REVIEW > LAKLAND
I removed the plastic cover over the
44-AJ’s electronics cavity to find one of
the best wiring and shielding jobs I’ve
seen. In my book, copper shielding foil
is the way to go when low noise is the
goal, and that’s exactly how the 44-AJ was
built—and very tidily at that. Inside the
cover there’s even a label showing how to
set the preamp’s DIP switch for different
midrange center frequencies.
A separate battery box (for the active
electronics) with a pop-up lid is another
nice touch. And rather than a battery clip
dangling from a wire, the box featured metal
slide-in contact points. I’m always afraid that
a battery clip wire will pull loose, putting me
out of business for the night—not so with
the 44-AJ. A push-pull Volume knob bypasses everything but the Volume and Blend pots,
meaning you can get by even if your battery
fails you. Lakland didn’t skimp on anything.
In fact, my 1/4" cable felt more secure on the
44-AJ than any other bass I’ve played, minimizing possible crackle or signal noise.
Regardless of the onboard EQ
settings, the tone was always
free from hum or hiss.
Buzz Me In . . . Not!
One beef I have with most Jazz Bass-style
instruments is the unavoidable single-coil
hum that’s hard to avoid unless both pick-
ups are dialed in equally. Sometimes it’s
minimal, but sometimes it’s downright
annoying. Because Lakland installs noise-
canceling pickups by Hanson Musical
Instruments, the 44-AJ had zero hum,
regardless of the settings. Even when turn-
ing the Blend control to solo, the bridge
pickup posed no problem.
136 PREMIER GUITAR MAY 2011