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Lakland Music Company, a Chicago-based bass guitar manufacturer, has added another line of custom wound pickups to its offerings. The new line, to be unveiled Jan. 17 at the winter National Association of Music Manufacturer (NAMM) trade show, features a wide tonal range and frequency response and superb output that aims to deliver a "well-produced" sound.

The new line, which will be named by Lakland enthusiasts through an upcoming contest, is expected to be in full production by Apr. 1. It will be manufactured at the Lakland factory in addition to the recently released LH3 pickup and preamp system.

Basses fitted with five of the new configurations will be available at the NAMM show (Lakland booth) for evaluation. They include a passive single coil Alnico magnetic pickup (SC-AL4), influenced by the Hagstrom Bi-Sonic and available for four-string only, and a passive, high-output dual single coil Neodymium magnetic pickup (SC-ND4 and SC-ND5).

In addition, Lakland will show its new active dual Neodymium humbuckers (HB-ND4 and HB-ND5) paired with the recently released LH3 preamp system. The new active configuration also will feature an additional tone control "mini-knob," which will allow the player to roll off treble like a normal tone control in both active and passive modes. All Neodymium pickups will be available in both four- and five-string configurations.

"Initially, the plan was to develop a product with Alnico magnets that would produce a warm classic sound, reminiscent of Hagstrom Bi-Sonics," says Lakland founder, Dan Lakin. "But when we got to the five-string version, the Alnicos weren't giving us the output we wanted. Once we went to the Neodymium magnets, a whole world of other possibilities suddenly opened up. Now we have passive pickups that can deliver the clarity and output of many active systems, and active humbuckers that offer unparalleled frequency response and output quality. The result is an incredible variety of choices in terms of bass tone, including tone similar to that heard on a fully mixed recording."

The pickups, designed and manufactured in a joint venture between Lakland and Chicago-based Hanson Electronics, will initially be available in a MM-style shell only, but future plans call for a retro-style chrome and black shell in three different configurations. Lakin also reports that the availability of the passive dual single-coil pickup in five-string configuration will spur the development of a five-string version of the Decade model. Skyline versions are expected to be available by the end of the year.

Once in production, pickups from the new series will be installed as standard on all Lakland Decade and Hollowbody basses and will be offered as an option on most other models.

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