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Fender vs. G&L

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


  1. Fit4pain

    Fit4pain Supporting Member

    May 30, 2012
    San Antonio Texas
    I have a G&L Lb 100 (Main Player), a G&L M 2000 GTB, a Fender MIJ Geddy Lee and a 63 Fender P bass. I love them all and play them all. If I had to choose it would be G&L hands down. The #12 neck on the G&L is home for me. For me the feel, sound and play ability of G&L basses or just better than Fenders. This is subjective I know but to me it is a no contest. I am not saying that Fender aren't great, I have owned a lot of Fenders but they seem to come and go where as my G&L's never leave.
     
    Mike A likes this.
  2. Zoolion

    Zoolion

    Oct 31, 2014
    None
    I have a LB-100. It is my only bass. As others have said, the pickups seem brighter and crunchier than standard and 'vintage' flavored P pickups but if you back off the volume just a bit, the brightness and output are right in the classic P-bass zone. The construction and playability far surpassed any of the Fenders I played including the American Vintage and custom shop models. I would say the construction and workmanship is on par with Sadowsky and Suhr for about $1500 for the US models. The hardware is way more stable than the stuff going on Fenders these days. The neck shape is awesome, wood quality is great and the setup was spot on from the factory. All my opinion, of course.
     
  3. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Owned lots of Fenders and 1 G&L SB-2. I really liked the SB-2. Had it not been for a disasterious financial situation in 2002, I would still have it.
    G&L is the only bass I have ever liked as much as my Fenders.
     
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    Owned many Fenders [P's, J's, Tele's] and G&L's [vintage wunkay, MANY ASAT's]. G&L's feel like Fenders on steroids with very nice build quality, heavy duty parts, and many useable and diverse tones. Fenders tend to be one trick ponies, although their one trick covers many musical styles extremely well.

    Both are viable workhorse contenders.
     
  5. lawrenceKun

    lawrenceKun

    Oct 2, 2011
    I have the USA SB2-- GREAT bass, very light- G&L build quality to me, gives this instrument a boutique feel . Also own a StingRay and Fender J bass.. both are really nice too however IMO the G&L just feels better- killer tone
    . added the j bass neck option and 12" fret board radius - just love this bass.
    lK
     
  6. Bulky Bass

    Bulky Bass

    Jan 25, 2008
    Bay Area, Ca.
    G&L all the way. I like Fenders, but I seem to get rid of every one I buy after a few months because of neck dive and mediocre bridges. I love the G&L bridge and G&Ls always balance perfectly!
     
  7. JSpradBass

    JSpradBass

    Mar 3, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    Fenders come and go, but I'll never sell my G&Ls. G&L offers a lot more bang for the buck and the sound, playability, and feel are perfect for me.
     
  8. I regret selling my USA SB-2 many years ago, and I'm very interested in the LB-100. I've never played a G&L that wasn't of the highest quality. All that said, I've owned two L-2000s and they weren't for me: They have tons of tonal options, but most of them didn't float my boat. It also was a chore to dial in the tones I wanted. Guess I'm more of a plug-and-play kind of guy, and more interested in passive basses.
     
    Caleb Mills and Lowbrow like this.
  9. TMARK

    TMARK

    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    I'd say G&L.

    I've never had a G&L bass, but my G&L ASAT Tribute guitar, an older made in Korea model, is a much better instrument than my (now sold) USA Fender Tele. I saw this guitar used, in somewhat beat condition, for $225. It is a cherry burst finish, maple neck. I was astounded when I played it. The neck is amazing, the fretwork perfect, great hardware, very solid.
     
  10. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I think G&L is like a more refined Fender.

    They setup better( factory plek'd), have a nicer feel in the hand, more sustain (locking bridge) and they offer a ton of standard options.

    For instance I ordered an American Fender jazz deluxe 5.

    Here are the issues I had with it: Noisy pot, extremely noisy electronics, dead tone (no growl whatsoever) very boring sounding, no character, did not balance well.

    The bass lasted a week.

    I looked into G&L and ordered an MJ-5. I couldn't be happier with this bass. It has a wonderful tone, its growly, the electronics are quiet, it balances well, the neck feels nicer. Not to mention I customized the crap out of it and still saved $200.

    There was a comment earlier about Fender being a safer bet. The first G&L I purchased had a truss rod that didn't work. I sent it back and g&L made me a new neck. I have heard of some issues with other G&L necks.
    Hopefully they have a handle on this now.
     
  11. az_bassist

    az_bassist

    Feb 2, 2014
    Chandler, AZ
    Thanks everyone for all of your input so far!

    I don't know why, but I feel like buying a "P-Bass" style bass that isn't a Fender is kind of wrong. Am I crazy?
     
    mel0dic.bassist likes this.
  12. mel0dic.bassist

    mel0dic.bassist

    Jul 9, 2014
    Canada
    Wrong? No.. Crazy? Maybe.. a G&L is still a Fender-designed company/instrument afterall. I've never played/owned a G&L Precision-type bass (LB-100, SB1/2), but everything I've heard, they just destroy a traditional P-bass (IMO of course). They can do the P sound very well, but still retain a voice all their own.

    Take my L2K for example.. I can make it sound kind of like a P, kind of like a Stingray, but it also sounds like its own instrument as well.

    I think I might need to figure out how to add coil-splitting to turn those massive MFD's into single coils to achieve that Jazz bass-type sound.
     
  13. Unfortunately I wish i could give input on G&L but no one carries them around here, no one local plays them. So I have no hands on experience with them

    Not to change the subject but for me ive never played a 5 string fender I really liked. I Much prefer a Musicman stringray 5. So that may be something to consider.

    I have owned both a fretted p and a fretless j 4 string fenders and I thought they were good basses.
     
  14. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I'm no rocket surgeon, but I'd be hard pressed to tell a P bass from my L1K when the toggle is set to the middle, although the G&L sounds more like the best recording-studio EQd and processed P BAss ever. And I'm a p bass guy.
     
  15. Muddslide

    Muddslide

    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    I love both, though I've never owned a G&L and have owned more Fenders than I can remember.

    I feel as though I have never played a G&L that wasn't a remarkably nice instrument. I'd love to score an older SB-2 someday.
     
    TMARK likes this.
  16. Runlikegregg

    Runlikegregg

    Dec 31, 2011
    Brooklyn
    I've been playing an LB100 exclusively since about 2002. or 2001. I love it!
    Sounds awesome and feels great!
    I replaced the pickup with a Lollar a couple of years ago and now I love it even more.
    The neck feels great, I like P basses too.
    But I have to say I find the 1 5/8" neck super comfy.

    There was a time those Fenders were pretty hit or miss, but I think those days are gone.
    You can't really go wrong either way.

    I don't know what kind of music you play, but you can hear my LB100 here played with a pick through an Ampeg B15.

    What fun!! I wish I was buying a new bass!
     
  17. Muddslide

    Muddslide

    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    Agreed. Fender got somewhat patchy around the late 70s-early 80s. But aside from that, obviously there will be killers and duds in pretty much any year or batch (regardless of brand) but I think a player is pretty solid if they are going Fender.

    My experience with G&Ls is far lesser, but as I say, I've never played a G&L that wasn't aces.
     
    Runlikegregg likes this.
  18. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Not hard. Do a little search on the "K-mod" for a variety of possible parallel/single coil/series changes to the parallel/series switch.
     
  19. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I have yet to find a G&L that looked good to me or sounded the way I want. I do find them very playable and they are clearly very nicely made, but for me there's just something missing. I'm not really sure what it is.
     
  20. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    I'll tell you what's missing... a Fender-shaped headstock that's what. Hey, my 3 G&L L2500 basses (2 USA one of which is fretless + Tribute) are my main 5 string axes and I positively love them. To me after Leo invented the classic J and P basses he kept going. He then invented the modern Active bass with EQ and finally settled down with classic LXXX design. It may be a bit strange compared to classic P and J basses but to me it's one more classic Leo design. Leo's P, J and L basses. And this one is tweaked and developed.

    But you know and I know that there are people out there who listen with their eyes. and therefore I do own a Fender J and P bass. And they are quite nice basses, and people love them and it keeps someone from taking me aside during a break and sincerely telling me that if I ever want to amount to anything I need to get rid of my G&L and buy a FENDER bass. But quite frankly while they work fine (just as a nice vintage car can drive you around) but they feel like driving an old car to me. The late Leo bass just is more refined, more versatile and has more of what I want.
     
    selowitch likes this.

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