How does a Stingray HH compare to the G&L L2000 Tribute/USA?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Feb 12, 2014.


  1. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Right now I have two six string basses and I'm looking at getting a third bass sometime soon. I'm wanting something different, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with four strings this time.

    Originally I was thinking about either a fretted Ray or a fretless Ibanez (the new Portamento), but then I decided that I'd really rather have an upright than an electric fretless, so I thought my mind was made up on the HH Ray; at least, until someone recommended G&L to me. These basses seem to be both underrated and undervalued, and seem like they could get a tone similar to an HH ray at a lower cost, especially the Tribute series.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the comparison between the two? If I could spend half of what I would on the Ray to get a Tribute that plays just as well (albeit with a chunkier neck), I'd much rather do that.
  2. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    For what it's worth, I'm also considering the ASAT bass. I've always loved the tele body style, and this is about the closest I've seen in a high performing instrument.
  3. Wallace320

    Wallace320

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Milan, Italy
    A comparison is hard because:
    - if you're lookin' for a cheaper H MusicMan, there's the Sterling Ray 34 with no HH configuration - and like that could be compared to USA L1500

    - if you're otherwise lookin' for a HH Musicman, there're both USA and Tribute L2000

    With the Tribute L2000 you don't get made in america fit and finish, brass saddles and a tad more resonant custom MFD pickup
    But you're still after light ash body, peculiar G&L himass bridge,
    world reknowned MFD (standard, in this case) ceramic pickups and active/passive, serial/parallel electronic.

    Me and my brother, we have four of them: he, an L2000 and a beautiful MIK L2500, me two 3ts L2500, one with standard rosewood board the other with custom bird's eye maple board.

    I keep only good memories of G&L Tributes (could afford no US
    made)

    Cheers,
    Wallace
  4. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Durham NC
    I have had both.

    I was never able to get an EBMM sound from my G&Ls. It's often said that one can get EBMM sounds from L-2000 basses. I never could.

    I may get flamed for this, but the G&L L-2000 always struck me as basically a very "hot" Jazz Bass.

    The Stingrays, otoh, because of the pickup location and the excellent EQ, are a different animal.
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  6. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    +1.

    I've got a few Stingrays and an ASAT. They both do different things.

    G&L MFD's are really hot pickups and can be super aggressive.
  7. Waltsdog

    Waltsdog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Pretty much my thoughts on this, I had a L2000 for a while and it was a great bass. It had stupidly high output on some settings and there were loads of tonal options, but IMHO the Stingray sound isn't one of them.
  8. msact

    msact Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Location:
    Bucks Co, PA
    I have both. I have a Stingray HH and an L2000. Both are great, but they sound very different. You really won't get one to sound like the other. If you are looking for a Stingray sound you really want to get a Stingray. Personally, I really don't care for that sound much and play my L2000 much much more than my Stingray, but that's a matter of personal preference.
  9. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    The reason I was really looking at the HH rather than single H was because of the versatility involved in the pickup switching. Several people said that using the two inner coils gave a tone something like a P and the two outer coils something like a wide open J. I don't have a P or a J, so I thought that the more tonal capabilities the better. I tend to prefer active, modern sounding basses, so I was really intrigued by the HH Ray.

    Then I saw the G&L stuff, which I haven't found a store that stocks these so I've never tried one in person. I saw the L2K which looks like a jazz with humbuckers and an active/passive toggle switch. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

    If the switching on the Ray isn't as impressive as one would think, then I'd much rather look in the $700 price point with the Tribute series, the Ray34, or the SB14. I don't want to get anything super nice or custom until I'm ready for "the one:" my main player that I use for recording and for most of my gigs.
  10. msact

    msact Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Location:
    Bucks Co, PA
    All that coil switching is nice to have and you can get a variety of tones. They all still have that SR plunky sound though. You may get something that sounds vagluey like a P or a J, but it's nothing like the real thing. You can get an L2000 to sound like a J bass if you get the K-switching option. I really don't care for that basic plunky SR sound. I can minimize it somethat by EQ and so forth. I love my L2000. In fact if I had to keep only one bass it would be my L2000. Not because it sounds like this or that, but because how it sounds on it's own merits.
  11. Wallace320

    Wallace320

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Milan, Italy
    Except that on G&L L2000 you need a custom tweak to enable
    center switch to divide coils

    I mean:
    (neck to bridge) you have volume, treble, bass controls, then first switch is for front/both/rear pickups, center switch is for serial/parallel, last one's for active with contour/active/passive

    There's a custom shop (US made) option for center switch to select (parallel only) outer coils much like a boosted Jazz bass

    But I think nothin' for a (serial) center coils combination like on
    a Precision

    Anyway: a G&L Tribute L2000 is the way to go for both power and versatility. But Sterlin' by Musicman Ray34 (ash) and SB14(basswood) if a lone humbucker's enough, are pretty awesome

    Cheers,
    Wallace
  12. steveinohio

    steveinohio Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    I agree with everyone who said the L2000 has hot pickups. They could cut your head off. I think it sounds like it is in the Music Man family. I like both. I would suggest going with the Tribute because cost is a factor. You will be happy with both.
  13. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Bristow, VA
    For HH, I would go with the L-2000. I have an L-2500 with Single Coil option. They are awesome. And they have a Passive mode, which the Stingray and Sterling do not.

    For H, I would go EBMM Sterling. The Sterling has the Stingray sound when you put it in parallel mode, but then it also offers switching to give you series mode and single coil mode. None of the EBMM HH models have the same 3 modes as the Sterling H. And I prefer those 3 specific sounds (bridge pickup in series, bridge pickup in parallel, and bridge pickup/bridge side coil in single coil mode) over the 5 sounds that you can get from a HH model.
  14. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I think the L2000/2500 is much more versatile, but EBMM USA or G&L USA is going to be a winner... both just great companies putting out great stuff... I would also take a look at the new verson of the Sabre... All I am waiting for is a color I like and I'll probably get something else to make the wife hate me for a couple days...
  15. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Man, that's a tough choice. The two are different enough that I think if you sit down with both, one will speak to you a lot more than the other. If you have the budget for USA G&L / EBMM, I personally wouldn't get a tribute model G&L. But that's just my experience (much like I can't bring myself to get an SBMM in place of an EBMM).
    To throw another wrench in there, don't forget the Sterling, Sabre and Bongo as well. Probably wont find those at a local store, but if you do, well worth your time to play as well.
    IMO, a G&L just won't sound like a Stingray, and vice versa. There are some tonal overlapping (if you think of it like a Venn diagram), but there's just some that's out of reach of the other. The feel between the two is pretty different as well, and G&L has a few neck options you can choose between.

    I made a similar choice a few years ago and ended up going all in with EBMM from G&L. I don't regret that decision. But that doesn't mean that's the correct decision for you. Heck, maybe you'll like both and own both :D
  16. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon, USA

    FWIW, my impression of my L1k is that of a suped-up P Bass rather than a variant/advancement of the MM vibe. Can't help but think that is what G&L was going for initially or we probably would had seen early G&L examples w/ the pickups closer to the bridge rather than hovering around the Fender P/JaZz positions.
  17. Bogster

    Bogster Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Orange Park, FL
    Agree with the above posts. They are different animals even if they are in the same family. Much as I LOVE my L2000, and it can get close to a stingray-"ish", tone, it's not the same as a 'ray, IMO. I suggest trying both first if you can. You will know which is right for you. :)
  18. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I love both EBMM and G&L... I'd certainly like to have one of each, but I don't see it happening any time soon... I toured with a Tribute L2500 & L2000, but that was when they first came out (as in one of the first models to roll off the line) so I suspect it may have seen greater care in its construction than the newer ones, but I never had any issues with either of them. I know that they have made several cost-cutting moves since mine so the best thing is to sit down and A-B them... easier said than done, I know, but that's the only way you will know for sure... Also, when doing this, do yourself a favor and DO NOT try out the pieces at Guitar Center... anything found there will be poor representations of either company unless you luck out and find a well-maintained used piece.

    For the record, I now own a USA G&L JB and it is the best jazz bass I have ever owned (I've had Fender Jazzes at every level with every preamp and pickup they offer and this is still far superior) but I've never played a Sadowsky, Lull, Lakland USA or any of the other >$2000 jazzes out there so I can't comment compared to them. I've owned Fender Jazzes at every level including custom shop and the G&L is far better IMO.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sutton, MA
    I don't have any experience with the SR HH model (only H models). The ASAT and L2K are the same except for body shape. I can get a good P tone out of the neck pickup only with my L2K. You really need to play both to see which one is for you.
  20. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Bristow, VA
    sgroh87, if you update your profile to show where you live, you might get lucky and another TB'er close to you that has what you're interested in might offer to let you try them out.
  21. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've had both, agreed the G&L is much more aggressive than a Ray. A Sterling would be a much closer comparison.

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