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Early 80s G&L Basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jgk, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. jgk


    Sep 6, 2011
    Does anyone know about the pickups in those early G&L basses? Like the SB-1 and SB-2. Just trying to find out if they had alnico or ceramic magnets. Thanks :cool:
  2. DLaunder


    Sep 8, 2010
  3. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    With one notable exception, the SB series basses all use G&L MFD pickups, which have ceramic bar magnets. The exception is that the earliest of the 2nd generation SB-1 basses (with the split coil P-style pup, circa 1985) used a Schaller PBX pickup, which I believe is also ceramic (it's identical to the DiMarzio Model P). Starting sometime in '86 or so, the MFD split coil debuted and the modern day SB-1 and SB-2 were born.
  4. jgk


    Sep 6, 2011
    Thanks guys, I suspected they were ceramic but just wanted to confirm. I already have ceramic pickups in another bass and wanted to go alnico on this one. Do you know if the standard fender jazz and P pickups will fit in the SB series if I wanted to swap them out?
  5. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Honestly not sure about that, but I doubt it. I can tell you that the MFD J-style pickups are considerably wider (short direction) than standard Jazz pickups, but they're rectangular and probably not wide enough to accommodate the mounting "bumps" of a J pup without some additional routing to the body (which, IMO, would be a shame given the rarity of the early SB basses).

    For what it's worth, the modern day G&L JB series basses come stock with alnico pickups. Same great G&L fit and finish, but definitely a different sonic vibe than the MFD designs.

    If you can get your hands on an early SB bass, I'd certainly recommend a test drive. Fantastic sounding basses and if you dial the volume back on them, you can get pretty close to a vintage P or J sound.
  6. yup, I have an old SB-1 and just like what you said, roll back a bit on the volume & tone, and you can get some really nice sounds out of that thing.
    I've rented it to engineers who wanted, "that sound."
    Now I rent the B15R & the SB-1 out to the same studio sometimes.
    They are best friends.


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