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Fender American P Bass vs. G&L L2000

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GWFA, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. GWFA


    Oct 21, 2010
    I'm in the market for a new bass. I would love to hear people's thoughts on either of these. I'm fairly new to bass, especially bass gear. Thanks in advance for the advice!
  2. Need2KnowBasses


    Aug 30, 2010
    Both are great. The P would most likely be a little easier to dial in your tone on but wouldn't have as many tonal options. If your trying to decide between the two I would recommend playing both and make your decision from there.
  3. GWFA


    Oct 21, 2010
    I'm having alot of trouble finding an L2000 at any of my guitar shops nearby. If I can find G&L's anywhere, they're usually tributes, which I don't want from what I hear from people in comparison to the regular series.
  4. NineSpine


    Jun 19, 2007
    Both G&L and Fender have questionable quality control, and that's the only reason anyone should warn you about a Tribute model. If you can pick up the Tribute and play it yourself, inspect it, etc. then you don't have to worry about that quality control. It only comes into play ordering sight-unseen.

    These are my two favorite basses. I have a hard time recommending an L-2000 over a P to someone who is new to bass, despite the fact that the L-2000 gives you significantly more tonal options, and it has all the fancy bells and whistles you could ask for.

    The P is kind of the "standard". You won't have a ton of tonal options or features, but what you have will be fantastic. It's hard to go wrong with a P. As a beginner, it won't have you fiddling around with buttons and knobs trying to get a good sound. It will sound wonderful right out of the box and it will fit in whatever kind of music you want to use it for.

    The thing is that both of these instruments are swiss army knives, but in totally different ways. The L-2000 achieves this by having a ton of options, while the P achieves this through simplicity. Both end up working for almost anything and for totally different reasons.

    All that said, I'd recommend a P, assuming we are talking about the American Standard. I am of the opinion that simplicity breeds creativity and understanding when you are new to something. The L-2000 is better suited for someone who wants a lot of tonal options and knows HOW to get them and WHEN to use them. Until you have that kind of aural proficiency (which I am simply assuming you don't have based on your admitted level of experience), I think you should stick with the simple, elegant, can't-go-wrong P.
  5. The Tributes have the same hardware and electronics as the USAs and are awesome basses for the money. There's a USA L2000 that just popped up on my local (Denver) craigslist for $700.

    Could someone tell me whether or not you need a battery if the L2000 is switched to passive?
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    I say P bass, solely because: Simplicity, that "basic" tone, and the fact that, sadly, some studios and bands require you to have a Fender..
  7. fontez5


    Apr 19, 2009
    Columbia, IL
    I've got both a '74 P and a Tribute L-2000. I can get almost an identical P tone on my G&L, so I would say go that route if it's a choice. You'll have the versatility of different tones while saving up to get a P later on.

    And I have had zero issues with my Tribute. I don't get the knocking them. I understand they are foreign-made, etc. and therefore "inferior", but my pots are free of any scratching, the action is great and the tone is simply wonderful. It's the exact same pickups, so really... Inferior parts can be easily replaced, the way I see it. It takes two minutes to solder them in and you're done. :)

    Mine's an '06 with an Ash body, so it's about the same weight as my P, and it's a 1 3/4" nut, so it feels a lot like the 57 model P. I love it. I'd definitely not pass them up as I got mine for only $450 used.
  8. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    They're not completely identical. Go look the parts store on G&L's website and see what parts say they're for Tributes versus not.

    It MAY only be the pots and knobs that are different. But, the differences may also include the preamp itself. The pickups are the same, though.

    Personally, I had a US L-2000 and a Fender P. I just told the L-2000 and the P is one of 2 4-strings that I still have and don't plan to ever sell. Of course, I do also have a US L-2500, which definitely made it easier to sell the L-2000. ;)
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Didn't we just have this exact thread not 2 days ago?

    Oh - it was "EBMM vs. G&L"

    Well, here's my take:

    G&L 2000 is more like the Jazz bass than the P-bass. It's like a J with bigger, fatter sounding p'ups. It has a ton of tone options, given that both p'ups have coil taps. A p-bass is a very one-trick pony. It's damn good at that trick, but it only does one.

    And as for Tributes - they are good off-shore instruments, and can be had used quite cheap. If you want to stay with MIA instruments, however, a G&L2000 is hard to beat for the money - particularly if you buy it used.
  10. buck knife vs. swiss army knife

    I say, G&L L2k for now if you're still new to things. It has a TON of tonal options and will really grow with you.

    A P bass is GREAT though, and what i, personally, favor above others. But, that was figgured out after years of bass flip-flopping...
  11. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    ps. Really, GWFA, you should go try them. The neck on the P's and the Tributes are wide. The neck on a US L-2000 can be P width or it can be a narrower, Jazz, width. Try a Fender Jazz, too. If you find that the narrower neck feels better to you, but you still want either a P or an L-2000, then you should look around for a US L-2000 with the Jazz-sized neck.

    If you like the wider neck, then, if it was me, I'd go for a US Fender P.

    Personally, I prefer the narrower neck, which is why I love my Fender P with a Warmoth Jazz neck on it so much. :D
  12. BullHorn


    Nov 23, 2006
    I actually have these exact 2 basses on my GAS List. I'll probably get both of them eventually but I think I'll start with the G&L first...
  13. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Is this your first bass? If so, I recommend you just get a P of any brand to learn on, and don't spend too much money. Then, after you're comfortable enough to play a few and make a decision, go to a music store and play a bunch.

    If this is not your first bass, disregard everything I just said!
  14. GWFA


    Oct 21, 2010
    Thanks everyone. Yeah, i've been playing bass for several years, but never seriously enough to take the time to learn about all the gear (acoustic guitar had been my main instrument before the band i'm in). My band is starting to grow pretty rapidly so I am in dire need of new gear. If anyone likes post rock/indie rock check us out! we have our whole album up for streaming online. gwfaband.bandcamp.com

    If anyone listens let me know what you think!
  15. GWFA


    Oct 21, 2010
    right now I have some beginner's ibanez bass and a squier fretless jazz bass.
  16. NineSpine


    Jun 19, 2007
    Having heard your music now, I'd say without question to get a P bass.
  17. southpaw420


    Aug 25, 2007
    FWIW my trib L2000 is my favorite 4 string out of any I have ever played.
  18. od highly recomend the l2000. even a tribute is very good, even though i traded mine away for a p bass, i miss the l2000 very dearly ,idf u were to have one bass make it that one
  19. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    I have an L2K and every time I try out a P bass I think: I can get so close to this with my L2K that nobody would notice the difference. Though my L2K doesn't quite get as thick and soupy as a P. Body and neck are about as similar as it gets with the usual variation between the two.

    One thing to consider: L2K's have massive tonal variation meaning (in my case) you are forever farting around trying different tones. P-basses pretty much only have one (nice) tone so you just play.

    on the other hand if you are looking for a different (non P-bass) tone you have it with an L2K and with a P...... well not so much.

    Like Fender, try before you buy. I have seem both gems and turds from both brands.

    One other thing: The finish (talkin' paint and poly) on G&L's is about as good as it gets. Most post '08 Fenders I have seen seem like they have a really thin finish (I think that's what they were going for with the whole resonance angle). I was playing a brand new MIA fiver recently that actually had paint checking on the back....

    You can't lose either way really. While the L2K's are under appreciated imo there is a good reason why so many play precisions.

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