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Fender vs. G&L

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by az_bassist, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    @az_bassist, I don't know exactly where in Chandler you are, but Out on a String on Gilbert and Pecos had a couple of G&L basses on the wall when I was there Tuesday, if you wanted to try them out. There was an SB-2 andan L2000 I think.
  2. bassstation

    bassstation terms of enRAMPAGEment Supporting Member

    Back around 2005, after playing my original p - bass in nearly every band/gig/recording etc., I was looking for a new sound and thinking about trying a 5 string. As luck would have it, I am in the sam ash in Hollywood on sunset blvd. And they had a g&l 1505, USA made, black with maple neck/fingerboard. I got a great deal so I picked it up. The bass was awesome, it sounded and felt great to play. Since you are looking for opinions I would say the g&l was WAY superior to my p-bass. I would say try a g&l and see how it strikes you. If i did not need the Money when my wife and I were buying our home I would still own that bass. Final opinion in my long winded post was the g&l felt like the higher quality instrument.
  3. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    Yeah, they aren't really confusing if you get the design. One switch is a three way pickup selector and there's two pickups, so that's a no brainer. The neck gives you some thump, the middle gives you some growl, and the bridge is growly/honky.

    The part that probably confuses people is what to do with the two other switches. If you take a step back for a minute, it's important to know this part. The G&L L2000/L2500 does NOT have bass or treble BOOST in it's tone knobs--it's got bass and treble CUT only.

    To compensate for the lack of treble and bass boost being controllable in the knobs, G&L gave you two extra switches :

    1. Switch 1 -> 2-way -> Humbuckers are Series or Parallel
    2. Switch 2 -> 3-way -> Set to either Passive, Active or Active + Treble Boost

    The first switch is basically your bass boost, especially in conjunction with turning on your preamp. If you throw it into series mode you can definitely hear the bass frequency volume increase significantly. The second switch is obviously your treble boost in it's third setting.

    With this design you boost frequencies with your switches, then can cut it back with the knobs to dial in the sound. However what is brilliant about the design is that the treble and bass roll off knobs still work in passive mode. It's pretty nice to have a selectable active or passive bass with treble and bass controls that always work the exact same way.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  4. VerryBerry

    VerryBerry Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    The neck options in particular are a wondrous thing. How many times do you read entries in threads where someone is looking for a Jazz bass with a P-bass neck or a P with a J neck? That G&L configurator has that covered and more.

    That being said, I really like my Fenders too.
    G&L has found a way to market its offerings so that it can compete against bigger players though.
  5. You are correct. All USA electronics and setup in USA. Fantastic quality at that tribute price point.
  6. I printed out a little diagram I found on the basses by Leo site, I believe. An hour or so with the diagram and my L2500 and I was fine. Good tones a plenty in there
  7. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    back in 1977 had a new Music Man stingray that I loved ...

    a few years back I had a USA G&L L1500 or 1100 ..?? the single pickup .... loved the blue flake finish ... didn't like the fret work or the feel of the neck shape ... didn't care for the MDF pups ... it didn't last long ...

    I've liked my various Fenders much better ... USA models , CIJ/MIJ models , franken fender builds ... never had/played any MIM or MIC models
  8. moshspeggeti


    Aug 5, 2013
    Leo Fender himself said that the G&L line of basses and guitars were the best he ever made.
  9. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I have a USA Fender P bass. Fantastic bass, but I've gone to 5 strings pretty much and to me G&L takes it hands down. Bigger thicker tone, love the string spacing and "substantial" feel. Already have the L with an M on order. Never play the P anymore. Not knocking Fender, but I'm a G&L guy now.
  10. LUCE


    Jan 9, 2015
    Denver, CO
    Yes and yes. Neck finish somewhere between Fender urethane and EBMM gun oil. Not sticky, but has a slight sheen. Slightly thinner at the nut than the P.
  11. Makatak


    Apr 13, 2002
    New Zealand
    Im the proud owner of an absolutely perfect Tribute JB-2 , had a professional shielding job, had the frets levelled and its a fantastic Bass and definitely a Fender killer with the beefy saddle lock bridge, hot pickups and 6 Bolt neck a real winner. Along with my Sadowsky Metro MV 4 ive got two better than Fender Fenders ! Well worth the money my friend, go for it !
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I play fender ps, but they have come and gone from my herd while the '82 L1K that I bought new is a forever keeper whether I play it or not. I don't exaggerate when i say its earned kudos from every imaginable set of ears. Its simply too heavy for my broke back now. I'd configure and order a new one in an instant but I am awfully turned off by the can opener headstock. My loss.
  13. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    my 2 cents

    Every G&L model, domestic / foreign, is superior to anything Fender offers. In some cases the difference is small, in some it's vast.
    TMARK likes this.
  14. CTW68


    Apr 30, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Leo's attitude with G&L was to improve upon his instruments of the past. I haven't liked the feel of the several P basses I've played, but I played the G&L SB-2 in a shop, and it said "I'm home." I custom ordered one and, to my disbelief, I play it 10x more than my Pedulla - which was my #1 for 15 years.

    The SB-2 doesn't sound anywhere near as nice as the Pedulla TBolt-4 on its own, but in a band setting it comes into its own. It's not vintage, it's not modern, it's its own thing. Build quality is one step below the Pedulla, but we're talking $1200 vs $4000, and the massive sound more than makes up for the very slight difference.

    If it's anything other than one of the really nice Fenders, which aren't cheap, it's G&L every time. The bang for the buck just kills Fender, but if you want, say, Jamerson's tone, get the Fender. Leo wasn't interested in recreating what he'd already done; to the end, he wanted to innovate and progress. The MFDs aren't like anything else on the market, and the out of phase pickups on the SB-2 was stroke of genius.

    That being said, I'm about to put my L1500 on the market. Just doesn't do it for me.
  15. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    A lot hotter brighter and crunchier. Playability is superb
  16. I have to ask a question with this thread, are we talking new or vintage Fenders vs G&L? G&L are a more modern and fresher instruments in the market place.
    I would prefer a G&L over a Fender because I like them, they are the last in Leo's linage (everything he designed was pure gold). They sound great and play great. But if I need a P or a J...it's Fender time...If I need a Riccy with flats....then it's a Riccy with flats...
    lucasfgonzalez likes this.
  17. lucasfgonzalez


    Jul 4, 2013
    well. lemme say I have two non-Fender era. A cbs era 75'JB original. A L-2500 1998 ( bbe era ). They are killer instruments both. I might compare the l-2500 more with a MM Sabre than with a JB. I myself try to get as classic a possible so I now have my g&L for sale, for I have a m5v Lull which covers its role. But back to the thread, IMO I cannot compare vintage Fender JB with L-2500 G&L. They are both great basses !!!
  18. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I had an SB2 years ago. I'm really sorry I sold it. It was killer with flats.
  19. ruifgalmeida


    Jul 29, 2012
    for me the G&L pickups and bridge are way superior to Fender,as for the tone is a matter of taste
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  20. pauljude


    Mar 6, 2014
    oswego ny
    The LB-100 is beautiful...as a P bass..they both have P pick ups....If I were to buy one today...I'd probably get the new G&L LB-100.....Leo's hands all over it...his last great company. We owe so much to this man.....

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