G&L JB USA basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bunky, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Bunky


    Jul 12, 2011
    Wondering how people who own or have played them like them
  2. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    One day I will have one. Redburst, 3-ply black pickguard, maple fingerboard, and reverse headstock.
    Bunky likes this.
  3. John Freeman

    John Freeman Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I have a 5 string model and really like it.
    GroovyBaby, Spidey2112 and Bunky like this.
  4. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Really great necks, can be heavy 9.5-10.5 lbs) if you don't order with Empress body (7.0-7.8 lbs). I had to put shielding paint into the control and pickup cavities of the two I kept to kill the noise, G&L didn't shield any of mine.

    They feel and sound terrific, the pickups have great output and full range tone.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    Jim C, petch, Nedmundo and 23 others like this.
  5. Bunky


    Jul 12, 2011
    One I’m looking at doesn’t have empress body specified on spec sheet
  6. ahadl2500

    ahadl2500 Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    Greenwood, IN
    Agree with what has already been said. Love my JB5. Plays like my L2500 with a slightly more comfortable neck. They do tend to be heavy unless they used a lighter wood. That said, I have heard that some of the lighter bodied ones neck dive when on a strap. They also tend to need shielding, which is a quick and easy job (used copper tape on mine).

    As with any Jazz bass that has “normal” sized pickups and preamp you have a ton of swaps available on electronics. I liked the factory G&L stuff well enough. Swapped to Nordstrand Alnico III in 60s wind with a John East J tone pre. Way more flexible than stock with the added preamp and slightly darker due to the pickups. Fits what I wanted out of it better. Would have been happy keeping stock setup too though.

  7. Bunky


    Jul 12, 2011
    How do they compare to fender custom shop
  8. Clipped


    Aug 9, 2014
    I have a four-string. Got it because I like the jazz without the offset. Not sure about Fender custom shop, but this one is getting more play than my Ric these days. So solid.
  9. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I’ve got a 2012 special edition JB with the “nearly naked” finish. It’s ash, super light and the loudest unplugged bass I own. I really really like it. No neck dive on mine, even with a hipshot bass xtender.
    Spidey2112 and crankypants like this.
  10. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Bayside, New York
    I have one in 3 TSB. I had the S-1 mod installed. I swapped out the factory pickups and installed a pair of Dimarzio DP126 J pickups and it made a nice difference.
    It’s a really great lightweight instrument and it sets up easily. It’s empress wood and has a really fancy Chechen fingerboard. It has a very nice grain.
    If I have a really busy weekend with multiple shows I will use this because of the weight. D2030C1B-6DDA-4005-8895-9EEEB503F13A.jpeg 01048AA8-406A-44F3-A615-993FAFE0AFB1.jpeg
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  11. I just got my NENA JB this week, Baltic amber pg.
  12. I've tested their passive JB5 jazz bass in a shop. Liked the neck but the bass was too heavy (9.5-10 lbs). Didn't like the tone as it lacked overtones (probably the pickups height must be adjusted) but the B string was very good for a 34" scale and the tone was very even across the strings.
  13. Love my JB2! Just need to shield it...don’t know why G&L don’t do this.
    bdgotoh likes this.
  14. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Fender has custom shop???
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  15. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    I own 2 JB2's and a JB4. They are really well put together and are quality instruments. If your concerned about weight, which I usually am, empress or swamp ash are good options as others have said. My only word of caution is any basses before the "dogtag" era. I believe that's any bass before 2015, tend to have more variability in the neck carves. The necks on average also tend to be a bit fuller in the hand than most fenders. Just something to keep in mind if a super thin neck is a priority. However, I feel like for the quality of bass you get, they are some of the best value instruments out there new or used. I highly recommend.
    bdgotoh and lowdownthump like this.
  16. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    Fender has the same problem. Why can’t they know better than this?

    I’ve had to add supplemental shielding to every Fender Jazz bass I ever owned (not the Precision’s, though).

    All my Mike Lulls and all my Stingrays, dead dog quiet.

    bdgotoh likes this.
  17. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    A question about the Nord vintage 60s wind and the John East preamp...

    I’m planning on using those same pups and preamp for a build I’m about to begin.

    I’m using the Nord vintage 70s wind in a bass now. I was hoping that the 60s wind are still bright, but not so sparkly bright as the 70s wind.

    Would you say that your combination still has the Jazz bass brightness? You mentioned it being a little darker...
  18. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Great basses, a lot of options (colors, fretboards, neck specs, body wood) for the price of an off the rack Fender American Professional-American Original. I have owned 4-5, all with the Empress body option, and they have all been in the 7.6-8 pound range. A lot of bass for the money. I got tired of Fender locking you into fretboard/body color combinations and not having an 8 pound bass. IMO the Custom Shop basses at $3K plus are overpriced and over rated. And you still can't guaranty a lightweight bass.
    Here's a few of the one's I had. IMG_0611.JPG
    Gizmot and Ellery like this.
  19. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I don't understand. It looks to be the same shape as a Fender Jazz. Am I just not seeing it?
  20. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    With the JBs that I owned I liked the passive sound, for active I ran them through a Sadowsky preamp pedal. That gave them a nice kick when I wanted it, without having to mod the bass.