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Fender American Jazz Deluxe or G&L L2000?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by queisser, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking to buy my first bass and I'd like to start out with a decent one. I've done a little shopping around and two model's I'm interested in are the American Jazz Deluxe or the G&L L2000. Those are available in the music stores here but I don't know how to play yet so all I can do is hold them and see how they feel.

    For starters I'll be playing some old-style bluegrass, mountain, country music but I'm planning to branch out into Jazz and Rock. What I probably won't be playing is metal or punk.

    Are those reasonable choices or should I be looking at something totally different? What about the difference between the Fender and G&L for the styles I mentioned?

    Thanks for any insights,
  2. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    I play a deluxe fender jazz and I like the range of tones I can get out of it and mine doesn't even have an S1 switch.

    I play it in my jazzband, an origional pink floyd lez zep syle rock band and am trying out for a metal band and sent them some clips and even they seemed to like the tone.

    I have no experiance wit hthe G&L but i love my fender.
  3. G&L was Leo Fender's last company, the L-2000 (and L-1500 and L-2500) were his last bass designs. They are very versatile, though some people think they are rather bland sounding. I think that depends on the player, they can do a reasonable Jazz, Precission and Stingray simulation (with appropriate control fiddling). I prefer the passive mode on my L-2000, the tone controls still work in passive mode (unlike Lakland's (which I also own a couple of)) too.

    I've had a couple US Fenders, all I can say is they are no longer in my stable. What I've settled on is the G&L, 3 Pedullas, 2 Laklands and a Spector. Well, I have an Ashbory too, but that is sort of an odd little thing...

    If you have a teacher, solicit their advice as well. I currently have three G&L instruments (two are guitars) and no FMIC instruments, which tells which side of the question I would support. :D
  4. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    The G&L can have a really aggressive tone to it. The pickups are HOT in active mode. I can get a pretty close approximation of a Fender Jazz bass or a P bass just by hitting the pickup selector switch. Plus, you can use the G&L in passive mode for a more "vintage" smoother sound. The G&L's are way more versitile. I will tell you this, though...the G&L L-2000 comes standard with a wider "P-Bass" style neck (1 3/4" I believe). I had to special order mine with the #8 neck...it's more like a "Jazz Bass" neck (narrower at the nut end ...1 1/2"). Some people like a thinner neck...some like it thicker. It's just a matter of your preference. I advise you to play both basses to see which feels more comfortable to you. And if you like the FEEL of the jazz bass, but like the SOUND of the G&L. Custom order it with the different neck. Boy, you sure are picking some GOOD basses to start out on!!! ;)

    PS....G&L Tributes are the Korean version....still very good instruments, but about 1/2 the price...and I think you cannot order custom necks on Tributes.
  6. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    I know this is heresy, but why pay $1000 for your first bass? I would have to be pretty confident that I would follow through to lay down that kind of cabbage.

    Of course, ymmv, and you may have played bass but not bought one yet, etc.

    I would go with the L2000. electronics in that thing are fantastic.
  7. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Yeah, i would actually starting on an SX from rondo music. great beginner basses that won't set you back too much. its a cheap way to experiment with different types of pickup configs and fretless before you really get serious and spend a ton of cash.

    actually, i would recommend that you spend more money on lessons than a bass to begin with.
  8. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I have an L2000 AND a Jazz.
    (The G&L is a 1981 model with humbucker/single coil switching, as opposed to the current series/parallel switching.)
    (The Fender is a Standard (Mexican) one, but has been modified with a series/parallel switch (what Fender calls the "S-1" on their American Jazz Basses)).
    Anyway, how about this: get yourself an American Jazz Bass (with S-1 switch) and buy a Sadowsky outboard preamp! That way, you'll have something comparable to the G&L, as far as switching and the choice between active and passive modes.
    On the other hand, the G&L's pickups are different and have their own, massive sound. And, I think the quality control might be better at G&L.
    Okay-- if you can, why not try both and decide which "speaks to you"?
  9. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    If he can afford it why not?Then he's not as prone have to have as many gas attacks as the rest of us and lose money whilst trading up.

    Get the Jazz and if you need more variation in tone get an outboard pre.
  10. No, that's not heresy at all and I've considered going with a less expensive bass. One of my considerations is resale value should I change my mind later on. It seems that American made instruments are more desirable as time goes on. The main reason, though, is that I'd rather start on a good instrument instead of trading up after a year. I started on a cheap oboe and saxophone and upgraded later on but I think I would have enjoyed it more starting with a good instrument.

    In a way it would be easier for an experienced bassist to pick out a good cheap bass than for me. That's why I'm looking at a high quality but fairly mainstream instrument. My basic belief is that you don't always get what you pay for but you almost never get what you don't pay for so I'm staying away from Alembics but also staying away from the $299 starter pack.

    Thanks to everyone for the good feedback. I'll be heading to the music stores soon to try both out just to see how they feel.

  11. I have a 2004 model USA Dlx Jazz 5 string. (Also have late 1970's fretless Precision). These are my only 2 instruments. I have never played or knowingly heard a G&L.

    Anyway, recent USA Dlx are active so don't have the S-1 switch. The great thing about that is the pickups are also active (I believe) which makes them line hum cancelling. I've never had line hum issues from this bass, even when rehersing in a room lit by flourescent lighting.

    You can't really get a passive Fender Jazz sound from this bass, IMHO. But the range of tones is certainly impressive. Again, IMHO, Fender's onboard preamp does not have the wild range of tones that some do. There's plenty of variation but it's more subtle than many I've heard. I like that very much.

    One of my main reasons for buying that bass was the excellent workmanship quality and in particular of the fretwork.

    The bass didn't seem to like the stock strings at all, but now has a set of Rotosound Jazz flats (flats are my string anyway). Very nice!

    It's a 9/10 instrument for me.

  12. I have the Mexican Deluxe and I bet the American would be even better.

    It get's a good classic rock sound, and with flats, it sounds beautiful.
  13. G&L's are about the only way to get USA-made hand-craftsmanship for right at a grand. Not that I have anything against CNC machines; G&L actually rough cuts necks and bodies with a couple of them. However, all the fine work, fitting, finishing, and perfecting is done by hand.

    This, in addition to the sheer volume of tonal possibilities on the L2K, leads me to recommend that bass given these two options.

    Oh, by the way, my compliments for deciding to spend a decent amount on your first bass. It will motivate you to work hard while learning the instrument as well as prevent you from spending even more money consistently "trading up" as you grow in your abilities and experience.

  14. Hi all,

    Got my G&L L2000 yesterday. It's black and I love it. I also tried out the American Jazz and it was a hard choice, both are really nice. In the end the G&L felt just a little better in my hand.

    Thanks for the tips,
  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Good choice :)
  16. jordanm


    Feb 24, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I've had a G&L L 2500 and a American Jazz Delux, while these are two in slightly different classes. The G&L was loads better in build quality, sound, and versatility. Both played about the same but the G&L felt a little smother. Even with American Fenders the build quality can be fairly inconsistent IMO