Lakland USA 55-94 Deluxe
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Lakland USA 55-94 Deluxe

USA 55-94 Deluxe, 5+ string bass guitar from Lakland in the USA series.

MGR/ShackMan 07/16/2010

Lakland USA 55-94 Deluxe : MGR/ShackMan's user review

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All maple woods on the instrument. Brilliant bright woodgrain finish on the quilted maple top and back. I got it with Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats, very smooth but bright for flatwounds. The pickups are a Bartolini Jazz in the Neck and a Bartolini Humbucker in the bridge. Very powerful tone combination. It sports a 3-band active EQ with 3-position mid center switch to change the mid frequency, along with a push-pull active/passive switch on the volume knob and a pickup blend knob. Standard Lakland bridge and tuners. 22 frets. All made in the USA.

I borrowed it for a studio gig with a roots rock group from a friend while my Godin BG-5 5-string was in the shop. Most of my gigs are either rock, jazz, fusion, or musicals, with the occasional reggae job thrown in for good measure. I also play upright bass, and piano is my other main instrument.

I like the finish, and Bartolini pickups are always great to see on a bass. The perfect blend of warmth and sparkle in their tone is what I like to hear. I like that the bass doesn't weigh as much as it could for how big it is. It's also well-balanced. There's a nice space right below the fretboard to practice safe slapping, too. Easy access for the trussrod and battery. EQ is powerful and the frequency points for the treble and bass are well chosen.

The neck is HUGE. The strings might even be a bit too wide for my taste in some spots. I'm getting used to it, but it's still a big difference between what I've played and this monster. Granted, it isn't heavy, and it's balanced enough that it doesn't neck-dive (somehow), but there is a definite learning curve with this bass as compared to others. I wish the selections for the mid-range frequencies were more varied in tonal colors...it seemed like all 3 setting gave me largely the same mid control with a slightly different EQ curve, a barely audible difference.

It's completely sturdy, and it hasn't given it's other owner any problems yet. We both take care of our instruments, and they take care of us.

Don't let the thick neck stop you, but do take it into consideration. It's a great sounding bass, but Laklands are different to play. I also really do wish that the mid controls were a bit more expressive. That's an important variable for a bassist to have control over, and this bass just doesn't deliver as well as it should on that.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com