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Advice Needed from The G&L Gurus

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by cakebass, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    Hi Guys, I figured this was the place to ask since G&L and Music Man tend to get comparisons, so here goes:

    I'm a proud owner of a Bongo 4, been so for about a month. Love it. Granted the body took some getting used to, but the neck is wonderful and the double H's rattle fillings. As my unluck would have it, I may have to sell it to get some spare cash to complete my home gym, as I was booted out of my old one for "unsafe practices" and don't want to waste any more money on a commercial gym. Anyway, I need an extra $200-$250 for completion, and don't have the scratch nor do I have a job now while I go to school. In short, money's tight.

    If I do sell it, G&L Trib 2K's are at the top of my list of "Damn Good Basses" that I'd want to spend the remaining cash on. I've read many a glowing review, many here on TB, and saw Ed Friedland's YouTube review. I'm about sold. But considering my Bongo's neck is 1 5/8" and I believe the Trib is 1 3/4", and the Bong has a flatter profile that I like, is it worth the sacrifice? How much beefier is the Trib's profile? C shape? D shape? Compared to a Jazz?

    I'm also considering the Ibanez ATK700, Spector Legend Custom, and the Lakland 44-01; if any of you guys ever jumped ship from any of the above models, or even have tried out a Bongo, I'd appreciate any feedback on the Trib's neck. I don't really care about weight, and one owner summed up the sound as being a cross between Fender's warmth and MM's punch; I play in an indie rock band that dabbles in whiteboy reggae, so that's a nice sound description and why I'm looking at G&L. The neck's the only thing keeping me from converting...
  2. El Tookay

    El Tookay Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    I've played Bongos, and rather like them, the necks are a big part of that. Here's what you do- sell the Bongo, and find a USA L2K built around 91-98. The majority of those had a 1-11/16" neck, not far from Bongo-land. You might find Trib's to be a bit too meaty around the back, bordering on P-bass territory.
    The neck shape thing has taken on a life and meaning of it's own. Fender had a system for determining the neck width by a system of letters- A = 1-1/2", Jazz width, B = 1-5/8, '70's P-bass width, C = 1-3/4", '60's P-bass width, and D = 1-7/8", some late '60's Telecaster basses. These days, the idea of C-shape is in reference to the actual shape of the neck ( C shape, U shape, oval D shape, soft V, hard V, etc). You can order an A neck with a C shape and a slight V...confuses us old farts.

    As for the USA L2k's, try the TB classifieds Badassbassplayers or FleaBay- you'll find the price difference of what you could sell your Bongo for and buy a US L2k for would cover you needs.
  3. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    +1 to everything Tookay said.

    Used G&L basses are going for a steal these days. If you're patient, you should be able to snag a really nice US 2K for what a new Tribute would set you back. I've never compared the two personally, but the neck profile gets mentioned a lot whenever the differences between the US models and Tributes get discussed.
  4. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    Thanks fellas, I'm still fighting myself about what to do. Now I know about letter assignments for necks, so now I'm educated too. Have the US 2K's changed much as far as electronics go in recent years?
  5. I have a Bongo 5HHp, as well as an USA L-2500 and a much-modded Skyline 55-01. All have a place. I'd miss any one of 'em and you would miss the Bongo.

    I think most people would adjust easily to the slightly wider Tribute nut width. Remember too that the difference gets smaller as you move up the neck because the string spacing at the bridge is the same between EBMM and G&L basses.

    OTOH, you might consider just staying with a commercial gym.

  6. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    Yeah, I know I'd miss the Bongo. I've done some boneheaded things in the past, but all for the right reasons, but that doesn't lessen the sting any (had to part with one of the original Modulus Flea 4s for $700 some years back). All I need is some extra cash, but the Bongo was/is one of my dream basses (along with a Lakland DJ, about the only Jazz bass I think I'd touch).

    G&L appeals to me for it's simple looks, and the switching doesn't appear too confusing. I also dig the ASATs and the SB-2s, but haven't really read up on them. Bottom line is I need a solid, dependable bass for @ the $500-$700 range (provided I sell the Bongo for @$825, which is what I'll be asking). I've never tried a P bass, but I may have to to get a rough idea of the Trib's neck. The G&Ls just seem to ooze quality as opposed to the other basses I was looking at, as everyone seems to mod those basses but no one seems to do that to the Trib's, at least not that i've read yet.

    And commerical gyms...blah, who needs 'em. I'm a NASM trainer anyway, plus I do Crossfit (shameless plug) so I'd like to be able to do my training without interference from knuckleheads.

    Thanks for all your input on this guys, it's much appreciated:hyper:
  7. Man, keep the Bongo. You don't need a gym. There's a free gym outside, called the park.
  8. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    Amen to that. Still undecided though. Tough decision all around. If I pull the trigger on this, and in case I might not be able to land a USA, how's the hardware on the Tribs? Sorry to keep this thing going, but I'm as anal as it comes in dealing with gear. I figure I'll come to my decision this week and that'll be it, Bongo or G&L....
  9. cakebass


    Mar 1, 2009
    Well, done deal. Bongo's in my history now.

    Looking at some G&L's on Ebay (an L-2K is on there from a TB member, silver one, very pretty). There's also an ASAT but that'll probably go for more than I have, and I'm trying to get something nice and still have the spare cash for my home project. In case I don't get either of the aforementioned, I know lotsa people recommend the Trib versions (although the neck still has me concerned). Are the SB-2 Tribs of the same quality as the L-2000s?
  10. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm going to say no - well, not quite.

    The neck attachment on an SB-2 is a standard 4 bolt-through-plate arrangement, while the L2K has 6 bolts without the neck plate. With only two choices of finish, rosewood only fretboards, this current series feels far more "budget" than the earlier ones. Shame, as I really dig maple board SB-2s. One day...

  11. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    ASAT will have a thinner neck than the L2k does. If you like the body style, great. If you don't, look at the Bongo again & reconsider.

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