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Can't choose! G&L LB-100 or SB-2 with tone control (fretless)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by strost, Dec 16, 2013.

?

Which bass should I get?

  1. G&L LB-100

    9 vote(s)
    25.7%
  2. G&L SB-2 (with tone control)

    26 vote(s)
    74.3%
  1. strost

    strost Supporting Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm having a lot of trouble choosing a new bass.

    I know I want a fretless and I know I want a "P" of some sort. Since I love my G&L JB, I've narrowed the choices down to the G&L LB-100 (their version of the traditional P) vs. the G&L SB-2 (a PJ configuration with MFD pickups). I would get the SB-2 with tone control added by G&L (see Rocket Music's TB forum for details!).

    My head says SB-2 but my heart says LB-100. The SB-2 is more versatile and makes better sense for fretless with the bridge pup. But the sound in my head is a fretless P. Plus I like the idea of only having one pickup and never messing around with knobs instead of playing.

    I LOVE the old school woody P sound and want that. I think I can get it with an SB-2 (along with other tones) but I know I can get it with an LB-100.

    So basically versatility vs. simplicity.

    Any advice would be appreciated (then I will stop bothering you all, I promise).

    Here are mockups of my two choices.

    SB-2
    [​IMG]

    LB-100
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    I had an SB-2 but without the tone control. It's grindier (is that a word) than a regular P. The tone control might tame that a bit but I don't know.

    I'm gassing for an LB-100 myself but probably not fretless as I already have a few fretless basses.
  3. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

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    i'd go for the sb-2 w/tone control personally. mainly because i like the slimmer body of the sb-2 and the wooly-ness of those MFDs. and, for me, a bridge pickup is a must on a fretless.
  4. Bass Fund

    Bass Fund

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    I owned an SB1 about 10 years ago. I never could get it to sound like a P bass.
  5. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

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    Just reading your post, it sure sounds like you've made your decision.

    I've never played either, but you obviously need to go with the LB-100.
  6. MIMJAZZ

    MIMJAZZ

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    I would go for the SB-2 . You can always add the tone control.
  7. NightCat

    NightCat

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    I have the SB-2 with the two volume knobs. Kicks ass. I really, REALLY like having that J by the bridge. It add a lot of versatility to the bass as well as having another place to rest my thumb for different finger style tones.
    Yeah, that MFD P is a monster but that is exactly what I want. I use TI Jazz Flats and run that into a B100R. Yeah, my rig will do the "P" tone all night long, just a little meaner....
    The P alone will kinda overwhelms my VT bass pedal so I dial it back and get most of the signal from the J and then I get the over driven tone I sometimes want.

    I used to want a tone control but over the years I just learned the bass. The two volumes DO interact and load each other. I can go from bright and tight to heavy and dark with just the two knobs. I think they added the tone to keep consumers happy, not because you need one. I suppose that's valid. I'm leaving mine stock though.
  8. strost

    strost Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that's the thing. I THOUGHT I had made a decision then Greg at Rocket gets serious about ordering some SB-2s with tone control at no extra $$. So now I'm thinking I'd be silly not to do that. To be honest I bet I'd have more fun playing the SB-2 but it's still not a P-bass and therefore may not cure my GAS.
  9. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    Well, in reality, the tone knob mod is probably less than a $10 aftermarket mod. I wouldn't let that be your deciding point. I think you need to get some sound samples of an SB-2 with the tone mod (or an SB-1) so you can determine if that tone is what you're looking for.
  10. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

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    SB-2 with Tone all the way. If you turn off the J pickup and roll off the P volume about 25%, you can have all the traditional P bass sound you want. I.e. it'll do anything an LB-100 will do. But, turn up the volume all the way and you get that P Bass On Steroids sound you always hear about (here on TB). And the J pickup gives you even more options.

    Search for 2 threads that I started if you want to see a poll with sound clips comparing an SB-2 to a '66 Fender Precision (one thread), and the other thread where I recorded my SB-2 with Tone added and compared it to a Peavey Fury (i.e. P bass) with Hi-A (vintage Bartolini) P pickup.

    Or, since you're in Blacksburg, drive on up here and try out my SB-2 (with Tone and Master Volume - Freddels is right, adding those cost me $10 - 15, plus a bit of soldering) in person - along with the Fury and any of my other basses, if you want. My profile equipment list is correct and up to date.
  11. NightCat

    NightCat

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    What does that mean? How is the SB-2 not a "P" bass? I could see it as a P+ Bass, but it is still a solid ballsy P bass at its core.
    Here is something else to think about or test. With my Jazz Flats I get a definite Mwaaahh even on my fretted bass. The musical Mwaaahh is much more pronounced and controllable when I combine both the P and the J pickups. The sweet spot for that tone is both pups at 75%. Ya can't get that with the P pickup alone.
    Just a thought.........
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

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    I think he just meant that the SB-2 body shape is not the same as a Fender P, where, for example, the LB-100 is.
  13. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

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    There you go. Keep it simple.
  14. PluckyThump

    PluckyThump Supporting Member

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    As the owner of an SB-2 with a V/V/T setup I agree. There's enough output from the P pickup that you don't have to dime the volume. Plus you need the bridge pickup to really get that fretless mwah. I also like the slimmer body.
  15. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    Hopefully they're going to do the stacked vol/vol and tone and leave the input jack on the pickguard. I think it just looks better that way.

    Probably with the fretless, that bridge pickup might be real helpful. After all, if you don't like the tone of the mfd pickup, you can always swap it out for a traditional one.

    Or if you prefer the LB-100 body shape, you could always have a J pickup installed.

    The best thing about G&L is that you can pick from a number (pun intended) of different necks. My favorite is the #5.
  16. strost

    strost Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the invite! I tried the stock SB-2 that Rocket has and I think that gave me enough info.

    "Hopefully they're going to do the stacked vol/vol and tone and leave the input jack on the pickguard. I think it just looks better that way."

    I think it might be VVT with jack on bottom - that's what I've seen. But I guess G&L will do either.

    Thanks all for the input. Need to do some thinking....
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

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    When I modded my SB-2, I did 2 stacked pots. One stack is Master Volume and Tone. The other stack is 2 individual volumes for the 2 pickups.

    I really like having the Tone and having a Master Volume. And with the 2 of them wide open, I can use the knobs on the other stacked pot to control the 2 pickups exactly the same way as when the bass was stock.

    And, I took the whole original control assembly and output jack out as one piece, so I could put the bass back to 100% stock in 30 minutes or less (counting removing the pickguard and putting it back on).

    I definitely prefer the control arrangement that I did versus a VVT setup. I really like having a Master volume. For the same reason, when I built my fretless J, I did it as Volume, Blend, Tone. Way better (to me) than VVT. If I were going to mod an SB-2 to have a bottom jack, I would go V/Blend/T for sure.

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