Since the thread was split to part 5 right after I posted my review yesterday here it is again. I also added a bit more at the end.
Originally posted April 12, 2012
OK. I've spent an hour or so with my new M2500 Blackburst that arrived late this afternoon. First some pics of this beauty.
You should know I owned a L2500 Blueburst with wood binding a couple years ago. While I liked the L2500 I didn't love it. I never really connected with it. Mind you I wanted to love it but it didn't work out. It sounded good but was just to "rough" sounding for my taste. I like powerful basses but the L2500 just felt unpolished. I spent more time fiddling around with the switches then enjoying the sounds I was getting out of it. The whole thing just felt like some sort of high school science project.
After several months I flipped it spent the cash on another more "modern" style bass. I figured that would be the end of G&L's for me. And I've never really thought about getting another since. That is until hearing about the new M series with its revamped preamp and full 3 band EQ. Unfortunately there's not much out there in the way of reviews let alone hands on reviews of the new M series. So I bit the bullet and purchased this new one.
What I love:
- The 3 band EQ. It works great. It sounds great. It isn't some crazy boost/cut. It seems fairly balanced.
- Balance across all the strings.
- Lack of switches. I totally don't miss them. Series/Parallel... I don't need the option.
- Boost and cut of the 3 band EQ. The tone I like is treble boosted 1/3, mids cut 1/4, and bass boosted 1/3. This sounds REALLY good.
- The pickup pan. I never cared for the 100% neck, 100% bridge or 100% both option with the 3-way toggle switch. With the M series you choose our ideal mix.
- The neck. Awesome. Much thinner (less chunky) than the one on my L2500. I don't know which neck spec my L2500 actually had but this neck is more like a Jazz bass.
- The black pole pieces on the pickups. Blend in better.
What I don't like:
- Actually there isn't much I really don't like. My preference is for more modern looking basses. But that's just preference. Not the fault of G&L.
- The headstock. G&L headstocks have never done much for me with the can opener looking notch and all. But not a function of sound or quality.
- There's still a bit of neck dive. Not bad though by any means.
- I'd prefer wider string spacing at the bridge.
OK, now for what you probably really care about. How does the M sound with new preamp? Much better than the L series in my opinion. My M2500 definitely has that L series vibe and "bigness" of tone. It's all G&L there. But there is a warmth -- a more refined sort of sound totally not found in the L series basses. I don't think I'll miss the passive option on the L series but I can see where this would be bummer for many who prefer the passive tone option. The M is still big sounding. But at the same time maybe a bit more modern sounding. I really, really like the sound varieties.
That's it for now. I need more time with it before I can say more definitively. These are my initial impressions and I need to use it in a band setting too.
Updated April 13, 2012
Really liking this thing. It feels lighter than I remember my L2500 being. And the thickness front to back of the headstock seems less thick too than my L2500.
My reaction is that the M has more noticeable mid presence than my L did. I'm actually rolling back the mids more than 1/3 back after detent. Rolling them forward much more than the detent is just way too much. If you like mid presence you'll be pleased I'd say.
The treble is also not nearly as brittle as the L series. Much more subdued and balanced. I'm rolling the treble forward at least 1/3 past the detent. This is with pickups equally balanced.
Everything set flat sounds good but you'll probably need to mess with the EQ to get your sound. Not a bad thing. It's actually a LOT more pleasant to do than trying to cop your sound with the switches in the L.
Summary so far:
The M is very, very good.