November 30th, 2014
I will try and keep this as subjective as possible…
Anyways, this is my experience with a 2011 Lakland 55-02. Indonesian made and Plekd.
This model has a natural finish, what you can expect from the look of such an instrument, nice ash, with maple neck etc. flawless finish. love the matt feel on the back of the neck. Nice lightweight HipShot tuners, (not real HipShots, I may add)
I looked over the bass (I’m nitpicking) the pickup routing wasn’t perfect, didn’t quite match the pickup shape. I had a Sei and that detail was perfect – but I can let that go for an instrument that cost £2000 less. The fretwork on this bass is just outstanding. The neck pocket is as tight as you could possibly want. the feel of the controls is great.
Everything on this instrument is built very well.
It’s one of those 5 strings that just fit so well in to your hands. Lakland 55″s are legendary for there great feeling necks I’ve played 5 strings that just feel like beasts and a real stretch. probably the 24 frets and chunky necks of other basses. It is so comfortable to play, I can’t say enough about how at home I feel playing this bass.
You really don’t notice the 35″ scale… easy to reach those high notes because of that great cutaway. Love the flatness past the 12th fret. This bass is a JOY to play. i think that is what makes this bass so great, that and my next point…
Tone… (the instrument is played through an Aguilar 500 and Aguilar 2×12)
I don’t know where to start. But first i should say the B string is epic. I’ve played this instrument unplugged and you can feel how good the B string resonates in your left hand. When plugged in its just the deepest, tightest, fattest low B note.
Playing any note on the bass is very clear and defined everywhere across the board. chords sound great as do harmonics.
I love the layout of the Lakland controls. They work for me… as for the pickup/preamp set up, I’ve heard the early Bartolini set up is little smoother than the LH3 that is installed in this instrument. I think Lakland went for a more aggressive wound pickup on the MM and J. I’ve played both and I love both.. I can hear the difference, but the Bartolini bass had a rosewood fret board, I don’t want to get into that.
I must say I’m not a fan of the slap tone yet, but I don’t think I’ve really discovered the preamp as much as I should have..
When playing finger style I play with the coil tap in the back position, pickup blend in the middle, bass 3/4, and the tone is something to behold seriously. .. I don’t think this bass really does the Jazz bass, P Bass, MM tone perfectly, but its not far off. I will say that what it does tonally, it does so well. I gotta say I adore the tone of this bass.
I’m aware this bass has been around for a long time now, i think the Indonesian basses are better, maybe because they are Plek’d. I never really like saying “for the money they are great” makes it sound cheaper, and its difficult to compare this bass to any other as there quite unique in its MM J config, (apart from Sandberg) but there easily up there with Sadowsky Metro’s put it that way, and when you think of the huge price difference Lakland Skylines start to make sense…and their B string will smoke any, and i mean any Sadowsky. Come to think of it… of any bass ever.
I’m aware they’re in the same money as a certain MTD bass; in my opinion Lakland Skylines smoke them… I just don’t think there is an instrument made even now that can touch Lakland Skyline.
What did I say about being subjective?
I hope this review is helpful for anyone interested in a Lakland 55-02