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1998 G&L L-2000... As good as the Current Model?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jd_watt, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking at possibly picking a used 1998 G&L L-2000. I was wondering if that year was as good or better than the current production model. I'm not sure what changes may have been introduced since then. Thanks!
  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    They have hardly changed. I don't think they were making the off-shored "Tribute" basses back then, but you might double check.
    How does it play?
  3. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Haven't gotten my hands on it yet. The seller claims it's not a tribute, but I haven't seen it yet. I understand the current model has a "made in USA" type indication. I wanted to do my homework before I went to have a look.
  4. ghunter


    May 16, 2006
    Bellevue, WA
    Definitely make sure it has the six-bolt neck. I've owned an older L-2000 and it played great but the sustain on the newer models is better IMO. I thought I also read somewhere that the newer G&L's have also had Plek treatment on the frets.
  5. Somewhere in the 90's G&L changed their body type. I don't know what year, though.

    The older bodies were bigger and heavier, the newer ones lighter and more ergonomic (in my opinion). This may or may not be important to you. For me, it is important cause I don't like the older type. But you know, it's up to you.

    Take care!

  6. Matt B

    Matt B

    Mar 31, 2012
    New Zealand
    The only real difference I think will be the 3 bolt vs 6 bolt neck. I would not see that as a problem though. I have a 3 bolt ASAT and I cannot see how the sustain could ever be considered an issue with it
  7. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Photos (not of this bass specifically) show a Fender-style, three bolt neck. Something to worry about?
  8. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Asking price is around $900. My options are that, or a new Tribute. I'm not sure how these compare in quality, however.
  9. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I think the change from 3 to 6 bolt was right around '98. So, you'd need to see the specific bass to know what it has. Or email the serial number to G&L and see if they can tell you.

    Even if it's a 3-bolt, I don't think it's a real concern. I would mainly just check to be sure the truss rod turns freely in both directions. My L-2500 truss rod broke on the first attempt to do a setup. I had to pay G&L to make me a new neck. Fortunately, I bought it used from GC and they refunded almost all my money on the purchase, so I came out good and got a neck I liked better, to boot.

    Oh, and Plek just does a job that a good human can do just as well (though it takes longer). And you can always have it Pleked yourself, if you want. Really, on a bass that old, it probably doesn't matter whether it was Pleked originally or not. By now, the neck and/or frets could have easily changed enough that the original Plek job would no longer matter. My SB-2 was originally Pleked and it's not that old and I had it Pleked again last year, which made it noticeable improvement in how low I could set the action.

    In other words, whether it was originally Pleked or not wouldn't really factor into the decision, for me. The only real question is, can it be setup with action as low as you like, as it currently exists? Or will you have to spend money on fretwork, etc., to get the action where you want it? For $900 for an L-2000, I would want it to already be able to take a setup to my taste, without a trip to a tech/luthier.
  10. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    G&L has improved neck construction and the truss rod system over the years, but if this 15 year old bass were to have neck issues they would have surfaced by now.

    Just take a look down the neck for ski-jump near the upper frets or for a the neck having twisted. In fact, you should do this on any bass. :)
    StuartV likes this.
  11. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Plenty of small differences between 1998 and current L-2000s.
    Body shape
    Headstock angle
    6 bolt vs 3 bolt
    pickup polepieces beveled now
    bridge saddles are forged brass instead of cast zinc
    bicut neck with bullet truss rod nut vs current neck

    I personally love 1996-1998 L-2000s more than any other era - the necks are the perfect chunky profile and the pickups seem to be not quite as bright and aggressive as they are now. So I would recommend you try a current one before you buy if possible, one of them might feel and sound much better to you.
  12. There was NO Tribute model in '98, so you're getting a USA made G&L. The 3-bolt neck is nothing to worry about, IMO. That certainly wouldn't stop me from playing one. The body shape could be slightly more streamlined in the newer ones, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    The electronics/pickups/hardware are nearly identical. The neck on the '98 will be "Bi-cut", which means they took a flat neck blank, cut it in half down the middle, routed the trussrod channels in either side, then put in a trussrod and glued it back up. It's supposed to relieve stresses in the neck shaft. I've had several of these and they've been 100% without any issues.

    Try it out if you can, and if you like it, go for it.
  13. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Great info, thank you all very much. I'm in a difficult situation because I don't have access to a current-production model in my area, so I'm left with nothing to really compare it too. I think that's the most difficult thing, because at $900, I have to wonder if I'd be better off finding a newer used G&L.
  14. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    The other option would be to go with a brand new Tribute Series. I understand that the electronic components are the same, but the wood and construction very somewhat. Any thoughts on this route? Thanks again!
  15. I don't think you'd be better off finding a new one. The old ones have a certain charm. The new ones are great, too, but I'd probably take an older one in good condition.

    However, for $900, you could probably find a newer used one here through the Talkbass Classifieds.
  16. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    I agree $900 is high for an older one, mint or not.
  17. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    But everything is getting more expensive.
  18. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    True, but I just watched a clean 97 fail to sell on eBay for $750.
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    my heavily discounted mint used sb-2 was 865 at mf
    my bar gigged nicotine coated vintage L2000 at gc was 675 used
    the used prices seem to be going up, i consider myself pretty lucky being able to get two really nice basses for the price of a new custom one
    (i just can't pay 1600 for a new bass, that was what my first car cost, and i can't pay more than 800 for used, that's the price of a camera lens)
  20. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Good info, thanks! Price differences aside, does the Tribute hold up against the USA?

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