Deciding between Fender 70s Jazz (MIM) or G&L JB-2 Tribute?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vinnie Boombatz, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    I’m trying to decide between the two basses listed in the title. I know the best advice is to play both. I played the MIM Fender 70s this morning. Needs a set up since the action is high and has too much relief, it sounds good, love the sunburst and love the look. The fretboard is pao ferro, but is fairly dark like some lighter, streaky rosewood I’ve seen, not like the super light pao ferro fretboards I’ve seen that just look dried out. It’s brand new, warranty, return policy, etc., and a 10 minute drive to the shop. Talked them down to $579 plus tax, and these retail for $875.

    The G&L JB-2 Tribute is natural finish with a rosewood board, used, comes with a hard shell case for $325. Th kicker is I’ve never played a G&L, tend to like the smaller frets, but that’s not a deal breaker, and liked the way these basses sound from clips I’ve heard, but who knows how they sound in person. Plus, it’s a 4 hour round trip drive to go check out the bass, BUT it’s about half the cost of the Fender 70s.

    Basically just looking for a J to compliment my P’s. Been digging the growly J sound with both pickups.

    I’m torn!

    Decisions, decisions!


    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    That's a great price on a new Fender. Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
  3. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    Gave up the MIM Fender dead spots on the fret board. Make sure you play out the full finger board to see if there are any dead spots.
    Good luck
  4. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I'll complicate things and vote for the G&L.

    Back story: I'm not even any sort of avid guitar player and I already have a cheap electric at home for whenever I need to noodle around with some power chords, etc. for a little bit. A few months ago, I found a G&L Tribute S-500 and sat down with it for a little twanging, since I'd never looked over any of their Tribute stuff up close before then.

    I knew that the guitar was an import, so I expected to find a little of the cheesey details that usually distinguish a lot of those instruments from others having better materials and craftsmanship. No dice - the thing was nothing but right!! Went back the next day, bought it, and it's continued to impress. I actually loaned it to a good pal and he already wants to buy it from me.

    So I'm assuming that the G&L Tributes are generally rather nice, but I haven't had a test drive with their JB-2 or any of their Tribute basses just yet. Given the price you quoted with a hard case included, that sounds like a superior deal. I've been disappointed through the years with some Mexican Fenders I've looked over, but I've also been turned off by more than one US made Fender bass that I've bought and played for a while. So I'm a little Fender leery.

    I'd bet that the G&L would offer very good bang for your buck, but it's reasonable to be a little hesitant. There's a big difference between buying a bass that you've held in your hands vs buying one that you've only read about perhaps on some websites. For about half the dough, I'd go for the G&L with a lot more confidence.
    sbpark likes this.
  5. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    I am pretty much see things the same as you. I think what initially threw memoir a loop was the $300 off the retail price of the MIM 70's, which on it's own is a great deal, period. But it STILL is basically double what I'd repaying for the G&L. went to the shop twice today and played the MIM 70's. It's great, but in tieback of my mind I don't think it's still that great, or should I say "better" than the JB-2 Tribute for what I want. I'm going to roll the dice and make the drive tomorrow. The wayI see it, worse case scenario is if I buy the bass and end up not bonding with it, I can EASILY sell it for what I paid for it, and I'd just be out the case and the time driving.
    justbass57 likes this.
  6. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Surprised more people didn't chime in about the G&L. Either way, wish me luck as I'll be heading out in a few to make the drive!
  7. Gee Man

    Gee Man Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2016
    W. MA.
    Good luck. I've also only played the Tribute series guitars, and have consistently found them to be excellent quality, can't imagine their basses would be any different. I'd also be surprised if you don't come home with it. Doing the right thing by trying them both out in person though, at the end of the day you won't be left wondering "What if?".
  8. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Used G&L.
    sbpark likes this.
  9. Glazenn


    May 16, 2011
    Check on Reverb, as 'brand new' G&L JB-2 Tributes are listed at $459.99.
    NOS as this model was discontinued last year.
    Two options: either Sunburst body/maple board or Natural/rosewood board.
    For the price ($325.00 incl. hard case), I would take the used G&L with no hesitation.
  10. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    I currently have a Tribute L2500. Sold a Tribute L2000 to get the 2500. Both were/are excellent basses. Fit and finish were superb, the sound incredible and value for dollar out excellent.

    I've tried a few MIM and they were nice, but I've never thought about selling my G&L to get one.
  11. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
  12. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    I ended up going with the G&L. Standby for a NBD thread!
    Youngspanion likes this.
  13. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    As much as I dig the Fender Classic '70s Jazz, I'm glad you found something that personally works for you, especially given the road trip you took to get it. I'm also impressed that you managed to talk the retailer down to such a low price on the '70s reissue. You could've gotten it new for only slightly more than I got mine used. :thumbsup:
  14. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Yeah, that was why I seriously considered pulling the trigger on the MIM 70's, and figured I wouldn't lose much if I sold it down the line, but everything I read about G&L's was positive, including the tribute. I figured if I went out and checked out the G&L and didn't like it I could just hit that shop with the MIM 70's on the way home and pick it up. Turns out I just really liked the G&L. Looks-wise the MIM 70's crushes the G&L, but as far as playability and sound I just preferred the G&L.
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  15. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Oh yeah! Those '70s-style necks, chunky as they are, are super-sweet! drool But, in the long run…

  16. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Honestly, I'd have liked to have both! I did like that chunky neck on the 70's. The G&L is a bit bland and not usually what I go for aesthetically, but those pickups sold be!
    Malak the Mad likes this.
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