standards
Every Skyline Series bass manufactured overseas receives the same final attention to detail as our US-made basses. That is what makes the Skyline Series basses play so smoothly, sound so rich and perform the way a Lakland instrument is expected to perform. The Lakland Skyline Series basses are shipped to the Lakland shop in Chicago, Ill., for final inspection and detail work prior to being delivered to our dealers worldwide. NO Lakland bass gets into the hands of our customers without passing through ours first. It's the only way to guarantee quality.
When a Skyline arrives at our shop in Chicago, it is carefully unpacked and prepared for inspection. Our staff begins by visually checking the string alignment of each instrument with regard to fingerboard edge margins. This is done with factory-installed strings in place. After relieving the string tension, the factory strings are clipped and removed. On our 5-string models, we also remove the string retainer. If at any point in the exam and set-up process a bass does not meet our standards, or presents an anomaly that we cannot adjust in our shop, the bass is rejected and returned to the factory.
First, we check the ferrules, removing and drilling them out if needed. Once that is done, we test the integrity of the tuner installations. If the truss rod access has become distressed during manufacturing, we recolor the surface with a lacquer treatment.
We consider the playability of our necks to be one of the most important features of our basses and we think that Lakland players do as well. We check the nut for any excess glue and to be sure that the ends do not extend past the edges of the neck. Each fret end is scrutinized for the same reason. Frets shouldn't extend past the edges of the neck. In the event that we come across a poorly seated fret, we tap it in and make sure it is secure.
Now, it is time to fashion that signature Lakland smoothness. Every neck is analyzed and adjusted to present the best curve for fret filing. Once the Lakland builder has prepared the neck, the frets are individually filed and crowned to meet Lakland's US specifications. Filing is finished after the string slots in nut have been addressed.
Once the frets and nut are prepared, focus shifts to the surface of the fingerboard. Besides looking it over for blemishes, any excess glue is removed. A nice piece of wood is crucial to a good tone, so our fingerboards take a lot of scrutiny. Lakland owners should continue the regimen of neck conditioning that we begin here, by applying orange oil to our rosewood necks. This is like applying a moisturizer and protectant to your fingerboard, and also creates a lustrous shine that will enhance the wood grain of your fingerboard.
At this point, we're down to the mechanics of the body. To ensure we can adjust each pickup's height to Lakland specifications, we examine the pickup mountings and adjust them if necessary. They need to be able to allow the pickup to be adjusted to predetermined heights. The neck pocket alignment is checked for gaps. Another inspection is given to detect dings or scratches in the finish or body woods. Then, we polish the tailpiece and the portion of the body usually covered by the strings.
Our Skyline 44-02 and 55-02 models receive specialized attention to electronics, which are installed in our shop. We mark and drill pilot holes for pickup height screws and install foam as needed in the cavities. Once the wiring for the neck pickup has been threaded through, the corresponding pickup is installed. We do the same with the bridge pickup-threading the wire through the chase and installing the pickup.
We check the electronics mounting holes and ream them out if necessary before installing the harness. The pickups are attached to the harness once it is in place. Our Skyline models offer the versatility of a mid switch, so a decal is placed inside the electronics cavity to help players understand and use this feature. The control plate is put in place and the bass is ready for the final steps.
We string each bass up with the same strings used on our US-made instruments. On our 5-strings, we replace the string retainer. On our 4-strings, we install one. The bass is tuned with a strobe tuner and the neck relief is adjusted. The bass is tuned again before we set string height and adjust the intonation. Finally, pickup height is set to US specs, the bass is tuned one last time and played to assess the final results. Once the bass is looked over a final time, it's placed into our inventory racks and prepared for delivery.
As we said, no bass-regardless of where it is built-gets to a Lakland customer without it passing through our hands and across our work benches first. To maintain our standards of quality across the entire Lakland brand line, we have to make sure we're happy with an instrument before we can expect someone else to be happy with it. We're confident you'll find the playability, tone and overall quality of our Skyline basses beyond your expectations. Try a Skyline today at your local Lakland Dealer.