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anybody play a G&L SB-2?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by toad, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    trying to find one of these to try out. no luck. i'm wondering how it plays, feels, how it stacks up to the fender HRPs. i've tried other G&L's and i generally like the quality. also, is there a reason it doesn't have a tone control?

    any ideas on where to get a decent price on a new one?

  2. They are great basses!

    I'm not sure why you would expect to compare it to a Hot Rod P. The SB-2 just feels like a cross between a regular old P and J.

    IMO it is the best sounding P bass I've ever had (and I've had 3 vintage Fender P basses over the years). It is also a much better bass in terms of workmanship.

    They also cop one of the best Jazz bass tones (both pickup J setting) of all the P/J type basses out there. It seems to me the J pickup is EQ'd in such a way to complement the P a little differently than most P/J's. The net result is that the overall tone with both pickups sounds quite close to a true Jazz bass tone.

    The only negative is that the J pickup alone sounds pretty thin. But again, mixed in with the P, IMO it sounds closer to a true Jazz bass tone than any other P/J.

    So you can get a great P tone and a great both pickup Jazz tone. Just don't expect to sound like Jaco on an SB-2, because that ain't gonna happen.
  3. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    thanks rob, that's exactly what i was hoping to hear. i have both a precision and a jazz, and i was looking for something that can adequately do the p bass thump with a flexibility to kick up the mid range with the j pup if needed. is yours alder/ash, rosewood/maple? also, this lack of tone knob--does that bother you at all? i imagine if you need to cut some of the treble, you could just do it on the amp?

    i don't imagine anyone's going to mistake me for jaco no matter what i'm holding. :)
  4. Mine is a really nice 3 colour sunburst. Ash body with rosewood board. I did find the alder versions a little mellower maybe but if you want a little more midrange then maybe ash is for you.

    I don't miss the tone control at all. I've very rarely used one on any bass.

    The sounds are very classic all the way.
  5. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Bass Northwest sells them and seem to have pretty good prices.

  6. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I've got a sunburst over alder with maple neck/board SB-2. I had, for a very short time, a HRP (also have had an American Deluxe P and an American Std P). I also had a black (assume alder)/rosewood SB-2.

    I think the P pickup/sound on the SB-2 is more aggressive than a "standard" P sound. More lows and highs - with more edge or growl. Without the tone knob you don't quite get the Jamerson-esque muted/sweet highs (although I've only had rounds on my P-style basses so even the Fenders weren't quite there). I don't really miss the tone knob but I like the added clarity/edge over a traditional P.

    I can't really speak to how well it does a J sound because I've never had a J (the horror! - I've had a couple of J-style basses and they just weren't for me).

    A rosewood board does mellow out the sound quite a bit. When I had both rw & maple SB-2s I thought of the rosewood one as my "motown" bass because of the added warmth and mellower tone while I thought of the maple one as my "rock" bass because of the extra snap/bite in the sound.

    Feel-wise it depends on the neck. All the SB-2s I've had were from the era when G&L put their #6 neck (1-1/2" wide at the nut, 7-1/2" radius) on them standard. So the goal was a traditional jazz bass feel. I love the G&L #6 neck, particularly with the satin finish that feels like bare wood to me. Currently G&L puts the #7 (1-3/4" wide at the nut, 12" radius) on SB-2s by default.

    The slightly downsized body works well.

    I like it better than the HRP I had (which was ash/rw). The SB-2 has more depth (better lows) and more growl.

    KTJ music has good prices (I've bought from them twice). Bass NW is reputed to have great service. Buffalo Bros has great service and is very active on the G&LDP (G&L discussion board).

    I've had 3 used ones from various sources (2 from ebay, one from a private party) and was happy with all 3. The prices varied from $380-$480 depending on condition & case so if you are willing to take the plunge used you can get a great deal (they may sell for even less these days - the used market seems very depressed right now). I'd sell you mine if you wanted a used one (my new G&L L2000 is #1 and I crave a Godin A4) but you want a new one.
  7. toad


    Jun 26, 2002
    thanks for the help fellas. i'll check out the places you mentioned. sounds like the sb-2 might be what i want, but still looking for a place here that has one so i can try it out.

    craig, i've kind of have my heart set on a new butterscotch/ash one if i can get an affordable price. but if my brain and wallet stop me, maybe i could contact you if that's cool? i'd be ordering the #6 maple neck anyway.
  8. I'm also interested in an SB-2 as an upgrade replacement for my MIM Precision. But, I would add some switching beneath the pickguard to isolate each pickup for the other, and I would also add a tone control. I do a *lot* of rolling the tone all the way off for the music I play.

    I had a G&L L-1500 custom built for me in October of 2002 through KTJMusic.Com, and I like it so much, I want two more G&L. My P is my main player, and my J fretless is used for specialty work. I'd like to replace both with an SB-2 and JB-2.

    I lost my thump when I replaced the MIM P stock pickup with first a Duncan, then the DiMarzio. I like the DiMarzio (not the Duncan), but the thump is gone.

    SB-2 owners: how does the "thump" compare to MIA P-basses?
  9. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I'm gonna take a pass on the "thump" thing - I don't feel like I've got enough "normal" P-bass experience to comment. Ask in the Pit and I'll bet Ampig and Achim (and others) will be able to tell you what you want to know.
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I played a few of them & I always remember it as being a great bass.

    Maybe I gotta go to Bass NorthWest & see what they have. ;)

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