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G&L Basses..how are they?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dirty Road Cola, Nov 24, 2000.

  1. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    As the topic suggests..how are G&L's? More specifically, the 2500. I'm in the market for a 5 string, and it looks like a good deal.

    So, any reviews or anything on em?

  2. Whitebread


    Jun 26, 2000
  3. I had a G&L L2500 and ended up selling it. I actually think they are a great value but I needed some extra money to buy the Lakland I have now. I paid almost twice as much for the used Lakland as I did for the new G&L. I've heard their (G&L) resale value isn't great but I was able to get almost all the money back I put in it when I bought it new.

    If your looking for some good prices on them check out Bass Northwest. They've been selling them at a pretty good price.

  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I had one of the newer model G&L L2500 basses and it was very nice. I sold it only because I had the opportunity to get a custom 5 string. It didn't have its own sound or distinctiveness, but the G&L had a lot of various tones available. It can be a very good candidate for "if you can have only one bass..."
  5. I just finished playing my 2500 all night and I must say it was a real pleasure. :) I've owned a lot of basses over the years, and I never feel like I'm missing anything when I play my G&L's.

    I don't know why people claim the L-2000 or L-2500 doesn't have its own distinctive sound. Sure it does. It has a lot of great sounds - solid traditional tone is what I hear mostly from mine - although it is capable of a huge range of tones.

    The workmanship is really nice too.

    All three of my G&L's are my 3 favourite basses that I've owned (out of over 20 through the years).
  6. Yertle The Turtle

    Yertle The Turtle

    Nov 15, 2000
    Great basses.
  7. All G&L I tried, not owned sorry, were very good.
    If only G&L does a J bodied bass ... sure I'd buy it.
  8. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    G&L makes some real nice basses.They could use some better shielding and theres alot of messy wiring inside though.I had their LB-100 for awhile but sold it last week.If anyones interested i can get you a SB-1 at a very good price brand new.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    QC varies amongst G&Ls, so try before you buy. I've seen some unfilled fret kerfs; others have already mentioned the lack of shielding. As far as playability goes, the bodies can be heavy and the necks tend towards a baseball bat profile, so if you're used to the whole Ibanez thing, the instrument may feel a little unwieldy at first. On the plus side, the electronics are extremely versatile; plan on spending a couple of hours playing with the pickup settings. If you want a jack of all trades instrument, a 2500 would be a good bet.
  10. The necks are actually available in quite a number of different dimensions, so if you're really after something specific, they can probably make one for you to your liking.
  11. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I'm a big G&L fan. I have a L-2000 (bought new last year) and an SB-1 (a 93 bought used on ebay a month or so ago). Those are currently the only two basses I own. I love 'em.

    The newer one has a satin/oil/wax neck finish that feels great (to me) while the older one has a thicker finish that is fine. The newer one has the 6-bolt neck while the older one has the 3-bolt neck (with a loose neck/body joint) but I don't have an opinion on them - they both have great sustain.

    I've heard the noise problems (due to no shielding) from a number of sources but not had any problems myself. If you are looking at the L-2500 make sure that you try out the string spacing - my understanding is that it is fairly narrow compared to some. But they sound great to me.

    I bought my L-2000 from http://www.ktjmusic.com which had the best prices I could find for new G&Ls.

  12. A question for craigb:

    the 6 bolts neck is a slim one? i.e. 1.5", if I well remember a #6 neck.
    In other words do you know if only slim necks have 6 bolts?
  13. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Nope, my L2000 is the standard neck, not the #6 jazz-width. My understanding is the 6-bolt is applied by model - i.e. the L-2000, L-1500, ASAT, L-2500 and L1505 are 6-bolt while the SB-1, SB-2 and LB-100 are 3-bolt (big caveat - I think this is right but don't bet money on it - I can't find a reference). It may be that the SB and LB series basses are 6-bolt as well - my SB-1 is older ('93) and is a 3-bolt #6 neck.

  14. The 3 bolt, tilt neck design was in place on the 4 string basses (including the L-2000) until just a few years ago. My L-2000 was made in either '96 or '97 (I can't remember the neck date, but I believe it is a '97) and it has the 3 bolt system. I believe shortly after this they discontinued the 3 bolt design.

    Now the reason they dropped the 3 bolt design was that players held too many prejudices about the design based on Fender's (the company under CBS) poor results in the late '70's. The G&L 3 bolt tilt system was designed by Leo Fender himself and is solid as a rock. Both my SB-2 and L-2000 are 3 bolt basses, and both basses have exremely solid neck joints which help give great sustain and solid feel.

    G&L's decision to drop the 3 bolt design was not based on feeling it was an inferior system. They were just experiencing way too much negative feedback from players scared off by the Fender brand's lack of sucess with their 3 bolt design.

    I have one of the earlier 2nd generation L-2500's - it was made in early '98 (if I remember correctly). The original L-2500 that was reviewed by BP Magazine had 4+1 tuners and solid swamp ash body, which was very heavy. The 2nd generation L-2500 switched to 3+2 tuners, string through body design and has a swamp ash (or maple) top laminated to a tilia back making the bass much lighter. The other big change was to go to the 6 bolt design (I think they may have been 4 bolt before, but I'm not posative).

  15. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    I've heard the L2500 not being that great.. even doh its great.. the 5 string with the 2 humbuckers didn't sound all great.. from what I hear the 1000, 1500 or 2000 would be a better deal :)

    But its all up to you :)
  16. Thanks for your answer, Craig.

    When I tried a Climax bass and others 1500s, I didn't understand in what way could be useful the on/off switch.
    Just to mute the bass?
  17. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member


    The way that G&L electronics work the eq controls (bass, treble), volume, and series/parallel switch all work in both active and passive mode. The active/passive (or preamp on/off) switch only controls whether it is active or not. The output level of my L2000 is very high - even in passive mode it is "louder" than some active basses I've tried.

    I like it because the passive tones are different - I'd call them a little warmer, maybe more "traditional fenderish" than the active tones. It broadens the palette of tonal choices you get from the instrument. It also provides a fallback in case the battery dies - some active basses (like the Stingray I had before) don't work in passive mode at all (dead battery => no sound).

    The two-pickup basses (L2000, Asat, L2500) have 3 settings on that switch - passive, active and active+treble boost. I personally find the active plus treble boost to be too harsh and don't currently use it at all.

  18. hi Craig,
    I was talking simply about one humbucker active basses.
    I tried out in different shops some 1500s, and the second mini-toggle, the one supposed to switch off and on the preamp didn't work it.
    The basses were in active mode or no sound at all.
    Even the salesman wasn't able to explain it (this on two 1500).
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Another L-2500 (and former L-1000) owner chiming in to say I think it's great. Dumped a Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 for this and am much happier. Better playing feel, way more sonic variety, better B string sound period.

    Sounds like you turned on the preamp but the battery was either dead or missing. There is no "on-off" switch!!! The EQ works in both passive and active modes, this confuses some people but is one of the best G&L features in my opinion (I use passive mode most of the time)

    My only caveat: the bass could be shielded better. Then again, so could most Fenders I own.

    [Edited by brianrost on 11-28-2000 at 10:28 AM]
  20. I'd agree with you, brianrost, about a dead battery; but the tones were REALLY active in both basses so the pres were on. With the other toggle position you had absolutely no sounds.

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